To view the latest information for BMC Helix services and policies, see BMC Helix Subscriber Information.

This topic provides the following information about upgrading your ITSM or HRCM OnDemand solution:

Release availability

BMC's OnDemand solutions usually have up to two releases per year.  Typically, one release is a major release while any others are considered minor releases. A major release could impact end users due to changes such as user interface improvements. A minor release could involve an update to functionality that is localized to a section or module and typically has limited end-user impact. Two examples of a minor release are an update to mobility to include more device types and a release of BMC Remedy Single Sign-On to permit Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) authentication. Patches and small service packs might not be considered full releases of the subscription, because they are localized in nature.

You will be notified approximately 30 days before a new release becomes available. The overall goal for the upgrade process is to ensure that your environments are upgraded to the new release before the next version becomes available. BMC recommends staying within one release of the current generally available version at all times.

Note

Upgrades to the MyIT and Smart IT solutions are proactively managed by BMC SaaS Operations per a set release schedule. If you are on a shared instance of these services, upgrades are performed per data center location for multiple customers at the same time. You will be notified of the schedule for upgrades to these applications at least three weeks in advance. For customers on a shared instance, MyIT and Smart IT upgrades are done in two phases, Phase 1 being a cluster upgrade and Phase 2 being the tenant upgrade (development, QA and production), specific to your environment.

Customers in the BMC FedRAMP data center are not eligible for a major version upgrade until that version has been authorized by FedRAMP stakeholders.

Requesting an upgrade

Upgrades to your OnDemand solutions are performed by BMC's SaaS Operations team and are included as part of your subscription fees. 

To request an upgrade, either submit a request through the BMC OnDemand Service Desk using the 'Request an ITSM Upgrade' option, or work through your Business Relationship Manager (BRM) to coordinate a start date that is convenient for you. Detailed upgrade documentation is available from your BRM upon request. A review of this documentation will help you understand what is required from your end and help you make a decision on project scheduling.

The upgrade process

The table below describes both the actions that BMC performs during an upgrade and the actions that you must perform during the upgrade, for each phase in the upgrade process. The timing of each phase is approximate and may vary depending on the complexity of your solution and the availability of your internal staff.

Definitions

Cutover is a process that enables you to move from an old environment to a new environment.
A sanity test is a brief run-through of the functionality to ensure that it works roughly as expected.

Upgrade phase

BMC actions

Customer actions

Planning (1 week)

  • Confirm and publish milestone dates and timeline
  • Schedule the environment-specific upgrade and cutover tasks
  • Provide required reference documentation (including customization and UAT documentation)
  • Provide new release documentation (including enhancements, corrected and open issues, and webinars)
  • Agree to key milestone dates for:
    • Starting the upgrade
    • Starting or finishing UAT
  • Plan required preparatory work (review documentation, webinars, test plans, and so on)
  • Commit resources (UAT, reconciliation, integration and Quality Assurance (QA))
  • Communicate milestone dates and required actions to stakeholders

Upgrading (1 week)

  • Copy the production environment to the base environment and backup the base environment
  • Perform the software upgrade:
    • Configure applications and system
    • Perform pre-delta data migration sanity tests
    • Synchronize transaction data from production with the upgraded environment (delta data migration)
    • Perform post-delta data migration sanity tests
  • Communicate development code freeze and changes involving:
    • Service Request Definitions
    • Service Level Agreements
    • Approval rules
    • Definitions (form changes, workflow, and so on)
  • Prepare and share UAT plans

Reconciliation (2 weeks)

  • Reconcile integrations and customizations (working with the customer's development staff)
  • Test customizations to ensure that they are working
  • Validate out-of-the-box functionality in related areas to ensure proper functioning and avoid duplication
  • Verify and validate external integrations
  • Migrate delta data
  • Perform sanity test
  • Share changes required to make current customizations work
  • Back up the environment and VM image
  • Release the environment to the customer for UAT
  • Review and verify integrations and application customizations
  • Participate with BMC during customizations and integration reconciliation, as needed
  • Agree with BMC on the customer acceptance plans

Acceptance testing (2 weeks)

  • Resolve issues that are blocking user acceptance through accelerated support and research and development processes
  • Apply required hot fixes
  • Perform an application acceptance test
  • Test response time through automation or a manual process
  • Monitor the UAT progress
  • Validate:
    • Integrations
    • Connectivity
    • Customizations and related functionality
  • Identify issues
  • Work with BMC to validate issues resolutions
  • Confirm and seek feedback on performance and stability
  • Accept and sign off on the environment for cutover

Production readiness (1 week)

  • Copy the accepted environment to preproduction
  • Perform final incremental delta data migration
  • Perform final sanity test
  • Publish and obtain customer approval on the cutover schedule and meeting details
  • Perform infrastructure validation and readiness check
  • Identify escalation owners and communicate cutover schedule
  • Execute internal change request process for production cutover
  • Sign off on the readiness of upgraded environment
  • Prepare users for production cutover
    • Train end users
    • Update internal documentation

Cutover (12 hours)

  • Take the production environment offline
  • Perform incremental delta data migration
  • Swap the new production environment with the old production environment
  • Complete the configuration checklist for performance, scalability, and so on
  • Complete sanity testing and release for customer validation
  • BMC SaaS Operations verifies the infrastructure checklist
  • Validate functionality, integrations, and customizations
  • Confirm acceptance and production readiness

Synchronizing environments

  • When the request is received, copy the new production environment to the QA and the development environments
  • Close out the upgrade effort and include lessons learned
  • Hand over noncritical open issues for the go-live to Customer Support for remediation
  • Document any modification to customizations or integrations and submit them to the integrations and customizations owner
  • Monitor the upgraded environment for one week after the  upgrade
  • Coordinate to have QA and the development environment refreshed from the production environment

 

During the Reconciliation phase of the upgrade, BMC's SaaS Operations team analyses the customer's valid customizations (those designed with overlays) against the current release out-of-the-box version and the new release out-of-the-box version.  BMC reconciles any changes required on the customer's supported overlay forms/objects to any new change in the new version.  Any customization that cannot be reconciled with the new features or any situation where the customization is replaced by new features with better results will be communicated to the customer. BMC may require further collaboration with the customer in this situation.

Reminder

Customizations applied to any form/object in Base Development mode are considered invalid as out-of-the-box forms/objects (type = unmodified) are then touched without creating an overlay. If an overlay is not created, there could be a scenario where a new version installer clears the customization, resulting in errors post upgrade. 

Any overlay or custom forms/objects created in the CMDB will be considered invalid because the CMDB may only be extended using the Class Manager Console.

You will have the opportunity during user acceptance testing to test your customizations. Customizations requiring updates may require the involvement of your in-house development staff, BMC Global Services, or a trusted partner.

Related topic

Top 5 reasons you should upgrade to Remedy 9

 

 

 

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  6. The BMC OnDemand upgrade policy is clear. It would be good it this document could be expanded regarding transition or upgrades to BMC Helix. Helix holds a few new products,  concepts and technologies. Will the existing BMC OnDemand customers be upgraded? I assume the answer is yes. 

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