Dateline December 17 – Austin
Are you one of those who has their holiday shopping finished before Halloween? (This obviously only applies to the North Americans amongst you, feel free to substitute with your favorite pre New Year festivity if you are a rest-of-worlder.) I envy and hate you at the same time. I’m a lifelong procrastinator – get a lot of things done at the very last minute. If you think I’m bad, hang out with Zippy for awhile. Dogs don’t plan. Ever. That’s why they’ve got superb smell and hearing and great reaction times. Ten million years of evolution and not planning a single minute will give you pretty good reaction times.
Mine and Zippy’s frailties aside, there are a few things that everyone should plan for. Death. Taxes. And…upgrades. Especially upgrades of software running your business. Hardware upgrades happen when we can afford them – usually every 5 years or so. Those upgrades are often driven by software anyway – new application, new operating system, etc. Application upgrades, especially infrastructure application upgrades, are a bit less organized.
The standard theory is “If it works, don’t touch it.” Given the quality of some brand new software, a lot of us wait until service pack 1, or 2, or… That’s sensible too. What is scary though, is how many businesses running accounting, point of sale, office management (i.e. business critical) applications are perfectly happy to run them unchanged for years and years. Even after they are no longer supported. It’s scary because a perfectly good application on Windows 95 may have some serious challenges running on Windows 7. It might run, but it probably isn’t going to be tested and it sure won’t be supported.
Running unsupported software as a critical part of your business operation means that you just moved from the shopper who gets everything done by October to Zippy the no planning dog. You’ve got no backup and no plan. A call to support to fix whatever problem will eventually arise (and sooner or later it absolutely will arise) will be answered with “I’m sorry. That version is no longer supported.”
Why the upgrade rant? It’s because as of January 1, 2010 support for Pervasive PSQL v9 ends. Which means if your customers are running PSQL v9 under your application they’re going to be really upset if they call support the day after New Year’s and find out they’re out of luck. (Side note: For you stalwart PSQL v9 on NetWare customers, no worries. We’re still shipping v9 on NetWare and support is still available albeit for a minor fee.)
The current version of PSQL v10 is SP3, so no need to wait for it to get better – it’s perfect. For customers who might be in the middle of a general upgrade to Windows 7, PSQL v10 SP3 is compatible (and we’ve got the logos from Microsoft to prove it). It’s a great release, it’s timed perfectly with a big improvement in Windows and best of all it’s a dirt cheap form of insurance. Anyone who compares the risk of unsupported software causing lost business and problem fixing that’s bound to happen eventually with the price of an upgrade is going to upgrade every time. Here’s a simple holiday rhyme to help you remember to get those customers upgraded and keep them safe and supported. (Apologies to Messrs. Coots and Gillespie – the folks who wrote Santa Claus is Coming to Town. Click here for the melody so you can sing along.)
You Better Watch Out
You Better Not Cry
You Better Upgrade
I’m Telling You Why
PSQL 9 is Going Off Support
Thanks everyone for an absolutely awesome 2009! Have a safe and happy holiday and we’ll see you again in 2010.