Why we’ve posted a beta refresh of System Center Capacity Planner

A week ago we updated the public beta of System Center Capacity Planner. This “beta refresh” of SCCP is now dependent on the release candidate of .NET Framework 2.0, instead of being dependent on their beta 2 release.

Shipping this refresh took a lot of effort from the SCCP team, and causes extra confusion for our users. So why did we do it? The answer is that it’s the price of taking a dependence on .NET 2.0 when they were in the middle of their development cycle. Although their beta 2 had a “go live” license (i.e., they considered it good enough for production purposes), the .NET team still wanted to move their customers onto RC and RTM as soon as possible after they were released. So we agreed to replace our original SCCP beta – which requires NET beta 2 – once they had RC bits to give us.

That’s the downside, and it’s pretty much an inevitable one as soon as you take a dependency on any other team or feature: rule #1 for shipping software is to minimize the number of dependencies you take. The upside is that, by taking advantage of the new features in .NET 2.0, we’ve been able to ship better code, and do so more quickly. Overall, we think this is a net win. And we still love managed code 🙂

Oh, and even though it was “just” a refresh, we managed to sneak in a few new features:

  • Improved support for modeling VPN connected users
  • More granular control of Exchange transaction rates
  • Optional exclusion of a redundant WAN link from load balancing
  • Improved support for users in branch office
  • Improvements to reporting
  • Improvements to the Hardware Editor
  • Improved online help
  • Modifications to the user interface text

If you have any questions, please post them here, or on the community forums, and we’ll do our best to answer them!

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