David,

In a message dated 97-09-29 17:27:24 EDT, you write:

> I'm curious as to how many people actually TRUST their software 
>  package vendors?
>  
>  1. How vigorously do you test your application software when you get
>  a minor update (less than 10 problems fixed)?  Major update / new 
>  release?

We install only those upgrades that we have identified as pertinent to a
particular problem.  We do NOT subscribe to the wholesale implementation of
CUM-type upgrades.

>  2. How vigorously do you plan on testing your application software
>  for Y2K compliance?

My primary client has more than 10 contractors and several in-house staff
working on this situation.  They have already installed a new AS/400 JUST for
testing Y2K, as changing system dates on production and development systems
would cause GREAT unrest.  They currently have four levels of testing
planned, all of which should be complete about a month prior to SSA's planned
date of having release 6 of BPCS "Y2K Certified".

>  3. How vigorously do you test your utility software when you get a
>  minor update (less than 10 problems fixed)?  Major update?  Y2K
>  update?

Not as much as we should.  These changes are often "dumped in" with problems
expected to "come out in the wash".  Hey, most of our stuff comes from IBM
doesn't it ;-)?

>  4. What about HARDWARE vendors???

Not much better than utility software vendors.

>  5. What about PC software vendors?

This is fairly tightly controlled.  All ramifications of a new software
release for the PC must be fully evaluated.  I'll use my last account as an
example, as nothing so pervasive has happened at the current one (although
they have a similar policy, a new OS has yet to be chosen at the new site) --
it took FOUR YEARS after the release of MS-Word 6.0 before the package was
adopted company-wide.  Why?

1.  The company is multi-national, and the bi-lingual versions of Word 6.0
weren't available until some time after the US release of the product.
2.  After the multi-national versions of Word 6.0 were released, there were
still problems integrating the package with the (company standard) Interleaf
publisher.
3.  Once the Interleaf issues were worked out, there were still
incompatibilities with other ancillary packages to be resolved.

I realize that 90+% of companies cannot afford a second AS/400 to test Y2K
issues.  However, you could "come to an agreement" with a similarly sized
user in your area to do some cross-checking on the weekend.  You could also
beat IBM over the head a bit...

JMHO,

Dean Asmussen
Enterprise Systems Consulting, Inc.
Fuquay-Varina, NC  USA
E-Mail:  DAsmussen@AOL.COM

"Success is a ladder that cannot be climbed with your hands in your pockets."
-- Anonymous
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