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Pega Cloud Services upgrade process for Pega Infinity release 8.4.1 and earlier

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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 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 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. Pega is committed to the highest software upgrade quality so that you can experience as little downtime during upgrade as possible. After you complete an upgrade to Pega Infinity, you should always consider upgrading to the latest software to ensure that you can take advantage of the latest features and capabilities to maximize your investment in Pega.

To get started right away with a checklist of your responsibilities to complete an upgrade from Pega Infinity release 8.4.1 or earlier, see Pega Cloud Services upgrade checklist for Pega Infinity release 8.4.1 and earlier.

To prepare for the upgrade process, review the following articles:

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 8.4.1 and earlier

Pega collaborates with you and helps you plan and structure you upgrade approach. Pega encourages you to assess and decide on when you adopt new features and functionality available in Pega Infinity. Pega is committed to the highest software upgrade quality so that you experience an automated upgrade with less downtime and fewer post-upgrade steps than earlier versions of Pega Platform. Pega uses the following feature development standards to ensure it seamlessly integrates with applications that are guardrail compliant:

  • Backwards compatibility for Pega Platform and Pega application software changes, ensuring trouble-free software upgrades.
  • Fewer required post-upgrade steps in most Pega software applications. The upgrade process includes a post-upgrade, feature adoption phase for completing mandatory and 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:

    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.

For any software upgrade to Pega Infinity, Pega uses a two-phased software upgrade process, 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 four weeks to complete. This phase allows you to make any necessary application changes to ensure functional correctness and upgrade compliance. You can adopt the latest performance and security improvements and can 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, you 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 they can assess the effect of the latest Pega PlatformPega Platform and Pega application capabilities and plan your new feature adoption strategy across your environments 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 DDL are the same as the production rules and data schema DDL.
    • The rules content is identical except for production environment specific configurations.
    • There is appropriate test data in the Staging environment; copying production data is not allowed.
  • You must already 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. You 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 will be reset during the upgrade process. For details, see Specifying the production level.

The Pega Cloud upgrade experience

Pega uses a standardized software upgrade process that provides you with an upgraded, cloned staging environment for a 30-day trial period. On this cloned environment, you test by using existing test suites, which minimizes efforts and shortens the upgrade life cycle environments. You must schedule the provisioning of this cloned environments when initiating your upgrade through the My Pega Cloud portal. After your cloned environment has been provisioned, you can access the Pega-provided URL to the cloned, staging environment. On the Home tab, in the Upgrades tile, click View details. The UAT stage screen displays the cloned, staging environment URL.

For more information on managing upgrades in the My Pega Cloud portal, see Upgrades.

The standard Pega Cloud software upgrade process integrates the latest Pega automation technology to support seamless adoption of the latest Pega Infinity features and improvements across environments using your development pipeline.

The following limitations and expected behaviors within your environments apply but are not limited to a your software upgrade experience:

  • During the environment upgrades, you experience environment downtime, during which time you cannot access Pega applications. Pega Cloud Services makes a reasonable effort to minimize this downtime.
  • Any data saved to the database before the upgrade process is never lost during the upgrade process. Throughout the Pega Cloud Services software upgrade process, Pega does not use the Pega application sample data.
  • User sessions are not persisted: active users might be logged off during the environment restart.
  • Reschedule any upcoming activities, such as job schedulers, before Pega initiates the upgrade process.
  • If you upgrade from Pega Platform version 8.2 or earlier: stop all background processes before Pega initiates the upgrade process and restart the stopped processes after Pegasystems, Inc. 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 upgrade from Pega Platform version 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 the activity is not finished after 30 minutes, the background process is terminated. Review these application development best practices to ensure that your background processing takes only several minutes to complete:
  • 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 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 mashup code.

    For more information about migrating mashups, see Migrating existing mashups.

In addition, you must migrate your existing mashups; 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.

Details of the new Pega Cloud Services software upgrade process

The Pega Cloud Services major software upgrade process requires that Pega and you coordinate your efforts throughout the upgrade process. After Pega receives your request for an upgrade to Pega Infinity, the process phases are broken into discrete steps based on the responsibility model:

  1. 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 maintenance and types of system updates. The clone maintains the application and data from the staging environment with the following exceptions:
  2. In Deployment Manager, your 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.
  3. You perform application compatibility testing and validation on the cloned staging environment for up to 30 days, when they can make any changes or fixes necessary to verify expected application functionality while using the new version of Pega Infinity. Within this period, you complete your regression testing and then indicate your readiness to consent to upgrade your production environment. During this testing phase, you can complete your regression testing on the upgraded, cloned staging environment. Helpful resources include:
  4. You perform any of the following steps that apply on the production environment:
    • For applicable applications that run Pega Platform version 7.3.x or earlier, perform a limited number of pre-upgrade steps in coordination with Pegasystems, Inc. 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 Pegasystems, Inc. initiates the upgrade process.
    • If you upgrade from Pega Platform version 8.2 or earlier: Stop all background processes before Pegasystems, Inc. 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 upgrade from Pega Platform version 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 the activity is not finished after 30 minutes, the background process is terminated.
  5. Pega upgrades your respective production environment during your standard maintenance window.
  6. You perform any of the following required steps that apply to your applications on the production environment as detailed in the following articles:

    After completing required post-upgrade steps in your application, you use Deployment Manager to promote the the upgrade fixes identified during Step 3. see For details, see Migrating upgrade fixes to production.

  7. Pega upgrades all non-production environments during your defined maintenance window within seven days of completing the upgrade on the production environment.
  8. You perform any post-upgrade tasks on the non-production environments as outlined in step 6. You now import any upgrade fixes discovered as part of step 3 to all non-production environments by using Deployment Manager to promote these changes. For details, review Migrating application upgrade changes to non-production environments.
  9. Pega removes the outdated rule schema in each upgraded environment seven days after completing the upgrade.
  10. 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 post-upgrade steps, recommended configuration changes, verification steps, or adopting new features in your application using your standard DevOps process.

Pega responsibilities

During the Pega Cloud Services software upgrade process, Pega responsibilities include the following actions:

  • Manage communications about 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.
  • Coordinate any required pre-upgrade steps if you are upgrading from Pega Platform version 7.3.x or earlier.
  • 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 30-day evaluation period in order to free up Pega Cloud Services resources.

Client responsibilities

During the Pega Cloud Services software upgrade process, your responsibilities include the following actions:

  • Complete a request for Pega software upgrade of your environments in My Pega Cloud. To begin your request, on the Home page, in the Upgrades tile, click Start, where you are routed to My Support Portal to complete the request. You must schedule the provisioning of this cloned environments when initiating your upgrade through My Pega Cloud. You must initiate a software upgrade with a minimal advance notice of five business days.

    For more information on managing upgrades in the My Pega Cloud portal, see Upgrades.

    For the latest documentation on making requests, 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.
  • Perform and document required post-upgrade fixes on your upgraded, cloned staging environment and on your upgraded environments.

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