Delays to SCOM 2007?

SCOM 2007 release candidate should have been out by now. I suspect that there are delays.

So why do delays happen. Coding is a difficult task. I used to do it when I was younger but decided writing code was not for me and went into infrastructure. The thing is that you can not double the developers and half the time. It does not work like that.

The variables you can work with are:

  1. Reducing the code quality by pressurising the developers and cut down on testing

  2. Cutting features

  3. Slip the date

Well nobody wants the first option – not even Microsoft. Although some people still say to install a Microsoft product until SP1. That may have been good advice pre Windows 2000 but Microsoft has put a lot of work into testing the code before release which is why new releases do not have the same issues that sometimes happened before. That is not to say that they are bug free. It is very hard to get bug free code – even open source, regardless of what they say. 

Cutting features is done but usually once a product reaches release candidate the features are set unless a show stopper is found. Feature lists are juggled with all the time and a decision has to be made on which features are desirable and must haves and which ones can be sacrificed to a future release. If there are not enough new and compelling features then organisations will not upgrade and will skip a version. That is why some organisations join the Technology Adoption Program (TAP) so that they can get petition for what they want to see in the product. The theory being that if all the TAP customers want the same features then it is likely everyone else will want them. It does not work out that way but if there are features you want to see then add your feedback at The Product Group are always looking for good constructive feedback that will help them make a product that everyone wants to use.

The last one is to slip the date. This is the most usual option as if you cut too many features then it won’t sell. Microsoft gets a hard time for this and id always accused of “running late”. That is why the Product Group does not like giving out dates as they then get lambasted in the press (and now blogs) for slipping. But would you want the alternative options? Personally I would wait to get the product right. The problem is customers (especially the large ones) want dates as they need to plan budgets and project schedules so rough dates are given out. I have always said not to take the Microsoft estimated date as gospel but as a guideline that the software will NOT be released before then.

Still the MOM product group have traditionally been very good on hitting their dates. And it is only 2 years (Oct 2004) since MOM 2005 was released. After all the SMS team took 5 years between SMS v2.0 and 2003 and the SQL team even longer between 2000 and 2005 versions. With the Microsoft sales channel pushing Enterprise Agreements and Software Assurance there is now pressure on the product groups to have releases within three years otherwise those customers will not get the next version which is one of the main reasons for taking out those agreements. So the team have a year to get SCOM 2007 out and still be within the three year window but hopefully it will be out long before then. Having said that SMS 2003 was delayed by 6 months due to feedback from the TAP group which meant a large recoding but the customer is (nearly) always right. 

So we wait with bated breath for the release candidate of SCOM 2007 and an indication of RTM. 


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