Maintenance overview

WebSphere Commerce Version 8.0 provides maintenance packages that can include code fixes, security fixes, new features, or enhancements.

Important: IBM stabilized Mod Pack 0 (8.0.0), Mod Pack 1 (8.0.1), and Mod Pack 3 (8.0.3).
  • The final fix pack for Mod Pack 0 is 8.0.0.19 and was released on January 24, 2017.
  • The final fix pack for Mod Pack 1 is 8.0.1.14 and was released on June 29, 2017.
  • The final fix pack for Mod Pack 3 is 8.0.3.6 and was released on August 9 2017.
  • Going forward, HCL intends to release fix packs for Mod Pack 4 only.
HCL does not currently plan to deprecate or remove any capabilities that are on 8.0.0, 8.0.1 or 8.0.3, but future investment is focused on 8.0.4 or later. If you are on 8.0.0, 8.0.1 or 8.0.3, plan to upgrade to Mod Pack 4 so that you can continuously apply new fix packs as needed.

WebSphere Commerce delivers two types of maintenance packages: fix packs and mod packs. A fix pack contains code fixes and security fixes. A mod pack contains new features and enhancements to existing features. A mod pack also contains most of the fixes that are available at the time of its release. Both types of maintenance packages are cumulative: a fix pack includes all previous fix packs and a mod pack includes all previous mod packs.

With each new package that IBM delivers, the product number changes. The following table provides example of product number changes when you install a fix pack or mod pack.
Maintenance package Product number change example
Fix Pack 8.0.0.1
Mod Pack 8.0.1.0
Note: When you install a mod pack, the fix pack number is reset to 0.

Maintenance installation paths

You can install maintenance packages that are newer than your current version, but you cannot install maintenance packages that are older than your current version.
You do not have to be on a specific 8.0.x.0 mod pack level to install a newer 8.0.x.y fix pack. For example, if you are on base Fix Pack 8.0.0.5, you can directly download and install 8.0.4.1. Your environment is automatically upgraded to the Mod Pack 4 Fix Pack 1 level (8.0.4.1) and you can enjoy all the new features that are in Mod Pack 4. You do not have to install 8.0.4.0 before you install 8.0.4.1. Review the following examples of maintenance installation paths that you might consider.
I am on maintenance level ... I want to upgrade to ... Result
Mod Pack 1 (8.0.1.0) Downgrade to Fix Pack 9 for base (8.0.0.9) You cannot directly install a lower level maintenance package, but you can rollback to a previously installed maintenance package. For example, if you upgraded from 8.0.0.9 to 8.0.1.0, then you can rollback to 8.0.0.9.
Mod Pack 1 (8.0.1.0) Fix Pack 2 for Mod Pack 1 (8.0.1.2) Installation successful. Your WebSphere Commerce level is changed to 8.0.1.2.
Fix Pack 3 for base (8.0.0.3) Fix Pack 2 Mod Pack 1 (8.0.1.2) Installation successful. Your WebSphere Commerce level is changed to 8.0.1.2 and you get the features and enhancements that are included in Mod Pack 1.

Maintenance release plan

IBM intends to release updates regularly - for example, fix packs every month. This statement of intent is subject to change or withdrawal.
Note: * The timing and frequency of these releases are not guaranteed and can change without notice, and remain at IBM's sole discretion.
It is recommended that you stay updated with the latest fix pack and mod pack to ensure that your environment has the necessary security patches, fixes for known issues, and fixes to avoid potential issues. For a high-level summary of what might be included in a maintenance package and differences between a fix pack and mod pack, review the following table:
Fix Pack Mod Pack
Includes code fixes and security fixes only. No new functionality is included in a fix pack. Includes code fixes, security fixes, new functionality, and enhancements.
Might include database changes such as new database columns, tables, or indexes. Might include database changes such as new database columns, tables, or indexes.
Might include updates to database column sizes, but will never change database column data types. Might include updates to database column sizes, or database column data types.
Does not change your customized files. However, in some cases, you might need to merge new code into existing customizable files to enable a fix onto your environment. Does not change your customized files. However, in some cases, you might need to merge new code into existing customizable files to enable a fix onto your environment.
Does not change bootstrap files. For more information about bootstrap files, see Bootstrap files. Might include changes to bootstrap files. For more information about bootstrap files, see Bootstrap files.
Can be installed while maintaining high availability and with zero downtime. Can be installed while maintaining high availability and with zero downtime.
Can be installed by using the roll out update process for clustered environments. Can be installed by using the roll out update process for clustered environments.

If you migrated from WebSphere Commerce Version 7, you might want to review the following topic to understand the maintenance changes from Version 7 to Version 8, Maintenance strategy.

Maintenance hints and tips

IBM releases maintenance packages for both the WebSphere Commerce Developer (test) and WebSphere Commerce (runtime) environments. Ensure that you download both versions (Developer and Server). You want your test environment and runtime environment to be synchronized with the same code base. It is recommended that you first update WebSphere Commerce Developer and test to ensure that everything works as expected (including your customizations) before you update your WebSphere Commerce runtime environment.

The following table provides hints and tips for installing and enabling certain fixes.
Maintenance overview table for both WebSphere Commerce Developer and WebSphere Commerce.
WebSphere Commerce Developer WebSphere Commerce
Environment-specific packages Ensure that you install the developer version of the fix onto WebSphere Commerce Developer environments. WebSphere Commerce Developer packages include the text developer in the file name. For example, JR53164.fep_6.0.0.0_developer.zip. Ensure that you install the server version of the fix onto WebSphere Commerce runtime environments. WebSphere Commerce packages include the text server in the file name. For example, JR53164.fep_6.0.0.0_server.zip.
How to install a maintenance package Use the IBM Installation Manager. Use the WebSphere Commerce Update Installer.
Note: You first need to update the product installation directory, and then update the instance.
Enablement steps after you install a maintenance package
  • Ensure that you rebuild all projects to update your code.
  • Review the following topic Installing maintenance: Final steps. This topic includes procedures that you might want to complete to enable specific fixes or enhancements that are included in the maintenance package.
  • If you are expecting an update to Management Center but do not see the changes, try clearing the browser cache and then relaunch Management Center.
  • Review the following topic Installing maintenance: Final steps. This topic includes procedures that you might want to complete to enable specific fixes or enhancements that are included in the maintenance package.
  • If you are expecting an update to Management Center but do not see the changes, try clearing the browser cache and then relaunch Management Center.
Enablement steps specifically for store-related fixes that are included in a maintenance package To ensure that your store customizations are not overwritten, fixes that update starter store JSP files or widgets are not automatically updated for your published store. Instead:
  • JSP and widget updates are included in the .sar packages under the WCDE_installdir/components/store-enhancements/starterstores/ConsumerDirect/ directory.
  • Development files are updated in WCDE_installdir/workspace/Stores (but no customizable store files are updated here)
After you install a maintenance package, to apply store updates to your currently published store, see Enabling store-related fixes.
To ensure that your store customizations are not overwritten, fixes that update starter store JSP files or widgets are not automatically updated for your published store. Instead:
  • When you update the product installation directory, JSP and widget updates are included in the .sar packages under the WC_installdir/components/store-enhancements/starterstores/ConsumerDirect/ directory.
  • When you update an instance, JSP and widget updates are included in the .sar packages under the WC_installdir/instances/instance_name/starterstores/ConsumerDirect/ directory.
  • Development files such as java files and configuration files are updated in WC_profiledir/installedApps/WC_instance_name_cell/WC_instance_name.ear.

    Since the EAR file is updated, you need to redeploy all custom assets in the EAR file. For more information, see Deploying customized assets

After you install a maintenance package, to apply store updates to your currently published store, see Enabling store-related fixes.
Enablement steps specifically for WebSphere Commerce search-related fixes that are included in a maintenance package After you install a maintenance package, review the following topic for steps on how to enable specific search-related fixes, Additional steps for search-related interim fixes. After you install a maintenance package, review the following topic for steps on how to enable specific search-related fixes, Additional steps for search-related interim fixes.
Best practices to ensure that your customizations are not overwritten by a maintenance update.
  • Most WebSphere Commerce assets can be customized or extended. Before you customize assets, it is recommended that you refer to IBM tutorials or examples throughout the IBM Knowledge Center. For tutorials, see Tutorials.
  • For Java classes, there is less risk that customizations are overwritten by a maintenance update because extended and customized classes are created in the dedicated *ExtensionData and *ExtensionLogic projects and use unique package names.
  • For assets other than Java assets such as .xml, .tpl, .properties files, WebSphere Commerce provides extension points where you can make your changes. For example, a maintenance update might update the wc-component.xml configuration file. If you want to add custom configurations, ensure that you follow IBM guidelines and create an extended configuration file. Do not directly update the default configuration file. For more information, see Changing properties in the component configuration file (wc-component.xml) (WC EAR).
  • If you must customize a WebSphere Commerce default asset that might get overwritten by a maintenance update, then document the customization. If the file is replaced during a maintenance update, then ensure that the customization is restored.

Submitting a Problem Management Request (PMR)

If you encounter a technical product issue, you can submit a PMR. For more information about PMRs, see What's a PMR?. If needed, the WebSphere Commerce development team will create a fix and deliver the fix in a future fix pack. WebSphere Commerce will not deliver interim fixes for your specific issue. You need to wait for a fix pack that includes your fix, and then install the applicable fix pack.

Whether your issue is resolved in the next immediate fix pack depends on the complexity of the issue and the time it takes for the development team to create and test the fix. WebSphere Commerce anticipates that most issues should be resolved and available within the next two fix pack releases. That is, depending on when WebSphere Commerce receives your PMR, expect to wait 2 to 5 weeks to get your fix.