This excellent letter is used by the Washington State government. I think it could help any businessman who is in need of straight talk from software vendors. This means just about all businessmen.
Want a definition of "compliant"? Here is a good one.
* * * * * * *
The State of Washington, Department of Information Services (DIS) is researching the impact that the Year 2000 and beyond will have on the users of installed software products. Your software products have been identified as being used by Washington State agencies.
We know that some software products will function to a date past the year 2000 and that others will not. We also know that some software is not affected by a date stamp of any kind. For State of Washington purposes, year 2000 compatibility must include, but not be limited to date and century recognition before and after 1/1/2000, calculations to accommodate same century and multi-century formulas and date values, and date data interface values that reflect the century. In addition, leap year calculations must be accommodated and must not result in erroneous results or system failures.
Please provide us with a list of your products, by name and version, that are Year 2000 Compatible as defined in the previous paragraph. In addition, please provide the answers to the following questions for each of the software products:
1. Has the software been tested for Year 2000 compliance?
2. What is the ending date?
3. How does the date appear? i.e., yymmdd or ccyymmdd, etc.
We will assume that all of the software products not included in your Year 2000 compliant list, as above provided, are non-compliant. For non-compliant products that have been manufactured by your company, please answer the following questions:
1. Which of your software products are upgradeable?
2. What is the method for upgrading the product?
3. When will the upgrade be available?
4. What version and other identification indicate the upgrade?
5. What will the ending date be?
6. How will the ending date appear? i.e., yymmdd or ccyymmdd, etc.
7. Will the upgrade be Year 2000 compliance tested before distribution?
8. Do you have recommendations or other information that will assist us in further identification of affected products? i.e., Product names and versions.
We would appreciate a written response to this letter. . . .