You've heard of DLL hell. What about hot-fix hell -- the case where multiple Microsoft fixes and/or service packs don't play nicely together?
Starting with the 2007 release of Microsoft Exchange, the Exchange team decided to take on the problem of incompatible fixes. Their solution: A new "servicing model," via which they are committing to provide to customers multiple fixes and updates in the form of single "roll up" delivered once every six to eight weeks.
Now the Microsoft Dynamics Axapta ERP team is launching a similar strategy. According to Tom Braekeleirs, a Dynamics AX product marketing manager:
"The process for developing, building, and releasing application hot fixes and updates will fundamentally change from Microsoft Dynamics AX 4.0 SP1 onwards. The hot fix layer files will be made cumulative in the sense that previous fixes will be included in the latest released hot fix or the next critical update. Due to this cumulative approach, released hot fixes are expected to be tested in conjunction with all supported updates and their fixes. In this way, we intend to reduce conflicts between fixes."
Braekeleirs said the Dynamics AX team is planning to release the new, cumulative hot fixes in a new way: As an AOD file distributed out of the DIS layer inside Microsoft Dynamics AX. (Yeah, I'm kind of lost in that acronym soup, too.)
The bottom line, Braekeleirs says, is the change "will now be easier for Microsoft as well as partners to better determine the current hot fix status of any customer system."
Wonder if the Windows and/or Office teams are thinking along similar lines....