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Upgrading the Next-Best-Action Designer

In Pega Marketing™ and Pega Customer Decision Hub™, Next-Best-Action provides automated decisions based on predictive analytics, adaptive analytics, and traditional business rules. With the Next-Best-Action Designer, you can define Next-Best-Action decisions and requirements which apply to the whole organization, or to specific business issues or groups.

Pega Marketing 8.3 introduced the new Next-Best-Action Designer version 2. Pega Customer Decision Hub 8.5 expanded the capabilities of Next-Best-Action Designer version 2 by adding enhancements that support multi-level context decisioning. If you defined Next-Best-Action using one of the previous versions of Next-Best-Action Designer, you can continue to use the legacy configuration. However, to benefit from the new features, upgrade your Next-Best-Action configuration as described below.

If you never implemented the Next-Best-Action Designer configuration in Pega Marketing 8.2 or earlier, open and save your Context Dictionary page after the upgrade to ensure that the Next-Best-Action Designer is accessible. For more information, see "Re-saving the Context Dictionary configuration" in the Pega Customer Decision Hub Upgrade Guide on the Pega Customer Decision Hub product page.

Planning the upgrade of Next-Best-Action Designer

When preparing for the upgrade, take into account the environments that you have in your pipeline. To avoid interrupting normal business operations with upgrade-related downtime, the following upgrade path is recommended:

  1. Upgrade Next-Best-Action Designer on a pre-production system, such as a staging environment.
  2. After that upgrade is successful and tested, push the changes to the live Production system.

Because of that, the upgrade option is deactivated on environments designated as Production Level 5. If you want to perform the upgrade on an environment designated as Production Level 5, for example, because you designated a Business Operations Environment as Production Level 5, you must enable the relevant setting by doing the following steps:

  1. Log in to your Pega Customer Decision Hub implementation application as an operator with access to App Studio.
  2. In App Studio, click Settings > Application Settings > CDH.
  3. Select Enable NBA Designer Update.
  4. Click Save.
Avoid performing the upgrade directly in your live Production environment. Only enable the above option in Production Level 5 environments where the upgrade-related downtime will not affect your normal business operations.

Migrating Next-Best-Action Designer from version 1 to version 2

When planning the migration, consider the various environments that you may have in your pipeline. First do the migration in a single environment, in a dedicated, unlocked upgrade ruleset version, and then migrate all the rule changes to other environments in the pipeline.

To migrate the Next-Best-Action Designer:

  1. Suspend any outbound schedules defined for the existing Next-Best-Action configuration defined in Next-Best-Action Designer version 1.
  2. Ensure that all Pega Customer Decision Hub assets are checked in.
  3. Ensure that the ruleset and version used by your access group are unlocked, or create an unlocked version of the ruleset. By default, the ruleset used to store the configuration is Artifacts.
  4. Ensure that the ruleset and version used by your Context Dictionary is unlocked. You can check the ruleset and version on the Settings > Context Dictionary landing page in App Studio.
  5. In Dev Studio, click Records > SysAdmin > Dynamic System Settings.
  6. Click Create.
  7. Fill out the following information:
    • Short description - optionally, enter the description of this Dynamic System Setting, for example, Enables the upgrade of Next-Best-Action Designer to version 2.
    • Owning Ruleset - enter PegaMKT-Engine
    • Setting Purpose - enter MKTEnableNBADversion2Upgrade
  8. Click Create and open.
  9. Set the value of the setting to true.
  10. Click Save.
  11. Log off from Pega Customer Decision Hub and then log back in.
  12. In App Studio or in the Pega Customer Decision Hub portal, click Next-Best-Action > Designer. The Next-Best-Action Designer now shows the option to upgrade to version 2.
  13. Click Migrate now. The configuration of Next-Best-Action and its strategy framework is upgraded.
  14. If you do not plan to implement action treatments, introduced in Pega Marketing 8.2, deactivate Next-Best-Action treatment processing. This ensures that offers created before the upgrade function correctly. After you associate your offers with treatments, you can enable treatment processing again. For more information, see the Pega Marketing 8.6 User Guide on the Pega Customer Decision Hub product page.
    1. Click the gear icon in the upper right corner of the Next-Best-Action Designer.
    2. Set the Channel treatment processing toggle to OFF.
    3. Click Submit.

After migrating Next-Best-Action Designer, review and test the migrated strategies to ensure that they work with the new configuration.

Updating Next-Best-Action Designer version 2 to support multi-level configurations

If you already used Next-Best-Action Designer version 2 in versions of Pega Marketing or Pega Customer Decision Hub earlier than 8.5, after upgrading to Pega Customer Decision Hub 8.6, you must update your Next-Best-Action Designer configuration to support multi-level decisioning.

When planning the update, consider the various environments that you may have in your pipeline. First do the update in a single environment, in a dedicated, unlocked upgrade ruleset version, and then migrate all the rule changes to other environments in the pipeline.

  1. Ensure that no next-best-action outbound runs are active at moment and that no runs are planned for the same time frame as the Next-Best-Action Designer update.
    The update can take 30-45 minutes.
  2. Ensure that no inbound requests, such as real-time event and real-time container requests, are planned for the same time frame as the Next-Best-Action Designer upgrade.
  3. Ensure that the Context Dictionary configuration is saved and valid.
  4. Ensure that the ruleset and version used by your access group are unlocked, or create an unlocked version of the ruleset. By default, the ruleset used to store the configuration is Artifacts.
  5. Optional: Check in all checked-out artifacts related to Next-Best-Action Designer to avoid potential issues during the upgrade.
  6. Optional: Lock and roll the Artifacts ruleset version.
  7. Click Update now.
After the update, when viewing an engagement policy in Next-Best-Action Designer, you may see a message stating that the backing strategy has been updated manually, as in the following figure:
Example engagement policy message
Example engagement policy message
Example engagement policy message
The message does not indicate an error and can be safely ignored. To remove the message, you can edit the engagement policy and save it without making any changes.
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