Today marks the release of the 4th service pack of FME 2013, a mere 148 builds and 265 days after we originally released FME 2013 back in what seems like an-eternity-ago January.
FME 2013 was our first release cycle where we formally attempted to battle the issue of Software Inventory – actively reducing the time between some functionality being ready to ship and actually shipping it. Three years ago, as a result of the discussion following the blog post on the 5 stages of a release, we ended up announcing our plan to go to service packs at regular intervals, and this has served both us and our customers very well ever since.
Then last summer I read a recent post by Joel Spolsky whose writing has been extremely influential to Safe, about the concept of “Software Inventory”. As Joel says, “[Undeployed features are] one of the most expensive forms of inventory”, especially to a software company. And so in FME 2013 we strayed from our usual practice of keeping service packs minimal and fixes only, and instead deployed a lot of inventory, particularly in Service Packs 1 and 2. Things like the background map and the table view for the FME Data Inspector, and an all-new Excel reader and writer, were really marquee features for FME 2014 that we got into customers hands months earlier than we may have previously. So thanks Joel for spurring us to do this – the FME Nation has been made a happier, more productive place as a result.
As the second half of the year brought us closer to the next official FME release, Service Packs 3 and particularly 4 contained far fewer new features and reverted back to the more typical pattern of fixes-only. However, today’s release of Service Pack 4 is certainly worth getting if you see anything in the list of what’s new that is of interest — just hop over to our downloads page to get it.
But, just like Star Trek: The Next Generation, All Good Things must come to an end. And so, with SP4, we’re retiring the FME 2013 line and moving ahead at warp speed on FME 2014. Don’t worry, even with so much of what would-have-been inventory already released, we still have a lot of insanely great things up our sleeves. I can’t wait to take the wraps off come January…
The Travelling Wilburys celebrate FME 2013 SP4
Dale LutzDale is the co-founder and VP of Development at Safe Software. After starting his career working spatial data (ranging from icebergs to forest stands) for many years, he and other co-founder, Don Murray, realized the need for a data integration platform like FME. His favourite TV show is Star Trek, which inspired the names for most of the meeting rooms and common areas in the Safe Software office. Dale is always looking to learn more about the data industry and FME users. Find him on Twitter to learn more about what his recent discoveries are!