Another Microsoft team looks to end 'hot-fix hell'

Another Microsoft team looks to end 'hot-fix hell'

Summary: 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?

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TOPICS: Microsoft
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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....

Topic: Microsoft

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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4 comments
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  • Wait wait wait...

    Just to make sure that I understand this clearly they want to roll all of their hotfixes into one implementation every 6 to 8 weeks and include the previous fixes with it?
    >>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."<<
    Released hot fixes are expected to be tested in conjunction with all supported updates? You mean they weren't before?
    So what Microsoft is saying is that when they released them previously they didn't bother to test them and make sure that they played nicely with all of the other crap they released is that right?
    oops =-)
    Shelendrea
    • close but...

      That's one way to look at it but as a software developer myself maybe I can shed some light...

      Most developers and testers assume that the end-user is either fully patched or not patched at all (like a new OS install). Those are scenarios are both probably heavily tested.

      The problem comes when you get those users that only have SOME of the patches in place. For some reason they've decided they know better, they have an overworked IT or just don't feel like taking the time to patch and so now as yet another patch you're coming into the system in an unknown state.

      So, in your statement you said, "...they didn't bother to test them and make sure that they played nicely with all of the other crap they released is that right?" yet that's the problem, they DID test them and they DID make sure they played nicely but they did with ALL of the other "crap", not just a random subset of the patches.

      What this solution really does it make sure the system is always in an known patch state and that you can always make the same assumptions about the users software state.
      MaxPerino
  • What they actually mean

    But will not say, is: all hotfixes and
    patches will be "under the hood", invisible,
    so the end user will not be able to tell
    what broke or squelched his system. Only the
    Mothership will be able to scan and "update"
    the system daily.
    Everyone must be DRM compliant, whether they
    use protected content or not. After all, you
    COULD BE or ALREADY ARE a crook. Isn't that
    how all crooks think?
    Ole Man
  • What it Really Means -- Worse than WGA!

    You will be required to apply *all* patches, including those that invade your privacy.

    Currently, you can at least manually search for "Service Pack 2 For IT Professionals and Developers", or something like that, and download only those that don't require WGA (Microsoft as Big Brother).
    studentCoder