Why is backward compatibility important in access control?
With backward compatibility, new software versions are compatible with earlier models or versions of the same product. A new version of a program is said to be backward compatible if it can use files and data created with an older version of the same program. Backward compatibility is extremely important because it eliminates the need to start over when you upgrade to a newer product.
Don’t get stuck having to rip out all your hardware
Customers have expressed to us over the years how important it is to maintain an upgrade path. This concept is not unique to Millennium Group. Various projects and companies will take a different stance on the topic. A great example is the Windows 7 launch where XP users were forced to make a tough decision – go through the hassle of installing a clean version of Windows 7 and then installing all of their old software and migrating their data, just stick with Windows XP, or move to a competitor. Even Apple recognized the problem with the Windows 7 approach as evidenced by their Mac vs PC commercials.
Backwards compatibility is not provided by every access control company
Maintaining backwards compatibility and providing an upgrade path for users of previous versions is not something that is easy to pull off. In fact, some would argue that it is one of the biggest technical challenges that any software company will face.
Ultimately, every software company must face this decision – make it easy for your users or make it easy for your developers. Give your developers a green field to develop new features or make it easy for your existing customers to upgrade and take advantage of your new features. Millennium Group has always tried to take the path that made it easiest for our users. We believe that ultimately this allows our developers more time to focus on our current platform rather than trying to implement bug fixes in 2 or 3 different branches of our product.
We do our best to make this as seamless and painless as possible.
At the end of the day, the backwards compatibility issue comes down to how best to serve the customer.
The answer is easy – allow them to protect their investments and reduce the cost of implementation over a long
period of time. Unlike in the cell phone industry where new customers are treated like kings and old customers are treated
like a nuisance, we want all of our customers – past, present and future – to be able to benefit from our latest and greatest platform.
© 2014 Millennium Group, Inc.