A common question we get in Support is if a particular combination of Software is "Supported" or "Certified" as commonly seen on our System Requirements Pages.
These terms are fairly generic though and can mean different things to different people. As a result, it is important to know how they are defined by WebSphere Process Server Support.
A general summary for WebSphere Process Server is as follows:
Certified- IBM has run a suite of tests using this combination of software and it has passed the tests.
Supported- All newer minor versions of software(fixes, fix packs) that have been "certified" are "Supported". These combinations are expected to perform the same or better than the specific certified versions. Should a problem occur, IBM will investigate the issue and attempt to fix the problem.
The System Requirements page is kept up to date with the latest information as certifications occur.
Given the nature of computer software, and from a Legal Standpoint, there is no guarantee of problem-free functionality of the product.
Complex software is never 100% perfect, as shown by the continuous improvement and release of newer versions. Even Certified combinations which have passed IBM tests might have defects or bugs.
What does this mean to you the user?
Even though there is always a possibility of a problem no matter what version you pick, IBM develops and releases software in good faith. The intention is to release "good software" and for customers to succeed. Similarly, fixes, fix packs, and new versions are intended to improve and correct defects in the product.
So while certified combinations do have an extra degree of certainty as they have gone through a series of tests, newer versions which are "supported" will have fixes to known issues and represent the most correct product. The ultimate decision on what to pick depends on the specific business requirements.
Due to the highly customized nature of WebSphere Process Server scenarios, the behavior of your precise scenarios may still be unique from all other tests.
Ultimately, the best way to to be confident of the product behavior is to thoroughly test your scenario. If the test mirrors the Production environment, this will give you a good indication of how your scenarios will actually perform.
Please do check out the Support Statement for further clarification on what these terms mean in terms of what will occur when a problem happens.