The non-programming people at Therap have now been testing 5.0 for about a week. I can’t get over how cool it is. My favorite application at the moment is T-logs even though we are already planning some major upgrades for it. It’s just a very flexible way of sticking notes onto the computer and then making sure everyone that needs to, reads them.

It looks like we will be able to give out demonstration accounts at the ANCOR conference starting on Sunday – we’re just not quite sure whether you’ll be able to access them at ANCOR or shortly afterwards. We’re calling these 5TEST accounts and they will be on a copy of the system we have in place with fake data for test purposes. If you are at ANCOR then be sure to ask for one. If you can’t make it, let me know and I’ll send you one as soon as they are available.

We will also be giving out test Data Administration administration accounts. The reason behind this is two fold: Firstly, existing Data Administrators will be able to experiment with the new roles and features such as Password Policies, User Defined Fields, Activity Tracking, and more… Secondly, new providers can try different schemes for entering sites and programs so that when they decide to go live the will know exactly what to do.

Finally, we’ll be giving out test accounts to our existing users with “snapshots” of their current data so that they can check how it transfers into the new release and test with “real” data. People have to remember though that any changes made to this snapshot will no be carried over into the production version of release 5.0.

As for the official release date, well, I’m really not sure. One of the things I really like about working here is the insistence on corporate honesty. We won’t promise something we can’t deliver and we will do all we possibly can (including delaying release) to put out a stable and effective product. We also want to make sure that we have given our existing users long enough to let their staff know about the upcoming changes.

What I can tell you is that we have User Group Meetings planned for the beginning of April, and we hope that we will be announcing the date at them if we haven’t already. It’s just another good reason to sign up for them.