April 6, 2019 | Scheduled Maintenance
Keep in mind that this documentation may be out of date. Our past updates remain available in our help center as a historical record. We've come a long way since 2014!
The Saturday, April 6 maintenance was completed successfully. Actual downtime was limited to 70 minutes.
The April 6 maintenance window had originally been scheduled for March 9, 2019, but changes to the system had to be rolled back for technical reasons (see details below). The same infrastructure update is now scheduled for April 6. We recommend that you click on Follow to receive a notification in case we update the content of this page.
On Saturday, April 6, 2019, we will perform scheduled maintenance from 5:30 AM to 8:00 AM PST on the BEE Plugin system.
We expect actual downtime to be about 90 minutes.
All applications using the BEE editor - including our own Web site at beefree.io - will be affected.
Why this scheduled maintenance?
The BEE Plugin system was initially introduced in 2015 and has experienced tremendous growth since then. We will update several, important parts of the system to make it more scalable, more secure, and ready for future growth.
Among other areas, we will optimize the system database and update the application authorization service. The changes to the authorization service, in particular, are a prerequisite to substantial performance improvements that will be rolled out in Q2 (no additional downtime expected). Preliminary tests show a start-up time for the BEE editor that is almost twice as fast. We're excited to bring these performance improvements to you and your customers as soon as possible, and this is a necessary step in that direction.
As part of this system upgrade, we will also be releasing a frequently requested feature: hide on desktop. In addition, we will introduce some improvements to increase email accessibility.
Will the editor be unavailable?
Yes. Although the maintenance window is 2.5 hours, we expect actual downtime to be about 90 minutes. We will make every effort to ensure that maintenance is performed as quickly as possible.
Services not directly related to the editor itself, such as delivery of images hosted in our default storage, will not be impacted. In other words, images in messages already created or sent, even if they are hosted by us, will display correctly.
What will users of the BEE editor see?
Users that launch the editor during the period of downtime within the maintenance window will see a "We'll be back soon!" service page, similar to the following.
- This message is only shown if you link to BeePlugin.js (recommended implementation), not if you load the file as a local resource.
- The message will only be in English.
- The message will only be shown during the downtime portion of the maintenance window. That window could be as short as 45 minutes.
- The message will only be displayed to users that launch the editor during downtime: those that are already using the editor will not see this message. See the next paragraph for information about how they will be affected.
What if someone is already using the editor?
Users that are already using the editor at the time the downtime starts (i.e. "active users") will experience the editor not responding to certain actions. Some tasks (e.g. moving a content item) will work just fine, but others (e.g. loading a new image) will not respond.
To minimize impact and optimize their user experience, we recommend the following:
- Ensure your implementation of BEE Plugin takes advantage of the auto-save feature or onChange callback, so that the message is frequently auto-saved and no (or minimal) work is lost.
- Notify users of your application in various ways (e.g. email, a courtesy message inside your application, etc.), informing them of the maintenance window and asking them not to create or edit messages/pages during that window. We recommend that you use a maintenance window that's a bit larger than the one indicated at the top of this page.
- Remind them about it as the maintenance window approaches.
We will send you a "Maintenance completed" email message once the task has been completed. If all goes as expected, it will be sent as quickly as 45 minutes after the start of the maintenance window. If something goes wrong and we need to roll back, we estimate the rollback to take about one hour.
You can also follow our status page to track the progress of this maintenance work.
Will beefree.io be affected too?
Yes, both BEE FREE and BEE PRO at beefree.io will be affected. There are also 3 other applications within MailUp Group that will be affected. So a total of 5 production instances in our group of companies. And they are all users of BEE Plugin just like you. Any downtime affects us too: no shortcuts or special treatments. So we have every incentive to make sure it's as short and painless as possible.
Why was the March 9 update rolled back?
Even though the maintenance operation on March 9, 2019 was successful - and everything worked fine for most BEE Plugin implementations - we discovered that changes to the authorization token caused loading issues for the editor in some of them.
We were able to replicate the issues encountered by those applications, and we have applied changes to the new authorization system to guarantee full backward compatibility.
We also used experience that we gained performing this maintenance work to improve the process and likely reduce the amount of downtime needed for the April 6 operation.
Please let us know if you have any questions.
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