If you’re familiar with CIC and previous software releases (3.0 and 4.0), then you may be familiar with the fact that Interactive Intelligence has created a new distribution model for the product suite. It includes new naming, faster release cycles, and higher quality. CIC 4.0 SU 6 was the last release using the older model and CIC 2015 R1 is the first of the new releases. In this blog, I’d like to take a closer look at why the change came about, define some of the terminology, and mention some changes in the support policy.
Why a change to the release naming convention and distribution schedule?
- The new naming convention contains the year and release. This makes more sense since a new release comes out generally every quarter so you can bet every year there will likely be 4 releases (2015 R1, 2, 3, 4, 2016 R1, 2 etc.).
- CIC 4.0 SU 6 was the last release under the old model. There was never any intention to release a CIC 5.0.
- Simply put, the CIC migration process was too cumbersome (2.4 to 3.0 to 4.0) and introduced too much risk.
- Engineering Specials (ES) became very risky and too difficult to track.
- The release cycle took too long and ES's ended up including feature and non-critical bug fixes which ultimately created the possibility of a new bug in an ES.
- A faster release cycle reduces the pressure to put features and bug fixes in a patch or ES (smaller and more stable patches and ES’s dictate feature and non-critical items be restricted to actual releases) this all reduces the risk of applying them.
What is a 2015 ‘R’ release?
- An update to CIC that contains features and bug fixes. This is the equivalent of ‘SU’ updates in the old CIC x.0 model.
- It aligns the release date and version name of most CIC add on products (e.g., Dialer, Recorder, Optimizer etc.) to match that of CIC.
- It is backward compatible just as ‘SU’ releases were.
What is an Engineering Special (ES)?
- An Engineering Special (ES) is a stop gap between a patch which comes out every two weeks, and a serious defect for a customer who cannot wait the two weeks for resolution.
- It is an extremely rare mechanism for extremely urgent cases. A customer must first be on the current patch before obtaining an ES.
What is a patch?
- An update to CIC that contains bug fixes. These fixes go through one week of testing to ensure no existing functionality was affected.
- Patches are cumulative so the most current patch contains the fixes of the previous.
- A patch is the equivalent to an ‘ES’ in the old model. They both roll up multiple fixes, and in some cases an ES can even include more fixes than a patch.
- Patches actually introduce less risk than an ‘ES’ because it contains around the same number of fixes, it is tested, and makes it easier to know which fixes to apply.
- Patches are released every two weeks for the current and previous release (2015 R4 and 3 in this case) and as needed for releases before that.
- Patches are specific to that ‘R’ release so patches for CIC 2015 R3 only work on R3.
What’s new with the support policy?
- Support will be provided for 10 years after the release of a 4.0 SU x or 2015 R x release.
- Bug fixes will be provided for the six most current releases with SU6 being the oldest. This provides around 18 months of support for a given release.
- Customers on versions of software older than the six most current releases will need to be updated to a newer version if they need a bug fix.
As you consider upgrading your existing CIC platform, keep these points in mind and feel free to reach out to us to further discuss your project details!