You may have noticed that the blog hasn't been updated on a regular basis lately. I've been working on a project that has basically consumed me in spurts for the last two years.
Back in the summer of 2004, we decided it was time to undertake an upgrade of some software that I thought would take about six months. During a test upgrade, we discovered that it was a little more complex than we though and that a bunch of technology pieces had to be upgraded before we could upgrade the software. So we put in place a plan to upgrade each technoloy component as a separate phase and implemented them in regular intervals. Once we got one piece implemented, we started upgrading and testing the next technology piece.
Along the way we had to work with various support organizations to get each piece implemented completely correctly. Even though we enlisted those support organizations, piece X version 188.8.131.52 didn't work with piece Y version 184.108.40.206 which lead to another piece that had to be upgraded. We upgraded in about 6 seperate phases, with a couple mini-phases in between. During the same window, we had some staff changes both on the user side and the technology side that made things more difficult. When the project sponsor from the executive side stepped down a month before we were supposed to go live, I got really nervous. We pushed on and were finally able to upgrade the software in a 46 hour marathon session without a hitch.
This has probably been the longest project I have ever worked on as a DBA. After two years of sporadically working on the same project, I'm relieved to have it over with. At the same time, I learned more about the product than I ever dreamed (or wanted to know) and picked up a bunch of technology awareness and project management soft skills that I couldn't have as "just a DBA". Hopefully the business sees it the same way.
Since that time, the vendor has released another update. After two years of work, I'm a version behind now. Back to the drawing board.