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Support for the JSON Web Token Bearer grant type for accessing external APIs

Valid from Pega Version 8.4

You can now access external APIs by using the new OAuth 2.0 JSON Web Token (JWT) Bearer grant type, in an OAuth 2.0 authentication profile. To use the JWT Bearer grant type as a client assertion, source the JWT from an active SSO session, a token profile, or a property reference. You can use JWTs that you obtain during an OpenID Connect SSO in connectors, to achieve user impersonation flows, such as the On-Behalf-Of (OBO) flow. The OAuth 2.0 type authentication profile now also supports authentication of client applications by using Private Key JWTs.

Instances of the OAuth 2.0 provider are now deprecated. As a best practice, use the new, unified authentication profile configuration instead.

For more information, see Configuring an OAuth 2.0 authentication profile.

Upgrade impact

After an upgrade to Pega Platform 8.4 and later, Authentication Profiles can take advantage of the new JWT based OAuth 2.0 grant type and client authentication features. To take advantage of this and other new security features, you must update any existing Authentication Profiles formats must to use those in Pega Platform 8.4 and later.

What steps are required to update the application to be compatible with this change?

Since these features are available only for profiles created in Pega Platform 8.4 and later, clients must open and then save existing 'Authentication Profile' instances to ensure that the configuration is compatible with the latest authentication formats.

PDF/UA support

Valid from Pega Version 8.4

PDF documents that you generate in Pega Platform™ are now in PDF/UA format. This enhancement improves accessibility for users who rely on assistive technology, such as screen readers.

For more information, see Setting PDF file versions.

Upgrade impact

With an upgrade to Pega Platform 8.4 and later, the underlying PD4ML library in Pega Platform changes from v3.10 to v4.x. Following an upgrade, most standard HTML-CSS conversions to PDF work seamlessly; however, if you use the following custom coding in their application to convert HTML to PDF, you may find that PDF generation works differently than expected or no longer works:

  • Application layer Java in activities that directly link to the underlying PD4ML library
  • A Rule Utility Function
  • PD4ML tags in HTML fragments

For example, the following PD4ML proprietary CSS keywords are no longer supported in v4.x:

  • pd4ml-page-break-border-top
  • pd4ml-page-break-border-bottom

What steps are required to update the application to be compatible with this change?

After you upgrade to Pega Platform 8.4 and later and find your PDF generation works differently than expected or no longer works, you should consult the latest documentation available at pd[4]ml support site. You may also consider using the Compact CSS instead of the application skin for PDF generation; for details, see Creating PDF files by using a compact style sheet.

Increased visibility of strategy design changes with simulation batch tests

Valid from Pega Version 8.4

Improve your understanding of the impact that individual changes to strategy design have on the decision funnel by running batch simulation tests directly from the strategy canvas. With batch simulation tests, you can check that your strategy changes produce the expected results, and immediately see the results in context.

For more information, see Increase the real-time visibility of strategy design changes with simulation batch tests (8.4).

Upgrade impact

After an upgrade to 8.4 and later, simulation outputs produced from earlier versions cannot be used to view canvas counts.

What steps are required to update the application to be compatible with this change?

Following a software upgrade to 8.4 or later, clients must re-run existing simulations in Decision Funnel mode to view the counts in the canvas.

Personalized views in table layouts

Valid from Pega Version 8.4

Table layouts now provide users with the option to save preferred run-time configurations, such as column visibility and filtering, as permanent profiles. This enhancement helps users create dedicated views for specific work scenarios, which reduces the need for repetitive adjustments to the user interface and improves productivity.

For more information, see Enabling table personalization.

Upgrade impact

After an upgrade to 8.4 and later, the default table toolbar styling and experience may be unexpectedly different for any customized tables in a client's application: if you enabled a tool bar action for a personalizable table and the 8.4 application overrides your customization, your application now displays the default 8.4 table toolbar.

What steps are required to update the application to be compatible with this change?

Existing clients that upgrade to Pega Platform 8.4 and later may need to update applications in some scenarios. Any custom actions present in the overridden section may need to be re-authored into this toolbar using the additional actions section.

Rules can no longer access Pega internal Java packages

Valid from Pega Version 8.4

You can no longer create rules that access Java packages that reference internal APIs (syntax com.pega.platform.*.internal*). This change does not affect rules that access Pega public API packages.

If you encounter issues when running existing rules that reference internal Pega APIs, contact Pega Support.

Upgrade impact

After an upgrade to 8.4 and later, clients can no longer save new or modified rules that access Pega internal APIs; existing rules that reference internal APIs can still be run but cannot be modified. 

What steps are required to update the application to be compatible with this change?

Following a software upgrade to 8.4 or later, clients can refactor existing rules into guardrail compliant rules. To find rules to refactor, run the validation tool from designer studio (Application > Tools > Validation) to identify what rules fail validation; failed rules that include the message "Test compilation failed : Illegal internal class reference : com.pega.internal.XYZ" can updated to reference appropriate APIs.

Custom application URL alias in the application definition

Valid from Pega Version 8.4

Create application URL aliases that support your ability to launch multiple Pega applications simultaneously in a single browser. This feature makes it easier for clients and your customers to log into multiple applications using the same browser and access them simultaneously. You configure your application URL alias in the application definition. For details, see Adding an application URL alias.

For more information, see Simplify access with an Application URL alias (8.4)

Upgrade impact

After an upgrade to Pega Platform™ 8.4 and later, review to determine if and how you must update your application rules to reflect the current URL aliasing format. As part of these application rule updates, Pega also updated the URL format and value components of the clipboard property, pxRequestor.pxReqServletNameReal, which you can use to discover a servlet name. If your application uses this property to discover a servlet name, update the pxRequestor.pxReqServlet property in the application rule to use the new, required URL and value formats.

For details steps, see the section, Upgrading from Pega 8.3 or earlier: Guidelines for any required changes in your application URL aliasing, in the appropriate Pega Platform Upgrade Guide available at Deploy Pega Platform

What steps should the customer take to update their application?

After upgrading, you must update your JMeter test scripts. For detailed steps, see Updating JMeter test scripts after migrating to Pega 8.4.

Pega Express methodology in App Studio for successful Microjourneys

Valid from Pega Version 8.4

App Studio now supports the Pega Express™ methodology to help you visualize the key factors of your Microjourneys™ - case types, personas, and data objects. With Microjourneys, you can analyze and clearly communicate who the parties that interact with your cases are, what channels of communication they use, and what data they need to resolve a case. Associating personas and data objects with case types also helps you manage your development team's workload by using a list of the draft elements that they need to develop.

For more information, see Plan successful microjourneys in App Studio (8.4)Creating a microjourney for customer success.

Upgrade impact

During a Pega Infinity™ upgrade to 8.4 and later, clients using App Studio are asked to update their applications to support use of the Pega Express™ methodology. Without this application update, the Persona landing page and Data objects and integration landing page are empty. For more information, see Pega 8.4 Deep Dive: Pega Express methodology in App Studio.

What steps are required to update the application to be compatible with this change?

In order to utilize the Pega Express methodology in App Studio and use the Inventory page, click Start now to complete the update of your application and add the required rules to it. If you choose to cancel, App Studio continues to work as expected without the Pega Express methodology features; you can click Start now at the top of your application overview page at any time to install the required rules in your application.

Relationships between elements of Microjourneys in application inventory

Valid from Pega Version 8.4

A new Inventory page in App Studio helps you manage a delivery of your projects by giving you an overview of the elements of your application and how they interact with your Microjourneys™. The new Inventory page lists draft relationships between the case types, personas, and data objects that you want to implement through development. By checking releases that correspond to the items that you need to develop, you can prioritize your work accordingly. 

For more information, see Plan successful microjourneys in App Studio (8.4)Creating a Microjourney for customer success, Managing application inventory.

Upgrade impact

During a Pega Infinity™ upgrade to 8.4 and later, clients using App Studio are asked to update their applications to support use of the Pega Express™ methodology. Without this application update, the Persona landing page and Data objects and integration landing page are empty. For more information, see Pega 8.4 Deep Dive: Pega Express methodology in App Studio.

What steps are required to update the application to be compatible with this change?

In order to utilize the Pega Express methodology in App Studio and use the Inventory page, click Start now to complete the update of your application and add the required rules to it. If you choose to cancel, App Studio continues to work as expected without the Pega Express methodology features; you can click Start now at the top of your application overview page at any time to install the required rules in your application.

Updated default dynamic system setting for requestor pools

Valid from Pega Version 8.4

Clients can now enable or disable requestor pools for processing service requests using a new dynamic system setting called EnableRequestorPools with Pega-IntegrationEngine as the owning rulest. Previously, all deployments utilized requestor pools to improve service processing response efficiency; requestor pools eliminated overhead by automatically returning a requestor to the pool after it fulfills a service request. Starting in Pega Platform 8.4, requestor pools are disabled in Client-managed cloud deployments, since these deployments use autoscaling to handle service request traffic. Enabling requestor pools in Kubernetes environments is not recommended, because they can inhibit the default autoscaling settings in the environment.

Requestor pools remain enabled by default in Pega Cloud and on-premises environments.

To help clients navigate this change, Pega has updated its best practice guidance for configuring requestor pools. For an overview, see Requestor pooling for services. For guidance on the use of requestor pools in your application, see the EnableRequestorPools entry in Dynamic system settings data instances.

Upgrade impact

Requestor pools are disabled by default in Pega Platform 8.4 in client-managed cloud deployments. Clients who deployed previous versions of Pega Platform on a Kubernetes environment and who upgrade to Pega Platform 8.4 could see that their services behave differently.

What steps are required to update the application to be compatible with this change?

If clients that are deployed in a Client-managed cloud environment need to configure their services to use requestor pools and they understand how to configure requestor pools for their optimized use, these clients can re-enable requestor pools. Clients should review the best practice for configuring requestor pools before they re-enable requestor pools. To re-enable requestor pools, you modify the EnableRequestorPools setting in the Pega-IntegrationEngine Owning ruleset from “disabled” to Enabled [no value]. For details, see Editing a dynamic system setting.

Changes to the architecture of the Data Flow service

Valid from Pega Version 8.4

In Pega Platform™ 8.4, the architecture of batch and real-time data flows uses improved node handling to increase the stability of data flow runs. As a result, there are fewer interactions with the database and between the nodes, resulting in increased resilience of the Data Flow service.

If you upgrade from a previous version of Pega Plaftorm, see the following list for an overview of the changes in the behavior of the Data Flow service compared to previous versions:

Responsiveness

Nodes no longer communicate and trigger each other, but run periodic tasks instead. As such, triggering a new run does not cause the service nodes to immediately start the run. Instead, the run starts a few seconds later. The same applies to user actions such as stopping, starting, and updating the run. The system also processes topology changes as periodic tasks, so it might take a few minutes for new nodes to join runs, or for partitions to redistribute when a node leaves a run.

Updates to lifecycle actions

To make lifecycle actions more intuitive, the Stop action consolidates both the Stop and Pause actions. The Start action consolidates both the Resume and Start actions.

You can resume or restart stopped and failed runs with the Start and Restart actions. The Start action is only available for resumable runs and continues the run from where it stopped. The Restart action causes the run to process from the beginning. Completed runs can only be restarted. If a run completes with failures, you can restart it from the beginning, or process only the errors by using the Reprocess failures action.

Starting a run

New data flow runs have the Initializing status, and start automatically. You no longer need to manually start a new run, so the New status is now removed.

If there are no nodes available to process a run, the run gets the Queued status and waits for an available node.

Triggering pre- and post-activities

The system now triggers pre-activities on a random service node, rather than on the node that triggered the run.

The system triggers post-activities only for runs that complete, fail, or complete with failures. If you manually stop a run with the Stop action, the post-activity does not trigger. However, restarting the run with the Restart action triggers first the post-activity, and then the pre-activity.

You can no longer choose to run pre- and post-activities on all nodes.

Selecting a node fail policy

For resumable runs, you can no longer select a node fail policy. If a node fails, the partitions assigned to that node automatically continue the run on different nodes.

For non-resumable runs, you can choose to restart the partitions assigned to the failed node on different nodes, or to fail the partitions assigned to the failed node.

No service nodes and active runs

If the last data flow node for an in-progress run fails, the run remains in the In Progress state, even if no processing takes place. This behavior results from the fact that data flow architecture now prevents unrelated nodes from affecting runs.

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