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Pega Cloud update process for Pega Infinity release 8.4.2 and later

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Updated on April 12, 2022

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.

If you opt in to receive our latest capabilities, you will see accelerated returns on investment, increased productivity, lowered costs through automation, and increased revenue growth. Pega Cloud services delivers software updates to your environments as part of its standard maintenance policy as defined in Pega Cloud maintenance and types of system updates.

To accelerate the time-to-value and pave the path to your digital transformation, Pega Cloud services maintains an update process that helps you stay current in a predictable and consistent manner from release to release. The latest process enhancements include automated rolling updates and procedures that maintain high availability and improved monitoring to prevent issues. Using this process, you experience near-zero-downtime and have the opportunity to perform a Go-NoGo decision of your live system (production) environment update.

To get started right away with a checklist of your responsibilities to complete an update from Pega Infinity release 8.4.2 or later, see Pega Cloud update checklist for Pega Infinity release 8.4.2 and later.

To prepare for an update, review the following articles:

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

Planning considerations for updates of Pega Infinity release 8.4.2 and later

Pega collaborates with you and helps you plan and structure your update approach. Pega encourages you to assess and decide on when you adopt new features and functionality available in the latest version of Pega Infinity. Pega is committed to the highest software update quality so you can experience an automated, near-zero-downtime update. With Pega Infinity release 8.4.2 and later, Pega uses the following feature development standards to ensure that Pega Platform seamlessly integrates with applications that are guardrail compliant:

  • Backwards compatibility for Pega Platform and Pega application software changes, which ensures trouble-free software updates.
  • Elimination of required post-update steps in most applications. The update process includes a post-update, feature adoption phase for completing optional post-update 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 update impact.
  • Development of analytical tools with which you can assess the update impact on your application to ensure that it is ready for an update. Examples include the following tools:

    For Pega Platform, Pega provides a pre-update tool that identifies the rules that you have customized in your application to understand the impact of the update; your are expected to use the results to retrofit these rules after the update. As a best practice, do not overwrite or customize Pega rules. For more information, see Pega Update Tools.

Starting with software updates from Pega Infinity release 8.4.2, Pega uses a two-phased software update so that you can 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 update
Updates Pega Infinity rules to the latest version, with minimum disruption. Typically, the Basic update phase take you about two weeks to complete. In this phase, you make any necessary application changes to ensure functional correctness and update compliance. You can adopt the latest performance and security improvements and 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 update of the production environment.

Feature Adoption
After the Basic update is complete, 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 application capabilities and plan your new feature adoption strategy across your environments by following your Pega Infinity update. 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 the production environment.
    • The staging environment contains the appropriate test data; copying production data is not allowed.
  • You must 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. Use Deployment Manager for your standard deployment pipeline. For details, see Using Deployment Manager for model-driven DevOps.
  • Pega Cloud does not support modifying the production level of any environment. If you modified the default production level of your environment, it is reset during the update process. For details, see Specifying the production level.

The Pega Cloud near-zero-downtime update experience

Pega uses a standardized software update process that provides you with an updated, cloned staging environment for a ten-day trial period. On this cloned environment, you test by using your existing test suites, which minimizes efforts and shortens the update life cycle environments. You must schedule the provisioning of this cloned environment when initiating your update through the My Pega Cloud portal. After your cloned environment has been provisioned, you can access the Pega-provided URL to the cloned, staging environment. On the Home tab, in the Updates tile, click View details. The UAT stage screen displays the cloned, staging environment URL.

For more information on managing updates in the My Pega Cloud portal, see Upgrades.

During the environment updates, both you and your customers can continue to access and use your applications in the your Pega Cloud environments with minimal disruption. This experience includes the following advantages:

  • Application developers can continue to work by creating Pega rules in your environments.
  • Application users can create and read cases, perform search, or update your next-best-action configurations.
  • Any data that is saved to the database is never lost during the update process. Throughout the Pega Cloud services software update process, Pega does not use the Pega application sample data.

The following limitations and expected behaviors within your environments apply but are not limited to your software update experience:

  • User sessions are not persisted; active users might be logged off during the environment restart.
  • Background processes are paused automatically; typically, the pause is only several minutes.

    For updates to Pega Platform 8.5 versions, the update process waits up to 30 minutes for an activity that is running in the background to finish its work; if the activity is not finished after 30 minutes, the background process is stopped.

    For updates to Pega Platform version 8.6, the update process waits up to five minutes for an activity that is running in the background to finish its work; if the activity is not finished after five minutes, the background process is stopped.

    You should review these application development best practices to ensure that your background processing takes only several minutes to complete:
  • With these automated background processes paused, some Customer Decision Hub functions will be delayed during the update process; after background processing resumes, these Customer Decision Hub functions automatically resume. These functions include, but are not limited to, Next-Best-Action scheduled outbound runs, Output template finalization, and Segment population.
  • Pega Chat routing while an update is initiated might wait between 30 minutes to 2 hours for the chat to be connected to a client representative; if a timeout is configured for the chat to get connected, then those timeouts might be reached and the end user might have to retry.
  • In-flight cases will be updated if you open them during the update; you should refer to your application post-update guidance for bulk-update processing of existing cases.
  • Searching is disabled on the temporary production (ephemeral) environment.

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 updated, 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 update 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 Pega Cloud services software update process

Overview of the update process for Pega Infinity release 8.4.2 and later

The Pega Cloud services software update process requires that Pega and you coordinate your efforts throughout the update process. After Pega receives your request for the latest Pega Infinity update, the process phases are broken into discrete steps based on the responsibility model:

  1. Pega clones a staging environment identified by you in your update request and updates this cloned environment to the latest Pega Platform and application software. This update includes all the declared cumulative patches and critical hotfixes as defined in Pega Cloud maintenance and types of system updates. The clone maintains your application and data from the staging environment with the following exceptions:
  2. In Deployment Manager, you migrate rules from the updated cloned, staging environment to the production environment for each application using an update pipeline. The update pipeline includes two product rules that contain any update fixes and confidence testing assets along with all required data instances to test the application. For details, see Configuring update pipelines in Deployment Manager.
  3. If required, you select rules to sync from the production environment to the updated, cloned staging environment. For details, see Syncing rules between the production environment and the updated, cloned, staging environment in Deployment Manager.
  4. You perform application compatibility testing and validation on the updated, cloned staging environment for up to ten business days, when they can make any changes or fixes necessary to verify expected application functionality while using the new version of Pega Infinity. You can continue to use standard deployment pipelines in Deployment Manager and should also migrate any changes to the cloned staging environment. Helpful resources include:
  5. Pega updates your respective production environment during your defined maintenance window.
  6. You perform a final confidence check of your applications in production by using a temporary production URL to a node within your production environment. You make a Go-NoGo (accept or abandon) decision as a result of the update confidence test of the changes. During this set of steps, you must use Deployment Manager to promote the following to the temporary production URL: You have 60 minutes to verify the application and communicate your Go-NoGo decision to Pega.

    Note: Pega limits this window to 60 minutes to ensure that rule changes and data from case processing in an application during the update do not severely lengthen the time it takes to complete the migration of rules to the updated database schema.

  7. Following your go decision:
    1. Pega removes the temporary production URL.
    2. Pega initiates a rolling restart of your live system (production) environment.
    3. After the rolling update of the production environment is complete, for each application, you use Deployment Manager to promote the update fixes that you identified during Step 3 to the production environment. This is required to re-import any data instance or schema changes.
  8. Pega updates all non-production environments during your defined maintenance window within seven days of completing the update on the production environment.
  9. You import any update fixes discovered as part of Stage 3 to all non-production environments. It is recommended to use Deployment Manager to promote these changes. To promote these changes by using Deployment Manager, review Migrating application update changes to non-production environments.
  10. Pega removes the outdated rule schema in each updated environment seven days after completing the update.
  11. Pega deletes the updated, cloned staging environment within seven days of completing all of the live environment updates.

At this point, the Basic update phase is complete and the Feature Adoption phase begins. Use the second phase for completing optional post-update steps, verification steps and recommended configuration changes, or for adopting new features in your application using your standard DevOps process.

Pega responsibilities

During the software update process, Pega Cloud services responsibilities include the following actions:

  • Manage communications regarding updates, scheduling, and required consents throughout the software update process as defined in the maintenance policies and procedures. This includes ​notifying you:
    • Five days in advance, as well as four hours prior to the software update process.
    • When the software update process is initiated.
    • When the software update process completed
  • Perform the software update within the standard maintenance window that you defined during the Pega Cloud services onboarding process.
  • Perform required infrastructure updates, clone the staging environment, update the software, and complete a post-update health check.
  • Document any issue that was discovered during the cloning and update of the staging environment.
  • Work with you when necessary, by using service requests, to resolve any update issues.
  • Remove the outdated rule schema in each updated environment within seven days of completing the update.
  • Delete the updated, cloned staging environment within seven days of completing all of the live environment updates.

Pega reserves the right to remove the cloned environment any time after the 10-day evaluation period in order to free up Pega Cloud services resources.

Client responsibilities

During the software update process, your responsibilities include the following actions:

  • Complete a request for Pega software update of your environments in My Pega Cloud. To begin your request, on the Home page, in the Updates tile, click Start. Then, on the Clone stage screen, click Create SR, after which your are routed to My Support Portal to complete the request. You must initiate a software update with a minimal advance notice of five business days.

    For more information on managing updates in the My Pega Cloud portal, see Upgrades.

    For the latest documentation on making requests, see My Support Portal: New Design, Streamlined Features.
  • Run the application update assessment tools provided by Pega to identify potential issues in the application that are not compliant with the new version of Pega Infinity.
  • Communicate your confidence test Go-NoGo decision within the required time.
  • Perform and document required post-update fixes on your updated, cloned staging environment and on your updated environments.
  • Previous topic Understanding Pega Infinity updates for Pega Cloud services
  • Next topic Pega Cloud update checklist for Pega Infinity release 8.4.2 and later
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