Update in beta phase

A beta release of Retailer version 2.2, the next major release of our software is now running in more than thirty locations including several of our own.  It will remain in beta in these locations until any issues encountered are resolved.  While or hope is that we can move into production within the next three weeks, the timing is controlled by user feedback and our own QA processes.

Retailer 2.2 is a significant update in scope and technical accomplishment.  For commercial reasons I will not document the new features and other enhancements here.  Instead, we will advise our user community privately in the next two weeks.

Our approach to software updates is conservative.  We build updates over time, undertake considerable in-house testing, test in the field in our own retail businesses and then test in beta sites as documented in this blog post.  Once an update is ready, we ship this ti our users on CD.  This provides a complete backup copy for safe storage.

Our users told us some years ago that they did not want us connecting to their businesses and updating the software automatically.   They felt it took some control away from them and, in the event of ann update with a bug, put their business at risk.

Our approach lets the more conservative of our users wait to hear how others have gone with the update. The control they have, while frustrating for some suppliers waiting for users to have the latest release, provides the level of service and control our users want.

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