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We are rewriting a product named « Module A » with a new technology for thousands of B2B users. It will be iso-functional. This rewrite will open new posibilities on the long run.

We would like to release this new version, while keeping the current version open, in order to gather feedback as soon as possible.

If we name this new version « Module A (V2) », it will raise too much expectation. I though about « Module A (Beta) » but it's not very clear. I guess I'm not the only one who's been through this.

How did you solved a similar problem ? Do you have any idea/documentation?

Thanks

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  • What exactly is the problem in raising expectation? If the future will in fact open possibilities this is a good marketing gimmick. Jul 22 '20 at 1:40
  • Our roadmap are often subject to change. So we communicate about the current quarter, with no promise for the following quarters. We have a strong customer commitment that allows us to do this. We force ourselves to release value every month, to avoid any tunnel effect.
    – Antoine F.
    Jul 22 '20 at 11:39
  • I think you are putting too much significance on versioning. Regardless of what you call it, you need to have good marketing material that informs the user exactly what is it. And that is, it's a significant rewrite and is currently available for beta testing.
    – musefan
    Jul 22 '20 at 13:41
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We would like to release this new version, while keeping the current version open, in order to gather feedback as soon as possible.

We decided to add a migration banner to the new version on the header of the old module. This allows us to

  • keep the same module name
  • to set the new version as default for some users
  • prevent some users from downgrading to the old version

This solution was very practical, in particular to manage detractors.

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  • Thanks for the follow up! Interesting to hear how you actually ended up handling it. Jun 14 at 12:38
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You could go with a project codename while the new version is in initial development. Perhaps a codename that honors the existing module name in some way, or else inspires curiosity about the potential of the new possibilities that the new technology will bring.

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I think Beta will lower the expectations for sure. The users will understand that this is an updated version.

The way I solved this in the past in my past projects is naming Module A (V1.5). This is saying that it's not a completely new product but it's an improved one of V1.0.

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  • This requires that you only release it when it covers at least the features of the previous one. In this case, we'll get feedback too late. Nevertheless the path is very interesting. It got me thinking about the web of the 90's with an "under construction" pan. We could have an explanation message at the top of the new module, or use an 🚧 emoticon. I would have liked to back that up with examples to see if the path is good.
    – Antoine F.
    Jul 22 '20 at 11:48
  • One potential downside to using the word "beta" is that a beta version is often a pre-cursor to the full release. You don't want people thinking that the new beta is an old testing build. I've seen a couple of products use the term "canary" to indicate that it's a future version, but that's usually for smaller releases/ Aug 21 '20 at 14:32

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