Migrating from a previous version of HCL Commerce

Before you migrate to HCL Commerce Version 9.1, review this information to help plan and execute your migration.

For information about new and changed functionality in this release, see What's new in HCL Commerce Version 9.1.

For information about describing the database schema changes from previous releases, see Database schema changes from Version 8 to Version 9.

Releases and implementation lifecycles

HCL Commerce is provided in major, mod pack, and fix pack releases.

Typically, as you increase the time between HCL Commerce implementations, updates to HCL Commerce will become more difficult to implement. Jumps between major releases require migration, and more consideration with regards to tradeoffs and limitations between older and newer features, customizations, and solutions.

Inversely, smaller jumps between updates to HCL Commerce, such as between fix packs or mod packs, contain fewer challenges. These updates generally only include important fixes and improvements to functions that are specifically tailored to users of newer site features and solutions. Consequently, the update path for smaller updates is also much less intensive, requiring you to only rebuild your custom Docker images on newer base images before deploying them.

Release type Representation example Description
Major release Version 9.1 A major release of HCL Commerce contains new site solutions. Older features and solutions that you might rely on in previous releases can be supported, deprecated, or require some level of modification to continue using with a major release.

Major releases often include significant changes to deployment, architectural structure, and customization paradigms that require careful consideration to plan and perform.

To upgrade from one major release to another you must plan and perform a site migration. Follow the topics in this section.
Important: Any previous customizations to your site must be re-applied once migrated, as some site files might be overwritten outside of the scope of the migration documentation. It is a best practice to fully test any site customization post-migration to ensure it is both fully functional and performant in comparison to the previous environment.
Mod pack release Version A mod pack release of HCL Commerce contains new site features and builds upon the introduced major release solutions. In addition, mod packs contain functional, performance, and security-related fixes to HCL Commerce and relied upon third party solutions.

Colloquially these are referred to as releases, as they are delivered on a quarterly, or semi-annual basis.

Updates from one mod pack to another are intended to be far less intensive than between major releases. However, some changes to site functionality do exist between mod releases, and can break site functionality if they are not considered. It is therefore required to review each mod release (Important changes) release notes to ensure that your site remains functioning as expected.

For more information on each mod pack release, see HCL Commerce releases.

To upgrade your site from one mod pack or fix pack release to another mod pack or fix pack release, see:
Fix pack release Version HCL Commerce fix packs are generally intended to address Elasticsearch functionality with defect fixes, and are made available between major releases, beginning with In some circumstances fix packs are also used to resolve issues that are discovered with releases. It is recommend to upgrade to the latest fix pack as it becomes available. Only certain images within the release are updated for fix pack releases. These updated containers, with modified fix pack file names, are intended to be used with the remaining original containers of the same release.
To upgrade your site from one mod pack or fix pack release to another mod pack or fix pack release, see:

Downtime considerations

You must review your environment upgrade plan and consider the required downtime for upgrading your production environments and this impact on the availability of your live site.

A significant site upgrade generally involves bringing down an active deployment, upgrading the database schema, re-deploying the environment with updated custom docker images, as well as building new or modifying existing search indexes. The sum of these processes will typically result in some level of downtime for the production environment. To minimize this downtime, and to avoid disruption to live site traffic, production environment upgrades must be planned carefully. You must consider various factors, such as the method of deployment, the deployment configuration, and the current CI/CD pipelines for deploying the updated custom docker images on the production environment.

Supported migrations

You can migrate from the following versions of WebSphere Commerce and HCL Commerce to HCL Commerce Version 9.1:
  • IBM Websphere Commerce Version 7
    • Feature Pack 6
    • Feature Pack 7
    • Feature Pack 8
  • IBM Websphere Commerce Version 8
    • Mod Pack 1, or higher
  • HCL Commerce Version 9.0

The supported operating systems and software for the development and production environments have changed in HCL Commerce Version 9.1. For more information about supported software, see Supported software levels, fixes, and settings for HCL Commerce.