Wednesday, March 12, 2008

ITM Fixpack3 installation experiences

The last 10 days have been fixpack days for me. I applied fixpack 3 updates in three different environments during this time and the general rule has been "Criticality of the problems arising due to fixpack upgrade will be directly proportional to the criticality of the environment". Actually it is not as bad as it sounds. Overall I liked the features in fixpack 3 and would recommend upgrading to FP03 if you can because it promises several new features. Please read my earlier article to learn about its new features. But as with any upgrade, there are few mostly minor issues arising due to this upgrade and read on to know them ahead of your implementation.

No update to Windows OS agent

This is one of the problems that we encountered even before starting the upgrade. Why is it a problem? Doesn't it make easy for FP02 users so they don't have to update their OS agents? Well, my upgrade was from fixpack 1, so I had to update all other components including UI and GL components of Windows TEMA to fixpack 3 but the NT component to fixpack 2! Little confusion here but overall it worked okay. It would have been better if IBM had released the same code for Windows OS agent and marked it as fixpack 3.

Corrupt tar images

Use the zip images for fixpack 3 if you can. Unix/Linux comes with unzip command that can be used to unzip the files. Not only zip images are smaller, some of the tar images were corrupt, some wouldn't untar correctly or had few files missing. IBM did update the FTP site afterwards but still zip files are preferable.

Reinstall Java plug-in in your browser

After upgrading to fixpack 3, you need to re-install the Java plug-in for Internet Explorer to bring up the portal client even though the Java version seems to be the same as before, i.e. 1.4.2. Even though, this would not normally require a reboot, we encountered atleast one system for which the upgrade prompted for a reboot.

Portal user login issues

Immediately after the upgrade, none of the users except sysadmin were able to login, even with a valid password. In some cases, we had to manually recreate the user ids in TEPS and in some other
cases it started working from a different browser client. Go figure!

Application Support Installation Issues

Atleast in couple of cases, we had the application support installer hanging with busy icon. The easiest solution is to run the silent installer. Very easy to setup and may be it is your only choice on Unix/Linux systems especially with network/x-windows issues.

Workspace is back-leveled for Windows

If you expand the "Windows Systems" tree in TEPS, you will get a message "The workspace is back-leveled. Version found: 0, Version required: 1". This might be due to Windows platform being at fixpack 2 level while rest of the components were upgraded to fixpack 3. There is an APAR IY89021 already open for this behavior while there are some discussions going on in TME10 mailing list as well.


Thanks to Mark Hudson and Jamie Carl for sharing some of their implementation experiences.

Overall the upgrade process was without any major "show-stoppers" but it is not going to be trouble-free as well. Did you come across any other issues not mentioned in the article? Please share your thoughts

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