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Nondisruptive rolling upgrade of web user interface

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000028714D
Original Publication Date: 2004-May-27
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-May-27
Document File: 1 page(s) / 25K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Disclosed is a mechanism for enabling a non-disruptive rolling upgrade of a graphical user interface (GUI) whereby functionality available in the previous version of the software remain available until the completion of the upgrade process. Complex systems will generally separate the user interface layer from the data management layer. For example, a web-based GUI might be built on top of a command-line interface or socket-based protocol (e.g., CIM). Being a complex system, it may take several days (or longer) to upgrade the core components. One example is a clustered solution where the nodes need to be individually upgraded. Because it can take a long time to upgrade the system, customers need a means whereby the system can be upgraded bit by bit and not lose existing functionality. Hence a non-disruptive rolling upgrade. Often, the new capabilities of the system are not enabled until the entire system is upgraded and a commit operation is performed. Often, the core elements of the system is upgraded in a fashion that modifies the user-interface model. When this happens a new user interface is built and deployed. Unfortunately, the new user interface cannot be used until the system is fully upgraded and enabled for new functionality. Furthermore, the old functionality is not feasible within the user interface because the changes to the user-interface model are not, in themselves, backward compatible. The problem is to determine the means to provide backward compatible user interface that can be used during the rolling upgrade with minimal expense.

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Nondisruptive rolling upgrade of web user interface

This solution requires that the the data management layer of the next version of the software is backward compatible to the previous version. In addition, the next version of the software will bundle the previous version's user interface in a known location (e.g., URL). The new user interface detects if the system is currently in a rolling upgrade and redirects the browser to the location of the old web application. Because the data management layer is backward compatible during the rolling upgrade, the old web application functions just like it would have for the previous version. Once the rolling upgrade is committed, the new web application serves the new version of the user interface (instead of redirecting the browser).

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