IBM Support

Update Strategy for WebSphere Portal versions 6.0 and 6.1

Preventive Service Planning


Abstract

This document describes the strategy for delivering maintenance updates for IBM® WebSphere® Portal versions 6.0 and 6.1. 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.

Content





Update Strategy Overview
WebSphere Portal 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.

Since WebSphere Portal version 5.1.0 fix pack 2 (5.1.0.2), the Websphere Portal team has provided a comprehensive fix pack strategy which has carried forward into the current versions 6.0 and 6.1. The document below describes the key points of our fix pack strategy. Any deviations from the fix pack strategy will be noted in the documentation of the fix pack and on the Recommended fixes and updates document.

The fix packs:
  • Combine the updates for both WebSphere Portal and Lotus Web Content Management into one deliverable.
  • Provide a collection of APAR fixes that were available for previous WebSphere Portal fix packs
  • Include additional defect fixes found during the test of the fix pack
  • Include no major new features or behavioral changes
    • Rarely, minor new features may need to be included but by design will be documented and disabled by default
  • Are tested with updates to the underlying software and hardware to verify the function for our customers, when available.

WebSphere Portal 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 environment.

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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Recommended Update Path
  • Fresh installations should begin with the most recent refresh pack (if available).
  • Update to latest refresh pack and fix pack in order to proactively avoid problems already resolved within WebSphere Portal.
  • Plan appropriate testing prior to installing any WebSphere Portal update solution in production.
  • Testing or staging environments should closely match the production environment (same hardware, topology, operating system and software maintenance levels) to avoid unforeseen (and unwelcome) surprises.

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Maintenance Planning
Choose the appropriate update solution and verify inclusion of needed individual fixes in the fix pack:
Prior to installing any WebSphere Portal update solution in production environments, appropriate testing should be done on a test system.

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Delivering Updates
  • Fix pack deliveries will be scheduled (every 3 to 6 months). The date of the next planned fix pack will be published in Recommended fixes and updates for WebSphere Portal at least 30 days prior to availability, and in this document, above.
  • There is a single list of all internal defects and APARs fixed for each release (For example, V6.0), 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 (for example, 6.0.1.4 could be applied to 6.0.0.1, 6.0.1.0 or 6.0.1.3).
  • 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.

Refer to the document IBM WebSphere Portal interim fixes and fix pack file name changes for more information on the updates delivered. These updates are explained in the following table*:


Solutions

Characteristics of Each Solution

Release

  • 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.

Feature pack

  • An optional package of new function and features available in addition to an existing product.
  • Introduced with the WebSphere Portal V6.1.5 release, the Feature Pack is available either as an upgrade to existing 6.1.0.3 customers by enabling the new function through a specific configuration script, or
  • Also available as new installation images or media for new deployments

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 V6.1.0.1, unless otherwise noted
  • Fix packs install on top of a specific refresh pack, such as applying V6.1.0.1 to V6.1.0.0
  • Fix packs also install on top of a previous fix pack, such as applying V6.1.0.3 to V6.1.0.1
  • Fix packs are cumulative, so V6.1.0.3 includes all fixes in V6.1.0.1
  • 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

  • A published cumulative fix, such as PM11273, contains fixes for multiple APARs in a single installable update
  • WebSphere Portal produces cumulative fixes for several components, including the Portal Foundation (core), the Java Content Repository (JCR) and Web Content Management (WCM) components. Not all functional areas of the portal products provide cumulative fixes (CFs)
  • A cumulative fix is built, tested and provided when enough individual fixes have accumulated, as determined by the component's Level Three support team
  • A cumulative fix can be applied to a release, refresh pack, feature pack,or fix pack where applicable
  • Cumulative fixes are validated and verified by IBM before publishing. Customers unable to wait for a fix planned for integration into a CF can request a temporary or interim fix during the course of a service call (PMR).
  • It is recommended that you test functions affected by the WebSphere component fixed in your own environment prior to deploying on a production system unless an emergency need exists
  • Refer to the Recommended fixes and updates page for currently available cumulative fixes. When urgent, the fix might also be highlighted on the Support page.

Interim Fix

  • A single published emergency fix, such as PK89999
  • For functional areas or components not providing cumulative fixes, WebSphere Portal can only guarantee to provide fixes on the latest two fix pack levels of a release. A customer could be required to upgrade to the one of the two latest fixpacks before being able to install a fix.
  • For functional areas or components already providing cumulative fixes, WebSphere Portal will only provide individual interim fixes upon request through a service call (PMR), and on the latest two fix pack levels of a release. A customer could be required to upgrade to the one of the two latest fix packs and possibly even a current CF before being able to install an interim fix.
  • An interim fix or test fix that resolves one or more product defects.
  • A fix can be applied to a release, refresh pack, feature pack, fix pack or cumulative fix level, where applicable
  • Interim fixes are created when a stand-alone fix is required between fix packs or CFs. 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).
  • Only in very rare circumstances will individual interim fixes be published as generally available fixes
  • It is recommended that you test functions affected by the WebSphere component fixed in your own environment prior to deploying on a production system unless an emergency need exists
  • Refer to the Recommended fixes and updates page for currently available recommended or required fixes. When urgent, the fix will also be highlighted on the Support page.
*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.

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Related Information

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Cross reference information
Segment Product Component Platform Version Edition
Organizational Productivity- Portals & Collaboration WebSphere Portal AIX, HP-UX, IBM i, Linux, Solaris, Windows, z/OS 6.0

Document information

More support for: WebSphere Portal End of Support Products
Maintenance

Software version: 6.1

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

Software edition: Enable, Express, Extend, Server

Reference #: 1248245

Modified date: 28 April 2010


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