A just-published technote outlines IBM's plans for maintenance releases around Notes and Domino 8.x.

8.0.2 is the last planned/scheduled maintenance release (MR) for the 8.0x codestream. Notes/Domino 8.0.x will continue to be supported for a minimum of 5+3 years (following IBM SWG policy).  In lieu of producing a Notes/Domino 8.0.3 MR, more frequent 8.0.2 FixPacks will be provided.  IBM will continue producing both maintenance releases and fix packs for Notes/Domino 8.5.x, and customers who have deployed Notes/Domino 8.0.2 should evaluate the benefits of the 8.5.1 maintenance release (when available).
We made this decision for a number of reasons.  First,  to simplify options.  My team and I spend a lot of time discussing "8.0.2 versus 8.5" with customers, partners, ISVs.  We want the answer to converge on 8.5.1 once that is available in a few months, rather than be a decision tree.

Second, it conveys the relative importance we attach -- and many of you concur -- to the 8.5 release.  Based on support call volume, 8.5 may be the fastest release of Notes/Domino we've seen in many, many years.  Blogs, surveys, polls all support the notion that many of you are moving rapidly to 8.5, especially for the server (DAOS, compression, I/O improvement all being strong motivations, not to mention XPages etc on the developer side).  With a fixpack for 8.5 planned for early July, 8.5 is "the" 8.x release that makes sense for all organizations.  If you have not yet started your 8.x deployment or upgrade, my advice is to strongly consider 8.5, especially on the server.  Our collective team has been sharing this message with ISVs and partners as well, in terms of making sure they support 8.5 or will do so quickly (we have been in market now for five months).  And if you rolled out the 8.0.2 client, the 8.5 / 8.5.1 client is a very small step-up, one that clearly requires no training/re-training for users.

Last, it helps emphasize our strategy around product updates.  I have talked to some customers who still have a "wait for the next maintenance release" mindset around deployments and certifications.  The fixpacks and cumulative hotfixes haven't quite become part of the routine.  Part of this message is to convey that we view these as the way to "maintain" a release of Notes/Domino in our strategy today.  Point releases are important, but are somewhat more incremental and often contain interesting features.  You have the choice as to which path makes sense for your deployment.

I want to be clear that there is nothing "wrong" with being on 8.0.x (preferably 8.0.2) today and for long into the future.  As the technote states, we will provide fixpacks and the like for 8.0.2 on an ongoing basis.  If you are already there, that's great.  But instead of thinking about an 8.0.3 as the next step, your next step will be 8.5.1.

As for 8.5.1, we will begin a managed beta program (essentially the second beta, after the first design partner beta in May) in a week or two.  If you are interested in being part of the beta, send me mail @work with your "LDD ID" (what you use to sign into developerWorks Lotus forums) and I'll see what I can do (you'll need to be covered by or sign an IBM AECI, or non-disclosure agreement) fill out this form on ibm.com.  The final date for 8.5.1 release hasn't been announced, but our internal target is in the next 125 days.  (The value you get from reading all the way to the end!)  Some of the product managers and developers have been previewing a few of the new 8.5.1 features on their blogs and Twitter streams -- looks like another great release coming up.

Link: ibm.com: Maintenance update on Notes/Domino 8.x >

Post a Comment