HCL Digital Experience Support Statement

This support statement proposes a revision to the definition of supported and unsupported about the various products of which HCL Digital Experience depends on for proper operation.

Introduction

HCL Digital Experience requires the use of several collateral products for its normal operations. In particular, it requires WebSphere® Application Server, a database, a repository for user information (typically an LDAP), and other products depending on specific customer requirements.

During the testing of a new release, Development generally tests HCL Portal with a prescribed list of these collateral products. These products are designated as Supported Products in the documented hardware and software requirements for that release.

Because the list of Supported Products cannot reasonably describe all possible configurations that a customer might need to use, some customers voiced concerns about the level of support that is provided for configurations that are not designated as Supported. This document is intended to provide clarification of the level of support that can be expected for the current release with various combinations of dependent products.

Note: Although the statements in this document reflect the general level of support that can be expected for HCL Portal, the terms and conditions of any specific support offering, license or other Agreement you might have with HCL will determine the actual delivered support for the product. Nothing herein shall be construed as supplementing, modifying or superseding the terms of your HCL license agreement for HCL Portal or any other agreement you might have with HCL, nor shall it create any obligation for HCL to deliver a level of support other than might be set forth in such Agreements.

Categories of Support

There are three categories of support for collateral products to HCL Portal. They are Supported Products, Newer Versions, and Releases of Supported Products and Unsupported Products. The definition and support statement for each category follows:

Supported Product
A Supported Product is a product (at a specified version, release and fix level) that was tested by Development and is known to work with HCL Portal.

Products in this category are supported according to the terms of your HCL Portal License Agreement. PMRs (Problem Management Records) are accepted by HCL Software Support in accordance with the conditions of the HCL Portal License Agreement.

Newer Versions and Releases of Supported Products
Many products outside the specific version(s), release(s), or fix pack(s) of the Supported version (referenced in the documented hardware and software requirements) might not be explicitly tested by HCL Software Development, yet can reasonably be expected to perform within the accepted bounds of reliability, function, and performance by a customer.

Products that fall into this category are typically newer releases or fix levels of a product already in the Supported Product category or a product that adheres to a standard API that HCL Portal supports (such as an LDAP server). Some specific examples might include a newer operating system fix level, a WebSphere Application Server (WAS) fix pack newer than the original Supported fix pack level, an HCL Java (JVM) fix pack, a new fix pack, or release of DB2 or an updated LDAP server.

For products that fall into this category, support is as follows:

For IBM products, such as IBM Directory Server or Domino LDAP, IBM DB2, IBM JDKs (JVMs) and WebSphere Application Server, HCL Digital Experience will fully support fix-pack, release and version updates that do not significantly change interfaces or other underlying support that HCL Portal depends on for its functionality. If and when a newer release of one of these products is shipped that HCL Portal cannot accommodate, that fact will be noted as described in the next section entitled Unsupported Products. Note that in order for HCL Portal to support an update to a database or LDAP product, WebSphere Application Server must support that update as well.

For non-HCL products, the Support team makes a commercially reasonable effort to support products in this category. Support accepts problem reports (PMRs) for the appropriate releases that use these untested products. If Support is able to re-create the reported problem with a Supported version of the product, we will attempt to fix the problem.

If Support is not able to re-create the problem with a Supported version of the product in question and is not able to resolve the problem on the untested version of the product in question, Support will look to the support organization for the product in question to provide resolution. Please note that varying degrees of customer involvement may be necessary to handle this process for non-HCL products.

If the support organization for the untested product in question is unable to resolve the problem, Support will deem that version, release or fix pack level of the untested product in question to now be an Unsupported Product.

Unsupported Products
An Unsupported Product is a product (at a specified version, release and fix level) that is known to not work with HCL Portal and is therefore not supported. A product can be included in this category as a result of an explicit test effort by Development or as a result of discovery from a prior customer problem. The HCL Portal Support team maintains a list, by release, of all known Unsupported Products. The list is published as a techdoc and is available to all customers.

WebSphere Application Server has a similar support statement, which can be found on the web.

Note: WebSphere Application Server uses specially customized builds of the IBM Java SDKs on certain platforms. Updates to these builds must be obtained from WebSphere Application Server support.

HCL Portal can be sensitive to changes in the underlying WebSphere Application Server. Upgrading to a new fix pack level of the application server is well tolerated and encouraged (such as from WebSphere Application Server version 8.0 to 8.0.x) as long as all required fixes for WebSphere Application Server are available as integrated into that fix pack or by applying an interim fix specifically for that maintenance level. However, upgrading from one version of WebSphere Application Server to the next (such as from 7.0 to 8.0) is problematic if not done within the context of a migration of versions and must never be attempted with an in-place system.

For example, an existing instance of HCL Portal version 8.0 that is installed and functioning on WebSphere Application Server version 8.0 cannot be successfully migrated to WebSphere Application Server version 8.x by using the WebSphere Application Server Migration Tools. Such attempts might result in a non-functional system. For more information on such scenarios, consult HCL HCL Portal support.

Support for LDAP Servers

LDAP support spans two categories:

Fully tested and supported LDAP servers:
The list of fully tested LDAP servers for each release of HCL Portal is documented in the detailed system requirements for each release. HCL Portal support accepts problem reports for the appropriate HCL Portal releases using the tested directory servers. These problem reports receive high-priority attention. Features that are tested with these directories include relatively simple search and retrieval functions for user and group objects. Functions outside this scope, such as the Active Directory Global Catalog feature, are considered advanced features and have not been tested with HCL Portal. HCL Portal support encourages customers to work with their LDAP provider for additional support on these advanced features.
Untested and partially supported LDAP servers:
In general, HCL Portal support makes a best effort to support directory servers that have not been tested with HCL Portal. HCL Portal support accepts problem reports for the appropriate HCL Portal releases using untested directory servers. If HCL Portal support can re-create the reported problem using a tested LDAP server, staff will attempt to fix the problem. If the support team is not able to re-create the problem on a tested LDAP server, customers are referred to the LDAP provider for further assistance.

Support for External Security Managers (ESM)

ESM support spans two (2) categories:
Fully tested and supported ESM software:
The list of fully tested ESM software versions for each release of HCL Portal is documented in the detailed system requirements for each release. HCL Portal support accepts problem reports for the appropriate HCL Portal releases using the tested ESM servers. These problem reports receive high-priority attention. Features that are tested with these software products include authentication and authorization. Functions outside this scope, such as login customizations, referrals, impersonation, and step up authentication are considered advanced features and have not been tested with HCL Portal. HCL Portal support encourages customers to work with their ESM provider for additional support on these advanced features.
Untested and partially supported ESM servers:
In general, HCL Portal support makes a best effort to support ESM servers that have not been tested with HCL Portal when relying on the ESM for authentication only. HCL Portal support accepts problem reports for the appropriate HCL Portal releases using untested ESM Trust Association Interceptor (TAI) implementations. If HCL Portal support can re-create the reported problem using a tested ESM, staff will attempt to fix the problem. If the support team is not able to re-create the problem on a tested ESM, customers are referred to the ESM provider for further assistance.