This release is just a foreshadowing of the WebFOCUS 8.0 product that IB has planned for the end of the year.
IB identifies the following strategic new features in WebFOCUS 7.7:
- Enhanced Active Reports Visualization, including new Flex/Flash charts
- Build Active Reports Dashboards directly from InfoAssist
- Enhanced performance enhancements and many limits lifted across the product
- Significant metadata enhancements including simplified metadata management
- New adapters for Columnar Database (1010data)
- Centralized Console configuration for iWay and WebFOCUS adapters
- New DataMigrator release (Change Data Capture, Real-time updates, etc.)
- ReportCaster Workload Management & Fail-Over
Because of major modifications to the product, Information Builders warns existing customers to fully test their BI applications before upgrading to WebFOCUS 7.7:
The Release 7.7 implementation is a major new feature release that contains hundreds of new features that span all product components. As such, Information Builders strongly recommends that customers evaluate Release 7.7.01 in a test environment, do extensive regression testing, and promptly report any issues to Customer Support.
This is a good opportunity to climb onto a soap box and quickly restate my opinion on the necessity for multiple BI environments. At a bare minimum, you must have two -- one for test/development and another for production.
For a major release test such as this, however, you really should have three images: sandbox for upgrade testing, test/dev, and production. You do not want problems with a major release to mess up your test/dev environment while your developers are trying to roll out new applications.
In an ideal world, you would actually have the following BI environments:
- Sandbox for software product testing (does not impact test/development application work)
- Development / Testing (test data environment; purists want two separate images, but I see that as overkill making a person develop in one place and promote into a different test area. With that said, however, if you demo to clients from a test environment, you don't want a developer monkeying with the application at the same time as your presentation)
- Production QA (user acceptance area, production data volume testing)
- Production (protected, secure, always available, high performing environment)
- Disaster Recovery (in case your Production environment goes kaput)
If you have not yet purchased WebFOCUS, work with your IB sales rep to include multiple images -- that can be more cost-effective to negotiate upfront.
If you need assistance with regression testing of this new WebFOCUS release, please contact Partner Intelligence.