On Sept 2, the new release of Comms Suite became available. There are some big major changes, and a lot of smaller (but still important changes). I don't to oversimplify the details. I have been able to download the software to my primary test system, a couple comments that people might find useful:

1- The download is the first Comm Suite release on the Oracle download server.

Give yourself a little extra time to get used to the new website, if you were not a pre-existing Oracle customer. I was struck by the sheer size of the downloadable software list. Even knowing that Oracle is a big company with a lot of products did not prepare me for this moment, when I tried to pick Comm Suite out of the larger list of available software. It took a lot longer than I would have guessed.

2- We support Directory Server 7 releases.

On the surface, there are not big differences between supporting the DS 6x family and DS7. No sections in the manual that are "DS7" specific, etc. Probably the only reason I am noting this is that I added DS 7 to my test/support environment, so for me, it was one of the few "new" pieces of software I had to deploy before using the release.

...and a friendly note about product upgrades and patch upgrades.

This summer, I started a system-wide cleanup on my test system. Originally, I started supporting this product group right before the first Comms 6 was released. So my system contains a full Comms 5 install, and then several partial installs of Comms 6 and Comms 7 releases. There is a lot of stuff on my system! (Three versions of Directory Server, four versions of Application Server, etc.)

This is a *test* system, so hopefully your production systems are better organized. Still, it is worth mentioning that if you are running really old anything, you should consider the options to do patch upgrades or product upgrades. If you do not want to do everything, at least consider making a couple strategic upgrades. For example, if you are using older web containers think about getting into the current family (WEB6 -> WEB7, APP7/APP8 -> App9/GS family). If you have not patched your Calendar or Messaging Server in a couple years, you should give it serious thought. I think a practical rule of thumb is that you do not want your patch level to be more than a year old. That seems like enough time for the "low maintenance" crowd to do minimal work, but not go so long that they miss an important fix.

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