I have a lot of people who have been reaching out to me recently, and they are all asking the same question.

“Where do I start when I want to upgrade to CLM 2011?”.

Your first stop should be your local IBM Sales team.  They should be able to get you in touch with the right people inside of IBM to help you learn about, plan, and then execute your upgrade.  Keep in mind that this upgrade can be complex, and that you will need to make some choices that will impact your future options for scaling and the deployment of your solution.  So here is a list of what you really should do:

  • Contact your IBM sales team – they will hand you this same list, but they may also be able to provide you with up-to-date information and some assistance in the planning of your upgrade.
  • Remember to READ upgrade directions CAREFULLY – Many people get into trouble when they skip steps, or go looking for specific answers and read things out of context!
  • Read about URI stability, and the Upgrade FAQ –  Do this before you plan your upgrade, it will help you understand some of the reasons for how the upgrade is done, and what limitations you have during upgrade.  Plan your URI’s, and read Tim Berners-Lee’s article called Cool URI’s Don’t Change.
  • Fill out the upgrade assessment tool – This will help you understand your current Jazz environment, and help us understand your situation better.
  • Run through the upgrade workshop BEFORE you plan your upgrade –  This is CRITICAL – you will understand more about your options after doing this workshop.
  • PLAN your upgrade – Work with IBM, we may be able to help you with this planning.
  • Read the Infocenter carefully – Make use of the interactive upgrade guide.  (again, skipping steps will cause you to have problems!)
  • TEST your upgrade – Do this to test out your execution of the upgrade, and so you can time the procedures needed.

I know that this list may look large, but it is critical that your upgrade be done properly.  The question that I always seem to get when I present people with this list is, “OK, that is for your usual customers, but we are smart/in a hurry/adventurous.  What is the short version of things that we have to do?”.   THIS IS THE SHORT VERSION!!  The Jumpstart team spent months of testing effort helping to get the upgrade process as smooth as possible.  We also spent a lot of time developing the upgrade workshop, and everyone who has used it thus far has remarked on how much better they understood and were able to perform their CLM upgrade.  It may take a while to go through it, but it is an essential part of planning for your upgrade.

So spend the time doing your homework and planning BEFORE you upgrade, and your upgrade experience will be smooth and uneventful.

I have to thank Jim Ruehlin (read his blog, Jazz Practices) for providing the inspiration for this post.  As we were talking about this topic this afternoon, it became something that I urgently had to get down on paper.  Jim is part of my Jumpstart team and (along with the rest of the Jumpstart team)  is one of the foremost experts around Jazz upgrades.

Added on 9/21/2011 – Additional info:  Check out Jim Ruehlin’s blog on URI’s, “You Can’t Change the Public URI. Really. You Can’t.“, and David Chadwick’s blog, “Public URL’s are Cast in Stone – How Do I Plan for the Future?

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