Now is the time to plan your move to r8

Modeling community members, ERwin r8 is finally here. This much anticipated release can be downloaded from the website. I was honored to speak on behalf of our community on the Visualize the Power of Your Data with CA ERwin r8 webcast earlier this week. Sandhill, a CA Technologies partner is rolling out training with 20 USA cities on their schedule. I can promise you that the Modeling Global User Community and CA partners will be offering r8 webcasts in the coming months.
I am sure that upgrading to this new release to take advantage of new features and the cleaner, more customizable modeling workspace are on your mind. It’s been on mine for the past few months. I’ve began that planning process at my site. Upgrading an enterprise installation of ERwin and ModelMart takes some planning. Data modelers, DBAs, and Data Architects can not afford an outage of the workbench on which they perform their everyday design tasks. Here are some of the early planning tasks that I am currently performing so that I can deploy ERwin r8 in Q2-2011.
  1. Setting the deployment timeline.
    Finding a window of opportunity in which to upgrade and allocating sufficient time for the upgrade should be your first task of your deployment plan. At my shop, this type of upgrade requires at a minimum; testing the application for stability in a unit testing environment (2 weeks), integration testing the application with multiple users (3-4 weeks) and rolling out to production (4-5 weeks).
  2. Determining infrastructure needs and general awareness.
    This is as easy as calling a 30 minute meeting with your infrastructure and desktop folks to bring them on board. Too often people wait too late to do this. I know their resources may be constrained. I need to let them know what I am doing and what my expectations are. It’s also a good time to let your ERwin community know what’s coming and when the upgrade will take place.
  1. Determining training needs.
    Right now, I am formulating the training needs of my ERwin and ModelMart users. For r8 this will include r8 functionality, as well as, Crystal Reports for reporting. I tentatively have planned on offering a couple of one hour sessions: a ERwin r8 modeling workspace overview and an overview of the Bulk Editor. Crystal Reports and ODBC reporting will be we covered in another session with the possibility of an advanced reporting workshop.
  2. Identifying migration issues.
    Have you developed processes that depend on ERwin functionality? I know that I have. You need to allow for the migration and testing of these processes. For me, this involves a change in how we web publish the data models and feed our home-grown metadata dictionary. I believe this will add 3-4 weeks to my migration timeline. 
I know that this migration may be more complex or less complex for you. I wanted to put out the above items for your consideration as you plan your upgrade. As I lay these out in Microsoft Project, I see that I have a longer deployment timeline than I initially allowed for the upgrade. I want the move to r8 to be painless and without issues. This release will also allow me to implement changes in the database design environment that will improve the experience for all of those involved.
I know I will use our community resources as I move forward. The message boards, webcasts, blogs, LinkedIn posts and other social media outlets will prove valuable in this migration. Social networking will definitely prove its worth with this upgrade. The ERwin community has been slow to adopt social networking. With a major release like this, I believe it will provide immediate feedback and solutions to issue and questions that arise as we progress down the upgrade path. I look forward to hearing from you as you move your company forward to this new data modeling platform.
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