IBM Support

Single Stream Continuous Delivery (SSCD) Software Support Lifecycle Policy: WebSphere Liberty

Product Lifecycle


Abstract

WebSphere Liberty, a component of the WebSphere Application Server family of products, adheres to a Single Stream Continuous Deliver (SSCD) Software Support Lifecycle Policy as described below. The WebSphere Application Server traditional component continues to adhere to the Enhanced IBM Software Support Lifecycle Policy and is documented elsewhere (see the Related Information section).

Standard support for Open Liberty, the upstream open source project for WebSphere Liberty, is available through some editions and versions of the WebSphere Application Server family of products. Where this is the case, the Support Lifecycle Policy described herein also applies to Open Liberty when used under the appropriate entitlement.

Content

Liberty is a Continuous Delivery (CD) offering in the general sense, with  CD updates made available as often as every 4 weeks. However, Liberty does not implement the  Continuous Delivery IBM Software Support Lifecycle policy , because Liberty exists as a single code stream. For this reason, we are defining this new Support Lifecycle policy for Liberty as the Single Stream Continuous Delivery (SSCD) Software Support Lifecycle Policy. This means:
  • There are no differences in functionality between the entitlement provided by WebSphere Application Server versions V8.5.5, WAS V9.0, or any subsequent release -- they all provide entitlement to the same single code stream.
  • Differences in Liberty functionality only come from different  supported features as provided by the different WebSphere Liberty Editions (eg. Liberty Core, Liberty "Base", Liberty Network Deployment (ND), and Liberty for z/OS).
  • There will never be a "version to version" migration for Liberty, its applications or configuration. More information is available in the description of the Liberty  zero-migration architecture . 
  • The single code stream of Liberty eliminates End of Support (EOS) Announcements for Liberty, and therefore there is no need for a Support Extension on Liberty.
CD releases under the SSCD Support Lifecycle Policy have the characteristics shown in table 1.  Further details are provided in the subsequent sections.
SSCD Support Lifecycle Policy characteristic
All CD releases CD releases ending
“.3”, “.6”, “.9” or “.12” or starting “18.”
Support Provided For 5 years For 5 years
iFixes For 24 weeks For 2 years
Proactive Security Fixes Most recent Most recent 2
Table 1. SSCD Support Lifecycle Policy characteristics
All CD releases
  • IBM Support is provided for any Liberty CD update that is not more than five (5) years old. If you are on a Liberty CD update that is more than five years old, you must move to a more current CD update in order to request IBM Support to investigate a problem that you report.
  • In general, fixes and new functionality will continue to be provided in  Liberty CD updates.
  • A fix may also be provided upon request and at IBM's discretion as an interim fix (iFix) to be applied to a recent Liberty CD update if all of the following conditions apply:
    • The fix resolves a problem that impacts ongoing production or a committed production start date.
    • There is no acceptable workaround for the problem.
    • The customer is running with a recent Liberty CD update eligible for interim fixes. Eligible CD updates are limited to:
      • Any of the six (6) most recent Liberty CD updates. 
  • Fixes for security vulnerabilities will be automatically created and made available for the most recent Liberty CD Update
CD releases ending ".3", ".6", ".9", or ".12"
In addition to the guarantees provided for all CD releases any release whose fixpack version ends with “.3”, “.6”, “.9” or “.12” has the following characteristics:
  • Will be eligible for iFixes for two (2) years from its date of release
  • Fixes for security vulnerabilities will be automatically created and made available for the 2 most recent Liberty CD Updates ending “.3”, “.6”, “.9” or “.12”.
CD releases starting "18."
In addition to the guarantees provided for any fixpack Liberty CD update whose version starts with “18.” has the following:
  • Will be eligible iFixes for two (2) years from its date of release.
Other considerations
  • From an IBM Support perspective, other than the "eligibility" to receive an iFix, there are no other differences between Liberty CD updates. 
  • The customer is responsible for ensuring Liberty is running on a supported Java SE environment. Liberty aims to support Java SE versions as long as the AdoptOpenJDK project continues to provide maintained builds of that runtime.  This may mean that the Java SE support dates for Liberty and traditional WebSphere Application Server are different. Removal of support of a Java SE version is published in the Knowledge Center Removal notices page - typically these announces are made two years ahead of the removal.
  • If Liberty is being run on an operating system release that is no longer supported, or with a co-requisite or prerequisite product that is no longer supported, IBM technical support may be limited to defects that can be replicated on currently supported environments. In this situation, the  existing 'other configurations' policy continues to apply , and IBM will apply reasonable effort to support your configuration. Liberty will not be tested with co-requisite or prerequisite products that are no longer supported.

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Document Information

Modified date:
27 March 2020

UID

ibm10869798