Update Strategy for WebSphere Application Server V6.0

Technote (troubleshooting)


Problem(Abstract)

Announcing a strategy for delivering Fix Packs for WebSphere Application Server V6.0 releases. Fix Packs are the standard delivery vehicle for V6.0.

Resolving the problem



Update Strategy Overview
Delivering Updates
Maintenance Planning
Recommended Update Path
Related Information
Change history


Update Strategy Overview
WebSphere Application Server Support is delivering this strategy to provide a clear upgrade path that reduces the risk of installing collections of Application Server fixes.

In response to requests for published collections of fixes that are:
  • Delivered in a timely manner
  • Tested together
  • Without new features or behavioral changes

WebSphere Application Server V6.0, will provide Fix Packs containing Cumulative Fixes that will be updated regularly. This provides a consistent maintenance approach you can follow as you manage your products.

Installing preventative maintenance as soon as it becomes available will save you time. As long as you test appropriately, actively applying preventative maintenance can avoid problems that could result in a service call.

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Delivering Updates
  • Fix Pack deliveries will be timely (every 12 weeks). The date of the next planned Fix Pack will be published in Recommended fixes for WebSphere Application Server at least 30 days prior to availability.
  • There is a single list of all defects for each release (For example, V6.0), that is updated for each new Refresh Pack and Fix Pack.
  • Install on top of either a specific Refresh Pack with no Fix Pack applied or a Refresh Pack with any previous Fix Pack installed (6.0.2.3 could be applied to 6.0.2 or 6.0.2.2).
  • New Java™ SDK Service Releases are tested with the latest Fix Pack, but delivered separately. Java SDK Service Releases are included in Fix Packs.

Note: The version numbers (6.0.1, 6.0.2, 6.0.2.3 etc.) used throughout this document are to illustrate a typical maintenance path used to provide solutions to our customers. It does not reflect actual nor intended deliverables.





Types of solutions provided for WebSphere Application Server


Solutions

Characteristics of Each Solution

Release

  • A new WebSphere Application Server that includes major new function, such as V6.0
  • This is a separate installation that can coexist with other Application Server releases
  • Full testing of all applications with new release is recommended
  • Requires migration to upgrade, distribution from Passport Advantage

Refresh Pack

  • A package that includes minor new features and fixes, such as V6.0.1
  • Refresh Packs are cumulative, so V6.0.2 includes features and fixes contained in V6.0.1, as well as Fix Packs and Interim Fixes published for V6.0.1
  • Refresh Packs uninstall all Fix Packs and Interim Fixes previously applied to the release. So, it is necessary to check the list of delivered fixes to determine if an Interim Fix must be reinstalled.
  • Regression testing of critical functions with new Refresh Pack is strongly recommended

Fix Pack

  • This is the standard delivery for updates - it has been regression tested.
  • A Fix Pack is a cumulative package of fixes, such as V6.0.1.3
  • Fix Packs install on top of a specific Refresh Pack, such as applying V6.0.1.3 to V6.0.1
  • Fix Packs also install on top of a previous Fix Pack, such as applying V6.0.1.3 to V6.0.1.2
  • Fix Packs are cumulative, so V6.0.1.3 includes all fixes in V6.0.1.2
  • Fix Packs uninstall all Interim Fixes applied to the release since the last Refresh Pack or Fix Pack was installed. Therefore, it is necessary to check the list of delivered fixes to determine if an Interim Fix needs to be reinstalled.
  • Brief testing of critical functions with the new Fix Pack is recommended

Fix

  • In some circumstances and when technically feasible, a single published emergency fix may be provided.
  • This fix, in the form of an Interim Fix or test fix, resolves one or more product defects.
  • It is expected that customers will make plans to move to a Fix Pack that contains the emergency fix. Remaining on an early level (two or more Fix Packs behind the latest) increases the risk that IBM will not be able to deliver additional emergency fixes on that level.
  • A fix can be applied to a release, Refresh Pack,or Fix Pack where applicable.
    Interim Fix = IFPKnnnn, Test Fix = TFPKnnnn (for example, 6.0.1 IFPK0001; 6.0 TFPK0002)
  • Interim Fixes are created when a stand-alone fix is required before the next Fix Pack that includes the fix for the APAR is available. . They are validated by at least one customer prior to being published
  • It is recommended that you test functions affected by the WebSphere Application Server component fixed
  • Reference the Recommended Updates page for currently available fixes. When urgent, the fix will also be flashed on the Support page.

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Maintenance Planning
Choose the appropriate update solution and verify inclusion of needed individual fixes in the Fix Pack:
  • Review Recommended fixes and the following fix list documents to help you plan updates:
  • In order to ensure quality Refresh Packs and Fix Packs, individual fixes that become available late in the development cycle may not be included in a Refresh Pack or Fix Pack.
  • The historyInfo utility lists the history of installed and uninstalled fixes. For details, see: Update Installer V6.0 Readme

Prior to installing any WebSphere Application Server solution in production, appropriate testing should be done on a test system.

Standard Maintenance options for WebSphere Application Server




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Recommended Update Path
  • Remaining on an early Fix Pack level (two or more Fix Packs behind the latest) with emergency fixes applied puts IBM's ability to deliver additional emergency fixes at risk. Situations may arise where IBM will not be able to safely deliver additional emergency fixes on an early level. If a customer has emergency fixes applied, they should plan on moving to a Fix Pack level that contains those fixes.

  • Update to latest Refresh Pack and Fix Pack for Cumulative Fixes in order to proactively avoid problems already resolved within WebSphere Application Server.

  • Update to the latest refresh Fix Pack only when there is time in the development schedule for a full regression test of your application.

  • Plan appropriate testing prior to installing any WebSphere Application Server solution in production.

Below is an Update scenario, using hypothetical Fix Packs, Refresh Packs and releases, where Refresh Packs and Fix Packs are installed as soon as they are available:




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Related Information
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Change history
Release date: 10 December 2004
Last updated: 14 September 2007
  • 14 September 2007: Removed reference that Fix Packs only include fixes
  • 08 March 2006: Added this Change history section
  • 08 March 2006: Removed language about superseded Fix Packs being withdrawn

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Cross reference information
Segment Product Component Platform Version Edition
Application Servers WebSphere Application Server - Express General AIX, HP-UX, Linux, Solaris, UNIX, Windows 6.0 Express
Application Servers Runtimes for Java Technology Java SDK

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Document information


More support for:

WebSphere Application Server
General

Software version:

6.0

Operating system(s):

AIX, HP-UX, Linux, Solaris, Windows

Software edition:

Base, Express, Network Deployment

Reference #:

1191989

Modified date:

2007-09-14

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