Incorta version release
I am not sure if it is just me, but does it seem like major version releases are coming so fast that I do not even know what one to go with?
We have been stuck on 4.6 as every time we try to go with the latest version, it seems like it has some new bug that will cause us issues and we need to wait for it to be addressed in the maintenance release. By the time the maintenance release comes out, there is a new version, which you would think would have the same fixed as the previous version's latest maintenance release, but not always.
In my opinion, I would look at setting a major release schedule (quarterly or something) and ensure that there is extensive bug testing going on. The last webinar I was in, it sounded like Incorta was going to release a new major version every month, which I thought was a bit odd.
We were about to rollout 4.8, but then were told to wait a couple days for the 4.8.1 release, which we are now just over a week from being told to wait. Today we get a message that 4.9 is about to be released that includes a fix for the issue in 4.8.1. So now do we go with a .0 release or go to a .1 release? Based on what we have seen so far, a .0 does not seem like a good idea.
Any thoughts on what people have done for their on-premise installations?
Thank you for articulating something that we are indeed hearing from more than a few customers. Let me provide some background, and then explain how we are trying to address the issues you have raised.
At Incorta, we are very proud of our engineering and development teams, and our ability to deliver the best Unified Data Analytics Platform on the planet. In our eagerness to pursue this mission, over the past 9 months we attempted to provide new features to our customers at a more frequent cadence.
In many respects, this effort has borne fruit. Recent releases have improved key areas of functionality, usability, and performance — and have set up our platform for even more exciting things to come in the future.
On the other hand, we have seen where the rapid release cycles have created issues for individual customers. As we work to address these issues as quickly as possible, there have been some necessary timing overlaps between maintenance and full version releases. This rightfully leads to the question, "Should I apply the most recent maintenance fix to the current version I am on, or should I just wait a couple of weeks for the next full version release, which appears to have some exciting new features I have been waiting for?"
The answer might be straightforward, except that upgrading an Incorta instance is currently not as quick or seamless as we would hope. We understand that there remain too many steps and too much complexity when upgrading. We have started a project to simplify upgrades in the future, but this effort will take some time to realize.
As we pursue a better installation/upgrade experience for our customers, there are additional steps that we are pursuing:
1. Reduce the frequency of releases. Our current thinking is to "downshift" from monthly versions to quarterly versions.
2. Better understand how Incorta is being used. With so many ways to use Incorta, the more we know about you, your business, and your use of Incorta — the better we can recommend your upgrade path, plan our product roadmap, and ensure that improvements we make translate to positive benefits for you, our customers.
3. Drive additional improvements in QA and regression testing. Increasing our library of customer use cases to include in our testing is one way. Ensuring that customers have multiple environments is another. We are also working with some customers to provide us clones of their Incorta environments for testing. If this is of interest to you, please reach out to me.
4. Be more strategic in our release cycles. One way we are considering this is to provide release preview environments to customers, taking advantage of recent advancements in our Incorta Cloud platform. Other initiatives include staggering releases across our customer base, and moving in phases across multiple customer segments. And finally, clarify how we name and describe our releases (specifically with respect to a "x.0" release versus a "x.1" release as you describe.)
I hope that this provides some insight into how we are thinking and acting in response to the challenges you raise.
I will reach out to you directly, but I also wanted to post this reply so we can engage in this important discussion on the forum. I look forward to continuing the conversation.
CIO & Head of Customer Success