Microsoft’s determination in February to strip an identifier used for many years from some Home windows replace launch notes continues to attract the ire of consumers.
On Feb. 18, the corporate introduced on its Home windows IT Professional weblog that it will not embody the KB identifier — KB for Information Base — within the URLs of all on-line launch notes related to Home windows replace launch particulars. The KB identifiers have been utilized by Microsoft for a number of many years to pinpoint particular person bug fixes and information prospects to the suitable documentation.
“One of many main ways in which many discover launch notes is thru the usage of a KB identifier (KBID),” Christine Ahonen, a program supervisor at Microsoft, wrote within the submit to the Home windows IT Professional weblog. “We use a singular identifier for every Home windows replace. As soon as a KBID is created, it’s then used to establish the replace all through the discharge course of, together with documentation.”
Ahonen famous that the KB identifier was utilized in not solely the title of the discharge be aware however extra importantly, in URL of that be aware, within the format https://assist.microsoft.com/assist/#######.
However such would not be the usual sooner or later.
“As an illustration, the URL construction of https://assist.microsoft.com/assist/ continues to be supported, nevertheless, it should redirect to a newly formatted URL https://assist.microsoft.com//subject/,” Ahonen stated. (GUID, aka Globally Distinctive Identifier is a Microsoft-specific 128-bit integer — consisting of eight hexadecimal digits, adopted by three teams of Four hexadecimal digits every, adopted by one group of 12 hexadecimal digits — used to establish, on this case, a particular launch be aware.) “Moreover, if a KBID seems within the title of a web page, it should seem within the URL. If a KBID is just not within the title, it won’t seem within the URL. Varieties of articles the place chances are you’ll not discover a KBID embody informational articles and articles launched for non-cumulative updates or specialty packages.”
Ahonen didn’t initially expose the rationale for the change.
Do not mess with my KB
Customers reacted instantly to the announcement. And none applauded it.
“Why cannot you simply add it (the KD identifier) to the URL?” requested Vadim Sterkin in a remark. “You have obtained a title and an enormous GUID there already. KBID is not an overhead. However no, you make us view or parse the source. Your method would not make sense, however you do not actually hassle to elucidate it.”
“Maintain the telephone. Sufficient. Do not mess with my KB numbers,” wrote Susan Bradley in one other remark. (Bradley, who publishes the Home windows tip e-newsletter AskWoody.com, additionally contributes to newsonthecloud because the Microsoft Patch Woman columnist.) That is how all of us ‘communicate’ when it comes to patches, patch administration, and so on.
“Clearly that is making it simpler for you however not for us. You keep in mind us? Your prospects? Those you need to be making blissful? If it’s a KB, then it must have a KB within the URL. Interval.”
Others echoed Sterkin and Bradley. “When tackling updates, it is quite common for me to only sort assist.microsoft.com/assist/kb###### into the tackle bar,” stated somebody recognized as Vatnos. “It is a horrible change, and I fail to spot the advantage of it in any approach.”
Why the KB kerfuffle? Microsoft’s content material publishing system
On March 4, Ahonen returned to the then-dormant remark part of her submit from weeks earlier than with information concerning the determination to drop the KB identifier.
“That is the results of our change over to a brand new Content material Administration System (CMS),” Ahonen wrote. “This new CMS doesn’t assist the previous URL patterns and so we would have liked to adapt to the brand new construction.
“To have this perform just like the previous system, now we have added redirectors to make use of each older patterns:
“Typing both of these previous patterns will take you to the brand new URL,” Ahonen continued. “You may nonetheless link to the previous URL patterns and it’ll take you or your prospects to the right location.”
Ahonen additionally stated that each Home windows servicing replace article would have the suitable KB identifier in its title, together with all safety updates in addition to all non-security updates. “These articles might be totally searchable,” she stated.
The automated-redirection, nevertheless, did not remedy the issue brought on by Microsoft scrubbing the KB identifier from some URLs, Bradley argued. “May you identify the KB quantity simply from that web page?” she requested, referring to the URL of a launch be aware for an issue she had encountered. “I am unable to visually see that KB quantity … simply anymore. None of those modifications make our jobs simpler.”
Ahonen commiserated with Bradley in a follow-up remark.
“I agree that it’s irritating not to have the ability to discover the KBID on the web page or within the URL for a few of these outlying articles,” she stated. “We’re varied options to work across the limitation.” Ahonen additionally urged customers to proceed offering suggestions. “The extra we perceive the best way that prospects use these IDs the higher our decision might be.”
She gave no trace, nevertheless, that the removing of KB identifiers can be reversed — not stunning contemplating it is related to the brand new CMS platform, a severe funding in any occasion.
Bradley countered with a ultimate instance. “This was an replace broadly pushed to our machines, it wasn’t an outlying article,” Bradley wrote in a March 5 remark, providing the assist doc’s title and one-line description, neither of which included a KB identifier. “If one thing goes to be pushed via the Home windows Replace channel, it wants a KB entrance and middle.”
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