Upgrades sometimes can be seen as a risk, not necessary, a pain, a workload you can't or don't want to prioritize, ....
We do realise that sometimes this can even be a totally valid way of thinking but on the other hand, with Atlas depending on a Microsoft backbone, it is hugely important to stay in line with the Atlas releases.
With Atlas 4.0 we'll provide you the flexibility to upgrade to the latest version of Atlas yourself by providing a script that can be executed easily by your own IT Team and this on a for you suitable timeframe.
Main topics in this article
- Release frequency
- What is our expectation?
- Why is it important to stay on our latest release?
- What if you experience issues executing the script?
We provide 4 Atlas releases per year.
You might think quarterly releases is quite a lot but a reason you might feel like this is because we have to coordinate with you on a release and we can't just push our package or update ourselves in a silent way since Atlas is not a SAAS product.
As we understand upgrading does need attention and efforts your end, we decided that only 2 of the 4 yearly releases will contain bigger feature or functionality changes for Atlas. The other 2 releases will mainly be hotfixes for Atlas or due to Microsoft updates.
What is our expectation?
We acknowledge staying on top of each release might, for several reasons, not be possible for some of our clients.
To stay covered under Atlas support we therefor ask our clients to be on an Atlas release version N - 1 as a minimum.
This means you can postpone 1 release if really necessary and when you than upgraded the next time you have to upgrade 2 releases at once.
When you upgrade you need to go to the latest published version of Atlas!
If you decided to skip an update also take into account that in the next upgrade you need to execute 2 upgrades at once and you can't skip a release version.
For example: your Atlas environment is on release version 4.0 and you had to skip release 4.1 for whatever reason. When now upgrading to 4.2 you first have to run the package for 4.1 and afterwards the package for the 4.2 upgrade. You can not directly execute the 4.2 script.
Why is it important to stay on our latest release?
As mentioned above, a big part of our updates are fixes.
Some fixes are Atlas feature or functionality related but a lot of the fixes are related to Microsoft upgrades in the previous months. The Microsoft 365 environment is constantly moving and we need to act on changes Microsoft pushes so we can ensure we provide you a secure and correctly performing platform.
That is also the main reason for you to be in line with our latest release, making sure your Atlas environment is secure.
At the same time you have the chance to benefit from any new or improved functionality or features. We'll be implementing features more and more behind feature flags. This will give you the flexibility to decide if you want to enable a feature on not. Features will be disabled by default so a new update will not impact your experience at all if you don't want to.
As you see, updating timely only has benefits for you.
What if you experience issues executing the script?
One of our main focusses when creating our deployment and upgrade scripts, is to ensure the impact for our clients is as less as possible and we're aiming to be in a position to do almost silent upgrades at some point in time. Due to the size and complexity of Atlas as well as Microsoft 365, you can understand this is not an easy task.
As of Atlas 4.0 we'll provide clients with an upgrade script so they can perform upgrades themselves and on a timeframe that is convenient for them. Off course, we'll be there to support you in case you face any issues..
We're very convinced that upgrading will be a low impact and easy effort for your IT team but if required our support team can be contacted via a support ticket. We even advice to give your Customer Success Agent (CSA) some headsup when planning in your upgrade so our CSA will proactively flag this to our Infrastructure specialist who can anticipate and react ASAP if required.
As a summary we mainly want to highlight again the importance of being on the latest Atlas release version.
We are spending a lot of effort in assuring the workload and impact on your IT team is minimal. Also the impact of an upgrade on your user experience will be kept as low as possible and you'll also be timely informed about all changes to user experience a new release might bring for you.
If you have any questions please reach out to your Customer Success Agent (CSA).