Annual upgrades are not required, but be sure to upgrade at least every two years to take advantage of new technology that will run better on your system. Within two years enough improvements will have been made to make it worth your while technically and financially. The more you fall behind, the more likely you will encounter some issue.
Every upgrade includes bug-fixes but we take care to ensure that we always include a host of improvements and new features that will enable help your staff get more interfaces implemented in less time and with less effort.
It is always a good idea to make sure your implementation and support staff are trained in the use of the software. However, if your staff are already familiar with our tools, the changes in the upgrades are evolutionary and they should be able to adapt and learn by using the manual and training material on the web. iNTERFACEWARE™ does offer both on-site and on-line training, both for new users and refresher courses. There is also a host of training material on the website for those who would like to undertake training on their own.
This depends on how far behind you may have fallen and what other priorities you may have. If you have an important project in progress or a big deadline looming, you may want to wind up that effort first. If you are a vendor, a good time to upgrade is on or soon after you release your next version. Your development and quality assurance (QA) teams are still focused and you would be ensuring compatibility with your next release.
While this may be a good time to consider upgrading your hardware for a variety of other reasons, our tools actually become MORE efficient with each new release. i.e. While other applications and operating systems continue to use more and more resources, iNTERFACEWARE™ developers are focused on having Iguana™ and Chameleon™ do more while demanding less of your computer’s resources.
At iNTERFACEWARE™, we have an extensive QA process to ensure (to the extent possible) that our new releases are backwardly compatible. However, many of our customers have written extensive code or scripting around our products and given the broad range of applications and environments in which our products are deployed, it is simply not possible for our extensive QA process to test all scenarios and interactions. Conducting a pilot upgrade in a test environment is the best precaution against any problems occurring. We will be happy to place a trial license in your account for this purpose.
We strongly recommend running a pilot project to let you pinpoint and resolve small-scale implementation problems before they become big ones. Rolling the upgrade out in phases can help minimize disruption.
Most manufacturers provide technical support for only the current and, in some cases, the most recent previous version. At iNTERFACEWARE™ we will support versions for a period of two years before sunsetting them. Our extensive in-house training program is focused on making and keeping our support and development staff proficient in all the different software platforms we support, plus maintaining a high level of competence with regard to the constant release of patches and updates provided by the various platform vendors. It stands to reason that they are most proficient on issues that are current and that the majority of our customers encounter. If you fall behind, the issues you might face may not be as familiar, necessitating time consuming research by our support staff on an issue that may already have been resolved in prior a release.
We understand that in some cases, a customer’s own IT staff may not be familiar with our software. Please speak to us and we will help you define a reasonable upgrade strategy. This may require less effort than you expect. In the event that you do you need to hire a consultant or contractor, bear in mind that avoiding installation-related disruptions and down time may be well worth the investment.
Finally, if you have any questions or concerns after reading this information, please do not hesitate to contact us directly. We would rather spend the time addressing your concerns in a proactive, organized manner, than have you put out fires when things go wrong.