Having just been through another Release 4 upgrade with a client I thought I might pass on these experiences as well. The client, in this instance, went for the “rapid fire” rather than a more structured approach and sometimes the situation necessitates this. There is just a different risk management profile with these types of projects and you need to plan for more post implementation issues.

In any case, the client is live on the new release after a bumpy ride, especially at the end. I thought I might pass on some of the issues encountered as they were different from the previous project. The client experienced some minor template issues, but these were more related to the upgrade from SQL2000 to SQL2005 than the Inprotech upgrade. The two areas to go through are, firstly, the deployment process and, secondly, some issues that we found with the application.

The firm itself has 35 users, one of which is a Citrix server which supports another location with 15 users. The client PCs run Windows XP SP3 and they have now migrated to a brand new server which is running only SQL Server 2005 and Inprotech Version 4.0. The administrator logons on the Client PCs have a local profile on each PC and so differ slightly from machine to machine, this may explain some of the behaviour below.

In terms of the deploy the issues were:

  1. Word needs to be installed on the server for the installationto work. CPA acknowledge this as an error but it isn’t going to be fixed until the release of Version 5.0.
  2. For the client PCs the approach taken was to physically install the client component one each PC rather than use a silent install process. Partway through the installation it became apparent that running the setup.exe when logged on as an administrator actually went to the shared network folder which contained the dglib.dot, dgwiz.dot, etc and deleted the contents of this folder!! This only occurred on certain PCs. The server software installation had then to be re-run to retrieve these missing templates then save a copy to return to the folder every time a client installation deleted them.
  3. For the .OCX files to register correctly on certain PCs it was necessary to actually launch Inprotech logged in as the administrator. This wasn’t clear from the documentation, and as a result it was necessary to re-log on to a number of PCs when users noted a problem on logging in.

In terms of the application, the new Reminders program has caused the most issues with, as far as we can see, pieces of functionality that have been taken away. The program is widely used around the firm and the issues have created some consternation and the need for new workaround processes.

  1. The new colouring scheme doesn’t show satisfied reminders any more (or we can’t seem to find the way if it is possible). The firm doesn’t feel comfortable in just deleting all satisfied reminders in a blanket fashion. In the past some rules were set up to be satisfied automatically at due date and they would like to be able to manually review to ensure these rules have been corrected.
  2. The details of where the where the due date has arisen from has been taken away from the message on the screen. This was information that was used in certain instances to better understand the situation with the due date but is now not available. You can get it by viewing the report but this just adds another step in the process.
  3. The Countries button appears to be no longer available for reminders that are satisfied by updating the Designated Countries tab, eg a 30/31 month reminder on a PCT or a 12/18 month reminder on a Madrid case. The firm has rules to satisfy the reminders if all of the countries listed are updated to a particular level, eg to national phase filed. The Countries button used to appear on the second tab of those reminders and listed the countries which had not been updated to the appropriate level. We don’t seem to have access to this anymore but it may be that we just haven’t found the appropriate site option or whatever.

In all the jury is still out on the new program but they can’t go backwards.

The other application we have had an annoying problem with is the new Launch Pad. Occasionally, it gets itself confused remembering the screen position and when the user logs back in the Launch Pad can’t be seen, even though the task bar has an icon that shows it is running. What appears to be happening is that the X/Y coordinates of the remembered screen position get corrupted and the Launch Pad is position “off the screen” somewhere. The first 2 times this happened we resolved it by changing the screen resolution to the highest available and the program could then be seen again and moved back to the centre of the screen, so that it can be accessed once the resolution of the screen is changed back to normal.

On the third occasion the program was still nowhere to be seen no matter what we did and this might be related to users that use two monitors, I am not sure. In the end we tracked down the table that recorded the defaults (DEFAULTSETTINGS?) and deleted the row for the user. When they then logged in the defaults were reset and the Launch Pad is accessible again.
This is a highly intermittent bug and we haven’t been able to duplicate the circumstances that cause it and hence report it through. It is however very confusing to the user because they effectively can’t access the system at all. Fortunately the workaround fix is pretty quick once you know.

I have now been involved in, with and around three upgrade projects and all have them have been problematic so my advice would be thorough testing and preparation. However, I am also aware of another project that went completely smoothly so I guess you can be lucky!!!