Saturday, May 30, 2009

Update strategy for Workplace Web Content Management version 6.0

Preventive Service Planning
Announcing a strategy for delivering maintenance updates for IBM® Workplace Web Content Management™ (WCM). By implementing a consistent and timely update strategy, customers can avoid rediscovering the problems we have already fixed and maintain a more stable and robust environment.

Beginning with version and continuing forward, IBM® Workplace Web Content Management™ Support is delivering this strategy to provide a clear upgrade path for our customers that reduces the risk of installing multiple individual interim fixes for their portal-based content management system.

Following these guidelines provides a consistent maintenance approach you can follow as you manage your environment.

Installing preventative maintenance as soon as it becomes available can avoid problems that could result in a service call and lost productivity. This will also save you time.

Recommended Update Path
  • Fresh installations begin with the most recent installation media.
  • Update to latest refresh pack and fix pack in order to proactively avoid problems already resolved within WebSphere Portal and WorkplaceWeb Content Management.
  • Plan appropriate testing prior to installing any update solution in production.
  • Ensure testing or staging environments closely match the production environment (same hardware, topology, operating system and software maintenance levels) to avoid compatibility issues.

Delivering Updates
  • Fix pack deliveries will be scheduled every 3 to 6 months
  • Cumulative fixes will be scheduled every 2 to 6 weeks
  • There is a single list of all internal defects and APARs fixed for each release that is updated for each new 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
  • Newer maintenance levels of underlying software are tested with the latest fix pack, but delivered separately. It is your responsibility to retrieve and install these updates, if necessary.

These updates are explained in the following table*:


Characteristics of Each Solution


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

Refresh pack

  • A package that may include new features and fixes, such as V6.0.1
  • Refresh packs are cumulative, so for example a V6.0.2 would include features and fixes contained in V6.0.1, as well as any subsequent 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 to ensure your custom applications continue to function as expected.

Fix pack

  • This is the standard delivery for updates - it has been fully regression tested by IBM prior to release.
  • A fix pack is a cumulative package of only fixes, such as V6.0.1.1, unless otherwise noted
  • Fix packs install on top of a specific refresh pack, such as applying V6.0.0.1 to V6.0.0.0
  • Fix packs also install on top of a previous fix pack, such as applying V6.0.1.3 to V6.0.1.1
  • Fix packs are cumulative, so V6.0.1.3 includes all fixes in V6.0.1.1
  • 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 to ensure your custom applications continue to function as expected.

Cumulative Fix

  • This is the standard delivery for necessary updates between fix pack releases - it has been well tested by IBM Quality Engineering prior to release.
  • This is a cumulative package of only fixes as explained in each CF's readme file
  • Provides a collection of APAR fixes that were available for previous Web Content Management CFs (WebSphere Portal fixes are not included, these are specific for the WCM component)
  • Inclusive of all APAR fixes since the base release (for example. CF1 includes APARs since the initial release, and CF2 includes APARs since WCM (in addition to the APARs corrected in CF1)
  • Since the CF includes multiple APARs, there is a risk of someone installing an individual interim fix on top on a CF and thus causing corruption. Hence any subsequent APAR installation process must be clear about the existing CF it will require for installation

Interim Fix

  • A single published emergency fix, such as for an individual APAR PK77777
  • A fix is an interim fix or test fix that resolves one or more product defects.
  • A fix can be applied to a release, refresh pack, fix pack or cumulative fix level where applicable
  • Interim fixes are created when a stand-alone fix is required between fix packs and cumulative fixes. They are validated by at least one customer and verified by IBM before publishing. Test fixes are not generally released but might be provided by IBM support during the course of a service call (PMR).
  • Given the frequent release schedule planned for Cumulative Fixes, customers are encouraged to wait and install a cumulative fix integrating any required fixes instead of using an interim fix when possible.
  • It is recommended that you test functions affected by the component fixed
*Some of the service releases mentioned in the above table are for example purposes only and may not reflect any specific planned releases or updates.