We would like to update you on the status of our most recent product releases and explain why you may have seen changes in the timing of our updated O365 functionality in SLM 9.6.2.
We have heard you loud and clear that the quality of our recent releases, they have not been at the level we would like. Please accept our sincere apologies for this and know that improving the quality of the products you use is our #1 priority. Our commitment on this journey is to be transparent with you as possible about what we have done, where things have worked and where they haven’t. Given this, this note is designed to ensure that you have all the information regarding these releases, whether the issues impacted you directly or not.
With SLM 9.6.1 and Inventory 6.3.2 two issues have surfaced in the rollout. The first is related to how we can improve communication around updates. The second relates to a bug that has impacted our partners who run our SPE version.
- On the communication around updates: We had released both Inventory and SLM and, as these are normally backward compatible, had not initially documented a new dependency requiring both components to be updated. After this was reported we documented in the release notes that 9.6.1 and 6.3.2 had to both be installed owing to dependencies between these versions. While many people consumed the documentation, a number of customers updated inventory through the Snow Update Service (SUS) but did not update SLM. This resulted in them experiencing a compatibility issue.
- Our Actions
- We have gone beyond the documentation update in the release notes and have now updated SUS so that customers updating Inventory to 6.3.2 will be proactively notified of the need to upgrade SLM to 9.6.1 or later.
- We verified, tested and re-published SLM 9.6.1 to those who have installed Inventory 6.3.2 to unblock the device data processing between Inventory and SLM.
- Our Actions
- We’ve had a small number of partners who run the SPE version of our software experience data exposure due to the bug in the system.
- Our Actions
- We immediately notified our other partners on how to avoid the data exposure while we worked to identify the core problem and fix it.
- We have now fixed the system for the impacted partners by both cleaning their data and applying the fix.
- We are testing the deployment of the fix through the SUS to ensure that it can be delivered through the automated process.
- We have conducted an internal post-mortem and will be evolving our processes based on our learnings from this event.
- Our Actions
In parallel, we know many of you are waiting on updates to our Office 365 functionality (in SLM 9.6.2). Some of you may have already heard that we have pushed the GA date out to May 7th and we would like to take this opportunity to explain why, as well as asking for any feedback or requests that you have.
The original plan was to deliver the Office 365 functionality at the start of April and yet the changes in 9.6.2 are quite fundamental and broad in scope with the goal of improving quality, performance and scalability. As we went through the development and testing process, we felt that this was a significant enough technical change that we wanted to do more to ensure quality.
Owing to this, we added a few steps to the scope that caused the shift in GA date:
- We added a phased rollout between completion of testing and GA – amounting to a few weeks’ worth of time. Of note, we can make the 9.6.2 release available to any customer who wants it during this phased rollout.
- From time-to-time we ask our customers to share their data sets for testing so we can get higher confidence in our tests. Despite having one very large data set in our original testing along with our own internal data sets, we felt that the scope of this change warranted a second large customer data set which extended our testing schedule.
- We saw a week delay due to the issues with 9.6.1 above and, during this same time, we adjusted our working practices due to Covid-19 to minimize any disruptions. That said, today we have reached out to a number of customers who wanted to be part of the beta test for 9.6.2 and that will begin shortly. We are hopeful that beta testing will go smoothly and that we’ll release the new functionality on the revised GA date of 7th May.
We hope these facts give you a level of transparency into both these releases and we realize that the issues themselves have caused understandable frustration and we sincerely apologize for this. As part of our ongoing journey to deliver products that meet our bar of quality and earn your confidence we will be giving you more regular updates on product releases and our process evolution. That said, we appreciate that there are individual situations that arise so please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with questions if you have them.
Sanjay Castelino – Chief Product Officer
Richard Anderson – Chief Customer Officer