To provide more detail regarding our New Delivery Model, we have provided an FAQ:
Q: When is the first On-Demand only release?
A: General availability for the first Sugar On-Demand only release will take place on October 20th, 2017. This release will be referred to as the “Fall ‘17” release. This release will be followed by quarterly On-Demand only releases.
Q: Is Sugar moving solely to On-Demand and away from On Premise in the future?
A: SugarCRM remains fully committed to On Premise. A large portion of SugarCRM's customers deploy Sugar On Premise as do partners and OEMs who support them. SugarCRM will continue delivering the best CRM for On Premise customer needs. Quality of service should rise, as many features will be real-world tested at On-Demand prior to their manifestation in On Premise.
Q: When is the next On Premise release?
A: There will be yearly On Premise releases beginning Spring ‘18 (will be named separately). These On Premise releases will include a rollup of features from the previous On-Demand only releases including the Spring n-Demand release each calendar year.
Q: Can customers have access to On-Demand features without switching to On-Demand?
A: On Premise customers will receive a feature release once a year. If the customers wished to receive more frequent feature releases they can migrate to the Sugar On-Demand offering to have immediate access to the latest features.
Q: If an On-Demand customer has customizations that block their ability to upgrade, how long will the customer receive SugarCRM support? (i.e. support for customers running in On-Demand as well as core product support)
A: We expect all On-Demand customers to upgrade within 2 months of a new release. This is the formal previous version support window for an On-Demand release unless otherwise stated by SugarCRM. For customers that have customizations that may not be compatible with the new release, we recommend raising a support case to SugarCRM Support who can create a temporary upgraded sandbox so that all issues can be rectified within the expected 2-month timeframe.
Q: How will On-Demand customers be able to troubleshoot issues with customizations in an On-Demand release?
A: Customers hosted in Sugar On-Demand will have the ability to download backups of their instance which contain the source code and database. These files can be used for development and troubleshooting purposes only. Any use of these files for production purposes outside of Sugar On-Demand are expressly forbidden and unsupported.
Q: Is there a formal process to upgrade On-Demand customers after General Availability?
A: Upgrades will begin 1 week after On-Demand release General Availability. Timing of the automated upgrades is contingent on multiple factors so schedules will vary. If a specific upgrade date and time is desired, we recommend raising a SugarCRM Support case to coordinate that schedule. However, it can be expected to run for 6 weeks (7 weeks after GA).
Q: On Premise customers have large customizations making upgrades a very difficult process; what are their extended support options?
A: Beginning with Sugar 7.9, we offer On Premise customers the option to purchase an additional 12 months of Extended Support from the end-of-life date. This offering is expected to be available for each Spring On Premise. Combining this Extended Support with the 18-month maintenance support cycle of each On Premise release means that On Premise releases will be eligible for support for 30 months from the GA date.
Q: Will I have access to Sugar code so I can build customizations for On-Demand in this new model?
A: We will provide downloaded customer backups of their Sugar On-Demand instance for development purposes only. In the future, we improve our On-Demand development capabilities to avoid requiring development on customer backups.
Q: How will SugarCRM be making Sugar On-Demand more developer friendly?
A: We are building a plan for making developing for On-Demand easier. If you have input on use cases or challenges with developing on On-Demand, send this input to Matt Marum.
Q: How can I get early product release access to ensure product and instance compatibility with the new Sugar release?
A: We expect the “Preview” of the Fall ‘17 release to be available about 3-4 weeks prior to General Availability. We will be working towards hosted Previews to make them easier to use for testing and share more widely.
Q: When can Sugar On Premise customers switch to Sugar On-Demand?
A: Customers can migrate from the most recent On Premise patch release to the upcoming On-Demand quarterly release at any time. Conversely, On-Demand customers have the opportunity to migrate from their On-Demand instance to the latest Spring On Premise release once a year.
Q: What if my customer is dissatisfied with the Sugar On-Demand and want to move to Sugar On Premise off cycle (not during the Spring release)?
A: The option to move off of On-Demand between On Premise releases is limited to manually migrating the customer's On-Demand version to the latest supported On Premise release. As this migration typically requires modification of database schema and reverting features implemented in the On-Demand release, this should only be performed by a partner or Sugar Professional Services. Running an On-Demand release outside of the Sugar On-Demand environment is prohibited and will not be supported.
Q: What is the API deprecation policy for Sugar On Premise and Sugar On-Demand?
A: In all but very rare exceptions, there should be a 1-year period between deprecation notice and the removal or modification of a Sugar API. This 1-year duration applies to On-Demand and On Premise releases. For example, if SugarCRM announces an API deprecation on October 20, 2017, the change will occur in the On-Demand Fall ‘18 release and the Spring ‘19 On Premise release.
Alignment with other Products
Q: How does this delivery model affect other SugarCRM products (SugarCRM Hint, Mobile, etc..)?
A: SugarCRM will strive to offer support for related products concurrent to On-Demand only releases. In many cases this simply requires a test cycle. But there may cases where revising such product is necessary. If we cannot produce a compatible related product at the time of an On-Demand release, we will defer upgrading On-Demand customers who use such products until a compatible related product is available.
Q: How do we test customizations and integrations for Sugar On-Demand releases?
A: Partners and customers can request access to instances of On-Demand Release Previews that can only be used for testing purposes. Existing On-Demand sandboxes will continue to be available for test purposes as well.