The Importance of Updating Enterprise Software

At jEyLaBs, we strongly feel that the update and upgrade cycles are essential to see the best performance and optimal user experience of your software platform investments.

Typically, when an update or full upgrade is applied, the following are addressed:

Security Vulnerabilities
First and foremost, updates will keep you safe from known security holes, not always in the product but maybe in the frameworks utilised or the Server operating system that the software runs on.

Better Functionality
Updating your software will frequently provide enhanced capabilities, improved user experience and improvements to the underlying architecture of the software bringing improvements in the efficiency of OS resource usage and consequently improvements in speed and response times.

Squashing Bugs
When you begin using a brand-new installation of a piece of software, you gain the highest level of functionality available at that time. As the vendor continues the development of the software and users ask for more enhancements or uncover “undocumented features”, the validity of updates and upgrades come into play, fixing bugs, enhancing features and providing more efficient software.

At jEyLaBs, we work with K2 a lot.  It is important that the K2 update and upgrade cycles are reviewed with a keen eye. It is essential to get the best performance and optimal user experience from your K2 financial outlays.

Over the weekend you would have recieved a notification from K2, “Customer Bulletin: Code Fix Support End Date Information”. This reminds us the importance of keeping our software platforms up to date.

The latest version of K2 blackpearl and Smartforms – K2 4.7 – has a considerable number of enhancements and reasons for tou to upgrade, some of which we’ve listed below:

  1. SmartForms Application Lifecycle Management improvements, including the ability to identify and address any dependency issues in the designer
  2. SmartForms client event enhancements and Many new and enhanced controls
  3. Package by Reference in P&D tool and New Workspace
  4. K2 4.7, the upgrade mandates a consolidated K2 database.
  5. As per K2 policy, K2 4.5 is now no longer supported.
  6. Database consolidation is now a mandatory requirement.
  7. Support for K2 4.6.10 will cease in June 2017.
  8. Support for K2 4.6.11 will cease in September 2017.
  9. K2 has moved to a new Cumulative update strategy for K2 4.7 patches
  10. K2 is dropping support for older operating systems, databases, frameworks, etc. The installer will not allow you to install K2 4.7 unless you are on a supported OS, .NET framework and using a recent SQL server release.

The following are some key links for you to review:

  1. K2 4.7 Release Notes
  2. K2 4.7 Support Matrix
  3. K2 4.7 Third Party Support

We are able to offer you some incredible offers to assist with keeping your K2 up to date. Contact us via for more information.

K2 Releases Package and Deployment Tool

K2 just RTM’ed their Package and Deployment tool (PnD).

PnD is a utility for promoting K2 assets, including Workflows, SmartObjects and SmartForms, between K2 environments.

PnD has been in Beta for quite some time and it is great to see it getting released.

You can upgrade from Beta 2, Beta 2 TR or Beta 3 releases to K2 Package and Deployment (4.13210.1.0) RTM by running the K2 Package and Deployment Setup Manager and following the upgrade prompts. Continue reading “K2 Releases Package and Deployment Tool”

Why ROI?

Why should we talk about ROI? I truly believe that return-on-investment is an important tool for decision making and most people agree with it. Yet, I see ROI not being used properly as it should be in projects I come across.

To me, ROI is not a throw away term to sell something. There is science behind it. I would even stretch it to “a way of life”.

Actually I never really looked at it very seriously until late last year. When I did, I realised the power behind this concept.

As a consultant at work, I expect my clients to know the value I provide them on projects. I am the best in what I do for them and I know that am worth more than whatever they pay me. That’s why they engage me. I have always provided value beyond the scope and their investment on me. So, this thinking was sensible to me.

But, what about them? Do all my clients know that? Is it reasonable for me to expect them to know that?

The fact of the matter is, I don’t actively show my clients the numbers behind my above mentioned value proposition. This value recognition is important for me as that underpins how I see my contribution towards the projects I work on.

Since I didn’t know for sure that all my clients see the true value I provide in dollar terms, it was important for me to fix it.

So, I set about changing this and putting things out in very clear terms. To do this properly and in simple terms an ROI analysis does the trick. We now do an ROI analysis on all projects that matter and we share this with our clients.

It is really important that we focus our energies and time on important things and theres nothing like an analysis based on ROI of a project from the onset to help us do this right.

ROI is not just for getting the business case done. It should be part of execution. Project managers need to be held accountable for it as well.

I would say the ROI analysis should go even further and be part of ongoing reviews and continuous improvement processes. The benchmarks should be established along side the process enablement roadmap. There is no better universal benchmarking tool than ROI. Net productivity gains in terms of time and dollar value speaks louder than anything else.

What are you doing today to establish value recognition in your projects? Do you want to learn some simple techniques to establish ROI? Call to connect with jEyLaBs and we will show you how we deliver IT solutions with measurable ROI.

Migrations can be Migraine free

Moving active business processes from one environment to another is not an every day task. It is complicated and painful. It does happen though and we are seeing this occurring more and more due to typical system upgrades, platform changes and mergers & acquisitions.

Recently jEyLaBs assisted with migrating over many thousands of active business process instances from one Active Directory environment to another. We have also worked with two other projects relating to Active Directory changes, SharePoint and K2 platform upgrades at the same time.

There are many aspects to migrating processes. Completed, Active and Future instances all have to be analysed for migration impact. The volume of these instances also has an impact on the time required to analyse and implement the change.

Our consultants are currently engaged on a project involving SQL, K2 and SharePoint clusters undergoing a migration. We deployed our PowerToolz to great effect on this project. We were able to complete the analysis, integrity and validation checks as well as the migration process of two pre-production environments within 15 hours.

If the system uses many process applications, multiple versions of process definitions and many thousands of instances then the project cannot be delivered within a meaningful timeframe unless you use some tooling such as the PowerToolz. It is simply impossible to be able to repeat the migration steps with confidence and have proper coverage of all migration best practices.

jEyLaBs uses DELL software products and our jEyLaBs PowerToolz along with our consulting services to manage and deliver these migration projects. There will be a need for support services around the migration period and it is important you plan for that as well. Our remote support teams provide critical migration and post-migration support.

Are you planning a migration sometime soon? If you are looking for some expert advice or general tips and tricks please do get in touch with us.