As many of you know, the GroupWise Engineering team has been engaged in two major GroupWise deliverables: 7.0.3 (Public BETA and Release) and Bonsai (Authorized BETA). These two projects are significant engagements that the engineering team has been working on over the last several weeks – since my last blog :). The engineers have made significant progress in both of these areas, and I wanted to give everyone an update on when and what to expect.
7.0.3 (Public BETA and Release)
We are currently meeting every day to determine our ability to ship Public BETA of 7.0.3. We have about 6 outstanding BETA stoppers, and once we have those resolved we will be announcing and shipping 7.0.3 to public BETA. Our exit criteria consists of making sure that testing has run a number of test cases and scenarios at a passing rate. In addition, we roll out 7.0.3 to several internal, corporate, post offices and the engineering team’s own post offices. Currently, we have Linux and NetWare corporate post offices updated and running. We also have updated MTAs, WebAccess and GWIA. Once our quality control team has had enough time and has run enough validation on the code, we will release it publicly. We expect that to be this week or next.
After we ship Public BETA, we will be soliciting feedback. In addition to general availability, we will be talking to all customers who reported a defect that was addressed in 7.0.3 to validate that we did indeed fix their issue. In addition, we will continue our corporate roll out and respond to any serious regressions before we SHIP 7.0.3. We are expecting to release 7.0.3 in February.
Bonsai (Authorized BETA)
Upon shipping Authorized BETA on November 28th, we have been focusing a lot of effort on a refresh. We have several input sources for this effort. Of course, the first feedback comes from the BETA sites, the BETA Newsgroups and weekly BETA calls. Their input on UI, functionality, and stability is invaluable in measuring our readiness for Public BETA. We also solicit feedback on how well we have implemented the new features of Bonsai. The weekly conference calls have been fantastic and very helpful! We have already discussed Installation, Contact Management, Favorites Folder, Calendar Publish and Subscribe. The feedback on these features has been very positive. We have also learned a great deal and are working to make adjustments and improvements in our implementations.
Another input source is our own IS&T department. They always work very closely with us as we roll out new products and they have already updated one of our corporate post offices with Bonsai. It is running on Linux, it has about 200 users and we have not had any reported problems or down time with that Post Office since deployment in early December. Of course, it is still early, but this is a very positive sign.
Engineering has been executing the test runs and they have been working towards stated quality objectives. We hope to refresh the Authorized BETA in February as well. Each subsequent release builds upon the quality metrics and test case executions that were made on previous releases. We expect each release to be substantially better and be deployed deeper into our own organization as we work with our beta sites and make continued improvements.
This is the part of the software development cycle that seems to crawl along. The user does not see many significant changes at this point, but they do see quality improve and usability enhanced. Our marketing manager, Gregory Webb, was recently upgraded to Bonsai. He is so excited about all of the new functionality that he wants to announce its availability to the world! That is very exciting for engineering, but we continue to put on the brakes until we have adequately deployed, scaled and performed in all of the expected customer environments and configurations. Bonsai is the most anticipated end-user focused release of GroupWise that I can remember. We want that anticipation met with high quality.
GMS on Linux
There is one more project that is nearing completion. We do expect to release this month, January, GMS on Linux. We have been in public BETA with this release and we are close to shipping. Watch for announcements soon!
Well that is it for now! I will continue to update you on our progress and look forward to your comments and feedback!