Note: This blog does not describe any errors found in Service Pack 1. It is intended to provide insight for companies that want to remain on the cutting edge while preventing their environments from getting hosed by upgrades that don’t quite upgrade correctly.
We live in a fast paced world, and it is almost impossible for any person or company to stay up to date on the latest product releases for everything. A lot of the experts and top drivers in the tech. industry rely on communities to track, test and provide feedback on new things as they hit the markets.
While it is desirable to have the newest version of technology, that luxury can cost you due to many unknown factors that just can’t be vetted or tested. Even the big giant, Microsoft, showed this to be true. In early April 2014, Microsoft pulled the SP1 download from the web and then they posted this little notice:
While it doesn't go into any details as to what was the root cause of the issue, once discovered, they quickly prevented more users from falling into the same trap and getting hosed on the service pack.
One thing to consider is that organizations, regardless of their service model, should never push too hard to be completely up to date. It is safer to slowly roll out updates months after they are tried, tested and proven stable. We can see this example with the government. While we know they aren't the fastest group to implement things, it's for a good reason. Just to show that, many agencies still use Windows XP operating systems or SharePoint 2007 in production today. I wouldn’t recommend being that far behind the curve of implementing technology, but the point is to make sure the change you seek in your technology isn’t one that haunts you in the long run. Do your due diligence with any upgrades.
A simple remedy to staying informed:
While many companies like to have the “latest”, it should often come in the form of knowledge rather than experience. The goal for many people and companies shouldn’t be to have access to the latest downloads of software, but to be connected to the right people and information sources. This is true for almost any profession and industry, but can be a daunting task to identify those that blow smoke versus those that make sense. Because there are now more blogs that are being deemed as “the source”, it is imperative that you don’t just head to Google and Bing, find the first article or blog and treat it as the “holy grail.” Follow that up with a review on the topic, or do a reverse search to see if anyone has found something a little contrary. By nature, we are biased and everyone is writing for their own reasons. The fact is, your organization, your platform's content and data and your job should not be placed in the hands of someone’s 400 word blog.
Regardless, whether anyone writes on why some product or process is great, how something works or which product is the best; you should still do your own homework, follow your organization's policies for evaluating solutions and downloads, and then proceed with backing up before installing. If you don’t have any policies, start some yourself. Take it upon yourself to ensure the safety of your environment, platform or computer. So when you approach your next update/upgrade or download, you can seriously evaluate it with a clear source of questions and concerns and not just from in the moment of “I gotta have this now”.