Always! No, really. Proper backups are like brushing teeth and flossing. Doing it regularly keeps you healthy! The IBM Business Process Manager system has three components that you should backup regularly: profile (file system), database, and applications. Backing up each of these components is critical for the emergency we hope to never face. Application roll outs, interim fix installs and version upgrades should all work the first time and deliver the desired results. As we all know, there are times when the install fails and we need to roll back. Thankfully rolling back is easy when you take proper backups.
Some fixes and fix packs for IBM Business Process Manager require profile and database upgrades. In the interim fix installation, it is stated to backup your profile and backup your database. The profile is located in the installation directory at [install_dir]\profiles using the backupConfig command or just a simple .zip file of the profile is a good backup. Contact your database administrator about backups before installing interim fixes that require upgrade_7x. This step is critical because if any part of the install process fails, the system can be restored to a known state. This best practice has saved many customers from disaster.
What about after the fix is successful? The fix installs without errors, the server starts up without errors, and you test the basic functionality and run through a user acceptance test or load test of your application. The results are all clear and any issues you have are resolved or the new desired functionality works. Should you take a backup now? YES! Why? One basic reason is this is now a good known working condition. Consider the following scenario. You encounter a known problem and apply the interim fix to resolve the problem. The system now works as expected and development continues. Some time passes and the system starts to exhibit problems. Having a backup after the interim fix install enables you to roll back the system and avoid having to re-install the interim fixes.
Databases are often on a daily or weekly backup cycle depending on the nature of the system (Test vs. Production) and company policies. The database is the heart of the IBM Business Process Manager system; it contains all of the data for tasks and instances and the application solutions. As the administrator of the IBM Business Process Manager system, be sure you know when the database is backed up and how to reach the database administrators to restore databases in case of an emergency.
For the process applications, export your application at major milestones to a safe location outside of the Business Process Manager system. The production environment has all of your business data, but the applications are the key source code to those applications. The Process Center is the repository. If for some reason the Process Center becomes corrupted in some way, you have an external backup of your application code and could easily make a new Process Center with the applications that are in production. Treat the process application exports like source code and keep them stored in another location in case they are needed.
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