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Software Version Control

By Alexaed ·
Problems occur when software is not upgraded to acceptable versions. The software may no longer be supported by the vendor, putting us at risk. Other times, we have one piece of software not upgraded that causes a ripple-effect for other software remaining at back levels. This causes us to maintain support for too many versions and results in us being slow to adopt newer technologies. We need to have a policy for when upgrades should be done. We also need to understand the political and financial impacts for those policies. Has anybody been through this before and come up with a solid software version policy?

Thanks,
Ed

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Software Version Control

by D. Brinson In reply to Software Version Control

I don't think that you are going to find a generic policy on when to do software upgrades. It depends too much on your unique situation. Does you company have the money to pay to upgrade to the latest and greatest version of software? Do you have the resources to actually do the installation? What about your users? Are they willing to put the time in to learn the new, upgraded version of your software or does the old version do just fine? How much of your current software is customized and willtherefore need to have customizations re-applied to the new version? Will a change in software require a change in hardware? Every company is different. It would be wonderful if everyone could always be on the latest and greatest version of eveything, but that is just not feasible.

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Software Version Control

by Alexaed In reply to Software Version Control

Thanks for your time and reply.

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Software Version Control

by RealGem In reply to Software Version Control

Your policy should be to minimize the number of vendors that you deal with, which will reduce your problem.

Go with a single OS, one DBMS, one network platform, one server platform, and so on. Standardize your desktop with a single office automation suite, one e-mail system, one browser, etc.

Upgrade to popular versions that are fairly new but not brand-new. This way, you can be more confident about remaining under support longer.

Fix or minimize the cause, not the symptom.

Assuming that you've already done that, there's not much point in coming up with a policy because you're not in control of when the vendor is going to drop support for your version. Instead, you need a process that will make the upgrades easier.

You should have an up-to-date inventory of everything installed on any machine. That way, when you need to upgrade something you can quickly determine what other hardware/software will be impacted. Then, it's a matter of going to each vendor to determine if compatibility is a problem before you upgrade.

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Software Version Control

by Alexaed In reply to Software Version Control

Thanks for your time and reply.

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Software Version Control

by txplant In reply to Software Version Control

I've not seen any good written policies on this ... mostly because each upgrade decision involves a unique set of circumstances, impact, sub-decisions, and so on. A best practice approach is that upgrades should be done when:
1. the benefits (qualify and quantify from system and from user perspective - e.g. new capabilities) justify the cost (impact analysis, background upgrades required, development (interface upgrades/changes, etc.), and new or modified hardware requirements. Consider hidden costs. For example, a system upgrade will take each user x hours to install, x hours to learn (training), and x hours in productivity loss while coming up the learning curve.
2. the vendor will no longer support the version you use (too old). You still can use the old version, but your risks are very high.
3. installing a related installation requires an update (e.g. must upgrade to latest Oracle release).
I would add that just getting to the latest and greatest release of some software or operating system is insufficient reason to upgrade.

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Software Version Control

by Alexaed In reply to Software Version Control

Thanks for your time and reply.

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Software Version Control

by Alexaed In reply to Software Version Control

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