When it's time to upgrade Pentana, our team will help perform most of the heavy lifting for you. However, we will need to work with your resources, which makes coordination and planning crucial to a successful upgrade. Naturally, we're here to help, and will gladly guide your team through this experience. At a very minimum, this article will help set the expectations of the minimal amount of effort required to upgrade an instance of Pentana, and who needs to be involved.
Pentana has been designed so that it can almost invisibly update itself on the end user's side with minimal impact to the end users. In order to achieve this goal, it requires manual installation on the server side. After the server has been upgraded and tested, the end users should be able to start up their instance of Pentana as normal, and it will update itself.
It should be noted that we will always recommend performing any upgrade on your test environment before ever performing an upgrade on your production environment. This is an expectation that is intended to reduce the risk of unplanned downtime of your production system.
Ahead of any upgrade, the end users should be notified that there will be a planned outage where they will not be able to access the application during the process.
- Work with Ideagen Implementation Team to plan, coordinate, and communicate the upgrade with your team.
- Arrange the required IT resources.
- Arrange to have someone test the upgraded instance prior to introducing it to the user population.
Management should work with their audit team to set the expectation of the scheduled outage.
During this outage, it's important to emphasise that all offline audits need to be checked in prior to the upgrade. If you do not use the local check out feature, this may not apply to your instance. If your team uses the check out feature, be very sure that all audits are checked in prior to beginning the upgrade process.
End user responsibilities:
- Check in any offline audits.
- Exit the system.
- Provide access to required servers.
- Take backups of relevant databases.
- Enter administrative credentials to key servers and accounts.
To have a successful upgrade, it's important to get the key resources involved. Arranging these resources ahead of time, and having them present during the time of the upgrade will minimise the downtime required to complete your upgrade. Critical resources include:
- Database administrator.
- Server/network administrator, or someone who has administrative authority over your Pentana servers.
- An end user who can test the software after it's been upgraded.
- Records of service accounts. Pentana is usually installed with two service accounts, one with access to the main database and one used for running batch jobs and maintenance. It's important to have the credentials for these accounts on hand when performing an upgrade.
If any of the listed resources are not available during the scheduled upgrade, it should be expected to cause a delay until these minimal requirements are met.
On the installation day, you can expect every upgrade to go through some basic stages, each requiring different involvement from the people involved:
- Be sure all users are out of the system. (Management)
- Stop all services. From this point, the application cannot be accessed. (Ideagen tech/server admin)
- Take a backup of the database (Ideagen tech/database admin)
- Apply upgrade on the server side software (Ideagen tech/server admin)
- Test update on the client side (Ideagen tech/server admin/management)