Right now, we’re in the middle of beta testing some of our new products, and it’s a little nerve-wracking for us to show off what we’ve done to people outside the company for the first time. We’re currently testing Symphony 3.4.1 Service Pack 2, Horizon 7.5.2 and Enterprise/Portfolio 4.2.1 right now, along with a number of back-end systems that no one sees, but they help everything work together better. Beta tests are the first time outsiders get to see what we have built and we’re always worried it’s not good enough. My previous blog post gave a quick overview of some of the changes we’ve made recently to our software development process, but let me give you a little closer look at how we get our software ready for the beta testing phase.
Once we’ve finished all of the features and bug fixes we can put into the release, we bundle them all together into one package and set up some servers with the same operating system/database combinations that the majority of our customers use and we install previous versions of the product we’re testing to make sure that upgrading goes the way we expect. Once we follow the same upgrade install process as you would, we go through all of the tests our engineers came up with while they were building each new part. We install and test every new piece we build to make sure it works before we send it out the door. If something still doesn’t work, we fix it before we package everything up again to send the release to our beta customers. Sometimes, we find new bugs that have never been reported before and we give our product managers the tough job of deciding whether we can fix that first or if that needs to wait to be fixed in the following version. Once our beta testing sites have the product, we give them whatever help they need and they give us invaluable feedback on how they like the improvements and where they would still like to see changes.
Our testing at SirsiDynix helps the testing at the beta sites run more smoothly, and the information our beta customers provide helps us improve things even more. We’re excited to get these upcoming releases out to everyone, so thanks for being patient and helping us know what will be the most beneficial to you.