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Major upgrade checklist

Pega supports both a major upgrade (7.x to 8.x) and a minor upgrade (8.x to 8.y) of the Pega Infinity software that runs in your Pega Cloud Services environments. This checklist details the major upgrade requirements and actions required during an upgrade of all of your environments with versions earlier than Pega Infinity 8.4. Use this checklist to plan and complete your upgrade process steps and stages, as well as to run your communication with Pega.

You can download a PDF version of this checklist by clicking the download button in the top upper-right corner of this article.

To review the checklist of client responsibilities to plan, manage, and complete a minor upgrade from earlier versions of Pega Platform and applications, see Minor upgrade checklist.

Checklist for the Pega Infinity major upgrade process

Stage 1: Prepare for the upgrade

The major software upgrade process requires that you coordinate your efforts with Pega throughout the upgrade process.

Client stakeholder Required actions with each stage Date completed
To become familiar with the major upgrade process, including the upgrade process responsibilities model, review Major upgrade process to the latest Pega Infinity release.
To learn about the benefits of keeping current with Pega, read about the latest features, and learn about any features or processes that Pega has identified with upgrade impact, explore:
To review the Pega standard maintenance procedures and protocols, see Pega Cloud Services maintenance and types of system updates.
If applicable, run the Pega-provided pre-upgrade checker on your applications to ensure that Pega Infinity seamlessly integrates with your applications. Examples of upgrade checkers include:

For Pega Platform, Pega provides a pre-upgrade tool that identifies the rules that you have customized in your application to understand the impact of the upgrade; your are expected to use the results to retrofit these rules after the upgrade. As a best practice, do not overwrite or customize Pega rules. For more information, see Pega Upgrade Tools.

Maintain a standard, consistent DevOps approach so that you can assess the effect of the latest Pega Platform and Pega application capabilities and plan your new feature adoption strategy across your environments after you upgrade to Pega Infinity. This standardization includes the following structure:
  • Configure your staging environment similar to, but not necessarily the same as, their production environment. This requires that:
    • The rules and data schema Data Definition Language (DDL) are the same as the production rules and data schema DDL.
    • The rules content is identical except for configurations specific to production environments.
    • The staging environment contains the appropriate test data; copying production data is not allowed.
  • You must already have a deployment pipeline configured with a minimum number of development, staging, and production environments. You use the pipeline to promote the latest application functionality to their production environments. Pega Cloud clients will use Deployment Manager for their standard deployment pipeline; on-premises clients, including those using Client-managed cloud deployments, are encouraged to use Deployment Manager for their standard deployment pipeline, although Pega supports the use of third-party automation services for their application change adoption pipeline. For details, see Understanding model-driven DevOps with Deployment Manager.
Review these application development best practices to ensure that your background processing takes only several minutes to complete:
Plan for your upgrade journey in an upcoming sprint. Upgrades of your production environment are typically verified and completed within two weeks of initiation. During the sprint, do not promote any new application changes to the production environment.

Stage 2: Starting the Basic upgrade process

The Basic upgrade process enables you to upgrade your Pega applications to the latest Pega Infinity version with minimum disruption.

In this phase you initiate the upgrade process which provides you with an upgraded clone of a specified staging environment for 30 days. You prepare this environment for upgrade testing using test data, test cases, and any operators as needed.

Client stakeholder Required actions with each stage Date completed
To begin your upgrade journey, request a Pega Infinity upgrade by selecting New request in My Support Portal. In the request, specify a staging environment that you want Pega to clone and then upgrade. This request takes five days to complete and should be made at least three weeks before your targeted production environment upgrade.
If necessary, plan maintenance communication with your application users around your schedule for the upgrade.
Access the Pega-provided URL to the cloned, staging environment in the My Pega Cloud tab in My Support Portal.

The upgraded, staging clone environment name and the URL includes "clone".

Stage 3 - Basic upgrade validation using application testing

In this stage, you test all applications in your upgraded, cloned staging environment. You have 30 days to use it to test all applications for functional correctness using automated and manual testing. You should also plan to make any critical changes if recommended as part of the upgrade impact assessment that you complete in Stage 1.

This phase does not include adopting features of the new version of the Pega Infinity platform which are done later, during the Feature Adoption phase of the upgrade process.

Client stakeholder Required actions with each stage Date completed
For each application, import the following applicable testing assets into the upgraded, cloned staging environment:

While you must ensure that appropriate test data exists in the staging environment, copying production data is not allowed.

For each application, sync selected rules from the production environment to the upgraded, cloned staging environment. For more information, see Syncing rules between the production environment and the upgraded, cloned, staging environment.
If applicable, run the Pega-provided Customer Service post-upgrade checker on your applications to ensure seamless integration. For more information, see Pega Customer Service Upgrade Checker and Checking for rule overrides in Pega Customer Service in Pega Customer Service and Pega Sales Automation Upgrade Guide.
For each application, perform application compatibility testing and validation on the cloned, upgraded staging environment for up to 15 days. Ensure you have test coverage for the following Pega capabilities and configurations:
  • Case types
  • User roles
  • Data and integrations
  • Background agents
  • End user portals
  • Web mashups
  • Any other critical functional components

For existing web mashups, you must create new mashup code on your upgraded, cloned environment running release 8.5 or later so the mashup rule form includes a Mashup channelID that is automatically included in your application testing rule in your upgrade pipeline. To create a new mashup, see Creating a mashup. Be sure to update existing website configurations with the new 8.5-based mashup code.

Helpful resources include:

During a 30 day trial period: For each application, make required changes to address issues identified during the testing. The required rules and data changes (if any) include addressing critical security-related enhancements, as well as problematic configurations identified by the pre-upgrade assessment tools in Stage 1. In later stages of the upgrade process, you promote these changes accordingly, depending on the stage.
Prepare Deployment Manager to upgrade your production environment: for each application that runs in your production environment, log in to Deployment Manager and create the upgrade pipeline with which you promote changes from the upgraded, cloned staging environment to the production environment. For details, see Configuring upgrade pipelines.
Notify Pega that you are ready to proceed with your software upgrade by updating the existing upgrade request.

Stage 4 - Accepting a Basic upgrade of your production environment

In this phase, Pega upgrades your production environment after you prepare the environment for the upgrade. After the upgrade, you must perform any required post-upgrade steps that your application requires.

Client stakeholder Required actions with each stage Date completed
Before the upgrade, perform the following steps which apply on the production environment:
  • For applicable applications running on Pega Platform 7.3.x or earlier software, perform a limited number of pre-upgrade steps in coordination with Pega. Review the software upgrade communication from Pega for guidance. For details, see: Completing pre-upgrade tasks for Pega Marketing 7.4 and earlier running on Pega Cloud.
  • Reschedule any upcoming activities, such as job schedulers, before Pega initiates the upgrade process.
  • If you are upgrading from Pega Platform 8.2 or earlier: stop all background processes before Pega initiates the upgrade process and restart the stopped processes after Pega completes the upgrade process. To complete the pausing and subsequent resuming of these background processes, see Managing background processes during upgrades and patches.
  • If you are upgrading from Pega Platform 8.3 or later: The upgrade process waits up to 30 minutes for any activity that is running in the background to finish its work; if it is not finished after 30 minutes, the background process is terminated.
After the upgrade, you must perform any of following required steps applicable to your application on the production environment as detailed in the following articles:

For each application, use Deployment Manager to start a new deployment to promote the upgrade fixes that you identified during Stage 3.

Log in to the production environment in My Support Portal and verify that your application is working as expected.

Pega removes the outdated rule schema in your production within seven days of the upgrade.

Stage 5 - Accepting a Basic upgrade of non-production environments

During this stage, Pega upgrades all non-production environments during your defined maintenance window within seven days of completing the upgrade on the production environment.

Client stakeholder Required actions with each stage Date completed
Perform any pre-upgrade and post-upgrade tasks on the non-production environments as outlined in Stage 4.
After every non-production environment upgrade, for each application, import any required rules and data changes (if any) discovered during Stage 3, during application compatibility testing and validation from your upgraded, cloned staging environment. To promote these changes using Deployment Manager, review Migrating application upgrade changes to non-production environments .
Log in to each upgraded, non-production environment in My Support Portal and verify that your application is working as expected.

Pega removes the outdated rule schema in your non-production environment within seven days of completing all of the non-production environment upgrades.

Pega also deletes the upgraded, cloned staging environment within this seven days window.

Stage 6 - Maintaining Feature Adoption in your environments

At this point, the Basic upgrade phase is complete and the Feature Adoption phase begins. Use this phase as part of your standard application development lifecycle with which you complete optional post-upgrade steps, recommended configuration changes, verification steps, or adopting new features in your application using the standard DevOps process.

Client stakeholder Required actions with each stage Date completed
Review Completing post-upgrade tasks in your Pega industry applications and complete the steps that are relevant to your application.
In your development environment, enable and integrate the new features of the latest release that you identified during Stage 1 of the upgrade process into each of your relevant applications.

Use your existing deployment pipeline with a minimum number of development, staging, and production environments and use the pipeline to promote the latest application functionality to your production environments. For details, see Configuring and running pipelines with Deployment Manager 4.8.x.

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