Discovering the unexpected is more important than confirming the known

Without question, this quote by the great statistician George E. P. Box certainly applies to software development in general and Beta testing in particular.

Beta testing is one of the most important phases of the software development lifecycle. Quality, performance, stability, security and reliability are some factors that are achieved by doing beta testing.

Beta testing is the best chance to find bugs and usability issues before a product is fully released. While internal testing can uncover many problems, nothing can truly simulate real users trying to complete real tasks.

HCL has released the 2nd code drop of the upcoming release of (Notes)/Domino “Danube” (12.0.2). Every customer with active maintenance can participate in the Early Access Program. The software is available for download at Flexnet.

There is a forum where you can provide feedback .

Tim Clark (HCL) recently said that “We’ve noticed that not many people are trying out the Domino Early Access drop.”

I do not know what the reasons are. I know for sure that Beta testing can be very time consuming. But you do not have to test all the features from a code drop. Test one feature and comment on everything you see or do not see during your test.

If you do not want to setup a machine just for the Beta testing, maybe Docker is an option for you. Daniel Nashed has done a great job providing Docker images for all kind of Domino server environments.

There are no guidelines how to do a Beta test. Also there is no “playbook” that gives step-by-step instructions how to test a feature.

It’s all up to you. Be smart, act stupid. Be a rogue. If you can break a feature, anybody can. Better this happens during Beta testing than in production, right?

If a feature works as described. OK. But I can assure you that in all the years I am participating in Beta programs there is always bits and pieces that needs to be changed to make a feature idiot proofed rock solid, make log messages and console output more understandable or improve useability. This all helps to build a great product. And you can be part of the process.

Always keep in mind that discovering the unexpected is more important than confirming the known.

Domino Early Access Program drop 2 is available

HCL Domino 12.0.2 Early Access Drop 2 is available for download on flexnet.

HCL Domino 12.0.2 Early Access Program drop 2 provides these new features and enhancements:

  • A new tab in the Server document, NIFNSF, allows you to configure moving database view indexes out of databases. Previously, you configured this feature through server notes.ini settings.
  • DAOS Encryption Manager (daosencmgr) now provides the -O [outfile] option to output command results to a specified file. In addition, the DAOS_ENCRYPT_MGR_ENABLE=1 notes.ini setting is no longer required to enable it.
  • Building or rebuilding views take 5-10% less time with Domino 12.0.2.
  • C API OSLoadLibrary changes
    On Windows, if a fully qualified path is not specified for a library to be loaded, the C API OSLoadLibrary no longer searches the path for the library. Instead, by default, this API searches the Notes or Domino executable directory, the Windows System directory, and the Windows directory. You can use notes.ini variables of the format OSSL_<#>= to specify up to five additional locations to search. For example: OSSL_3=”d:\Application\Libraries”. Full details of this this change will be available in the next release of the C API SDK.
  • Smart Server Startup
    A new feature called Smart Server Startup prevents users from connecting to a Domino server until it is fully up and ready to accept user requests. For example, if a server crashes, Smart Server Startup allows users to connect to it only after the server has fully recovered. To see Smart Server Startup activity during server startup, use the notes.ini setting debug_qos=1. To disable the feature, use the notes.ini setting DisableSmartServer=1.