Monday, November 1, 2010

WebFOCUS 5.3 Functionally Stabilized

Information Builders, the Manhattan-based vendor of WebFOCUS and iWay Software, recently announced that they will functionally stabilize the 5.3 release of the products in January 2011.  Currently, all 5.2 and older releases have been stabilized.

Here is IBI's formal notice from their TechSupport website:

WebFOCUS Release Notes
Release 5.3 Functionally Stabilized January 31st, 2011

Applicable to: The Entire Release 5.3 Product Line (iWay, WebFOCUS, DataMigrator and ETL Manager), All Platforms

This advisory provides advanced notification of planned changes in product availability and support.

Effective January 31st, 2011, WebFOCUS and iWay Release 5.3 on all platforms are functionally stabilized. This is applicable to the complete 5.3 line of products including the WebFOCUS Client Release 5.3.x, WebFOCUS Developer Studio Release 5.3.x, WebFOCUS ReportCaster Release 5.3.x and the WebFOCUS, iWay, DataMigrator and ETL Manager Reporting Servers Release 5.3.x on all platforms. Customer support will still be available for this release, however, no patches or fixes for new problems will be provided.

Users on this release level should upgrade to the most current WebFOCUS or iWay Reporting Server release at their earliest opportunity.

DOCID: 1002324

This announcement goes hand-in-glove with IBI's published release schedule which lays out the plan for their major new architectural change (WebFOCUS 8) someday soon:

Information Builders supports the most current and past three releases of their products.  Releases before that are "functionally stabilized," which means that IBI will no longer provide any fixes for products released that far back.

The old WebFOCUS releases are not "dead" -- they are just in a perpetual state of minimal life-support.

You can still call the Customer Support group and talk about issues related to the stabilized software, but IBI's suggested solution will always be to upgrade to a newer WebFOCUS release. 

But that of course means you need to be paying IBI the annual maintenance fee.

If you are running a stabilized release of WebFOCUS (today, that means 5.2 and older) and you stopped paying maintenance fees, then you are out of luck for fixing problems.  If you want to reinstate the maintenance and upgrade, don't be surprised if you have to pay for all missed past annual fees.

The moral of the story is pay IBI those annual suppport fees and keep your WebFOCUS releases up-to-date.

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About Me

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I am a project-based software consultant, specializing in automating transitions from legacy reporting applications into modern BI/Analytics to leverage Social, Cloud, Mobile, Big Data, Visualizations, and Predictive Analytics using Information Builders' WebFOCUS. Based on scores of successful engagements, I have assembled proven Best Practice methodologies, software tools, and templates.

I have been blessed to work with innovators from firms such as: Ford, FedEx, Procter & Gamble, Nationwide, The Wendy's Company, The Kroger Co., JPMorgan Chase, MasterCard, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Siemens, American Express, and others.

I was educated at Valparaiso University and the University of Cincinnati, where I graduated summa cum laude. In 1990, I joined Information Builders and for over a dozen years served in regional pre- and post-sales technical leadership roles. Also, for several years I led the US technical services teams within Cincom Systems' ERP software product group and the Midwest custom software services arm of Xerox.

Since 2007, I have provided enterprise BI services such as: strategic advice; architecture, design, and software application development of intelligence systems (interactive dashboards and mobile); data warehousing; and automated modernization of legacy reporting. My experience with BI products include WebFOCUS (vendor certified expert), R, SAP Business Objects (WebI, Crystal Reports), Tableau, and others.