Understanding the ‘Software Support Lifecycle’

One of the keys to the long term success of your integrated POS solution using Lynx Software is the ongoing support you receive.  This not only includes getting help when something goes wrong (like a computer or software malfunction), but also receiving assistance with using the software properly by means of documentation, training and direct guidance from a ‘support provider’ such as POSLynx.

However, the ability for software developers and support providers to provide ongoing helpdesk and technical support for your software does not last forever.  Software has an effective ‘used-by-date’.  Why is that?  Why do software developers stop supporting old versions of their products after a period of time?

Here are four good reasons:

  • Superseded technology – Computer hardware, operating systems and software development tools advance at a rapid rate.  So software that was written on technology from as little as 5 years ago may no longer work, or it may require different resources and drivers that are not compatible with current technology.  So supporting old versions can at times become difficult if it means keeping older, compatible equipment to enable product testing.
  • Outdated software design – As a software product matures, the developers naturally improve their programming techniques.  ‘Bugs’ are fixed.  Software stability is improved.  Therefore to go back and support older programs can often mean re-learning the old functionality.  And quite frankly, considering how much the software advances in a relatively short period of time, end-users are better off if they move up to newer versions if possible.
  • Cost factors – Providing support costs money.  The more products that are supported, the more time is required to enable giving that support.  The aforementioned reasons can also add to the cost of support.  So getting sites up to the latest version is always a more efficient and effective use of time.  Also, providing support on current versions can have a positive spin-off effect.  New design ideas may be thought of, or documentation developed that can assist a large number of users.  The same benefits can’t be applied when supporting older versions.
  • Developer profitability – It would be naive not to admit that one of the reasons software developers cease to support older versions is to try and entice current users to spend some money and upgrade.  Software development costs money, and some of the costs incurred in development need to be retrieved by getting a percentage of the user-base to upgrade their existing systems.  Bear in mind though that the benefits in upgrading hopefully outweigh the costs – including new features, and improved performance and stability.

Does Lynx Software have a limited support life?

Yes.  Generally speaking, upgrade versions of Uniwell Lynx and SharpLynx are released once a year.  For the best part of 12 months following the initial release, additional minor enhancements will continue to be made on that version.  After that, Lynx Software will continue to provide technical support for the software version for a further 3 – 4 years.  You can view the different Lynx Software Version Support Dates here:

Do I have to upgrade the software after the end of its Support Lifecycle?

No, not technically.  If the software continues to function well for you after its Support Lifecycle concludes, you can keep using it.

However, if a problem occurs (such as a database crash) or you want to add to or change your software license in any way, you will need to upgrade to the latest version to receive assistance.  Even technical support is unable to be offered for sites running outdated software.

LynxAssist Support Subscriptions (by POSLynx) Include Software Upgrades

One way to avoid having your software go ‘out-of-date’ is to engage a support provider to keep you upgraded.  LynxAssist Support Subscribers have upgrade entitlement included in their support, so when a new version is released during your subscription period, you can organise to have your software updated remotely by us.

It’s our aim to help Lynx Software users to take full advantage of the excellent features provided by Uniwell Lynx and SharpLynx.

Note: SharpLynx and Uniwell Lynx version 5 will no longer be supported after December 31, 2017.  

If you are using an older version of Lynx Software and would like to know more about the benefits of upgrading, please contact POSLynx or your Lynx Software support provider

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