In this V9 Chats series, we go to the source and interview Commerce experts from the Development, Services and Support teams, who share their insight into the new features and capabilities of WebSphere Commerce V9.
Q: In V7 and V8, maintenance came as Fix Packs. Has this changed in v9?
Dima: Yes. All maintenance and enhancements are now delivered as Docker images. To update the environment, you just need to download the new images, rebuild them with your customization, and then deploy new containers. This follows the Continuous Delivery model.
So now, you no longer need to apply Fix Packs to each environment. Instead, your custom images can be tested and moved from QA to prod. This new model saves time, and avoids problems by ensuring the code base and configurations remain consistent across environments.
Q: In V8, I needed to apply the Fix Pack to the product, and then to the instance. Does that process still apply?
Piraveen: Nope. In V9, there is no longer the concept of product installation and instances. Instances don't need to be created. Instead, you use Docker images to start publishing stores and building out your environment. The utilities that ran from the product bin directory (dbclean, stagingprop, etc.) are now available in the Utility Docker container.
Q: How is the database updated then?
Dima: Since the database doesn't run on Docker, the update process hasn't changed. When you have a new set of Docker images for an environment, use the updatedb script in the Utility Docker to apply the latest Fix Pack changes to the schema.
Q: How do we get the fix packs?
Dima: You can either download images from IBM Passport Advantage, or directly pull images from the IBM Cloud registry using Docker token. Each new Update Package consists of the base Version 18.104.22.168 product, plus all the fixes and enhancements since the base release. I'll attach link with details of how to use Docker token as reference below.
Q: Do interim fixes continue to exist?
Piraveen: No, we have now transitioned to using Update Packages that include all previous updates for v9, plus new fixes, features, and enhancements. Any new defects will be addressed in subsequent Update package releases.
Q: What if we require fixes for other products that comes with Commerce, like application server?
Dima: Whenever we release new update packages in the form of Docker images, the development team evaluates and refreshes all the dependent software included in the image. The dependent software is kept up to date to ensure you have the most current fixes and security updates. If you need stack software updates for your customization, it is a better idea for you to create and maintain your own images.
Q: Do updates for developer environments work the same way?
Piraveen: Yes--for developer environments, we provide the Package updates as PAK files that you will continue to use IM to install with.
The authors shared the following links to continue learning about the topic: