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SCN Platform Update

Hello Community Members.  As the new SCN platform has been operational for a couple months (12 weeks to be exact), I’d like to give you an update on the platform.  This will be the first of an ongoing series of blogs about the overall platform, enhancements that are planned, and release schedules.

What has happened since the launch?

Before I dive into the latest updates, I’d like to call to your attention what has happened since the launch.  When the platform was launched back on March 12 we identified significant performance issues and numerous bugs, and as a result the team ran in “emergency mode” where we focused exclusively on platform stabilization and nothing else.  This lasted for a period of about 6 week, and during this time the problems were identified and found to be related to site indexing, caching, and database optimization.  This resulted in several functions being disabled, such as text filtering while browsing content, while the problems were isolated and further analyzed.  We also worked very closely with Jive Software to help us identify the problems and develop solutions.

As it stands now, the platform has stabilized, and much progress has been made on addressing the three key issues: site indexing, caching, and DB optimization.  These items are still open, and we are continuing to work with Jive on providing long term solutions.

In parallel to working out the technical kinks in the system and in preparation for up and coming platform development, we began to pull together new requirements many of which have been submitted by you the community member.  In the notes below I will detail all of the bugs and new features that have been implemented.

A note about Agile and Scrum

Along with the new Jive platform, this is the first time in the history of SCN where we have implemented Agile development methods.  Since the inception of SCN back in 2003/2004 we used a traditional waterfall development methodology whereby each development cycle lasted 1 month.  Starting in May this year we began using the Scrum development methodology with a 2 week cycle called a sprint.  Although Scrum is not new to the world of software development, it is new to the SCN team, and we are still working out our internal processes and trying to streamline communications.  Please bear with us while we work out the issues.

Also, please keep in mind the nature of Scrum.  There is a product backlog which is a prioritized list of overall requirements.  During each sprint the development team selects the top N items from the product backlog and commits them for the defined sprint.  Those items not completed during the sprint are sent back to the product backlog for inclusion in the next sprint.  Given this method there is a fair amount of uncertainty as to what is actually delivered at the end of the sprint.  We will do our best to communicate this as we progress through each sprint.

Sprint 1: Deployment Date: Monday, May 28

All of the bugs and new feature requests that we gathered during March/April were consolidated, analyzed, and prioritized.  This list summarizes those elements that were implemented. 

New Features

  • People search – User profiles are now indexed and displayed in the search results
  • Filter by Space – A search facet called space has been added on the left side of the search application
  • Enable Space Overview Layouts for SAPPHIRE.  A new space overview page layout has been added to support different content layouts.

Support Tasks

  • Space creation and modification for SAPPHIRE.  Additional spaces have been created for the SAPPHIRE NOW event.

Bug Fixes

  • Moderator is no longer listed as the author of content after moderating it.
  • Un-follow People and Spaces now functions properly.
  • Permission problem on search results has been resolved
  • ~750 document cover pages which failed to index are indexed now
  • Users in China cannot login to new SCN using user name & password (i.e. certificate is OK).  This has been resolved.
  • Discussions with attachments now correctly show actual message text
  • Points not assigned and mail not sent in some cases.  This has been resolved.
  • Incorrect record of points assignment for ‘someone likes your comment’.  This has been resolved.
  • KM mapping missing for a new space.  The knowledge management system is utilized for document management and requires mapping into Jive spaces.
  • Small typo in navigation has been fixed.

In addition to bugs, support tasks, and new features, we are continuing to work on back office optimization and process automation.  This is an ongoing task and will help streamline operations and system monitoring and maintenance.

Sprint 2: Scheduled Deployment Date: Sunday, June 10

Sprint 2 development ended on Monday, June 4, and the following items are being evaluated for deployment.

New Features

  • Planning for new search requirements is ongoing.
  • Thread message editing after first reply has been disabled.

Support Tasks

  • Transfer user profile and attribute mapping to maintenance team.
  • Update sitemap index and sitemap files.
  • Page load time improvements.

Bug Fixes

  • No versioned reference to Omniture tracking code.  This has been resolved.
  • Scrollbars showing in discussion threads with normal size content.  This was reported but was not reproducible.
  • /community missing in URLs for “Payroll India” entries in the navigation.  This has been resolved.
  • Service user (“SAP User”) shouldn’t get points assigned for content created/associated with that user.
  • Invalid KM links sent to TREX have been fixed.

In addition to bugs, support tasks, and new features, we are continuing to work on back office optimization and process automation.  This is an ongoing task and will help streamline operations and system monitoring and maintenance.

Sprint 3: Scheduled Deployment Date: Sunday, June 24

Sprint 3 planning is under way.  Stay tuned.

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