Typically three or four times each year, NetDocuments provides an Update to its Service. These regular updates include user interface (UI) changes, bug fixes, new features or enhancements, and updated client add-on software. To help customers who may be new to NetDocuments and as a reference for all customers, this article describes what the regular Update process entails and the recommended steps you can take to prepare for an Update.
General Update Process
NetDocuments Updates are numbered after the order in which they take place during a given year. For example, the first update of 2015 is referred to as 15.1, the second update is 15.2, etc. (The last quarter of the year usually does not have an Update.) The first Update of each year is usually the most significant because it has a longer iteration time for development, and so includes more changes. These Updates usually occur on a Thursday night just before midnight, so when users log in Friday morning, they will have the Update. This timing allows customers to experience the Update at the end of the week and allows a full weekend for subsequent testing, or training by a customer. Customers are not impacted during this Update process. A customer can continue to work through this process and the next time they login following the Update, they will see the new updated software.
About three weeks prior to an Update, NetDocuments will post on the Support Site an Announcement that includes details about the Update. These Update Notes contain information related to the new features, updated client software, and major bug fixes included in the Update. Additionally, a week prior to an Update, all users will be notified as a legal notice of the Update via a yellow banner message which is displayed across the top of their Home Page. A link to the Update Notes, which includes a link to this article for reference, is included with the yellow banner message. This ensures that all users who log in regularly will be notified of the Update.
An Update will often include a new version of the ActiveX add-on for Internet Explorer. This small client software is a browser add-on that provides additional functionality to the NetDocuments Service for those using Internet Explorer. At the time of the Update, users will be prompted to update or install this add-on when they go to the login page unless their system Administrator has pre-installed it. System Administrators may install this add-on prior to the actual update. The ActiveX install is made available at the time the beta process starts which is typically 3 weeks prior to the actual Update. This allows customers to install this client software for their users at their convenience prior to the Update.
If users require an IT group to install or allow access to install the ActiveX, prior arrangements should be made for that to occur before each Update. NetDocuments will always provide a minimum 3 weeks notice prior to any Update requiring an ActiveX install and will make the software available when the Beta starts. Not all Updates require an update to the ActiveX, however it should be anticipated with each Update to ensure appropriate preparations have been made to install the ActiveX when required. For any given Update, updates to the ActiveX may change up until the Beta period begins.
How can I prepare for a NetDocuments Update?
- Test the beta. We recommend that you include as many testers as you feel you can manage. These testers should be individuals who use the product each day and who would recognize a defect in the product and report the steps to reproduce it. We ask testers to actively review the new features and report bugs they discover.
- Train your users. NetDocuments provides several resources to help you. Our Help articles are updated during the week prior to the Update. We also provide tutorial videos that demonstrate the key features and changes.
- Update client software. You may also want to install software as soon as one week prior to the update, although it is not required (except the ActiveX). To do this, you will need to access the beta to download the new versions of the software. These can then be tested in your local environment, after which they can be pushed out to all of your users. As NetDocuments only supports the most recent version of each of its client software, we recommend installing the latest version(s) as soon as possible after an Update (if not before).
Beyond this, nothing needs to be done. NetDocuments is a web-based application, so users will always see the latest updates when they log in.