So…You’re New to Kinetic Request, Kinetic Survey and Kinetic Calendar!

By Derick Larson

We love new customers (no surprise there), because new customers always have the most questions. Here are some of our most common questions from new customers—generally about installs—and some answers.

Q. What version(s) of BMC Remedy do you work with?
A. Kinetic Request and Kinetic Survey are compatible with BMC Remedy ARS 6.3 through the current Remedy ARS release (Version 7.6.4 as I’m writing this). Kinetic Calendar is compatible back to Remedy ARS 6.0.

Q. What operating systems do you work with?
A. We will work with anything that BMC Remedy runs on, including Windows, Linux, and a variety of Unix platforms (like Solaris, AIX and HP-Unix).

Q. What web server applications do you work with?
A. The vast majority of our customers use Apache Tomcat. We also have customers using ServlerExec, and WebSphere. We have had customers using Web Logic, but they have moved to Apache Tomcat.

Q. Do you need special permissions (BMC Remedy or otherwise) to complete an install?
A. The person doing the Remedy install needs to have Remedy Administrator credentials to use during the install. The person doing the web server install should have all access permissions to the web server directories.

Q. How long does an install take?
A. It depends on which product. Kinetic Calendar typically takes less than a day. Kinetic Survey typically takes 1-2 days to get installed and hooked into your processes. Kinetic Request typically takes up to 5 days to install and get all the samples working properly. Once the products are installed—it is normal to then have some sort of project/consulting to make surveys that address your business goals or requests that solve your business problems/initiatives.

Some great ways to really mess up and delay an install include: 1) Don’t show up to meetings for the install—no really, happens more than you think. 2) Outsource the web server to company A, BMC Remedy to company B, management of IT to company C (hey if it hadn’t happened we wouldn’t put it on the list).
3) Don’t give permissions to the server/web server that the software is installed on.

Q. Can I get the installation guide so I can prepare for my install?
A. Absolutely! It is available on our web site at:
http://www.kineticdata.com/Products/KineticRequest/Documentation.html

Q. Besides the BMC Remedy version are there any other requirements to run your software?
A. The only other requirement we have is a minimum version of Java, specifically the 32-bit Java Development Kit (JDK) 1.5 or greater.

That covers most of the common questions we get in support from new customers. If you have any specific questions, please contact us directly at support@kineticdata.com.


When Is It Time to Upgrade?

By Derick Larson

Two weeks ago Kinetic Request and Kinetic Survey released its most recent patch (v5.02). The most common support question I recieve about upgrades includes, “Do I have to upgrade?”  Normally, the answer is, “No.”

I always hope that customers will keep up with the latest version of our applications, but it is not required. Please note, there are  no versions of our product(s) that are unsupported. Upgrading, especially major releases, can involve a considerable amount of time and effort in testing and verifying your functionality. The only reason I actively encourage customers to upgrade is to take advantage of a specific feature or bug fix that directly relates to their situation.

The benefits of upgrading depend on the specifics of the upgrade itself. Specifics are found in the release notes included in the upgrade package. The most current release notes also contain details for all past upgrades and releases.

Examples of features included in our latest release, Kinetic Request and Kinetic Survey (v5.02) include:

• Added ability for task trees to run for approval submissions
• Added a differences report when importing over already existing templates
• Updated pattern matching for Time/Date field
• Updated documentation to reference 32 bit requirements
• Better compatibility with mid-tier

Upgrades are broken down into two parts, Remedy workflow and form changes and web server changes. You will need to use the Remedy Admin Tool/Developer Studio and possibly the Import tool for any Remedy changes. For web server updates it is normally just a copy/paste over the current web application directory.

Have questions about your own upgrade process? Feel free to contact us.

Support Vision

Questions, Questions, Questions
By Derick Larson

What do you expect when you call support? Do you typically just have a “How do I…?” question. Has your customer asked you to add an enhancement? Have you heard about an upgrade and want to know what’s included?

When you call support, we ask a lot of questions. We ask questions to try and figure out what’s wrong. Asking questions is part of our diagnostic process. We use the answers to narrow down options and present solutions.

The next time you have to call support—or even better, when you don’t have to call support—take the opportunity to ask us questions about our products. We’re always happy to explain how a new feature works, or how we’ve seen other customers use Kinetic Data applications.

A great example of this is the new Kinetic Task Engine that comes bundled with Kinetic Request, Version 5. While we offer a couple of classes on the Kinetic Task Engine (shameless plug—Kinetic Data’s Training Schedule), it may be awhile before customers can get up to speed with configuring and using the new features. While you ask questions about issues you may have with the Kinetic Task Engine, please ask us questions about how you could use it and how other customers are using it.

My name is Derick Larson and I’m one of the folks providing support and training to users of the various Kinetic Data products.