i think you understood right.. i installed my 3rd party software before i ever tried just the frontend. everytime ive installed an OBDII cable i've always installed the software/drivers that that my buddy and i made. really i've never just used the frontend to see if you need 3rd party software or not.. i've tried it on atleast 15 different frontends and it has always worded for me.. as you know not all frontends give you everything you need. my recommendation is to use centrafuse. i think i've liked it the best so far.