Quickbase’s approach to retiring features
Every day, we see citizen developers using Quickbase to make their business software work the way their people do. We want to make sure this exciting story continues decades into the future. One important element to make this a reality will be regularly retiring product features to streamline our platform. Read on for some context on this decision, and to learn about how we’ll approach feature retirement going forward.
Why we retire product features on a regular basis
Quickbase was created as a cloud platform back in 1999, long before “the cloud” was a phrase people commonly associated with software. Since then, we’ve helped thousands of companies thrive by helping them to flex and adapt to an ever-changing business environment. Today, we’re committed to fueling another twenty years or more of operational agility through access to real-time business insights and powerful integrations, all available on a secure, lightning fast, enterprise-grade platform that’s trusted by IT. Regularly retiring product features is an important way for us to be disciplined as a company, to make sure that we deliver on that vision.
As a vendor of an operational agility platform, the product changes we make to Quickbase directly impact your productivity in building and maintaining your apps. We see this as very similar to how changes app builders make to their Quickbase apps directly impact the productivity of their colleagues using those apps. This presents a helpful metaphor to better understand how retiring Quickbase features helps your business.
The most successful app builders in Quickbase maintain their apps on an ongoing basis. This separates good apps from amazing apps that transform your business and your career. One important aspect of maintaining a Quickbase app is periodically reviewing its structure and removing pieces that are not used frequently. For example, deleting fields that are no longer important makes your users more productive because it streamlines their work. The same is true for software vendors like us, and how we continue to improve Quickbase to make our customers more productive.
With that in mind, we need to prune Quickbase over time and retire features which are no longer broadly valuable to the community. Deciding to retire a feature is a difficult but important task, so we consider several factors in those decisions. For instance, we consider how often a feature is used, whether it matches our product vision, and whether a feature has been superseded by another feature.
How we’ll approach retiring a feature
Many of you rely on Quickbase for your day-to-day business operations, so we’ll be careful to minimize any disruption retiring a feature may cause. We’ll strive to give you ample notice before a feature is retired, so you can prepare accordingly. We will also provide detailed guidance on the alternatives to a retired feature where possible.
The lifecycle of a Quickbase feature
We’ve adopted industry-standard terminology for you to easily understand the status of a feature that’s being retired. Below, you can see how we’ve updated our product lifecycle to include the stages of retirement:
- The feature is available to a limited set of customers to give feedback.
General Availability begins
- The feature is available for all customers.
End of Sale
- Quickbase recommends that customers stop using the feature.
- Training for the feature is no longer available.
- The feature is no longer available for purchase, if it had been sold independently.
End of Support
- The feature is no longer updated except to address any security or emergency customer issues.
- The functionality of the feature may be reduced. For example, it may no longer be possible to begin using the feature in places where it was not used previously.
- Technical support is no longer available for the feature.
End of Life
- The feature is no longer available.
Impact on the UI refresh
Over the next few years we will refresh the entire user interface of Quickbase. This will provide a more consistent and modern experience across the product, helping boost adoption of your apps. What impact will the feature retirement approach above have on the UI refresh?
As we refresh each part of our user interface, our goal is to offer similar functionality and to provide even more value to your business through innovative new features. To achieve that, it’s important that we do not spend time re-building every feature of our current interface. So we will select features to retire as we refresh various parts of the UI. For example, in December 2020 we will announce table report features we plan to retire.