The Benefits of Migrating without the Worry
Often when companies are faced with the decision to migrate their IBM BPM solution, they are concerned. These concerns range from how to port your solution customizations to a new BPM install to understanding the options available for performing runtime data migrations (as well as the associated risks). BP3 understands the hesitations companies feel around migration. Our experience in this arena has lead to the creation of methodologies and tools that provide visibility and support throughout the migration process. Our BP Labs team is dedicated to ensuring smooth, safe and worry free IBM BPM version migrations.
What is BPM Version Migration?
"Version Migration," quite simply, is moving your BPM solution from one version of the product to another. It does not involve changes to your business process solution. It is merely the act of migrating a current solution to a more recent release of IBM BPM.
BP3's Process & Migration Tools
There are very few upgrades of any sort where the vendor is able to adequately anticipate and handle all of the various ways a customer may use their product. As such, there are gaps in the tooling that allows you to safely upgrade. BP3 attempts to close this gap in several ways:
- Sample Upgrade in the BP3 Lab: First, we will run and document a sample upgrade of your environment in our Lab. We will do this several times to ensure we have the correct instructions to allow us to execute this with no errors in the resulting environment.
- Sample Upgrade at Your Site: Then, we will perform a sample upgrade on a copy of your development server, following the documentation we generated in our lab. We will repeat this until the upgrade runs cleanly on your sample environment.
- Evaluate Upgrade of Process Center: Then, and only then, will we look to upgrade your Process Center, allowing your developers to see if there are any problems on the new server version.
- Evaluate Upgrade of Run-time Environment(s): After verifying the process center environment (and addressing any issues found) we will be ready to upgrade the various runtime environments.
- Leverage Expertise and Tooling: Through out this, the upgrade team leverages a combination of in house and IBM tooling to identify and resolve various issues that may be encountered.
Most other companies do not have this formal approach, nor do they have the tooling available to help them when they encounter difficulties. The tools BP Labs has created provide insight throughout the Migration process. A few examples of BP Labs tool use follows:
- Assessment of the Assets to be Migrated: BP3 Tools provide detailed assessment of the assets to be migrated. Our tooling assists with complexity analysis, trouble-spot analysis, and best-practices adherence. You can’t rely on manual inspection for the amount of data and detail involved on large and complicated models.
- Enhancement of IBM's Instance Mapping Tool: BP3's instance migration tooling enhances the functionality provided by IBM's instance mapping tool. This tooling helps us debug the inevitable edge cases that the instance mapper hasn’t seen before, and help us figure out how to fix those edge cases so that the instance mapper can do its job.
- Testbed Environments for Migration Trouble Spots: We make use of our testbed environments to iterate over migration trouble spots until we have removed all the ones that we can find. This is where BP Deploy enhances our own productivity by allowing us to set up and tear down installations very quickly.
We use our expertise and tooling to trouble shoot any errors more efficiently than anyone else would. We turn over the results to our customers to test in their own environment and help them defuse any issues that come up after that.
Why Use BP3 for Your Migration?
BPM is what BP3 does. This is who we are. This focus allows us to zero in on very difficult problems within the BPM space and find ways to make them easier and more repeatable. We have a team that works on Version to Version migration and are knowledgeable in the problems that these scenarios will encounter. We have created tools to allow us to work around product limitations. Most importantly, we have invested in gaining the knowledge to make migration as easy as possible for you.
It is also important to understand that the skill sets required to perform these upgrades properly and safely are different than the skill sets required to deliver your BPM solution using an already installed and configured server. Many teams that can do a decent job in BPM delivery simply lack the skills required to do this work. Additionally, the work is very different from standard BPM consulting. Even skilled implementation BPM consultants may not be the right resources to guide you through your version upgrade.
To top it all off, we will roll up our sleeves and do everything we can to ensure your solution migrates successfully. We are not content to point to problems with the standard tooling and ask you to file issues with IBM support. We will explain each issue we encounter. We will tell you the options for working through the issue. We will explain how we have addressed these for other customers, and we will help you find the right answers. If needed, we will create tooling to make this easier both for you and for the next customer we work with. We cannot guarantee your success, but we will do everything in our power to make you successful. This attitude is part of our DNA.
Our Thoughts: Partial Migration