Just the other day I was in a meeting and my phone buzzed, when I took it out to put it in silent mode – I was immediately bombarded with comments about having an archaic model. Moore’s law observes that technology doubles every two years or so. If you don’t upgrade you miss out!
The real pressure for organizations to upgrade to the latest releases is not from their peers or competitors, but from the manufactures themselves. It is next to impossible for hardware or software manufacturers to keep supporting antiquated versions. They have to either start charging exorbitant sums to keep dedicated support staff around or stop supporting old versions altogether. At some point you are left with no choice but to migrate to the latest version. If your organization is still using Lombardi Teamworks v6.x, running a third-party application server on a Pentium processor and Windows 2000 Server without any virtualization, then I don’t know a way to escape the criticism of living in antediluvian times. But you should certainly look at upgrading to v8.5 – yes there is still hope!
I can direct you to the resources you need (See Planning) and draw your attention to the big ticket items. That will give you a leg up with the analysis. With IBM BPM v8.5 you need to consider the underlying hardware as well as software requirements, in addition to the expected growth in processes and user base. IBM recommends initiating a migration project with following phases – analysis, planning, development migration, and runtime migration. You should start with the Upgrade Readiness Check tool.
I would recommend that you plan a dry run:
- Create sandboxes using a backup of your process center (development) and at least one of the process server (runtime) environments
- The sandboxes machines should meet or ideally exceed the hardware and OS requirements for IBM BPM v8.5
- Upgrade one component at a time. If you currently have Oracle Database 10i/g, then you need to upgrade to 11g. Check if OS upgrade is necessary. On Windows V8.5 requires at least a Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008. See v8.5 on Windows Platform
- Next come the BPMS artifacts and then the process instances. If possible you should let existing process instances bleed out in existing versions. Check out the Interactive Guide.
- Then test your migrated environment.
You need to create profiles after installation is done; this can be either through BPMConfig command or Profile Management Tool.
For defining and maintaining which set of users get a particular task you can skip over some intermediate concepts and jump to “Teams”. The product has evolved from roles and groups - to participant groups and security groups - to teams. You can view these videos from Cliff J. Sr. BPMA at Salient Process to get a better understanding of Teams.
As painful as it may seem at first, it is certainly worth initiating a migration project. Give it a shot!
- V6 to V8.5 http://pic.dhe.ibm.com/infocenter/dmndhelp/v8r5m0/index.jsp?topic=%2Fcom.ibm.wbpm.imuc.doc%2Ftopics%2Fcmig_twks_intro.html
- Upgrade Readiness Check tool http://pic.dhe.ibm.com/infocenter/dmndhelp/v8r5m0/index.jsp?topic=%2Fcom.ibm.wbpm.imuc.doc%2Ftopics%2Fcmig_twks_prep_artifacts.html
- Deprecated and removed features http://pic.dhe.ibm.com/infocenter/dmndhelp/v8r5m0/topic/com.ibm.wbpm.imuc.doc/topics/gbpm_deprecationlist.html
- Interactive migration guide http://pic.dhe.ibm.com/infocenter/dmndhelp/v8r5m0/topic/com.ibm.wbpm.imuc.doc/topics/bpm_mig_roadmap_form.jsp
Food for thought – IBM should release a Liberty profile for IBM BPM. It will pick only those components which are used by a process application and nothing more. If you don’t use messages/UCA don’t install the engine with your process server. If your interfaces are mobile only – don’t install full coach management capabilities. This can allow developers to create process packages.