PostalOne Release 26

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On Friday, January 28th, the USPS distributed Final Release notes for PostalOne Release 26.  This is a problem with PostalOne that continues – Final Release notes for a release that went into production 26 days prior? This is version 5 of the release notes, which makes the notes a constantly changing, moving target, with consequences for mailers if something critical is missed.

Within the release notes, there are more than 20 Known Issues, paired with Workarounds. Most of these were slated to be fixed during the month of January, but some of them are open ended.  Several have to do with optional FSS preparation, which is new and some growing pains are to be expected.  Several more have to do with faulty Mail.dat Validation messages that are incorrect, and will either be corrected or completely removed.

A continuing issue has to do with the requirement in some releases, this one included, for mailers to download, install, and utilize a new Mail.dat client application.  If you didn’t read all the release notes prior to the release, you missed this critical piece of information.  I know of at least one mailer that spent an entire day trying to upload files that would hang up with no error message or direction.  There is no mechanism within the Mail.dat client to alert users that they must make a mandatory update.  In addition, the update required a Java Runtime Environment update to coincide with the new client application installation.  This process needs to be streamlined and made far more intuitive and far less onerous for the users.

In all fairness, the release notes have come a long way in communicating requirements.  Great strides have been made, and there is a terrific change log that helps a great deal.  However, there is still a lot of room for improvement.

Written by Lisa.Bowes

January 31st, 2011 at 1:05 pm

Posted in USPS

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