Informing users of a migration or update

Configure maintenance messages about migrating or updating IBM® Connections,

About this task

When you migrate or update IBM® Connections, inform your users that the environment is offline temporarily. Inform them directly through a broadcast or email.

During the maintenance period, you can choose either to stop IBM® HTTP Server or redirect all HTTP traffic to a server maintenance notification page.

To bring down IBM® Connections in preparation for migrating or updating, complete the following steps:


  1. Inform users of the planned outage with details of when the maintenance work begins and how long it is scheduled to last. You can send email notifications to community members or post a message to an area of the product that is used to provide site status information.
  2. Perform one of the following steps:
    • Stop the IBM® HTTP Server. Ensure that no other applications are using the IBM® HTTP Server.
    • Keep the web server running but redirect users to a server maintenance notification page, following these steps to add Location and ErrorDocument stanzas to the httpd.conf configuration file for the IBM® HTTP Server:
      1. Create an HTML document named upgrading.html. Add text to the page that informs users that IBM® Connections is temporarily unavailable because of scheduled maintenance work. Point to the maintenance page by using these ErrorDocument statements in the httpd.conf file:

        ErrorDocument 401 /upgrading.html

        ErrorDocument 403 /upgrading.html

      2. Create a rewrite rule to redirect requests for IBM® Connections. Add the following element to the httpd.conf file to block all non-authorized IP addresses from reaching the server and to send the user to the upgrading.htm page:

        <Location / >

        Order Deny,Allow

        Deny from all

        Allow from your.ip.address

        Allow from


        Note: You must have an Allow element for every instance of WebSphere® Application Server in your deployment.
    Important: When your deployment of IBM® Connections uses plug-ins, this approach returns a 403 HTTP "Forbidden" response code. However, the Connections plug-ins cannot handle the 403 HTTP response code and displays a userid/password prompt, but providing the user credentials fails. To avoid this situation, use the following approach, which returns a 500 HTTP "Internal Server Error" response code. Add the following lines to the end of the httpd.conf file:
    LoadModule rewrite_module modules/
    RewriteEngine on
    RewriteCond %{REMOTE_HOST} !^
    RewriteCond %{REMOTE_HOST} !^
    RewriteCond %{REMOTE_HOST} !^
    RewriteRule !^/upgrading.htm$ /upgrading.htm [L,R=500]
    ErrorDocument 500 /upgrading.htm
    Again, exclude the IP addresses of servers and desktops, which still have access to the environment during maintenance. Using the RewriteCond lines in the example, exclude every instance of WebSphere® Application Server in your deployment.

What to do next

When the migration or update is complete, remove the Location and ErrorDocument stanzas from the httpd.conf file.