Upgrading should be a marathon, not a sprint

Laughing at work

When it comes to talking about upgrades, most software vendors ignore the elephant in the room.

Sure, they’re happy to tell you about all the great new functionality you’ll get, but what they don’t like to talk about is what it takes to obtain it.

If you’ve been a part of an enterprise solution upgrade before, you know what I’m talking about: locking the doors on Friday at 5 p.m., ordering a bunch of pizzas, guzzling coffee and soda, and working like crazy until mid-afternoon on Sunday when it’s time to decide to continue or roll-back for Monday morning.

Upgrades don’t have to be like this.

Even if your organization utilized every single one of the 200+ individual products our enterprise content management (ECM) solution offers. Even if they’re used across every department in your organization. Even if they’re integrated with all of your critical line-of-business applications.

In fact, we’d prefer that you don’t upgrade this way. We have a better idea.

Utilize IPUP, so users never stop working

Unlike nearly every other enterprise software application on the market, you can upgrade our software suite incrementally, with older and newer software working together – in parallel. We call this an incremental parallel upgrade, or IPUP.

The backbone of every one of our solutions is the database, and we like to envision it as a road. Regardless if your road is a single-lane, dirt path or a 20-lane super highway, it can handle all different modes of transportation, from the most primitive (walking or riding a horse) to the most advanced (riding a modern racing bicycle or driving a concept car) – all alongside one another.

Likewise, our database can accommodate older technology as well as the latest and greatest functionalities. You can upgrade one part of your solution – a department, a function, a specific product – while keeping the rest of the organization on the stable software it’s been using.

Once that first part of your upgrade project is complete, it’s on to the next department, function or group. And then on to the next, then the next, and the next after that, etc.

The only system-wide downtime associated with an IPUP upgrade is in the first step – the database upgrade. This is where we add all of the new tables and columns that your upgraded database will need to handle the latest version of our solution.

The database upgrade is automatically performed by our configuration software. For most customers, it takes no more than a few minutes to complete. You can perform it on Friday at 5 p.m. and have the system back online in time to meet your co-workers for happy hour.

After that, it’s a matter of upgrading the components of your system piece-by-piece, checking to make sure that everything works as expected along the way.

We recommend upgrading any back-end or processing servers next – especially those that are scheduled or run automatically without user intervention, like COLD, DIP, etc. Because users aren’t interacting with these processes, you can often upgrade them during the workday.

Finally, upgrade your user client workstations. Identify a phased approach – you don’t need to upgrade everyone at the same time! Users in one department or group can continue to use the older version of our solution as you upgrade their colleagues in other departments or groups to the newest version.

We are so dedicated to making your IPUP run as smoothly as possible that we’re willing to loan you any additional licenses that you might need to keep your system running in parallel – seriously! Contact your first line of support for more information.

For more information on the IPUP, request a copy of the Mitigating Risk in OnBase Upgrades whitepaper or download a copy from Community today.

Jeremy Negrey

For nearly a decade, Jeremy Negrey has been helping Hyland’s customers and partners better understand their OnBase solution through documentation and training. Currently a team leader on the Training.OnBase.com team,... read more about: Jeremy Negrey