Update: It shipped! It shipped!! Less than four months late! That’s not too bad in this industry.
There is an ongoing deployment-gone-wrong story involving SQL Server and about which I have heard nary a word on the SQL Server blogs. While it looks a lot like a classic, doomed-to-failure approach to deployment, surely there are lessons to be learned somewhere.
The new Family Tree Maker software release, containing the new FamilySync client, which was pre-sold and scheduled to roll out on April 1, 2017 (great choice of dates for a rollout disaster), is still in beta test and about to expand to 31,000 testers from 6000 according to MacKiev’s public website. I have no idea what the total number of actual users affected might be. What I can gather from reading between the lines is that the developers did not have an adequate staging environment, for whatever reason, and had to rely on synthesized test data right up until the release. When they rolled, it failed!
I was one of the pre-purchasers, and when the rollout date came — nothing! It was left to the customers to go search MacKiev’s web pages to find out what happened. At first I was concerned that they had simply gone out of business, but apparently they are still there, bailing madly.
I have suspected that Ancestry.com was built on SQL Server ever since I started using it, but I hadn’t seen any direct evidence before this blog post, which I just located.
Update (5/2/17): Still no final release, over a month later. It’s for testers only at this point.