WEBCON BPS 2019 – Migrating to version 2019.1

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Applies to version 2019.1.x; Author: Wojciech Mleczko

Update 2019-05-10: 
Added SDK migration document for version 2019.1.3,
It can be downloaded from the Latest version page [HERE].

 

1. Preparing the testing environment

  • Preparing SharePoint environment
    • SharePoint installation on new machine
    • Connecting SharePoint production database copy

After connecting the database we obtain SharePoint contents which mirror the production environment. Content of SharePoint groups, libraries and websites will be identical. However, it is required to verify website links so that they will not lead to production environment – use relative links.

  • Preparing WEBCON BPS:
    • Recreate BPS production databases: configuration database, content database, attachment database – all for the new environment
    • Configuration changes in BPS databases

Change of database type, license update, verification and (if needed) filling in the connection in data sources (DEV/TEST/PROD).

Change of connection configuration to ‘WEBCON BPS Configuration’ function on SharePoint websites.

Changes in configuration – invoking SharePoint groups – privileges, tasks, form field visibility, paths, affiliation to Business entities.


2. WEBCON BPS 2019 requirements

  • License verification

Before the update, verify your owned licenses, as they are necessary to work correctly.

  • SDK add-ons

If processes make use of SDK plugins, it is needed to prepare their new version, compatible with SDK requirements for WEBCON BPS 2019. Current SDK plugins will not work with BPS 2019.

  • Internet Explorer 11

For WEBCON Designer Studio to work correctly in version 2019, a system with preinstalled Internet Explorer 11 is needed – minimal required system version is Windows 2012R2.

  • .NET components

The following components are required for WEBCON BPS 2019:

–  .NET Framework 4.7

– .NET Core

– .NET Core Hosting Bundle

Those components should be downloaded from website https://www.microsoft.com/net/download, and installed before the start of the WEBCON BPS update.


 

3. Update of the current environment

3.1. Installation mode choice

After launching WEBCON BPS 2019 installer and accepting the User License Agreement, you can choose the installation mode. For updating your current WEBCON BPS environment installed on a SharePoint platform – choose the option: Update or expand an existing WEBCON BPS installation.

 

3.2. WEBCON BPS farm data

After choosing the update mode, define connections to the WEBCON BPS configuration database – provide database server, sign-in data, and the database name.

 

After providing correct connection data and confirming it, a summary will be displayed. It consists of information about the database, its version, installation type, and information about installed WEBCON BPS WorkFlow Service. If all data is correct, proceed to the next step.

 

3.3. System verification

The system verification step checks if the system has any components requiring a system update, and if the user has the required privileges to run this process.

 

If there is a problem with components or privileges, it is not possible to continue with the update. The problem has to be solved by an additional installation of missing components or providing privileges required to update, and then start it again.

 

3.4. Component choice

On the list of components available in WEBCON BPS 2019, you can see some of the existing components from previous versions – WEBCON SharePoint Core, WEBCON BPS Classic (previously known as WEBCON WorkFlow Server), WEBCON BPS WorkFlow Service and WEBCON BPS Designer Studio – all of these will be updated. If the system had WEBCON BPS External Users Module component installed, it will be updated to the newest version as well.

 

There are also completely new components:

  • WEBCON BPS Portal

This component provides a new way of displaying data. It is necessary in order for the new version of WEBCON BPS to work correctly.

  • WEBCON BPS Search Server

This component is responsible for searching in WEBCON BPS Portal. It’s a full-text search engine based on SOLR using the Apache Lucene library. Its installation is required for WEBCON BPS Portal search box to work correctly.

  • WEBCON BPS Modern WebParts (for Office 365)

Modern WebParts components are optional and can be installed at a later time. Modern WebPaprts allow to embed WEBCON BPS Portal components on SharePoint websites and in Office 365. Modern WebParts installation for SharePoint 2016 and Office 365 requires an App Catalog prepared. It is needed to provide its address during installation.

 

3.5. Prerequisites

The prerequisites step verifies the presence of elements required for a successful update, and for the operation of WEBCON BPS after the update. The system will display messages if it finds any problems during the verification.

 

  • Verification of incompatible SDK plugins

The new version doesn’t support SDK plugins that control Flow control steps, and Items list custom control. Existing plugins of these types must be deleted.

  • Database verification

The current database version is verified so that it is possible to update it correctly.

  • SharePoint actions and data sources configuration validation

WEBCON BPS 2019 requires that SharePoint connections used in actions and data sources are realized in the context of the service.

  • E-mail sender in „Send custom e-mail” type actions verification

Send custom e-mail actions need to have „@” sign in the recipient address in order to work correctly.

  • Verify service webs configuration

In WEBCON BPS 2019, in the service configuration, the list of all serviced SharePoint sites was replaced instead with a list of all serviced content databases. This step checks WEBCON BPS features active on SharePoint websites, and based on their configuration, makes a list of their associated content databases.

  • Verify the SharePoint Site address that will be used in the BPS user list synchronization configuration

To ensure correct work of SharePoint user list synchronization, it is required to activate WEBCON BPS Configuration feature on the website.

 

After the installer finishes checking all the prerequisites, it will list all tasks which you will need to be carry out after the installation concludes. Continue with the installation by clicking Next.

 

3.6.  Component installation

The next step presents a list of components which will be altered. On this step, we also define installation folders of Workflow components.

One component of note is the WEBCON BPS Search Server. It is important to remember that this component’s installation location will also save the logs and indexes required for the search engine to work. Due to possible significant data volume increase, please make sure that this component’s location has ample free space (roughly 10% of the estimated size of the content database).

After defining each component’s installation paths, start installing them by clicking Next.

 

3.7. Database upgrade

This stage is responsible for changes in WEBCON BPS databases that are required for the new version to work correctly. Verify the database which you wish to update and start installation process by clicking on Next.

 

WEBCON BPS 2019 introduces a new privilege level – “System administrator”. This privilege is required to work with WEBCON BPS Designer Studio. During database update, the system administrator privileges are added for the user performing the installation.

 

Adding privileges for remaining users can be done in several ways:

  • By choosing button “Manage privileges”
  • By launching WEBCON BPS System Administrators application after finishing the installation (available in WEBCON BPS Designer Studio folder)
  • Adding privileges from the level of WEBCON BPS Designer Studio

 

Clicking on „Manage privileges” launches WEBCON BPS System Administrators application which requires providing data to connect to WEBCON BPS configuration database.

 

After providing data to connect with the database, we can choose the content database and manage users:

 

Close application that manages privileges and move to the next step by clicking on Next.

 

3.8. IIS application creation

On this step, choose the IIS website on which the Portal application will be created. It is not possible to use the existing SharePoint application pool, you must create a new application pool for the Portal application. Provide a name, username, and password for the new application pool.

 

At this moment register entries are also added – those are necessary for Portal to work correctly.

 

3.9. Portal address configuration

On this step define the address under which WEBCON BPS Portal will be available. A public address on which the server is available can be used. The Portal’s virtual catalog based on SharePoint is always constant, even after an update. This address is used also to connect in WEBCON BPS Designer Studio.

 

When the address is configured, choose Next.

 

3.10. Service status

Here, the WEBCON BPS service is launched by clicking on the “Start service” button.

 

Services’ messages will display information about service status. If there are any problems with launching the service, check event log for WEBCON BPS WorkFlow Service to find the cause of the problem.

 

After starting the service, click Next.

 

3.11. Search Server configuration

WEBCON BPS installer has a creator which is used to prepare the Solr search server based on a single node.

This configuration is sufficient for WEBCON BPS Portal to work correctly. It will allow the system to correctly manage the search box, flexible forms, and the autocomplete function for entered phrases.

During installation, new users are created in Solr service – the Solr admin and the user used for connecting between BPS and the Solr service is: WEBCON_BPS.

In scenarios where it’s necessary to prepare an extensive, highly accessible Solr environment, you need to prepare it accordingly to Solr documentation.

 

After providing user data, save the configuration by choosing Next.

 

WEBCON BPS update is finished.


 

4. WEBCON BPS Designer Studio launch

4.1. Connection with Portal

WEBCON BPS 2019 introduces changes in WEBCON BPS Designer Studio connection – until now, the connection used a SharePoint website address which had a correctly configured WEBCON BPS Configuration feature.

From version BPS 2019 onwards, in the connection address, provide the address where WEBCON BPS Portal is available. Enter the address and then click Connect.

 

4.2. Content database picker

If the environment has many content bases, the next step is choosing the content database and providing SharePoint website which is connected to it:

 

4.3. Process -> Application

During the update, all existing processes will be migrated to applications.

 

Every process you have defined will become a separate application (with the same name as the process). In order to start working in Designer Studio, first choose an application or application group from the list.


 

5. Post-migration work

5.1. Implementation of prerequisite recommendations

After the update finished and launching WEBCON BPS Designer Studio for the first time, it is required to perform actions in accordance with the prerequisite recommendations.

After performing prerequisite recommendations, we end up with a working WEBCON BPS 2019 environment based on a SharePoint platform.

Preparations to use WEBCON BPS Portal require changes described in the following section.


 

6. WEBCON BPS Portal launch

6.1. Solr indexation

In order to provide accurate search results in WEBCON BPS Portal, it is required to index all elements present in BPS databases.

To do so turn on SOLR indexer role in service configuration:

 

Save and force configuration to reload of the service by using the „Load configuration” button.

On the SOLR index queue report in WEBCON BPS Designer Studio (Reports section), add a task of full reindexation of the database.

 

6.2. Turning off compatibility view for intranet websites

In Internet Explorer 11, for WEBCON BPS Portal to work correctly, it is needed to turn off the compatibility mode for intranet websites. You will know that this change is necessary when you encounter a gray page after loading the Portal website.

 

In order to make necessary changes, open compatibility view settings:

 

Then uncheck option „Display intranet sites in Compatibility view”.

 

6.3. WEBCON BPS Portal configuration

Preparing WEBCON BPS Portal for end-users:

  • Familiarization with the list of old features that no longer work in WEBCON BPS Portal
  • Arranging groups of logically connected Processes into Applications
  • Configuration and preparation of:
    • Reports
    • Dashboards
    • Starting processes

 

All information about WEBCON BPS Portal configuration will be available on: http://howto.webcon.com/

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