8.03.400 Technology Uplift Info

As one of the Vantage liasons to EUG I participated in a truncated conference call today. Due to schedule conflicts by a number of regular attendees the meeting will be rescheduled for sometime next week.

I hope that I am not overstepping any official bounds here but given the recent discussion of upcoming versions/releases/patches for Vantage, and the fact that many in this e-group are not members of EUG, I would like to communicate what I have heard. I did relate to the Epicor personnel participating in the call the variety of info discussed here and the need for a clear roadmap and description of the product releases and in particular for 8.03.400. Please be sure to check the Epicor web site's Vantage customer area for definitive announcements and updates. Also, for those who can attend the roadshows, I have been told that this will all be made clear at those as well.

What I heard today was:
- 8.03.400 is in a beta process now and is the next major patch level. It is aimed for general release around August. As much as I hate to add to the info fog I suspect, but can not cofirm, that serious bug patches will still be issued in the mean time...whether by patch number or letter extension.

- 8.03.400 is a technology uplift release to Progress 10.1b, and .Net 3.0. It also makes use of Service Connect to tighten integration with all the thrid party solutions and extensions (Tax Connect, Open4, FRx, IQS, PLM, etc...). The feeling was that rather than addressing these seperately in various mandatory patch levels for each one they would do them all and beta test them all at the same time on the enhanced technology level. Reading between the lines there may also be performance improvements in this.

- 8.03.400's technology uplift will also it to work with Vista (the OS from Microsoft)

- 8.03.400 does not explicitely add new functionality...other that what is picked up with the new technology levels. It is primarily to prepare Vantage for the next major version (9.0) and tighten said integration with the other products to preare them as well.

- Threre was minor mention of 9.0 with regard to communication at Perspectives. In the last teleconference meeting minutes there is mention of

Information I had heard at prior local user group meeting was:
- There would be a Pre-9 release that would build on new technology versions and not contain new functionality. With the info above this sounds like 8.03.400.

Now....some pure speculation and my own opinions....in the efforts on 8.03.400 I highly suspect that attention will be given to places in the prior releases where the inevitable coding concessions were made to be able to use whatever new facilities are available to address them. Sometimes past decisions in design can make it very difficult (and risky) to radically change the design in patch releases. I am sure they know where these constraint points are and are making those radical design changes in order to make 8.03.400 more stable and/or perform better. A 20/20 hindsight thing. Testing all the changes together in one beta program will also help avoid the case where one fix at a time creates another problem elsewhere. So for those folks wanting them to fix things before going on to new things this may well be that fix. Just my opinion.

Again, please reference Epicor's site for the official news from the development people as it becomes available. Sometimes even the CAMs and support people seem to be well outside that loop (unfortunately, IMHO).

Todd Caughey
Harvey Vogel Mfg. Co.

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