Distribution SNAFU

by Volker Weber

Imagine you have two websites for distributing your software to partners and customers. Now you come out with a free add-on product that only works with your latest server, and actually only on one of the supported operating systems. And which can only be obtained through those two servers. Since you want to ask your partners and customers a few questions about the add-on, you design a new process, which turns out to be completely broken. There are credible reports that select partners and customers have not received their permission to download 48 hours after asking for it.

What do you think will happen with a file that is small enough to be sent around with freemail accounts like GMail in a community that prides itself for helping each other?

[Putting on my flame retardant underwear]


Hi Volker,

It seems the process really is flawed, but I give them the benefit of the doubt as I can imagine that they are overwelmed with requests.

I'll wait for the "formal" email. (for now at least ;) )

Dennis van Remortel, 2008-02-22

Internally, I "went postal" yesterday on the Lotus Notes Traveler team regarding the backlog and turnaround time. I'm not happy, but I've been assured that they are working to speed things up. The process is not ideal and we know it.

(See, I am capable of criticizing IBM in public :-) )

As for passing the file around, it's not that simple. Even though this is "free", there is a license specifically for this code, and those licenses need to be tracked by IBM as a specific entitlement. A company's software license manager wouldn't be happy with a pass-around distribution that bypasses the license and doesn't allow for proper tracking and audit control in the future. I can't stop anyone, but there are good reasons on both sides to follow the IBM process.

If we hit Monday and there is still a backlog, I will push harder on the internal side.

But, I thought that nobody in Europe uses Windows Mobile? :-P

Ed Brill, 2008-02-22

Do you remember the quiz game where given an answer you had to provide the question? An example would be

answer: "Green", question: "The product of mixing the colours blue and yellow".

So if that's your answer my question would be "How do I reduce the load on my two servers?" or "How do you design a redundant system?"

Jason Hook, 2008-02-22

...free add-on product...latest server...one supported os
Sounds like I.. L.... N.... T....... ;-)
Should i be glad not to have tried to get this tool???? Maybe it is a limited edition (limited to 5000 copies or so) and we don't know.
It would have been easier to put a registration form into the installation process, but why choosing the easy way when there is an intricate one...
It will find its way over the internet - by mail, bittorrent, etc. And the big three letter company will never know how many customers/partners tried (or even use) this product.

Manfred Wiktorin, 2008-02-22


I think your interference helped, my email just came in ;)

Dennis van Remortel, 2008-02-22

Ed, don't hurt yourself fighting with IBM. I guess people are very curious to see it. Look now, license later. And of course there are Windows Mobile devices here. Just not as predominant as in the US. And besides, I wasn't talking about Europe in this case.

As far as the entitlement is concerned, the deliverable is always the same, isn't it?

Volker Weber, 2008-02-22

As far as the entitlement is concerned, the deliverable is always the same, isn't it?yes, but the way IBM accounts for it isn't.

Ed Brill, 2008-02-22

Of course. Nobody is saying accounting is broken. Delivery is broken.

Volker Weber, 2008-02-22

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