What would it take to make someone abandon an investment of four years in a competing swf2exe tool? We really wanted to know and our latest switcher, Damien Drummond, has some interesting stories to share.

Name: Damien Drummond (a.k.a. d-train)
Company: ACS
Title: Founder and Director
Industry Experience: IT industry - 15+ years, my grass roots and main bread and butter is from IT network administration and installation and IT sales and support. I began looking to change that and so having been doing application development for about 5 years.
Designer or Developer: More Designer, but I am a Developer want-to-be
Flash or Flex: Flash - Converting to Flash Builder/Flex
ActionScript 1/2/3: converting to 3
Mac or Windows: Windows
Google or Bing!: Google
Autobots or Decepticons: AutoBots

Northcode: We know that you're coming to us from another swf2exe tool, can you tell us which one and how long you've been using it?

Damien: I've been using Zinc for about the last four years. I was active in the community and over the years I used it to complete quite a few projects for my customers and myself.

Northcode: Why the switch and how did you discover SWF Studio?

Damien: Basically, I found that any problem I had with coding in Zinc, took too long for the support guys to get back to you, and sometimes an update caused parts of my apps to stop working. I was actually having a few little issues and was helped by someone over here; they never pushed the SWF Studio agenda, but assisted me with getting a working solution - something that never happened with Zinc. So, one of my apps needed updating, and I decided to use Flash Builder as it had some features that were missing from Flash and AS3, so because of the help I had received I thought I would use the demo to see if I could convert. It was the perfect time to do it as I basically was rewriting the program from Flash AS2 to Flash Builder 4 and AS3 anyway, so a little more learning and coding wasn't going to add too much to the development time, so I came on-board.

Northcode: What was it that finally enticed you to try SWF Studio?

Damien: I found the assistance and support was something that I had missed before, Zinc's support has been slow - Peter is great and very helpful, but sometimes it was like watching tumbleweeds blow through waiting for a response that either never came or came too late. I don't see the same thing here at Northcode, there looks to be a strong team that are more than happy to go the extra mile to help and test your code to come up with a solution.

Northcode: And now that youve tried it, is there anything you'd like to tell users of other swf2exe tools about Northcode or SWF Studio?

Damien: Firstly, I am more a designer than a coder (hence Flash and Flash Builder), so sometimes things don't always appear clear to me. I have found that SWF Studio is easy to follow - yes I admit I had my teething issues, but once again the forums, and support emails were quick in their replies and I quickly picked up the necessary steps that I needed to begin. I am now half way through recoding the application that I was converting when I jumped ship, and I am pleased with the way the program works, and the way in which SWF Studio works. I have not looked back, even though the MDM code is still rattling around in my head, I can always find a SWF Studio equivalent and find that it works better.

Also, if there is something that you need SWF Studio to do, let them know - The Northcode team has added or altered components based on the needs or question that I raised I mentioned in the forums - the Access Database compact and Repair feature is one to mention, and the adding of BLOB support for the ADO plugin is another. The team listen and are more than happy to help, that is what I like!

Northcode: We're always interested in hearing about things that people have created with SWF Studio. Can you tell us what you're using SWF Studio for now or what you're planning to do with it?

Damien: At the moment I am updating an application I developed for the health industry, primarily Dentists, but it is relevant to most. It is an instrument tracking and stock control program.

Northcode: What's your favorite SWF Studio feature?

Damien: Hmmm, not quite sure just yet - I love the ability to get a development release as a registered owner. There are also a lot more features to help me debug my application than I had before (or was aware of at leastJ). I am still working through some of the new features that are available to me, some I will definitely be using, but I am still testing, so no definite favourite just yet. I feel as though SWF Studio has given me a new and better way of doing things, and I am more confident that the final application that I release will be more stable and have a better support backing.

Northcode: Thanks Damien!