Technopedia Lifecycle Standards and Process

Technopedia Lifecycle Standards and Process

Summary

This article describes the Technopedia lifecycle standards and process.

Synopsis

Product lifecycle in Technopedia has standards to follow certain stages -- from the inception of the product to the last stage where the product becomes obsolete. These standards allow users to compare lifecycle stages for products across different vendors.

 

Discussion

Here are the definition of various dates/stages in Lifecycle:

SOFTWARE:

- General Availability: Date the product is generally available through official vendor distributions

- End of Life (EOL): Last date that full support for product is provided by the vendor. Partial support is still available.

- End of Support (EOS) or Obsolete: Last date that any support is provided by the vendor. The only support available after this date, if applicable, is self-help online support.

HARDWARE:

- Introduction: Date the hardware was introduced/announced

- General Availability: Date the hardware was available for sale

- Last Availability: Last date the hardware is available for purchase from the vendor

- End of Support (EOS) or Obsolete: Date when any form of support from the vendor ceases to exist

 

Translation Rules from String to Date Fields

Whenever a date is captured in Technopedia, it is always captured verbatim as published by the vendor. For example, when a date is captured as 'Spring 2016', or 'Q3 2016', they are captured exactly like that in the 'String' field of Lifecycle dates. These string fields are then translated to follow the date format (MM/DD/YYYY) in the 'Date' field of Lifecycle dates. For the same examples, the 'Date' fields will contain '04/01/2016' and '07/01/2016' respectively. This practice is consistently applied across all the lifecycle stages above.

There are also cases where Flexera could not find an actual date, even after an extensive research. In this case, Flexera puts 'Not Available' in the string field and provides a more specific reason in an 'Exception' field. Here are the possible values for the exception reasons:

   Exception   
Definition
Date not published by vendor Extensive research didn't yield any information on the support and/or lifecycle date(s). Vendor may provide information around the support policy and/or support levels, however, none of the dates can be found on any publicly available sources.
Support policy not defined by vendor Not even the support policy and/or support levels are defined by the vendor. Sometimes, vendor's official website doesn't even have a support section/page which allows capturing of this information.
Exact date unknown: a date range is provided

 

Exact support and/or lifecycle dates cannot be found, however, there is enough information to provide a potential period they may occur. A date range will be provided, the two dates which bookend the period (e.g. the dates of the immediate previous and subsequent releases). A translated date may be provided as well, where the lower date will be picked for any starting dates (e.g. General Availability Date, Introduction Date, etc.) and the upper date will be picked for any ending dates (e.g. End of Life Date, End of Support Date, etc.)

Contract-based support only: no specific date(s)

Specific support and/or lifecycle dates which apply uniformly across all customer base are not defined by the vendor. Customers instead are to contact the vendor directly to secure a support program/contract which may be tailored to their specific needs, whether for a fee or any other arrangement.

Open-source support only: no specific date(s)

Support is obtained from the open source community which contributes into the project. Virtually, any active development work (code check-ins, patches, etc.) indicate that the software release is still being actively maintained by the community, therefore no specific dates can be provided.

Limited, self-help support only: no specific date(s)

Vendor does not provide any specific commitment when it comes to support and/or lifecycle dates. Instead, resources like documentation, Knowledge Base articles, FAQs, troubleshooting tools, and any other materials are provided for customers to resolve common issues on their own.

Date in the past: exact date unknown

 

Exact support and/or lifecycle dates cannot be found, however, there is enough information to indicate that they have happened in the past. This usually applies to old software releases, especially when the new releases have been known to be end of life or support. A date translation may be provided which picks a far away date in the past (1/1/1900) when it doesn't conflict with any other known dates.

 

To be determined 

 

Vendor has yet to decide nor announced the support and/or lifecycle dates. Vendor's support pages usually have the entry for this specific release, however, the date values might be captured as 'To be determined', 'TBD', 'To be announced' or any other terms to the same effect. A date translation may be provided which picks a far away date in the future (12/31/2999) when it doesn't conflict with any other known dates.

 

Other

 

Any situation which has not been captured in any other type of exceptions above

 

 

Some of those exception reasons will translate 'Not Available' in the string field into an actual date or null in the date fields, as shown in the following table:

 

 Exception 

Generic: Date Translation

Software: General Availability

Software: End of Life

Software: End of Support or Obsolete

Hardware: Introduction

Hardware: General Availability

Hardware: Last Availability

Hardware: End of Support or Obsolete

Date not published by vendor

(null)

(null)

(null)

(null)

(null)

(null)

(null)

(null)

Support policy not defined by vendor

(null)

(null)

(null)

(null)

(null)

(null)

(null)

(null)

Exact date unknown, a date range is provided

(null)

(min date)

(max date)

(max date)

(min date)

(min date)

(max date)

(max date)

Contract-based support only, no specific date(s)

(null)

(null)

(null)

(null)

(null)

(null)

(null)

(null)

Open-source support only, no specific date(s)

(null)

(null)

(null)

(null)

(null)

(null)

(null)

(null)

Limited, self-help support only, no specific date(s)

(null)

(null)

(null)

(null)

(null)

(null)

(null)

(null)

Date in the past, exact date unknown

1/1/1900

1/1/1900

1/1/1900 (ONLY if General Availability Date is 'null' or '1/1/1900')

1/1/1900 (ONLY if General Availability or End of Life Date is 'null' or '1/1/1900')

1/1/1900

1/1/1900 (ONLY if Date Introduced is 'null' or '1/1/1900')

1/1/1900 (ONLY if Date Introduced or Date Available is 'null' or '1/1/1900')

1/1/1900 (ONLY if Date Introduced or Date Available or Last Availability Date is 'null' or '1/1/1900')

To be determined

12/31/2999

(null)

12/31/2999 (ONLY if Obsolete Date is 'null' or '12/31/2999')

12/31/2999

(null)

12/31/2999 (ONLY if Last Availability Date or Last Support Date is 'null' or '12/31/2999')

12/31/2999 (ONLY if Last Support Date is 'null' or '12/31/2999')

12/31/2999

Other

(null)

(null)

(null)

(null)

(null)

(null)

(null)

(null)

 

Additional Flag and Date Rules

'Desupported' flag

Indicates whether a software release or hardware model has been desupported. This flag is set in the Technopedia Content and is not calculated in the Technopedia Synch done on premise. This is the same as having Exception = 'Date in the past, exact date unknown' under 'End of Support or Obsolete Date' field. Whenever a software release or a hardware model has the Desupported flag = yes, then those dates are translated following the same exception value rules.

Some actual date values are also translated automatically whether the Exception flag is set or not:

  • 'TBD': 12/31/2999
  • 'Ongoing': 12/31/2999

Date = null (empty, blank, not populated) indicates that research has not been done on this particular entry yet, and gap-fill is needed.

For hardware dates, when either 'Introduction Date' or 'General Availability Date' is not available, the date from one field is duplicated to the other field. For example, if the 'Introduction Date' is empty, it is populated with the same date as in 'General Availability Date'.

 

Product Version EOL Date Rules

The BDNA Content process captures the EOL date for a Minor Version only if it is different from the Major Version. This is indicated by the IS_MAJOR attribute on the Software Release table. If IS_MAJOR indicates 'yes', it's a Major Version.

If the EOL date is the same for Versions indicated as Major and Minor, Technopedia only shows EOL Date for the Major Version. There may be some historical entries where Technopedia captured the EOL for a Minor Version even if it is the same as the Major Version, but this is not a cause for concern since BDNA follows the practice of only mapping customer data to major version (unless the lifecycle date for the minor version is different).

Why do some EOL Dates look different for the same product?

This is probably because a Service Pack or Subversion exists that has different EOL dates. To check the differences, add the PATCHLEVEL field from the Software Release table and VERSION and SUBVERSION fields from the Software Version table to your query to review and compare the detail.

 

Calculated Lifecycle

Data Platform 5.x introduced a new Calculated Lifecycle available that is available with the Lifecycle Content Pack. The Lifecycle Option calculates whether software or hardware is supported based on an Industry Average calculated from Technopedia product published dates. The Is_Supported Flag is calculated in the Technopedia Synch process and indicates yes or no when the actual End of Support field is missing from Technopedia.

Based on research from Technopedia, the industry average for end of life is 47 months, with support for the past seven version increments. This is 3 years 10 months, and 20 days

For Hardware, the average is 99 months. This is 8 years 2 months, and 13 days.

If EOL Date or Obsolete Date are found, Technopedia uses those dates.

If EOL Date and Obsolete Date are Null, Technopedia uses the GA Date and does the calculation based on the Technopedia Lifecycle defaults or custom selections.

If GA Date is null, Technopedia uses the SW Version to determine if it is supported based on Max Version - Version Order = Delta. If this Delta is greater than or equal to the Industry Average Version Increments, it updates Is_Supported to ?no?.

In the Technopedia Catalog Settings, you have the option to accept the defaults or select Custom to change the Number of Months and Version Increments that a Software Release is supported. These settings are used when you schedule the next Technopedia Catalog Synch.

User-added image

The Calculated Lifecycle attributes can be viewed on the User Console Technopedia Detail Page with the Lifecycle and Support content. The calculation is done on premise when Technopedia synch is run from the Data Platform.

 

User-added image

 

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Last update:
‎May 21, 2020 05:31 AM
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