Rapid deployment for faster results

When we released HCL Digital Experience 9.5 in September 2019, one of the most important features was support for a fully containerized deployment. This provides our customers with more flexibility, and allows HCL to explore new deployment and delivery models for the product.  Updating images is much easier than applying maintenance, or updating a release, to a traditional deployment.

To that end, we are going to switch up the pace for the HCL Digital Experience Docker images that we ship. Our new cadence will be to ship an update every two sprints — that’s approximately every four weeks.  We are modernizing our development methods to keep on track with market demands and help our customers deliver more capabilities to their audiences faster.

For our customers: We can ship new features earlier and in more manageable chunks. Through participation in our development process, it also means customers will be able to see the results of their feedback more quickly. Customers have told us they want to drive new capabilities —and we are happy to oblige.

For HCL: Monthly deliveries reinforce our agile processes (see this post) and force us to automate things we’d otherwise just live with. This will help us drive up quality even higher. Monthly deliveries help teams focus on getting things done — as the saying goes, 100% of four features is worth a lot more than 80% of five features. Also, we’ll learn more from customer feedback, earlier, than if we delivered less frequently.

 

Not ready for containers?

For customers who use the traditional WebSphere Application Server architecture, we will continue to ship “cumulative fixes” (CFs) approximately twice per year. Since 2014, these CFs have provided a stream of backwards compatible updates.  This has reduced the effort and risk involved in updating for new fixes and features (v9.5 was CF17 in this series). For this architecture, we’ll continue this model for the foreseeable future.

 

Be in the know

We appreciate that monthly deliveries may be hard to keep up with, given all the other demands on your time. As part of our agile approach, we’ll use a 30-/90-/180-day backlog, updated monthly, to communicate our plans with customers and other stakeholders. If you’re interested in this information, or in participating in our development processes as a design partner, please get in touch with me (email david.strachan@hcl.com). New releases will be featured in the regular DX newsletter, and our HCL DX Blogs.

 

What’s next?

You may now be asking yourself, what’s next?  Based on feedback from our customers during user groups, customer councils, and events, we have put together a solid lineup of new capabilities that will drop early this year. We’ll see an expansion of the range of Kubernetes platforms that we support, a new media library capability, a new user interface for common content-management tasks and other exciting features in the coming months.

We hope you agree that this is a change that will yield substantial benefits for our customers, who will see new features sooner, and updates faster, than they did before. We are excited to be doing this with you.

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