(Re)Introducing the synchronous upgrade

Upgrades at deskIn recent years, Hyland has done an excellent job of promoting the incremental parallel upgrade process (IPUP). The IPUP option is a significant competitive advantage, and as a highly configurable upgrade process, it aligns well with our highly configurable business solutions. The upside to promoting IPUP has been evident in the number of customers engaging with it, the number of service requests for it, and an overall increase in satisfaction with upgrades in general.

The only downside to Hyland focusing so much on promoting IPUP is how, until recently, we’ve inadvertently overlooked the “other” upgrade process. One of the reasons we were overlooking this other upgrade process was simply how excited we are about using IPUP.

The benefits of IPUP

As we discussed in this series’ previous blog posts, IPUP allows administrators to mitigate the risks associated with upgrading enterprise software. Upgrading using IPUP allows more overall control over the upgrade process, and is a great benefit to large enterprises with complex OnBase solutions.

But what about our customers with solutions that have a smaller OnBase implementation or whose business processes may not be as complex? Enter the synchronous upgrade!

Or should I say “re-enter”? The synchronous upgrade has been around as long as OnBase has. Longer, actually. Unlike IPUP, which is unique to OnBase, almost all other business applications use synchronous upgrades.

Or, rip the Band-Aid off

Synchronous literally means “occurring at the same time.” Contrasted with the weeks or months-long project that is an incremental parallel upgrade, a synchronous upgrade occurs during one period of scheduled downtime, usually over a long night or off-peak weekend. Because it can be stressful to implement (that is a long weekend) but it’s quick and gets the project over with, I like to think of synchronous upgrades as the “pulling off the Band-Aid” method of upgrading.

So if synchronous upgrades have been around for so long, why is this probably the first time you’re hearing about them? To answer that question, we’ll have to rewind to earlier this year.

Do we have a name for that?

The setting is a conference room in Westlake, Ohio during a corporate Upgrades Committee meeting. The conversation went something like this:

HYLAND EMPLOYEE 1: “…That depends on if they’re doing an IPUP or old-school upgrade.”

HYLAND EMPLOYEE 2: “‘Old-school’?”

HYLAND EMPLOYEE 1: “Yeah, you know, ‘old-fashioned’ upgrade. Why, what do you call them?”

HYLAND EMPLOYEE 2: “I usually just call them ‘traditional upgrades’.”

HYLAND EMPLOYEE 3: “I just call them ‘non-IPUP’.”

HYLAND EMPLOYEE 4 (obviously uncomfortable): “Uh…’normal’ upgrades?’”

HYLAND EMPLOYEE 1: “Wow, that doesn’t make IPUP sound that appealing.”

HYLAND EMPLOYEE 3: “‘Old fashioned’ doesn’t make non-IPUP upgrades sound appealing.”

SOME FORGOTTEN HYLAND GENIUS: “Huh… Do we actually have a term for that?”


The answer was “no,” we did not have a uniform way of referring to upgrades which were not IPUP upgrades.

Once we identified this problem, we quickly took action to align on a unified, universal term that would be equally descriptive of the process it defined as the incremental upgrade process is.

Shortly thereafter, the term “synchronous upgrades” was born.

OnBase: The only ECM platform that gives you a choice

The simple reason no term existed is that no other enterprise content management or process management company offers multiple upgrade process options that are as configurable as OnBase. You can upgrade everything at once over a night, you can upgrade one moving part at a time over a series of months, and everything in-between.

Hyland believes our customers and their organizations are most qualified to make the decision as to which works best for them, and we do our best to equip them with the right information to help make that decision. To help, over the course of this series we’ll continue to break down these two upgrade process options, and we’re always available for questions about upgrades through support and through our OnBase Community.

In our next post in this series, we will break down what “incremental” means for IPUP.

Mike Current started at Hyland in 2010 as a technical support rep and cloud engineer for Global Cloud Services. He is currently an Infrastructure Admin in Quality Assurance. Mike tests configuration, runs projects such as Release Candidate and the OnBase 16 Beta Program, manages the “Mitigating Risk in OnBase Upgrades” whitepaper and evangelizes synchronous and incremental parallel upgrades.

Outside of OnBase, Mike loves spending time with his family, working out and playing Xbox. He can often be found sipping a whisky and talking about geeky things while watching a Patriots football or Cleveland Cavaliers game.
Mike Current

Mike Current

Mike Current started at Hyland in 2010 as a technical support rep and cloud engineer for Global Cloud Services. He is currently an Infrastructure Admin in Quality Assurance. Mike tests... read more about: Mike Current