Upgrading Service Optimization from 7.5.x to 8.1.x can be a complex, largely manual process that is subject to a lot of uncertainty and risk, and lacking a suitable tool chain. Xoom addresses many of these problems by supporting a fast, automated, customisable and repeatable upgrade process and a painless and well-tested production deployment.
Xoom supports all versions of Service Optimization on the market and has the ability to export and import full configurations. This, combined with the XML format’s malleability via standard transformation tools, creates an extremely powerful tool for upgrades between different versions of Service Optimization. The basic idea is: export the configuration in the old version, upgrade the whole lot in one go using the new Upgrade tool, and import the result in the new version. This process has the following advantages over the standard, manual process:
- The upgrade is fast, reliable and repeatable. It can be applied on the latest live production database as many times as required throughout the upgrade implementation and testing. Most importantly, it can be applied in minutes just before go live for painless, reliable launch of the upgraded system.
- Automatic reconfiguration of deprecated features takes full advantage of new product features while by default preserving the functionality as it was configured in the old system. Of course, targeted changes to the configuration reflecting the desired changes to the business can be made as well and applied consistently across the configuration.
- Upgrade of existing customisations – as either product features in the new version, or new customisations – can also be configured and applied consistently across all places where the customisation is configured or used. All instances of the customisation are handled in a unified, automated, testable way.
- All facets of system configuration are supported to the greatest degree possible. Even where there are major changes between the two versions of the product, the information that is available in the old version can be restructured and used to create the stub configuration in the new version. Only the new features are left to be configured from scratch in this case, but even these bits can be part of the process and, after initial configuration, configured automatically and consistently thereafter.
Before being able to use the process described below, Xoom has to be installed and configured on both old and new systems in order to make sure the configuration is properly covered, including customisations.
The upgrade process is composed of the following steps:
- You use Xoom to take a full configuration export from the old version of the system.
- You run the resulting Xoom file through the new Upgrade tool with the default configuration which does the following:
- Where the representation changed it upgrades the configuration representation to the newer version while keeping the functionality in place. Gone are fixed optimisation stages in background optimisation, enter configurable optimisation steps. Gone is simple optimiser configuration, enter advanced optimisation parameters according to best policy guidelines.
- Reconfigures the configuration where the components and settings used in the old version have been deprecated. Task revenue gets replaced by property based revenue, match properties rules by extended match properties rules etc. Again, the functionality of the configuration remains intact.
- You identify the customisations in the configuration. There are three options of what can happen to a customisation during an upgrade:
- The customisation will be upgraded directly, like for like, with no changes to the configuration.
- There will be a new implementation of the customisation, with new configuration and possibly new features.
- The customisation is no longer necessary as out of the box features in the new version of the product provide equivalent functionality.
There is nothing to do in the first case as all will remain the same (apart from resolution of dependencies and references, which is already covered by Xoom). In the second and third case, the configuration can be upgraded by creating a transformation of old settings to new ones. This is done only once defining a pattern, can be well tested, and is then applied across the configuration consistently to all instances of the customisation. These additional transformations can of course be included in the single-step upgrade process from then on for subsequent cycles and tests.
- There may be a need to reconfigure some settings to better support the business case than the old configuration did. Again, this can be done consistently by defining the configuration modifications required, individually or as a pattern, and those modifications then become part of the automated upgrade process.
- Xoom can also be used to help in a configuration clean-up at this stage. Unused settings can be identified easily using Xoom and removed, and naming conventions applied consistently and globally throughout the configuration, keeping all references in place and connected.
- Finally, the upgraded configuration is imported in the target system with a new version of Service Optimization.
The whole process becomes increasingly more automated and powerful through the upgrade process, leading to fully automated upgrade at the end of the project. The resulting production deployment is a fully tested, reliable process that culminates in the final run on an up-to-date production database from the old version just prior to the upgraded go-live.