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On-premises 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.

The information provided in this document is for planning purposes and is subject to change at the discretion of Pega.

To accelerate the time-to-value and pave the path to your digital transformation, the upgrade process 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 On-premises upgrade checklist for Pega Infinity release 8.4.1 and earlier.

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

Planning considerations for upgrades from Pega Infinity release 8.4.1 and earlier

Pega encourages you to assess and decide on when they 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 your applications that are guardrail compliant:

  • Backwards compatibility for Pega Platform and Pega industry application software changes, which ensures trouble-free software upgrades.
  • Fewer required post-upgrade steps in most Pega industry 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, which allows you to 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. In this phase, you can 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 you can assess the effect of the latest Pega Platform and Pega industry 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 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.
    • 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 are encouraged to use Deployment Manager for your standard deployment pipeline, although Pega supports the use of third-party automation services for your application change adoption pipeline. For details, see Using Deployment Manager for model-driven DevOps.

The on-premises upgrade experience

You clone the database of your staging environment according to your database vendor's tooling. On this cloned environment, you can test using existing test suites, which minimizes efforts and shortens the upgrade life cycle environments.

The standard 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 your upgrade experience:

  • During the environment upgrades, you experience environment downtime, during which time you cannot access Pega applications.
  • Any data saved to the database before the upgrade process is never lost during the upgrade process.
  • User sessions are not persisted: active users might be logged off during the environment restart.
  • Reschedule any upcoming activities, such as job schedulers, before you initiate the upgrade process.
  • If you upgrade from Pega Platform version 8.2 or earlier: stop all background processes you initiate the upgrade process and restart the stopped processes after you complete the upgrade process.
  • 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:

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 on-premises software upgrade process from Pega Infinity release 8.4.1 and earlier

The upgrade process phases are broken into the following discrete steps:

  1. You clone the database of your staging environment and upgrade this cloned environment to the latest Pega Platform and industry application software. Unless you need them for testing, it is not recommended that you clone the following artifacts:
    • Decision data store (DDS) datasets
    • Kafka data sets
    • Archived data, case attachments, and SFTP data
  2. You use Deployment Manager to create an upgrade pipeline to migrate rules from the upgraded cloned, staging environment to the production environment for each application. The upgrade pipeline includes two product rules that contain upgrade fixes and confidence testing assets along with all required data instances to test the application. For details, see Configuring upgrade pipelines.
  3. 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.
  4. You perform application compatibility testing and validation on the cloned staging environment, during which time you 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.
  5. Helpful resources include:
  6. You perform any of the following steps that apply on the production environment:
    • For Pega Platform and applicable industry applications running Pega Infinity releases 7.3.x or earlier, perform a limited number of pre-upgrade steps. For more information, see the applicable upgrade guides.
    • Reschedule any upcoming activities, such as job schedulers, before you initiate the upgrade process.
    • If you upgrade from Pega Platform version 8.2 or earlier: Stop all background processes before you initiate the upgrade process and restart the stopped processes you complete the upgrade process.
    • If you upgrade from Pega Platform 8.3 version 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.
  7. You upgrade your respective production environments during your standard maintenance window.
  8. You perform any of required steps applicable to Pega Platform and to your applications on the production environment as detailed in the appropriate upgrade guides.

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

  9. You upgrade all non-production environments during your defined maintenance window after completing the upgrade on the production environment.
  10. You perform any post-upgrade tasks on the non-production environments as outlined in step 6.
  11. You then 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 using Deployment Manager, review Migrating application upgrade changes to non-production environments.
  12. You remove the outdated rule schema in each upgraded environment after completing the upgrade.
  13. You delete the upgraded, cloned staging environment after 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, recommended configuration changes, verification steps, or for adopting new features in your application using your standard DevOps process.

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