Dear Microsoft...

Wednesday 18th January, 2006
It seems in my rush to review Microsoft's new Notes Application Analyser tools that I may have confused a few people, including myself.

Shortly after posting my blog entry I got an email from a Program Manager at Microsoft:

As part of the Notes migration team I was reviewing the comments/blogs this morning about our new tools.  I saw that you downloaded the application analyzer from the collab site for your testing.  (From
link )  Please note that what you downloaded is NOT the application analyzer that was announced this AM.  What you downloaded is an older tool with several limitations (As you point out and is part of the driving need for an updated tool.)  The new Application Analyzer that was announced this AM is currently in beta and will be released later this quarter on the collaboration web site.

He went on to quote the original press release:

"This tool, available in the first quarter of 2006...".

Well, there was me thinking we were all in the first quarter, but we know what MS release schedules can be like.

AmyB (Blumenfield) from Microsoft also tried to correct me and pointed out that my problems are because I am using Notes 7 and I need Notes 4 or 5. This is a little confusing as I checked the documentation in full before running and it states "You must install Lotus Notes R6 or higher to analyze applications with Lotus Notes R6 storage format and application design." Ah well, it's not like the Microsoft people who helped develop this tool would understand the 6.x terminology is it? So:

The Bad News: It seems this tool is still in Beta and our security policy doesn't allow MS beta software on our production systems.
The Good News: Paul Mooney has already reviewed this beta version. You can see his review right here

I guess the moral of this story is not to make a press release for a product that isn't actually available yet just because it might offer you some kind of timely competitive advantage. It just ends up confusing poor little customers (264,000 staff in 140 countries) like myself along with all the 2500 or so readers who read my review yesterday. Some of them may read this clarification but the other's will just think the analyser tool doesn't work.

Then again, if they read Paul's review they'll see the tool is pretty worthless anyway.

UPDATE: This product appears to have been withdrawn by Microsoft. Details here

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