The Perils of First Release

Office 365 is fantastic, not just for developers like me, but it lessens the burden and in most cases, reduces the ToC for services such as Exchange and SharePoint.

A recent update to Office 365 brought with it a sneak-peak into the Document Library experience, which is very, very similar to the already rolled out OD4B UI. Features for this are outlined on the Microsof Support Site.

So, faced with the tempting banner below on April 7th, many people clicked on it….and panicked.

New Document Library Experience

I could go on about how Microsoft dropped the ball here, about the fact there was there no prior notification etc. but that’s been done aplenty on blogs, and in the Office 365 IT Pro network, but my view here is - IT Pros and administrators of Office 365 tenants are equally to blame.

Consider this, would you put your enterprises operating System into the fast-ring update cycle? Would you install an RC on-premise version of SharePoint in production?

The answers to the above questions are hopefully a resounding ‘no’, so why treat Office 365 any differently?

I would strongly encourage three actions, following on from this release

  1. Turn off first release for your whole organisation, Microsoft explain this well here
  2. Either purchase a test tenant with First Release or enable first release for a handful of people (but not the CEO!).
  3. Header over to the IT Pro Yammer network and subscribe to the Change Alerts group, boy do these guys pick up on new stuff quickly!

Hopefully May 4th will shed more light on where they’re going, I’m sure more changes are coming…