2010-02-16CIS-Net Release

New Release Management Process


Since its launch, ‘CIS-Net powered by FastTrack’ has gone through many changes and enhancements. New features are bundled together and, when appropriate, a new version of the software is released. The current version (4.0) will be replaced shortly by its successor (see story, page 1) and sometime later this year by yet another version. The cycle of releases is necessary in order to constantly improve the depth and quality of the available features. However, the sustained tempo at which FastTrack delivers those releases raises several issues for the societies, including:

• Difficulty in anticipating the internal resources required to successfully test, deploy and implement each new release.
• Confusion among business/technical liaisons and CISNet correspondents on what exactly is being delivered, how it applies to their users and how to educate them.
• Multiple releases within a year impact how the stability of the application is perceived, and the new release is seen as a production time-drain, since users are asked to train again and again.

Keeping these issues in mind, FastTrack and the CISAC Secretariat have worked together to re-think the release cycle. The main recommendations for release management involve information on “what’s cooking,” which will be provided as early as possible and with more detail about release content. The other main recommendation is to limit releases to a maximum of two versions per year, one by mid-year and a second one by year-end.

Through this enhanced process, we hope that societies will be in a position to budget resources required for a successful incorporation of new releases into their businesses.

Didier Roy
FastTrack Technical Director

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