Scholantis Patch Tuesday Announcement.
A new way to get updates.
We’d like to introduce Patch Tuesdays, a new way to receive regular, scheduled updates for your Scholantis Portal or Website. Inspired by Microsoft’s Patch Tuesday (monthly security patches) we’d like to provide a predictable schedule for maintenance, fixes and enhancements. The updates are not any different than modifications you’re already receiving, they’ll simply be applied on a regular schedule with more transparency.

How will this work? (the how, when and what)

On the first Thursday of each month you’ll receive an update notice summarising available fixes,  enhancements and new features. You can decide whether to deploy updates automatically or electively. If you've asked for automatic updates simply do nothing and we will update your site on the second Tuesday of each month. Otherwise let us know before the second Tuesday of each month if you’d like to opt-in.

What will it cost me?

Nothing. Deploying scheduled updates will be included in your support agreement (outside of your regular support hours). If you just can’t wait, unscheduled (out of band) updates for specific hotfixes, features or projects will continue as normal.

What will happen to my site?

Updates will typically involve deploying SharePoint solution updates so expect approximately 15 minutes of unavailability. We’d ask you to plan for a 30 minute interruption in service within a four hour deployment window. Initially updates will be applied and reviewed manually (by a person) so we’ll need remote access to your server during the deploy window. Deployment can begin from 4pm until 8pm Pacific Time (you can specify your preferred start time).

What happens when something goes wrong?

We do our best to test changes but accept SharePoint is a complex system. If a regression issue is discovered during deployment (or subsequently) it will generally be possible to do an immediate rollback of the updates. On occasions where script or other code changes are involved, we will plan for rollback as appropriate. Patches primarily involve updating SharePoint solution packages (WSPs) so will not affect your content databases, only files on the SharePoint server, therefore it’s not critical to backup databases outside of your regular SQL backup schedule. Allowing us access to your environment to deploy updates puts a burden of trust on us; we will do our utmost to prevent issues, be transparent and extremely responsive in the event of a problem.

Sounds fantastic, what now?

Simply reply to me (Alistair) with your interest:
  • Receive Patch & Update Notifications: [Yes|No]
  • Automatic Updates: [Yes|No]
  • Deployment Time (local time): 
This is a new process for us so please provide your feedback, thoughts and funny cat stories. While updates aren’t the sexiest topic in the world we’re weirdly excited about it and think it will deliver a better experience for you and end-users.

Note: SharePoint 2010 & Scholantis Web or Portal Edition version 3.0 or newer will be required to receive updates. We’ll let you know if that’s not the case and what needs to happen.
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