I've been asked by ASE users about the update that was mentioned previously. It was planned to be available for download and installation by the end of January. Since it's not yet available, there's obviously a problem.
Cause of Delay
Please accept my apology for the delay. Recently I made a firm decision not to release anymore installers of ASE Civil or licenses without a digital signature. Internet security nowadays is a MUCH bigger deal than it was back in 2002 when the first version of ASE Civil became available. Downloading software from the Internet really wasn't a "thing" just yet. Most software development companies were still distributing their applications on CDs or DVDs. Installers on the hard media had no need for any type of security other than an activation code.
Fast-forward 22 years & now downloading (& installing in some cases) applications directly from the publisher's website is the status quo of delivery. But with this new convenience also comes a need for tight security. This is simply due to the fact that since the application came through electronic delivery, and not from a disc, there exists a chance that either the download installer could've "picked up" some malicious programs in-transit to you. Or maybe the installer itself might send you to a malicious site, or even worse steal your data and hold it hostage for 'endless' extortion threats. It sounds extreme, but it happens.
Industry Trend of Today
Nobody wants to worry about those potential outcomes everytime an app is installed after being downloaded from the web, which is usually the case nowadays. The solution to the problem was to timestamp the creation of the installer and record that metadata somewhere where anybody in the world could read it. So when you install the software inside the package you downloaded (the installer), you can be assured that it is exactly the same file created by the publisher and nothing has been added to it or removed from it. The installer knows where to check for the digital signature's authenticity because its publisher and the last build info are registered online.
Since I've already used DigiCert elsewhere, I am already familiar with it. As well, DigiCert are apparently the industry leader when it comes to providing digital signature services for application developers and software distributors that deliver applications to clients through the web. They provide other related services too, but this is my focus now.
All installable software and related resources created by ASE must be delivered within an installer package that comes from EDI as the verified publisher.
I was under the impression this process of getting a digital signature for ASE Civil and it's related resources, would only take a day and a couple hundred bucks. Not so. Not in my case. Here's what I got:
Cost increased to almost triple what was advertised
I've been waiting 2-1/2 weeks for my company's verification
I've chatted with nearly 10 different agents
I could only clearly understand 1 of those agents (an Australian)
Emails have been sent & received multiple times, daily
None of the agents seem to be communicating w/each other
They gave me actions items to address then invalidate the results
I was given incorrect information on at least two occassions by agents
I've been frustrated to the point of sending very ugly emails (not my nature)
I almost abandoned the effort altogether
As of February 6, my order is finally complete (or so they say) & a hardware lock is (allegedly) being mailed to me.
Impact on Next ASE Update
It will take a couple of weeks to get the digital signature software integrated into the ASE Civil installer. This pushes back the next release of ASE Civil 2024 to around early March, to be realistic. There's a lot to do in terms of integration, debugging & testing, so please be patient with me. The next ASE Civil is on the way.