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Welcome to the HCL Launch 7.3.2 documentation, where you can find information about how to install, maintain, and use HCL Launch.
What's new
This page provides a summary of enhancements and bug fixes for version 7.3.2.x.
Release notes
This section lists all bug fixes included in HCL Launch version 7.3.2.x.
Getting started
System requirements
Upgrade notes
This section provides overview and getting started information.
Overview of HCL Launch
Use HCL Launch to standardize and simplify the process of deploying software components to each environment in your development cycle.
Getting started with HCL Launch
Quickly become productive with HCL Launch by following these steps.
Security considerations for HCL Launch
You can act to ensure that your installation is secure and set up user access controls.
Tutorials and instructions for all experience levels.
Tutorials are available for every experience level.
Instructions for specific features.
An HCL Launch installation consists of the HCL Launch server, a database, and at least one agent.
System requirements and performance considerations
The HCL Launch server runs on Windows™ and UNIX™ systems. Following some guidelines can improve the performance of the server and agents.
Firewall and communication configuration
Before you install the server, you must ensure that servers, agents, and other systems can connect to each other through your networks and firewalls.
Installing the server database
HCL Launch requires a database. You can use the following database types for an evaluation or production server.
Installing the server
The server provides services such as the user interface used to configure application deployments, the workflow engine, the security service, and the artifact repository, among others. Installing the server involves specifying configuration information for the server, such as the ports that the server uses.
Installing with Kubernetes
The HCL Launch server can be installed in a cloud-based environment, as a containerized server cluster, managed by Kubernetes. HCL Launch works with Kubernetes to simplify application deployment and manage versions in the containers.
Installing agents
You can install agents from the server or from the command line on the agent system. To configure a failover server for an agent, you must install the agent from the command line.
Installing agent relays
An agent relay is a communication proxy for agents that are located behind a firewall or in another network location. You can install agent relays in interactive mode or in silent mode.
Installing plug-ins
Plug-ins can be installed at any time. You do not need to restart the server after you install a plug-in.
Starting HCL Launch
Both UNIX™ and Windows™ installations require the HCL Launch server and at least one agent. If you are using a database other than Derby, make sure that the appropriate driver is installed and configured.
Installing and uninstalling test fixes (patches) from the server
Test fixes are provided to correct specific issues. They are applied to the server as patches.
Upgrading and migrating
Learn how to upgrade HCL Launch elements, including the server, agents, and how to migrate data.
Upgrading the server
You can upgrade the HCL Launch server to incorporate to a later version. Always upgrade agents, agent relays in addition to upgrading the server. Upgrading the server, agents, agent relays are each completed independently. Unless specified, upgrade the server before you upgrade the agents.
Upgrading high-availability installations
All servers that are configured for the HA feature must be on the same version. Thus, all servers must be upgraded at the same time.
Upgrading agents
In most cases, you upgrade agents from the server interface, but you can also upgrade the agents from the command line. Always upgrade agents and agent relays in addition to upgrading the server.
Upgrading agent relays
In most cases, you upgrade agents relays from the command line, but starting from version, you can upgrade the server from the interface. Always upgrade agents and agent relays in addition to upgrading the server.
Migrating the server database
The server installation files include a script that migrates the server database from Derby to another database system. You can not migrate from any database other than Derby.
Migrating Codestation from filesystem repositories to S3 repositories
You can migrate your Codestation artifacts from filesystem to S3 using the S3 migrator tool.
Migrating the server to Kubernetes/Openshift
You can migrate your HCL Launch server from an on-premises production installation to a containerized instance that runs in a Kubernetes or Openshift cluster.
Migrating an existing IBM® installation to HCL Launch
Learn how to uninstall an HCL Launch server, or agent.
Uninstalling the server
To uninstall the server, stop the server and then delete the main directory for the server.
Uninstalling agents
To uninstall the agent, stop it, remove its service and registry keys, and delete its files.
HCL Launch supports integrations with other IBM® products, products from others, and certain cloud systems.
Integrating with HCL OneTest
When you use OneTest™ Performance, you can create tests and run those tests in HCL Launch by using the HCL OneTest™ Performance Launch plugin.
z/OS considerations for HCL Launch
HCL Launch includes support for the z/OS platform. Although the articles in this Knowledge Center for using HCL Launch to deploy applications, certain platform-specific configuration factors must be considered when using a z/OS model.
Deploying components to the z/OS® platform
Use the toolkit to deploy to the IBM® z/OS® platform.
Learn how to administer settings in HCL Launch elements and communication between the elements.
High availability and failover
You can configure clustered HCL Launch servers, and agents for high availability. You can also configure agents and agent relays for failover.
Setting up high-availability clusters
To configure a high-availability cluster, you store shared files on network storage. Then, you configure multiple servers, set each server to access the same files and database, and configure a load balancer to distribute the traffic between the servers.
Adding cold standby servers
You can add cold standby servers to serve as a backup server or for disaster recovery. You must start the secondary server or servers when the active server fails, and network traffic is routed to the secondary servers.
Backup and recover
You can back up and recover the contents of your HCL Launch installation.
Server settings and configuration
After you install HCL Launch, you can modify the server configuration and configure more options.
Setting user preferences
Each user can specify display options for the server, including the language for the server and how the server shows times and dates.
Agents and agent relay configuration
After you install an agent for HCL Launch, you can modify its configuration or create an agent relay to facilitate communication to remote relays.
License management
HCL Launch provides a 60-day license-free evaluation period. To use all product features after the evaluation period, you must have a license.
Setting up the wizard for new users
HCL Launch includes a wizard to help users become familiar with the procedures and steps in creating a deployment. Some configuration is required before the wizard can be used.
Customizing the table views
Customize a table view in the HCL Launch application by hiding or showing, and reordering of the table columns.
Releasing VC LOB space
After you upgrade to HCL Launch 7.0.5 and later, you can compress the amount of large object (LOB) storage space that HCL Launch uses in the vc_persistent_record database table.
Managing security
HCL Launch uses a flexible team-based and role-based security model that maps to your organizational structure.
Guidelines for setting up server security
Although there is no single best way to set up security for the server, the following steps are sufficient in most cases.
SSL configuration
With Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) technology, clients and servers can communicate securely by encrypting all communications. Data is encrypted before it is sent and decrypted by the recipient. This communication cannot be deciphered or modified by third-parties. In addition to encryption, SSL can also support authentication.
Authorization realms
Use the Authorization Realms pane to create authorization realms and user groups for the server. Groups can be imported from external systems, such as LDAP.
Authentication realms
Authentication realms manage users and determine user identity within authorization realms for the server.
Roles and permissions
A role is a list of permissions that users have on the HCL Launch server. These permissions include the ability to create, edit, and delete objects, such as applications, environments, and components. The permission also includes the parts of the server interface that users can access.
Security teams
Users and groups on the server are assigned roles when they are added to teams.
Security types
Security types define categories of objects on the server. You can put all objects into a single category, or you can put them in separate categories and give roles different access rights to different categories.
Tokens provide authorization for agents, agent relays, users, and external systems or applications from the server. Agents use tokens when they run process steps and communicate with the HCL Launch server and external services.
Modeling software deployment
Modeling software deployment in HCL Launch includes configuring components and component processes and adding those components to applications. Then, you use processes to deploy the components to environments.
Components represent deployable items along with user-defined processes that operate on them, usually by deploying them.
A resource is a logical deployment target that typically resolves to an agent and a user-defined construct that is based on the architectural model of HCL Launch.
Applications are responsible for bringing together all the components that must be deployed together.
Application environments
An environment is a user-defined collection of resources that hosts an application.
Application templates
With an application template, you can save and reuse a collection of resources, environments, processes, and tagged components or component templates to create a standardized application.
Application processes
Application processes, like component processes, are created with the process editor. You use application processes to deploy or to roll back components.
Application blueprints
An application blueprint maps application components to a resource template. When you create an environment or provision one from the cloud, you can use the blueprint as a model.
Application pipelines
Allows you to run application processes in multiple environments and promote versions through a set of stages.
A snapshot is a collection of specific versions of components and processes. Typically, a snapshot represents a set of component versions that are known to work together. In most cases, snapshots include all of the components in an application.
Creating manual application tasks
A manual application task interrupts an application process until manual intervention is done. To create a manual task, add a manual step to an application process and select a notification template.
Approval process
You can add approval requirements to deployments. Deployments with approvals cannot be completed until all approvers respond. Approvers can respond to requests on the Work Items tab, or by email.
You use different inventories to track installed components and properties in HCL Launch elements.
Processes are automated tasks that run on agents.
Create and apply statuses to track component inventory states or to track component versions in environments and resources.
Properties are variables that store information about many different elements, including components, environments, processes, and applications. You can also set global properties for the system.
A tag is a user-defined, shared, short label that you use to classify, view, and conduct operations on objects such as applications, components, agents, and resources.
Using the webhooks, you can send text-based responses to users in messaging platform such as MS Teams and Slack when a specific event occurs during deployment process.
Secret Stores
Allows you to retrieve credentials of individual servers from the Vault and authenticates a plug-in step in the deployment process.
Learn how to deploy applications in HCL Launch.
Getting started with running deployments
You run a deployment by running an application process in a target environment.
Deploying applications
To deploy application components, run an application process on an environment.
Scheduling deployments
HCL Launch has a built-in deployment scheduling system for setting regular deployments, or even black-out dates, for your Deployments.
Cleaning up deployment history files
You can clean up deployment history files to reduce database and file system storage that HCL Launch uses.
Provides several different deployment and security reports.
Deployment reports
Deployment reports contain historical information about deployments, such as the total number of deployment runs and the average duration of those runs.
Security reports
Security reports provide information about the user roles and privileges that are defined with the HCL Launch security system.
Setting up recurring reports
Recurring reports run on a schedule and e-mail the results to you.
Saving and printing reports
You can print and save report data for all report types. In addition, you can save filter and sort order information for deployment-type reports.
Saving report filters
You can save filter and sort-order settings for deployment reports. Saved reports can be retrieved with the My Reports menu on the Reports pane.
Monitor operating details
With an external monitoring tool, such as IBM® Performance Management on Cloud 8.1.3 or New Relic, you can use Managed Beans (MBeans) to review numerous details about HCL Launch. For example, you can view statistics that specify how many components are available or see how long it takes for an application process to run to completion. You can use these statistics and details to assess the health of your deployments and deployment processes.
Elasticsearch and Kibana reports
Use your project data to create  Elasticsearch reports and Kibana charts.
Extending product function
Learn how to extend the function of HCL Launch.
The HCL plug-ins provide tools for creating component processes and integrations. HCL plug-ins provides plug-ins for several common deployment processes, and others are available to integrate with a wide variety of tools, such as middleware tools, databases, and servers.
Creating notification templates
Notification templates are the basis for emails that the server sends to users after an event occurs on the server. You can create customized notification templates by modifying the default templates provided, or by creating new templates of your own.
REST API reference
You can use these REST interfaces to automate tasks.
Command-line client (CLI) reference
CLI is a command-line interface that provides access to the HCL Launch server. It can be used to find or set properties and to run numerous functions.
Process-as-code feature
Programmatically manage processes with PAC language.
Troubleshooting and support
Learn how to troubleshoot some common issues with HCL Launch.
Troubleshooting process overview
Troubleshooting is the process of finding and eliminating the cause of a problem. When you have a problem with HCL Launch, the troubleshooting process begins as soon as you ask yourself what happened.
The server maintains logs for auditing and troubleshooting.
Troubleshooting the HCL Launch server and agents
Troubleshooting information that is specific to the server and agents is provided here.