Tools for Moving to a Microsoft Collaboration Platform

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Kahren Allakhverdyan, Software Development Engineer in Test.

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Hello everyone.

I am Kahren Allakhverdyan and I am in charge of Software Testing on Todd Wanke's team. I joined Microsoft eight years ago and have been with the Exchange team since. During this time I have been working on almost all messaging migration/coexistence products/technologies, shipped with versions of Exchange Server from 5.5 to Exchange 2003. I remember back during the development of Exchange 5.5 when I worked on the migration from cc:Mail GroupWise, Notes 3.3 and, my favorite, LDAP/IMAP-the first product in which I was the lead tester. Later I worked on the applications for cross-forest migration and coexistence between Exchange 5.5, Exchange 2000 and Exchange 2003. My last assignment before joining Todd's team was a cross-forest and intra-forest accounts/mailbox transition to the new Exchange Server, currently scheduled for release at the end of 2006. Within nine tedious months, our test team grew from one person to a total of four. During this short time we released a set of Directory/Messaging migration tools (at the end of 2005) along with the recent launch of the Application Analyzer for Lotus Domino 2006. Currently, most of our team is working on the Microsoft Data Migrator for Lotus Domino 2006. This tool will be able to migrate data from the Notes Applications on the Domino server to Microsoft WSS technology.

Being last to handle and complete the product, prior to releasing to the customer, our test team's mission is to assure that the applications and messaging products are bug free, reliable, scalable, secure and truly world class products.

Comments
  • Kahren,

    Allthough I am not a target for your products (In our business situation I think it would be insane to consider a Microsoft platform for our Notes workflow apps, since we have hundreds of databases, very high reliability, low TCO and satisfied users and developers in our current Notes/Domino environment, and last but not least a newly awake IBM in our back). But I understand there exists customers in situations where your products may be appropriate. And since you work with testing I would like to know this:

    Paul Moone, an independent Notes Consultant, has reviewed the Application Analyzer http://www.pmooney.net/blogsphe.nsf/htdocs/paul.htm

    In this review he points out that the function that reports when a Notes database was last used does not seem to work. What is your comment on this? How was the functionality tested? Will you or your team verify or take any action regarding this?

    I would also be pleased if you would be able to comment the reveiew in its entirety.

    Regards /Patrik

  • <Patrik>  I will let Kahren comment on the testing of the tool and his approach.  However I wanted to respond to your question about Paul Mooney's blogs.

    You asked yesterday and I responded, but I can add some more comments about his blog.

    I have reviewed his blog(s) about the AA and felt that he did a deep dive into the tool.  His blog comments on (a) several technical issues that he saw and based on his understanding of (b) how the tool is be used.

    (a)
    On the technical issues he bloged about we are already investigating what he saw to validate his outcome.  (Specifically looking into the usage report issue that he posted about.)  If there is a bug or problem, we will fix it and release an update to the web.  The official path to report bugs/issues is through Product Support, or through comments here since we (the product group) are managing these blogs.

    (b)
    On the usage of AA in a transition, we are already blogging about where this tool fits into an overall transition strategy and how it is to be used, along with all the other components to consider during a transition(See the other blogs).  The AA is part of an overall process and is intended to help group applications into some logical groupings (such as old applications, or common template applications, data centric, workflow centric, etc.) during the planning phase so that simular types of applications can be considered together.

    I(we) do check and read other blogs that are out there and may comment from time-to-time on other blogs if I have time, but my time and energy will be spent here on these blogs and on building our products.

    Erik

  • The architecture of the AA was implemented to enable additional reports to be created, run & shared amongst the community on a need be basis.

    For example, in upcoming releases we will provide how-to's, expose the schema of the data collected & sample SQL commands for customers or partners to construct their own reports.  We will continue to include the highlevel, default & high-usage reports as part of the default app but once we expose the data & schema the community, partners & customers can create whatever reports necessary.

    Yesterday for example we met w\ a large Consulting company that requests ~4-6 additional reports for their practice.  We walked them thru the architecture & gave them some insights to the data structure, access methods & off they went...

    The challenge of course for my team is to ensure we are collecting all the appropriate, accurate & complete data for you to constuct YOUR reports.  We'll rev the app as often as we need to do this; just let us know what we're missing & we'll take from there! thanks.

    -todd

  • Eric,
    >The official path to report bugs/issues is through Product Support

    Now wait a minute. Nor me neither Paul Moone is a customer for this product. Paul has *reviewed* your product. If a motor journalist test drives a new car and it goes belly up in the first curve, you do not tell him to report his findings through customer support, do you?

    Yes I have asked several times. That is because you have have not given any straight answers. But that is an answer in it own respect. Thank you for that.

  • <Patrix>

    OK, sorry that the answers do not seem straight, but not sure how more direct I can be.

    A> Support :  As normal we provide support through product support (OR) as stated we also take feedback through comments here since we (the product group) is active here. (Makes sense, is standard, plus allows for non-customers to comment on issues.)

    B> Issues posted by Paul : We are investigating what he saw right now. (Specifically looking at the activity report that he saw a problem with.) I will not speculate on his finding until we understand/have a repro and know what the issue is but obviously what he saw was incorrect.  Once we have investigated the problem and have more information we can comment more and will release a fix as needed.

    C> Other comments about usage of AA : We are already outlining the usage of the AA in the active blogs.  If there is a specific question about the usage, please comment.

    D> Monitoring/commenting on other blogs : My time is spent primarily here.  I will monitor other blogs and might comment there if I have time.  If someone has a problem and would like us to know then can comment here, but (as with Paul's blog) we will also be pro-active as possible in resolving issues that are blogged elsewhere.  (Using the auto example, a car maker does read reviews and looks at his product to see if they can improve, as we do.  In addition any problem directly reported by a customer the auto maker will take immediate action, as will we with comments here.)  Anyway I am here to build products, fix problems and I will make comments as such.  My focus is not to get into blog debates (nor do I really have time to), just to take any feedback and consider if there are fixes or ways we can improve our products.  My comments will remain focused on that.

    Erik

  • Hi Erik

    Thank you for your productive approach to my "test drive".  That is encouraging to see.  My issue is not with the tool itself, and I am willing to give you information to repro, but alas it lies with the marketing people this tool will lie with.  I Know that is not ye lot and you are trying to create the best tool you can.

    So in short, as I pointed out already, I am seeing this tool being misused already, and will counter that.  If I see someone using this tool for an accurate sense check on their domino environment, that can only be good for the customer.  Then lets get back to competing on technical functionality and bypass all the FUD

    Paul

  • Paul;

     Thanks for the comment !  (and the feedback on the tool)  We are investigating the ussage report and I will contact you if we can't get a good repro.

    Erik

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