Upgrading DAM platforms can be challenging. Clients want to leverage the new features in Nuxeo LTS 2021 but don’t want to affect existing functionality that includes many custom enhancements. With iSoftstone’s experience and methodology, the upgrade process can be smooth and predictable with minimal downtime. This article describes the customer experience of 3 clients who upgraded their Nuxeo platform from LTS 2019 to LTS 2021.
iSoftstone uses 3 principles to successfully upgrade a client installation:
- Use automated testing where possible
- Leverage best practices and past experience
- “Do no harm” to ensure the upgraded platform mirrors all existing data and functionality
The first client currently uses LTS 2019 deployed on a self-managed AWS environment. The client has additional customizations like a custom consumer interface, landing pages, use rights management, asset archival and notifications, custom metadata and workflows that need to be updated to ensure that all functions work properly. The projects timeline was 6 months due to the complexity of the customizations in this instance. Regression and smoke testing was time consuming, as well as the need to upgrade through 6 different environments.
The second client was deployed on a Nuxeo hosted AWS environments with customizations to asset ingestion and publishing processes, along with enhanced keyword tagging and searching. In addition, iSoftstone also added a custom consumer interface built with vue.js utilized by the client’s external users to search for download assets. All onboarding, access and retention was managed by the Nuxeo backend running on LTS 2019. This customer upgraded in less than 4 months even though they started on very old Nuxeo base code that had not been updated in 3 years. iSoftstone brought the base code up to the current version by applying all pending hotfixes and then upgrading to LTS 2021. The cutover was flawless with minimal downtime for their users.
The third client was deployed on Nuxeo hosted AWS environments with customizations to asset ingestion, render processing and hybrid (cloud and on-premises) storage on LTS2019. In addition, iSoftStone also helped the client add the capability of creating customized renditions for their binary transcoding farm and integrations publishing to their downstream consumers. The plan is to upgrade their platform to LTS 2021 in a four-month period. During the upgrade, both 2019 and 2021 systems will be running in parallel for testing, reliability and tuning before cutting over to LTS 2021 with minimal downtime to their users.
["The whole idea is we want to make it entirely seamless, both for the UI as well as the backend functions”]
Even though Nuxeo is a SaaS platform, their suite of API’s and capabilities are usually customized to the needs of each enterprise. The team will need to manage the customizations when upgrading to LTS 2021, ensuring that the client’s DAM system continues to work as before, and that all the newly released LTS 2021 features that the client would like to leverage are enabled, configured and available for use.
We stood up two fully parallel instances, one using LTS 2021 and the other mirroring the existing installation and then carefully validating each customization in the lower environments. Automation testing zeros on in specific areas that need to be analyzed further to ensure implementation continues to work seamlessly. The whole idea is we want to make it entirely seamless for both the UI as well as the backend functions. iSoftstone’s process and methodology will ensure that end users experience a seamless transition and are not impacted after the migration.
As with any software upgrade, issues will arise. The team used Atlassian Jira to track stories, tasks and bugs. Where iSoftstone found issues, they were documented in one of our stories as a bug and then rolled up to a single master list. This allows us to track everything that we found and we use this to share our experience with iSoftStone client teams who may run into the same issues. Thorough documentation is a very important part of our process as an IT agency. Knowledge sharing is how we learn from the experience and apply it to the other upgrade projects.
A full list of Nuxeo LTS 2021 features can be found here: https://doc.nuxeo.com/nxdoc/nuxeo-platform-feature-table/.