IBM Support

Update Strategy for WebSphere Application Server V7.0

Product readme


Abstract

Announcing a strategy for delivering Fix Packs for IBM® WebSphere® Application Server V7.0 releases. Fix Packs are the standard maintenance delivery vehicle for Version 7.0.

Content



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

WebSphere Application Server V7.0 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.
Delivering updates

WebSphere Application Server V7.0 Fix Pack deliveries will be approximately every 12 months. WebSphere Application Server V7.0 Feature Pack Fix Pack deliveries will be as determined by IBM and aligned with WebSphere Application Server V7.0 Fix Pack. The date of the next planned Fix Packs will be published in Recommended fixes for WebSphere Application Server at least 30 days prior to availability.

Each Fix Pack delivery can consist of multiple Fix Packs for the following components:
  • Application Server
  • Application Client
  • Web server plug-ins
  • IBM® HTTP Server
  • Java™ SDK
  • Feature Pack
  • Feature Pack Fix Pack

You can use IBM® Update Installer 7.0 for WebSphere® Software to install maintenance and updates. The V7.0 Update Installer supports multiple releases of WebSphere Application Server. The WebSphere Application Server V7 Feature Packs use IBM Installation Manager for WebSphere to greatly simplify the installation, update and uninstall process.

The V7.0 Update Installer is also compatible with earlier releases; it works with WebSphere Application Server V6.0.2.21 and newer maintenance and any maintenance for WebSphere Application Server V6.1.0.x and WebSphere Application Server V7.0 releases. This allows a single instance of the Update Installer to apply maintenance to more than one version of the application server.

For WebSphere Application Server V6.0.2.19 and previous releases, apply maintenance with the V6.0.2.x Update Installer.

Notes:
  • The preceding component Fix Packs are all tested together at the same level.
  • In some cases, maintenance might not be delivered for every component at each new Fix Pack level (for example: There was no maintenance delivered for IBM HTTP Server at the Fix Pack 1 (6.1.0.1) level).
  • IBM supports users who might not install all fix packs delivered at each fix pack level (for example: Installing Fix Pack 5 (6.1.0.5) for the Application Server but not installing Fix Pack 5 for the IBM HTTP Server), except where a pre-requisite or co-requisite exists. If a pre-requisite or co-requisite exists between two fix packs, then those fixpacks must be installed together.

There is a single list of all defects for each release (for example: Fix list for Version 7.0 ), that is updated for each new Fix Pack.

Install a Fix Pack on top of any previous Fix Pack installed (for example: 7.0.0.5 could be applied to 7.0.0.1 or 7.0.0.2).

Note: The version numbers (7.0.0.1, 7.0.0.1, 7.0.0.2, and so on) 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.

Solution terminology changes

V6.0 Term
V6.1 Term
V7.0 Term
Release
Release
Release
Refresh Pack
N/A
N/A
N/A
Feature Pack
Feature Pack
Fix Pack
Fix Pack
Fix Pack
Fix
Fix
Fix


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 V7.0.

  • 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 by way of Passport Advantage.

Feature Pack

  • WebSphere Application Server V7.0 releases Feature Packs, which are free, downloadable product extensions (on top of V7.0), that offer targeted, incremental new features.

  • Regression testing of critical functions with new feature packs 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 Fix Pack 2 (7.0.0.2)

  • Each Fix Pack delivery canconsist of multiple Fix Packs for the following components:
    • Application Server
    • Application Client
    • Web server plug-ins
    • IBM HTTP Server
    • Java SDK
    • Feature Pack
    • Feature Pack Fix Pack

  • Fix Packs also install on top of a previous Fix Pack, such as applying V7.0.0.2 to V7.0.0.1.

  • Fix Packs are cumulative, so V7.0.0.2 includes all fixes in V7.0.0.1.

  • Fix Packs uninstall all Interim Fixes applied to the release since the last 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 or Fix Pack where applicable.

    Interim Fix = IFPKnnnn (for example: 7.0 IFPK0001)
    Test Fix = TFPKnnnn (for example: 7.0 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
  • Applies to one or more Fix Packs that were made generally available up to two years before the date that the fix is created

  • It is recommended that you test functions affected by the WebSphere Application Server component fixed.

  • Reference the Recommended fixes page for currently available fixes. When urgent, the fix will also be flashed on the Support page. In such case, these fixes generally target the two most recent Fix Packs, when applicable, for each affected release



Maintenance planning

Choose the appropriate update solution and verify inclusion of needed individual fixes in the Fix Pack:
  • Review Recommended fixes and the Fix list for different versions to help you plan updates.

  • In order to ensure quality Fix Packs, individual fixes that become available late in the development cycle may not be included in a Fix Pack.

  • The historyInfo utility lists the history of installed and uninstalled fixes. For more details, see Installing the Update Installer for WebSphere Software.

Prior to installing any WebSphere Application Server solution in production, appropriate testing should be done on a test system.
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 the latest Fix Pack for cumulative fixes in order to proactively avoid problems already resolved within WebSphere Application Server.

  • Update to the latest 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.


Related Information

Change history
Date Description
26 Sep 2008
12 June 2008
Original draft relased.
Original draft created.

Document information

More support for: WebSphere Application Server
General

Software version: 7.0

Operating system(s): AIX, HP-UX, IBM i, Linux, Solaris, Windows, z/OS

Software edition: Base, Network Deployment

Reference #: 7012749

Modified date: 30 March 2017