Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Migrate/Upgrade TIBCO BW from 5.9.x to 5.11.x || Upgrading BW applications/Services

In general BW 5.11 is compatible with all 5.x.

We have to follow some pre-requisites of BW version you are upgrading to and below are the list of software required for BW 5.11.x :

Software Requirements

TIBCO Software:
  • TIBCO Runtime Agent 5.8.0 or above(must be installed before ActiveMatrix BusinessWorks is installed).
  • TIBCO rendezvous 8.4.0 hotfix02.
If BW upgrade requires you to upgrade your current TRA version then please follow the upgrade steps as documented in TRA documentation—tib_TRA_upgrade.pdf, and then upgrade BW.

You may need to check the compatibility of third party tools and software before you make a move in production.

About standard procedures/steps involved, please refer to BW installation manual, section “Upgrading TIBCO ActiveMatrix BusinessWorks” for more information.

You can upgrade your BW applications from BW 5.9.x to 5.11 using the “Upgrade” button in Administrator.

Refer tib_admin_usr.pdfChapter-7 – Creating and Deploying Applications: Upgrading an application” and follow procedure documented in the BW guide mentioned before.

In short, you should install the new software versions (BW,TRA/Admin) and then upgrade the machine having the Administrator domain. The client machines which are part of domain can be upgraded in phases. Once the domain is upgraded you can upgrade the BW application one at a time or all together using the “Upgrade” button in Administrator GUI.

TIBCO recommend customers to redeploy and restart all BW applications after and TIBCO product upgrade.

NOTE: after BW upgrade customers sometimes keep existing application run without any change using old version.

Some more additional information regarding version upgrade is as follows : 

BW 5.8.0 to 6.1.0 – is a major version upgrade
BW 5.8.0 to 5.9.0 – is a minor version upgrade
BW 5.9.0 to 5.9.2 – is a patch release upgrade
BW 5.8.0 to 5.8.0 HF1 – is a hotfix release

In your case you are migrating from BW 5.9.x to 5.11.x and are a minor version upgrade and this requires a redeployment of application.

We don’t have official statements about whether rebuilding projects after upgrading is mandatory or not, generally BW should be backward-compatible. However, there are some a case in which rebuilding is required. For example, if there might be some regression issue in new release, though this happens quite rarely. In order to avoid any unexpected problem, we’d better rebuild the project with new versions.

The best practice of upgrading is:
  • TIBCO engineering would take good care of the backward-compatibility in both development and QA phases. In most cases project developed and built in any version after BW 5.2.0(inclusive) can be deployed to BW 5.11.x. But that could not be 100% guaranteed as of new features, fixes and even some regressions.
  • Prior to upgrading a production environment, user is expected to do regression testing (RT) in a lower environment then we can ensure the application(s) have expected functionality, integration and performance. Possible regression and version incompatibilities should be found at this stage.

Generally, would recommend to take following rules of thumb:
  1. In case of release version upgrading or HF upgrading (e.g. BW 5.9.2 -> BW 5.9.3 or BW 5.9.2 to BW 5.9.2 HF2), bw engine point to the same BW HOME and there would not be any major functional change, redeployment is not necessary before RT.
  2. In case of minor version upgrading with small gap (e.g. BW 5.8.x -> BW 5.9.x). Only redeployment would be necessary (as the engine point to a different BW HOME) before RT. In case of errors found you can then validate the project and re-build the EAR. Any EAR that passes RT can be re-used without rebuilding.
  3. In case of minor version upgrading with larger gap or major version upgrading ( e.g. BW 5.7.x to BW 5.10.x), we would highly recommend a re-building to save your time in RT.
  4. You need to diagnose and fix issues found in RT.
  5. After completing RT, apply the product upgrading and project level modifications (if any depends on your RT result) to production.

NOTE: We would recommend you to go through the TIBCO Runtime Agent–tib_TRA_upgrade.pdf manual before you begin your upgrade.This document will clarify your doubts regarding the upgrade.

Please leave a comment if it really helps you.

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