Hello, everyone! This is Roger Diller, Technical Lead here at Flex. Last year was a fantastic year laying down a whole new foundation for the Flex product. The critical & biggest part of our 2017 effort was figuring out the new backend architecture and getting the Flex4 & Flex5 backend to communicate nicely. We also had a great year porting Flex features into our new tablet app.
Our efforts culminated in mid-December when Flex5 went to early access for selected customers (these are customers who were willing to test on their live data & give us feedback). This allowed us to send everything all the way through our new delivery pipeline and work out any quirks that came up.
Since everything is so new & cutting edge, we are easing into the Flex5 rollout very carefully and deliberately. We’ve already learned a lot by sending everything through the new pipeline and expect to learn much more as we gradually open up the Flex5 valve to more customers. Our plan is to open it up to more customers during the first quarter of 2018 and be past the bulk of the “new product growing pains” by around the end of the quarter.
We are currently finishing up final Flex5 features for the initial tablet release. The initial release will have core contact & inventory management, three different types of dashboard widgets, inquiry scan, free scan in & out, prep & return. This will be by far our longest stretch of development for Flex5 but this was due to laying down all the new foundations. After the initial tablet release, our intent is to shift into a iterative release with a new release approximately every couple months.
Our plan is to just incrementally and carefully move all the Flex features over to Flex5 until everything is moved over! We expect 2018 to be a heavy code lifting year for Flex5 with multiple releases including a phone UI release as well. We also want to release some basic desktop UI’s later in the year. It’s shaping up to be a great year for Flex5! Stay tuned!!