Technical Support Policy

This document outlines the policies for technical support, maintenance and upgrades for all SocketTools editions. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding this policy.

Technical support is available for any installation, development, debugging and redistribution issues related to the purchased product. Free support options are available, and if a customer has additional support requirements, they may select one of the several paid support options. Support options fall into one of the following categories:

Standard Support

Standard Support includes unlimited e-mail support for supported product versions and operating system platforms, with a guaranteed response on the next business day. Customers are entitled to free updates for the current release and are notified whenever a new release has been published. Standard support also entitles the customer to all online support resources such as the knowledge base, technical reference documentation and support forums.

Priority Support

For customers who require additional support, Priority Support offers a guaranteed, priority response to technical support issues on the same business day. Corrections which require a source code change and/or documentation change to resolve a problem will be made available as a hotfix at no additional charge, and whenever there is a new product update or hotfix, customers will be automatically notified by e-mail.

Premium Support

For customers who have critical support needs, an annual Premium Support agreement offers both telephone and e-mail support, and a guaranteed four hour response time during business hours. This support option also includes all of the benefits of priority support, including hotfixes, source code analysis and assistance with example code. In addition, Premium Support also includes free upgrades if a new version of the product is released while the support agreement is active, ensuring that the customer is always working with the latest version. Please note that if Premium Support is ordered with a SocketTools Subscription, it will not extend the subscription renewal date.

Supported Platforms

Catalyst products developed for the Microsoft Windows platform follow Microsoft’s product life cycle policy for their desktop and server operating systems. Support for an operating system will be provided during the mainstream and extended phases of the platform’s life cycle and terminated when the operating system reaches the end-of-life. Once support has ended for a platform, developers may continue to use self-help resources made available by Catalyst. However, technical support, product updates and hotfixes will be unavailable unless the reported problem can be reproduced on a supported platform.

The following table lists the version information and the end-of-life dates for the Windows operating system. Those versions of Windows which have reached end-of-life are no longer supported.

Operating System Minimum Version End of Life
Windows 3.11 3.11 Build 2.09 December 31, 2002
Windows 95 4.00.950B OSR2 December 31, 2002
Windows NT 3.51 3.51.2012 December 31, 2002
Windows 98 4.10.1998 July 11, 2006
Windows Me 4.90.3000 July 11, 2006
Windows NT 4.0 4.00.1381 SP6a December 31, 2004
Windows 2000 5.00.2195 July 13, 2010
Windows XP 5.10.2600 April 8, 2014
Windows Server 2003 5.20.3790 July 14, 2015
Windows Vista 6.0.6000 April 11, 2017
Windows Server 2008 6.0.6001 July 10, 2018
Windows 7 6.1.7600 January 14, 2020
Windows Server 2012 6.2.9200 January 10, 2023
Windows 8 6.2.9200 January 10, 2023
Windows 8.1 6.3.9600 January 10, 2023

 

On December 31, 2002 the Windows 3.x, Windows 95 and Windows NT 3.x operating systems reached their end-of-life and technical support will no longer be available for those platforms. Technical support for 16-bit components, both on 16-bit and 32-bit platforms using 16-bit emulation, were also discontinued at that time.

Support for Windows 98 and Windows Me was discontinued on July 11, 2006. Support for Windows NT 4.0 Workstation was discontinued on June 30, 2004 and support for the Windows NT 4.0 Server platforms was discontinued on December 31, 2004. For more information about the Windows product life cycles, please visit the Microsoft Windows website.
Product Upgrades

A product upgrade is a chargeable upgrade indicated by a change in either the major or minor version number for the product. A product may be upgraded to the current version at no charge under the following conditions:

  • A previous version of the product was purchased no more than thirty days prior to the release date of the current version.
  • A support contract was purchased which provides product upgrades at no charge. Premium support includes free product upgrades.
  • A product was purchased which includes support and upgrade protection as part of the package. The SocketTools subscription plans include free product upgrades.
  • If the product was purchased more than thirty days ago and there is no active support contract, there is a fee to upgrade to the current version.

Service Packs

A service pack is a collection of one or more corrections to a product and is indicated by a change in the build number but not the major or minor version numbers. Service Packs are complete, tested product releases which include all programs, components, online documentation and example programs.

Technical support for the current service pack will be available for up to 12 months after the date of release or until a subsequent service pack is released.

Service pack updates are available for electronic download at no charge to all registered developers. Previous service packs will no longer be available after the release date for the current service pack. Developers using an earlier version of a product will be required to install the current service pack to obtain technical support for that product.

Hotfix Updates

A hotfix is an intermediate correction to a product or specific component in a product and is indicated by a change in the build number, but not the major or minor version number. Hotfixes are not complete product updates and typically consist of the updated program or component, along with documentation about the correction. A hotfix may not be regression tested and may contain changes that are not documented in the current online help or technical reference documentation.

  • A hotfix may be created to correct a problem that was reported by a developer or internally during product maintenance.
  • A fee-based hotfix is made immediately available to the developer who has purchased the correction or has a priority support contract.
  • A hotfix will no longer be supported after the subsequent release of a service pack which contains a later version of the programs and/or components included in the hotfix.

Hotfixes are designed to address critical problems that require immediate attention. A hotfix should only be installed when it is determined that it corrects a specific problem affecting the developer, or when specifically directed to do so by a technical support representative. In most cases, is it recommended that developers wait for the release of a service pack rather than install individual hotfixes.

Free Software

Catalyst may choose to make some products available to the general public at no charge. Free software is community supported and is not eligible for paid technical support. The only support option available for a free product is self-help using online resources such as the knowledge base, technical reference and public forums.