The purpose of this blog post is to provide you with some interesting information about the different kind of product updates the ISA/TMG Sustained Engineering (SE) team can release during the lifecycle of ISA Server or Forefront Threat Management Gateway.
First of all, we will make the distinction between a bug and a design change request (DCR):
Most of the times bugs and DCRs are raised by our customers through support cases. However they can also be raised internally by Microsoft IT, PSS and by the ISA/TMG Product team itself (developers, testers, Program Managers…).
The resolution of a bug (fix) or the implementation of a DCR can ship in different vehicles, which could be the following:
Of course, all of the above is described in public KB articles.
Before releasing the official fix to a bug, the SE team generally releases an unofficial fix first (also known as “private” fix) except if the fix is planned to be part of next Service Pack or next major release. This unofficial fix is sent to the customer (who opened the support call) for testing. Once the customer approves the fix, the product team will package the fix in one of the shipping vehicles described above, based on the urgency of the bug.
It’s important to note that an unofficial fix does not undergo a full cycle of tests (only the official release does). It is intended to prove that the fix solves the bug. That’s why it is recommended to install and test an unofficial fix on a test environment, rather than the production environment.
Once the official fix is released (in a Rollup for instance), the customer must uninstall the unofficial fix first, then install the rollup.
In some very specific situations (when an issue is hard to troubleshoot), the SE team can provide an instrumented private update to the customer via PSS. This update is intended to provide detailed tracing information to the developer owning the bug in order to understand the root cause of an issue, and later on to design a fix solving the problem.
Another point to mention is that some official fixes (for specific issues) are disabled by default. A VB script must be then executed on the server or array in order to enable the fix. The script is always provided in the KB article describing the bug. Here is an example:
We hope you’ll find this information useful!
Eric Detoc, Escalation Engineer, Forefront TMG
Eyal Peri, Senior Program Manager, Forefront TMG Sustained Engineering team
Obviously, there are other possible results for a DCR - the most obvious ones are "implemented in the next major release" and "not accepted by the design team" (what my internal bug-tracker calls BADIDEA) but there are presumably other buckets they can end up in. Can you indicate (a) what those buckets are and (b) what is made public about this and at what stage?
You forgot to mention that _confirmed_ bugs aren't going to be fixed if you're not the "right" customer.
Yes, I'm annoyed.
it would be great to get the deployment instructions which include patch order ... i had did a new install of Exchange Edge/FPE/TMG and then did the patching of all 3 (all were in WU) and it corrupted my installation ... could notopen things when logged on or things were hanging .... where is that?