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Product maintenance strategy for IBM Business Process Manager V8.5.6, V8.5.7, and V8.6 and IBM Business Automation Workflow

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Abstract

Starting with IBM Business Process Manager (BPM) V8.5.6.0, IBM BPM releases cumulative fixes (CFs) and its successor product IBM Business Automation Workflow introduces continuous delivery updates, which are synonymous to cumulative fixes (CFs). Instead of applying numerous individual interim fixes, you now apply one cumulative fix that includes all defect fixes (APARs) and the new functions of previously published cumulative fixes.

Content

Content and benefits of cumulative fixes

A cumulative fix (CF) is the vehicle that delivered new product features as well as defect fixes in one binary and usually on quarterly basis.

IBM BPM V8.6.0 is included in the cumulative fix strategy, is the successor of IBM BPM V8.5.7.0 and V8.5.6.0 and contains all previously shipped product features and defect fixes (included in V8.5.7.0 and V8.5.6.0 and corresponding cumulative fixes). It is an in-place upgrade to move from IBM   BPM V8.5.0.0 and later to IBM BPM V8.6

A Single Stream Continuous Delivery (SSCD) update is the vehicle used to deliver new IBM Business Automation Workflow features as well as defect fixes. Like cumulative fixes, these updates are delivered as a single package and are usually released on a quarterly basis.
To stay current, avoid being impacted by known defects and security vulnerabilities, and take advantage of the latest product features, upgrade to the latest available SSCD update. To learn how to access the latest SSCD offering, read the IBM Business Automation Workflow Software Support Lifecycle Policy.

The latest available Business Automation Workflow V18.0.0 Cumulative Fix (CF) includes all APARs and new functions released by former cumulative fixes of Business Process Manager V8.5.6 CFs, IBM BPM V8.5.7 CFs, IBM BPM V8.6 CFs, and IBM Case Manager V5.3.3

If upgrading to the latest IBM Business Automation Workflow release is not currently an option, continue reading for details that apply to earlier releases.

Applying a cumulative fix is much easier than manually installing a group of interim fixes. The cumulative fix is installed as one fix, similar to a fix pack. The profile and database update steps are automated as part of the installing the product and starting the server, although you must verify their success. A manual step might be necessary only when there are database schema changes between the source level of the current CF and the target CF (respective instructions can be found in the official documentation). Any additional steps are combined into one set of instructions. Installations of IBM Process Designer must be updated in the normal manner.

Important support recommendations and policies

No further cumulative fixes are planned for IBM BPM V8.5.6, V8.5.7 and V8.6.0. If you are on these releases, upgrade to IBM Business Automation Workflow V18.0.0.1 directly. The next required and recommended step is to upgrade to the most current release.

The following official IBM Support policies apply to the new IBM BPM cumulative fix strategy:

  • Only critical interim fixes are released and provided as an installable fix on top of a specific cumulative fix. An interim fix might require the latest cumulative fix as a prerequisite. They are included in Business Automation Workflow when it is released. In the following cases, an interim fix is either published officially on Fix Central or can be requested from IBM support:
     
    • Defects that have a critical business impact
    • Regressions introduced by a former interim fix or cumulative fix
    • Security vulnerabilities

   Both interim fixes solving regressions and security vulnerabilities are pro-actively published by IBM Support on Fix Central.

  • IBM Support might offer an interim test fix to clients to verify that a code fix is working and solving the problem. Interim test fixes should not be installed on production environments. The final official interim fix is included with the next cumulative fix.
  • To obtain an interim fix the IBM BPM V8.5.6, V8.5.7 and V8.6, might require the latest cumulative fix for a version as a prerequisite.
  • Non-critical fixes  will be included in the next available Business Automation Workflow SSCD update once the update has been completed.

Cumulative fix roadmap and availability

When a cumulative fix is published, it includes all product features and fixes from previously published cumulative fixes.
Notice that the continuous delivery updates for Business Automation Workflow represent the continuation of the V8.6, V8.5.7 and V8.5.6 cumulative fixes and became the next logical upgrade step for environments to stay current and supported.
Older cumulative fixes are removed and announced on a regular interval basis.

The following policies and recommendations apply to this strategy:

  • Cumulative fixes are removed from Fix Central and the Live Repository.
    Important: Keep a local copy of the cumulative fix related assets (IBM Installation Manager repository files and installation instructions) in case you need to install the cumulative fix again after it is no longer available to be downloaded.
  • Interim fixes published on Fix Central and the Live Repository are not removed and remain officially available to be downloaded.
  • Cumulative fixes that are planned to be removed are carefully chosen by IBM Support and client requirements are considered as well. This document outlines the roadmap for cumulative fixes to be removed including the target date.
  • For related documentation, see IBM Knowledge Center. Similarly, cumulative fix related technotes (such as post-upgrade tasks) are removed but the instructions are merged with the content of the latest available cumulative fix technotes.
  • In urgent and critical situations, you can send a request to IBM Support to get access to recently removed cumulative fixes and the related documentation.
  • Removing a cumulative fix from the official IBM resources like Fix Central and the Live Repository do not affect or limit the existing support contracts. The same quality of support is offered to clients still running on old cumulative fixes.


Overview of available and future cumulative fixes

The following table shows you all currently available cumulative fixes for IBM BPM V8.5.6, V8.5.7, and V8.6.0. It is highly recommended that you install the latest available cumulative fix. If upgrading  to Business Automation Workflow is an option, a similar table is available for Business Automation Workflow in the IBM Business Automation Workflow Software Support Lifecycle Policy.    

In addition, you will notice the official release date. Keep track of the announced date when the respective cumulative fix will be officially removed (notice the comments about the rationale and the recommended cumulative fix to use):

IBM BPM release and available cumulative fix (CF) Publish date
(yyyy-mm-dd)
End of support*
(yyyy-mm-dd)
Critical interim fixes** Comment
IBM BPM V8.5.6.0 - Cumulative Fix 1 2015-10-01 2019-09-30 No Removed from Fix Central on 2017-03-31 - Superseded by V8.5.6 CF2, all V8.5.7 CF, V8.6.0 CF and Business Automation Workflow Release
IBM BPM V8.5.6.0 - Cumulative Fix 2 2015-12-11 2019-09-30 No
IBM BPM V8.5.7.0 2016-03-11 2019-09-30 No
IBM BPM V8.5.7.0 - CF2016.06 2016-06-24 2019-09-30 No Removed from Fix Central on 2017-03-31 - Superseded by all newer V8.5.7 CF, V8.6.0 CF and Business Automation Workflow Releases
IBM BPM V8.5.7.0 - CF2016.09 2016-09-30 2019-09-30 No Removed from Fix Central on 2018-06-30 - Superseded by all newer V8.5.7 CF, V8.6.0 CF and Business Automation Workflow Releases
IBM BPM V8.5.7.0 - CF2016.12 2016-12-16 2019-09-30 No
IBM BPM V8.5.7.0 - CF2017.03 2017-03-31 2019-09-30 No Removed from Fix Central on 2018-06-30 - Superseded by all newer V8.5.7 CF, V8.6.0 CF and Business Automation Workflow Releases
IBM BPM V8.5.7.0 - CF2017.06 2017-06-23 2019-09-30 Yes
IBM BPM V8.6.0 2017-09-22 2020-09-30 No
IBM BPM V8.6.0 - CF2017.12 2017-12-15 2020-09-30 No
IBM BPM V8.6.0 - CF2018.03 2018-03-23 2020-09-30 Yes
 

IBM Process Federation Server cumulative fixes usually accompanied the cumulative fixes for IBM BPM. You can find download links and installation instructions in the corresponding technotes. The following table outlines all currently available Process Federation Server cumulative fixes and planned removals:

 
IBM BPM - Process Federation Server release and
available cumulative fix (CF)
Publish date
(yyyy-mm-dd)
End of support*
(yyyy-mm-dd)
Critical interim fixes** Comment
IBM BPM - Process Federation Server V8.5.7.0 - CF2016.04 2016-04-21 2019-09-30 No Removed from Fix Central on 2017-03-31 - Superseded by all newer V8.5.7 CF, V8.6.0 CF and Business Automation Workflow Releases
IBM BPM - Process Federation Server V8.5.7.0 - CF2016.06 2016-06-24 2019-09-30 No Removed from Fix Central on 2017-03-31 - Superseded by all newer V8.5.7 CF, V8.6.0 CF and Business Automation Workflow Releases
IBM BPM - Process Federation Server V8.5.7.0 - CF2016.07 2016-08-26 2019-09-30 No Removed from Fix Central on 2017-03-31 - Superseded by all newer V8.5.7 CF, V8.6.0 CF and Business Automation Workflow Releases
IBM BPM - Process Federation Server V8.5.7.0 - CF2016.09 2016-09-30 2019-09-30 No Removed from Fix Central on 2018-06-30 - Superseded by all newer V8.5.7 CF, V8.6.0 CF and Business Automation Workflow Releases
IBM BPM - Process Federation Server V8.5.7.0 - CF2016.12 2016-12-16 2019-09-30 No
IBM BPM - Process Federation Server V8.5.7.0 - CF2017.03 2017-03-31 2019-09-30 No Removed from Fix Central on 2018-06-30 - Superseded by all newer V8.5.7 CF, V8.6.0 CF and Business Automation Workflow Releases
IBM BPM - Process Federation Server V8.5.7.0 - CF2017.06 2017-06-23 2019-09-30 Yes
IBM BPM - Process Federation Server V8.6.0 2017-09-22 2020-09-30 No
IBM BPM - Process Federation Server V8.6.0 - CF2017.12 2017-12-15 2020-09-30 No
IBM BPM - Process Federation Server V8.6.0 - CF2018.03 2018-03-23 2020-09-30 Yes
 

Notice that officially removed IBM BPM and Process Federation Server related cumulative fixes are fully superseded by the cumulative fix released after. Furthermore, it is highly recommended that you install the latest available IBM Business Automation Workflow SSCD update.

*Product level End of Support as defined on the Software lifecycle pages.
**Refer to Important support recommendation and policies within this document for additional details, including the criteria for critical interim fixes.

NOTE: Creation and editing of IBM BPM Advanced content is provided through complimentary tool offering IBM Integration Designer 8.5.x .  The Software lifecycle details for this tool are covered under IBM Business Process Manager Tools and Add-Ons 8.5.x .

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Document Information

Modified date:
06 May 2020

UID

swg21964995