While having a Support team is an essential service when using Formpipe's software in a high priority production system, there are a number of actions/best practices that can be carried out by you and your team to reduce issues from reoccurring. These best practices are outlined below:
The fastest way to resolve a problem is to make sure it never happens in the first place. This is why Formpipe recommends that everyone follows the best practices summarised below when running and changing a production system to reduce the risk of problems occurring:
All Formpipe's actively developed products feature frequent updates, with bug fixes, new features and improved performance/usability. That is why it is key to always ensure there is a plan to keep as close to the latest release as possible. If a defect is reported in an older version of the software, Formpipe or your Service Partner may require it to be reproduced on the latest version before performing any further investigation.
It is vital that any changes to systems are tested thoroughly before implementing on any live production system. Small changes can have a large impact and these are not always obvious. It is essential to go through a full UAT (User Acceptance Testing) process for any changes in advance of going live. UAT should consist of examples including all possible combinations of data as well as thorough load testing. Once an issue or defect happens on a Production system, it is more difficult to investigate and increases the priority - resulting in further limited options for resolutions/workarounds.
Data loss and server failures are impossible to predict or prevent. However, the impact of these can be mitigated by performing frequent backups of business-critical systems. This should include configuration data and settings, where applicable. Anything that isn’t backed up should not be lost.
Disaster Recovery Systems (DR)
A failure of hardware or software can happen at any time. The impact to a business can be severe, so Formpipe strongly recommends that customers have an adequate DR system and a defined plan in place. This should be tested periodically. A DR system should not be used instead of frequent and complete backups, or vice versa.
Before deploying any software, configurations or updates to any Formpipe software, operating systems, peripheral software or hardware, it is important to read all available documentation (which is accessible on the Support Portal) and to have an implementation plan and back-out process. Where major updates are planned, you should consider whether you need to use a Formpipe Service Partner or Formpipe's consultancy services during go-live implementations.