No, you aren't alone. At my office (I work at a moderately-sized financial institution) we use Monarch Pro 11.8, and I've been testing Modeler before we all upgrade. And my response has been somewhat similar to yours -- there are a number things to appreciate about the GUI changes (for me, the fact that you can see Table data, Field data, and a Preview view for changes all on one screen in the Table Design view), but what's frustrating to me is that they've taken away much of the quick, right-click and double-click capabilities within all views (whether Report, Table, Summary, or Export).
For instance, I can't right-click or double-click on a column in the Table view and immediately choose to do anything that I can easily do in Monarch Pro 11.8, whether it be creating/editing filters, sorts, or -- most importantly -- new calculated fields. Instead, I have to open up the entire Table Design view (which by default goes full-screen) and click around multiple times to get at what I want to create or edit.
This, to me, is an unacceptable design flaw, because in my LOB, we are constantly creating new models and editing old ones, all day every day. So we're constantly editing both template fields, calculated fields, and summaries. In short, what's most frustrating is that we have to now use a new GUI that seems built specifically for people who build a model only once and then never have to edit it again (or if they ever do, very infrequently). For a product touted as being incredibly flexible and applicable to a diverse array of user needs, it seems like with every new edition of the software the GUI, at least, is being made more and more inflexible, almost as if they are tailoring it to look more streamlined like the GUI of mobile app (e.g., losing the right-click and double-click capabilities, etc.). But that displays a fundamental lack of understanding, in my mind, of their core user base. We aren't creating and editing templates with one finger on our tablet while we ride the subway into the city every day; we're sitting at our desks hammering away at our keyboards, writing and editing complex functions in the service of manipulating data to use in a multitude of ways.
I don't hate Monarch at all -- and it's still the most versatile data manipulation software we use -- but I agree, they could've done much better work with the GUI on the move from 11.8 to 12.
Thank you for your comment! You've hit on several points that I hadn't even considered. In my opinion, 10.5 was the best version of Monarch. V11 did have some features, but I don't feel was an improvement on the UI.
I'm going to copy your statement because I've heard it from several users in our accounting department: "that displays a fundamental lack of understanding, in my mind, of their core user base. "
I don't hate Monarch at all, and it is so deeply embedded that we aren't getting rid of it. But for several of our users, it's become a chore/frustration to use it instead of the intuitive joy that it was in the past.
I am a Monarch user since V4 .. and agree that it is the historical use of the product that keeps me using it.
I could not agree with you more in that 11 and 12 are too MICROSOFT . ie lets make it look great and forget how the user must use it. The UI is not intuitive, it is totally anti keyboard-users with too many point and kicks that are not obvious to get to what was at one time one click (left or right) away ...
Try using the help. If you are willing to spend a lot of time looking to get help in HELP . then I guess it is okay .. it again is not intuitive and makes huge assumptions .. that if you did not know what would appear to be a medium understanding of the core product (and 11 and 12 are not anyway similar in structure or usage as prior) .. you will waste a lot of time .. and still may not get an answer ...
I have been in IT (product development and product support, sales) for over 45 years and I see a trend which is not very pleasant in the new IT world. It is becoming an area similar to cell phones .. ie .. they forgot that phones are for phone calls .. not games.... Look great .. function to make calls .. mediocre to abysmal.
What Datawatch/Monarch need is a true non-IT . .non-development USER forum to critically review the effectiveness (not productivity .. you can be productive doing the wrong thing) of Monarch and get it out of the geek world and into the effective-tool of the end user world.
If this does not happen, I can see the demise of Monarch.
Hello DJ, Joey and Ayjayf,
I know what you mean. I think you could almost build a top ten summary out of Betty's Music Store in Monarch 10.5 without touching the mouse - and we're a long way off that now. For my sins, I was involved in beta testing v12 - I think there are some fundamental things about the interface that they have got right, certainly righter than in v11. But my colleague Eamon is always pushing for more to be available by simply double-clicking - and I think a lot of his complaints have been listened to in the last build.
These days, you have to go to a different support portal with different credentials to download this. You need to have a maintenance contract in place for this. I think the link to it is somewhere on the Datawatch home page.
It would be nice if Datawatch could bring some of the users together - but it's a different company now. The Datawatch I worked for years ago was selling a $500 product to desktop users that liberated them from depending on their own IT departments. These days, Datawatch seem to be positioning themselves as offering a complete data manipulation and visualisation stack for the enterprise, with desktop and server products, but focussed on selling server-based solutions.
It might be helpful to get the message back to Datawatch via your sales contact that you'd like to see a user conference or an organised user panel?
15 year user, even went to the Monarch User Conference in Phoenix back in 2008. I long for a new version of 10.5. It is still the version I use every day. I have tried 11.x and now 12, but I don't have time to learn a totally new program. There is no way I would ever subject my users of 10.5 and older to version 12.
I have been complaining to Datawatch for years since I was one of the first purchasers of 11. The small business market is meaningless to Datawatch now. My small base of 7 users is meaningless to them.