Pega Cloud Services upgrade process for Pega Infinity release 8.4.2 and later
Pega continuously makes new features available to you so that you can incrementally and rapidly deliver value to your customers using the latest capabilities, feature enhancements, performance improvements, and security fixes.
If you who opt in to receive our latest capabilities, you will see accelerated returns on investment, increased productivity, lowered costs through automation, and increased revenue growth. Pega Cloud Services delivers software upgrades to your environments as part of its standard maintenance policy as defined in Pega Cloud maintenance and types of system updates.
To accelerate the time-to-value and pave the path to your digital transformation, Pega Cloud Services maintains an upgrade process that helps you stay current in a predictable and consistent manner from release to release. The latest process enhancements include automated rolling upgrades and procedures that maintain high availability and improved monitoring to prevent issues. Using this process, you experience near-zero-downtime and have the opportunimty to perform a go/no-go decision of your live system (production) environment upgrade.
To get started right away with a checklist of your responsibilities to complete an upgrade from Pega Infinity release 8.4.2 or later, see Pega Cloud Services upgrade checklist for Pega Infinity release 8.4.2 and later.
To prepare for an upgrade, review the following articles:
- For details about the latest Pega Infinity changes with which you can maximize your Pega software investment, see What's New in Pega Technology.
- For general details about how Pega keeps you current, see Stay current with Pega.
- For information about planning and preparing for Pega Platform software patches in Pega Cloud Services environments, see:
If your environment is running Pega Platform version 8.3 and earlier and you are ready for Pega Cloud to upgrade it to the latest release of Pega Infinity, see Major upgrade process to the latest Pega Infinity release.
The information provided in this document is for planning purposes and is subject to change at the discretion of Pegasystems Inc.
Planning considerations for upgrades of Pega Infinity release 8.4.2 and later
Pega collaborates with you and helps you plan and structure your upgrade approach. Pega encourages you to assess and decide on when you adopt new features and functionality available in the latest version of Pega Infinity. Pega is committed to the highest software upgrade quality so you can experience an automated, near-zero-downtime upgrade. With Pega Infinity release 8.4.2 and later, Pega uses the following feature development standards to ensure that Pega Platform seamlessly integrates with applications that are guardrail compliant:
- Backwards compatibility for Pega Platform and Pega application software changes, which ensures trouble-free software upgrades.
- Elimination of required post-upgrade steps in most applications. The upgrade process includes a post-upgrade, feature adoption phase for completing optional post-upgrade steps, recommended configuration changes, verification steps, or for adopting new features in your application.
- Identification of new features or performance improvements with a potential for upgrade impact. To see the changes with known upgrade impact, see Pega Platform changes with upgrade impact.
- Development of analytical tools with which you can assess the upgrade impact on your application to ensure that it is ready for an upgrade. Examples include the following tools:
- Pre-Upgrade Check for Pega Marketing and Pega Customer Decision Hub
- Pega Customer Service Upgrade Checker
- Pega Sales Automation Upgrade Checker
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.
Starting with software mupgrades from Pega Infinity release 8.4.2, Pega uses a two-phased software upgrade so that you can adopt the latest performance and security improvements without affecting your existing Pega applications. This two-phased life-cycle approach provides flexibility to your adoption of the latest features and enhancements in the latest version into your Pega application:
- Basic upgrade
- Upgrades Pega Infinity rules to the latest version, with minimum disruption. Typically, the Basic upgrade phase take you about two weeks to complete. In this phase, you make any necessary application changes to ensure functional correctness and upgrade compliance. You can adopt the latest performance and security improvements and test existing functionality using your current testing processes. This phase excludes adopting features of the new version of the Pega Infinity to ensure a near-zero-downtime upgrade of the production environment.
- Feature Adoption
- After the Basic upgrade is complete, use this phase to take advantage of the latest Pega Infinity and application features using your standard DevOps process.
This phased approach requires that you 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 by following your Pega Infinity upgrade. This standardization includes the following structure:
- You configure your staging environment similar to, but not necessarily the same as, your 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 the production environment.
- The staging environment contains the appropriate test data; copying production data is not allowed.
- You must use a 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. Use Deployment Manager for your standard deployment pipeline. For details, see Using Deployment Manager for model-driven DevOps.
- Pega Cloud does not support modifying the production level of any environment. If you modified the default production level of your environment, it is reset during the upgrade process. For details, see Specifying the production level.
The Pega Cloud near-zero-downtime upgrade experience
Pega uses a standardized software upgrade process that provides you with an upgraded, cloned staging environment for a ten-day trial period. On this cloned environment, you test by using your existing test suites, which minimizes efforts and shortens the upgrade life cycle environments. You can view the cloned environment in your My Pega Cloud support portal. For details, see Managing Pega Cloud environments from My Support Portal.
During the environment upgrades, both you and your customers can continue to access and use your applications in the your Pega Cloud environments with minimal disruption. This experience includes the following advantages:
- Application developers can continue to work by creating Pega rules in your environments.
- Application users can create and read cases, perform search, or update your next-best-action configurations.
- Any data that is saved to the database is never lost during the upgrade process. Throughout the Pega Cloud Services software upgrade process, Pega does not use the Pega application sample data.
The following limitations and expected behaviors within your environments apply but are not limited to your software upgrade experience:
- User sessions are not persisted; active users might be logged off during the environment restart.
- Background processes are paused automatically; typically, the pause is only several minutes. The upgrade process waits up to 30 minutes for an activity that is running in the background to finish its work; if the activity is not finished after 30 minutes, the background process is stopped. You should review these application development best practices to ensure that your background processing takes only several minutes to complete:
- With these automated background processes paused, some Customer Decision Hub functions will be delayed during the upgrade process; after background processing resumes, these Customer Decision Hub functions automatically resume. These functions include, but are not limited to, Next-Best-Action scheduled outbound runs, Output template finalization, and Segment population.
- Pega Chat routing while an upgrade is initiated might wait between 30 minutes to 2 hours for the chat to be connected to a client representative; if a timeout is configured for the chat to get connected, then those timeouts might be reached and the end user might have to retry.
- Existing mashups must be migrated; beginning in Pega Platform 8.5.1, Pega Web Mashups include a channel ID in the mashup code for validation with your mashup server. Create new mashup code on your upgraded, cloned environment running release 8.5.1 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 mashup code.
- In-flight cases will be upgraded if you open them during the upgrade; you should refer to your application post-upgrade guidance for bulk-upgrade processing of existing cases.
Details of the new Pega Cloud Services software upgrade process
The Pega Cloud Services software upgrade process requires that Pega and you coordinate your efforts throughout the upgrade process. After Pega receives your request for the latest Pega Infinity upgrade, the process phases are broken into discrete steps based on the responsibility model:
- Pega clones a staging environment identified by you in your upgrade request and upgrades this cloned environment to the latest Pega Platform and application software. This upgrade includes all the declared cumulative patches and critical hotfixes as defined in Pega Cloud maintenance and types of system updates. The clone maintains your application and data from the staging environment with the following exceptions:
- Decision data store (DDS) datasets are not copied. For details, see Pega Cloud cloning limitations in Customer Decision Hub environments.
- Kafka data sets are not copied; custom or internal queue processors automatically start on the cloned environment, and new topics are created in Kafka on first use. For details, see Pega Cloud cloning limitations for stream data sets and environment stream tiers.
- Archived data, case attachments, and SFTP data are not copied. The cloned environment gets its own, new repository; to configure archiving on the cloned environment, see Improving performance by archiving cases; to configure file listeners on the cloned environment, see Configure a file listener associated with a storage repository.
- In Deployment Manager, you migrate rules from the upgraded cloned, staging environment to the production environment for each application using an upgrade pipeline. The upgrade pipeline includes two product rules that contain any upgrade fixes and confidence testing assets along with all required data instances to test the application. For details, see Configuring upgrade pipelines.
- If required, you select rules to sync from the production environment to the upgraded, cloned staging environment. For details, see Syncing rules between the production environment and the upgraded, cloned, staging environment in Deployment Manager.
- You perform application compatibility testing and validation on the upgraded, cloned staging environment for up to ten business days, when they can make any changes or fixes necessary to verify expected application functionality while using the new version of Pega Infinity. You can continue to use standard deployment pipelines in Deployment Manager and should also migrate any changes to the cloned staging environment. Helpful resources include:
- Pega upgrades your respective production environment during your defined maintenance window.
- You perform a final confidence check of your applications in production by using a temporary production URL to a node within your production environment. You make a go/no-go (accept or abandon) decision as a result of the upgrade confidence test of the changes. During this set of steps, you must use Deployment Manager to promote the following to the temporary production URL:
Pega limits this window to 60 minutes to ensure that rule changes and data from case processing in an application during the upgrade do not severely lengthen the time it takes to complete the migration of rules to the upgraded database schema.
- The upgrade fixes identified during step 3. For details, see Migrating upgrade fixes to production.
- The confidence testing assets that you created during step 2.
- If you run Customer Decision Hub must also review Verifying that Pega Customer Decision Hub is ready for upgrade.
- Following your go decision:
- Pega removes the temporary production URL.
- Pega initiates a rolling restart of your live system (production) environment.
- After the rolling upgrade of the production environment is complete, for each application, you use Deployment Manager to promote the upgrade fixes that you identified during Step 3 to the production environment. This is required to re-import any data instance or schema changes.
- Pega upgrades all non-production environments during your defined maintenance window within seven days of completing the upgrade on the production environment.
- You import any upgrade fixes discovered as part of step 3 to all non-production environments. It is recommended to use Deployment Manager to promote these changes. To promote these changes by using Deployment Manager, review Migrating application upgrade changes to non-production environments.
- Pega removes the outdated rule schema in each upgraded environment seven days after completing the upgrade.
- Pega deletes the upgraded, cloned staging environment within seven days of completing all of the live environment upgrades.
At this point, the Basic upgrade phase is complete and the Feature Adoption phase begins. Use the second phase for completing optional post-upgrade steps, recommended configuration changes, verification steps, or for adopting new features in your application using your standard DevOps process.
During the software upgrade process, Pega Cloud Services responsibilities include the following actions:
- Manage communications regarding upgrades, scheduling, and required consents throughout the software upgrade process as defined in the maintenance policies and procedures. This includes notifying you:
- Five days in advance, as well as four hours prior to the software upgrade process.
- When the software upgrade process is initiated.
- When the software upgrade process completed
- Perform the software upgrade within the standard maintenance window that you defined during the Pega Cloud Services onboarding process.
- Perform required infrastructure updates, clone the staging environment, upgrade the software, and complete a post-upgrade health check.
- Document any issue that was discovered during the cloning and upgrade of the staging environment.
- Work with you when necessary, by using service requests, to resolve any upgrade issues.
- Remove the outdated rule schema in each upgraded environment within seven days of completing the upgrade.
- Delete the upgraded, cloned staging environment within seven days of completing all of the live environment upgrades.
Pega reserves the right to remove the cloned environment any time after the 10-day evaluation period in order to free up Pega Cloud Services resources.
During the software upgrade process, your responsibilities include the following actions:
- Complete a request for Pega software upgrade of your environments by selecting New request in My Support Portal. Specify the staging environment that you want Pega to clone. You must initiate a software upgrade with a minimal advance notice of five business days. For the latest documentation to request an upgrade, see My Support Portal: New Design, Streamlined Features.
- Run the application upgrade assessment tools provided by Pega to identify potential issues in the application that are not compliant with the new version of Pega Infinity.
- Communicate your confidence test go/no-go decision within the required time.
- Perform and document required post-upgrade fixes on your upgraded, cloned staging environment and on your upgraded environments.