On March 14 we announced the final release and general availability of GroupWise 7.0.3.
This is a release that the engineering and testing teams are very proud of. We have made some extensive changes to our validation processes. This is a movement happening throughout Novell as we move to testing, fixing and performance metrics.
I have spoken previously on the extensive number of test cases that were written, executed and passed in prepartion for Authorized BETA of Bonsai, Public BETA of 7.0.3,
and final release of 7.0.3. We are on the path of being able to statistically determine if one release of GroupWise is of higher quality than the previous. I am certainly not trying to convince anyone that 7.0.3 is the perfect piece of software. But I feel confident in saying that the testing organization has set a significant quality standard and put in place a repeatable process that makes it possible to release higher and higher quality products.
We have several levels of test cases … P0 (p-zeros) – for example are test cases to perform basic functionality. These are test cases that are run to validate there is a complete image, with all required files, in all languages. POs make sure the product installs properly and basic functionality performs as expected. As you would expect, 7.0.3 executed all P0s and passed them at 100% before shipping. P1s are the next set of test cases. P1s execute all major code paths and major functionality of the product on every platform. There were 6500 test cases executed for the 7.0.3 final release. 96% of the P1 test cases passed validation. After a product ships and a customer reports a defect in the product, the testing team will analyze the ‘escape’ and determine if a new test case must be written or an existing test case must be modified. The test cases grow over time to provide a thorough, in-depth validation process that makes sure our products function as expected.
The overall goal of this process is to not only release higher and higher quality products, but to also reduce the maintenance costs and the number of support packs that each release is expected to deliver. Now that 7.0.3 has released, many may begin to wonder – when will 7.0.4 release? Let me be clear – there will be a 7.0.4, but it will contain fixes for only the most critical of issues. There will not be any small changes or improvements that change the basic functionality of the product – expect those in major releases – like Bonsai. This methodology will give customers confidence that each release improves upon the quality of the last release and that features appear in major releases. Obviously, this is an ideal we are committed to uphold, but we may run into some real-world situations that force our hand.
In conjunction with releasing 7.0.3, Novell also announced a security vulnerability that is resolved by installing the 7.0.3 update and locking out old clients. Here is the link to that announcement:
Security Alert TID# 3263374
We have also provided a patched 6.5.x Windows Client for those ‘very few’ customers who are still running 6.5.x.
I will be at BrainShare all next week and hope to see and speak with many of you! Please don’t be shy – one thing I hate about this new position I inherited from Ken is the fact that fewer and fewer people seem to feel comfortable just walking up and saying, “Hello, Dean – Let’s talk!” Maybe they understand better than I do that my ability to answer a technical question has disappeared almost completely. I would still love to meet you and talk about GroupWise!