Experiences of SDP 7.5

ServiceDesk Plus | August 7, 2008 | 2 min read

Hi. I am Shan and I am Development Manager for ServiceDesk Plus. Most of the time I am the guy who is blamed for the delays in shipping even if there are a lot of scope creeps. I found that the main problem was that you (as users) are unaware of what is going on with the development team and what we do.

Here is my journal as we progress

Performance, Performance and Performance:

Our main focus for 7.5 is performance, quality and stability and it is not a overnite job. Creating such an environment and reproducing problem scenarios are getting to be a challenge. Our QA team is working in parallel to make sure we don’t repeat the mistakes we did in some of our servicepacks. Now-a-days QA team is reluctant to compromise on anything, siting that “for any problem, customers are not blaming development, but blaming only us”..

You, our customers are important

In the earlier 7.0 release we could not give the upgrade pack to the existing customers on the same day the release was made and we learnt a good lesson from it. We could understand your frustration and do not want to make that mistake again. We are working on the upgrade pack in parallel and this time will make sure we release both on the same day.

The site based implementation is back breaking

Initially we thought 7.5 should be an easier one with focussed team working on Asset features. The other key features include site based segmentation, request form customization, solutions enhancements, technician availability calendar. With Purchase module enhancements brought in a hotfix itself, we expected a smoother release as planned.

Not surprisingly we underestimated the time for some of the features which is now causing the delay. The multi site support is the main culprit for the time delay. When we took up the functionality, we thought that it could be completed in around 2 months. Myself and the developer were optimistic over the completion of the feature within the time !! We were proved wrong as it had a lot complications during the implementation phase which need to be addressed.

Phew, AssetExplorer is in…finally

The another key thing which kept us waiting is the completion of Asset Explorer 5.0 release which has support for remote desktop, multi site support for Assets and other enhancements. These have to be integrated into SDP 7.5. Now we are almost finished with the release of AE 5.0 and started on integrating with SDP. It could take us a couple of weeks to integrate it into SDP 7.5.

Integrating ServicePack’s

We are also currently integrating all issue fixes from service packs 7001 to 7019 to the 7.5 release. With a hotfix getting released every month, the amount of merge and testing gets higher. Release delay costs us here too !!!

Now we are into integration phase.

We are determined to give a good quality, reliable and a stable 7.5 release.

Further moving ahead, unlike 7.5, we look to go for shorter release cycles (3 – 4 months). Will plan that delay of one feature should not affect the release cycle and the worst case should be, that feature moved out of the release. This release model requires features to be build separately and integrated once completed. This could involve more integration effort, but lesser impact on release. This model was recommended by my higher ups for long time, but… may be time to look into that model.

I will look to update whenever a task (say Asset explorer integration, issues integration,..) on 7.5 got completed.

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  1. platy

    More of the same, very eager to see what multi-site does but prefer to allow you the time required for you to be happy with the release.

    I am especially interested how we can sperate the support groups and thier requests. Things like griup or site based request templates, categories etc… When you have hardware, application and development support using the same product, althought requests can pass from group to group easily, there is a compromise due to sharing lists of categories/classifications/priorities. Perhaps if templates are restricted/filtered by group or site.

    Once I have a change to play with the new 7.5 version, it will probably answer my questions or at least fine tune them.

    Keep up the good work.

  2. bjm

    I understand much of what’s being said here, and I’m not surprised at all. What actually surprised me was the announcement that multi-site support was being introduced in a non-major version update, since it is most certainly a major feature addition. I’m no developer, but I know enough about it to know that it is definitely a major undertaking, from the database to the web GUI and everywhere in between. I am very anxious to get my hands on these new features (almost desperate, because of the way the management around here is trying to get me to jury-rig the system to work around the limitations), but I also agree that it needs to be done right, not simply as fast as possible. That being said, regular updates like these to keep us informed are a big help. If blog posts like these become a regular occurrence, that would be wonderful!

  3. dgo

    Sounds like the right approach to me. You may get complaints for releasing later than planned but you will get many more complaints if you release something that is not quite ready. Keep up the good work !