We keep talking about all of the great new features in KLAS version 7.7 so... where is it? We wish this post was a release announcement, but unfortunately the timeline has been pushed back a bit.
The initial, controlled 7.7 release has rolled out as planned, and we were pushing to start a wider release in March. However, the controlled release uncovered a number of issues that have required additional development time and resources to address. None of them were critical, but added together, it was not the user experience we want to provide.
Additionally, in working with NLS to test Gutenberg integration, we have found several changes that need to be made there as well. Even though this integration is not required for version 7.7's release, it is a high priority and has taken a fairly large amount of development time.
While we do want to get this upgrade to you as soon as possible, we want to be sure that you will have a stable, reliable connection and no service interruptions. Right now, it's looking like it will be at least another month before we can promise that for our Keystone-hosted customers. For self-hosted customers it will be a bit longer (probably May) before we can get you Live on 7.7, though we should be able to get you started with a preview database prior to launch.
If you're interested in more of the technical details, read on! Otherwise, thank you for your patience as we polish up this major release, and keep an eye on the KLASusers email list for more information next month.
So why is this taking so long?
We've made a ton of back-end changes to KLAS that will result in a smoother, faster, better experience... but that also changes how it's deployed to the server, how it communicates with the server, where all of the little programs that run KLAS are located... pretty much everything.
We have been working through a long list of fixes as we nail down how some of our changes have jostled the system, both in the KLAS program itself and even more in the various processes that communicate between your user interface and the data on the server.
We've also been tracking down issues with the hardware itself, including moving our brave first-adopters back off of the new server while we track down an intermittent connection issue. We've even had our internet provider out to assist with testing our various connection points and switches.
In sum: we've been making a lot of minor tweaks, plus chasing some stubborn issues through the system from the staff client to the server and everywhere in between. We are making progress, but it's going to be just a little longer while we test all of our fixes to make sure they don't cause problems of their own.
Why are self-hosted customers going to take even longer?
Again, with all of those back-end changes, deployment of KLAS to the server is a very different process than it was for version 7.6.
With our hosted customers, we have control of all of the variables. Self-hosted customers, however, can have any combination of different hardware and operating systems in place. So for those cutomers, we are working on a process to ensure that we can get you up-and-running reliably on any system. Most likely, this will make use of a virtual machine.
We will need to work with your IT group to make sure they are prepared and comfortable with the new virtual machine installation process before going live. As we have more information about our new deployment process, we will communicate with you about a timeline for setting up a Preview database, which you and your IT group can use for testing.
And what about Gutenberg?
With the Gutenberg integration, there have been a few points where NLS's testing have uncovered a problem or potential problem, and several as well where we are simply approaching things from a different viewpoint. There are also some sticky points in-between, and some things that have come up on the Gutenberg side of the equation.
Again, however, we are making great progress at solving these issues as they are found, and our latest round of fixes is out for more testing even now.
We are really thankful for NLS pitching in to help us test this integration with their equipment; we're closing in on it together.