With the release of Innovator 14 in November, Aras has ushered in many new changes. One of these major changes is their approach towards new releases. Aras is abandoning their old Major Release and Service Pack model, opting to instead move towards a SaaS-like approach. This means that Aras can bring new functionality in 5-week intervals, with relatively lightweight updates that can be installed by the subscriber themselves.
For those of you who have recently moved to 11 or 12, rest assured knowing that Innovator 14 will be the last major release with a formal upgrade, for at least the foreseeable future. Aras’ intention is for the upgrade process to be thought of more as an update process. With most software we use, the updates are automatic, lightweight, and quite casual. This is what Aras is trying to accomplish with this new release structure. As with the deployment of any new functionality, it is highly recommended to test all updates and update procedures on a test or development server before deploying to production.
When it comes to the update process itself, there a few things that need to be done before beginning. First, you will need to ensure that you are currently running Innovator Release 14 Build 220.127.116.1143. This can be verified by selecting the User Menu Icon at the top right of the Innovator UI and selecting About from the dropdown menu.
Along with this, you will need to check the values of a few variables. This can be done by going to the Administration tab on your Table of Contents and selecting Variables. From here, search for all variables that begin with version (version*) and ensure that Version Major is 14, Version Minor is 0, Version ServiceUpdate is 0, and Version ServicePack is None.
Prerequisites to Update
Next, there are a few prerequisite downloads, one being the patch itself, and the other being the Aras Update utility. The Aras Update Utility can be downloaded from the following hyperlink Downloads & Support (aras.com) . The patch is found within the Aras FTP site. In the case of Release 15, it can be found in the directory /InnovatorLatestRelease/Release 15/Release 15 CD Image/Utilities/.
One final step to perform before the update begins, is to ensure that all users are disconnected from the system. This can be done by modifying the file InnovatorServerConfig.xml, which can be found within the install directory of your Innovator instance.
On line 21 of this file, there is a database connection string. To disconnect all users, you will need to modify this string from <DB-Connnection… to <xDB-Connection and subsequently restart IIS. IIS can be restarted by opening command prompt and using the command “iisreset”. At this point, you should perform the necessary backups to your database and Innovator code tree just in case the update fails. Following backups, reconnect to the database by changing the connection string back to <DB-Connection… and perform another iisreset.
The Update Process
Now that we have ensured that you are eligible for the update, the necessary prerequisites have been downloaded, and all backups have been performed, it’s time to begin the process. First things first, you will need to import the update file into the Aras Update utility. This can be done by opening the utility and selecting the local tab.
Here you can select “Add Package Reference” and select the folder that includes the patch folder. Once this is imported, you can select which components to upgrade. (Note: Ensure that you are selecting components you currently have installed, or the upgrade will fail. To add new components, you will have to add these by running the Aras Innovator installer.)
Once all components are specified, the installer will prompt you to specify the install directory, or code tree, of your Innovator Instance, the server URL, along with the Database name and login. Upon entry of these, select install and after a few minutes the installation should be complete.
For further assistance, please watch the attached video above for a step-by-step walkthrough.
Upon receiving confirmation that the update was successfully installed, feel free to log back into Innovator and verify that you are now running Release 15. At this time, you should also test critical functionality and your vault. If all tests show no issues, then schedule production downtime with your users and perform the upgrade in the production environment.
For more information on the recent changes to Aras Innovator and to keep up with all new additions to the platform, feel free to check out our previous sessions of Tech Tuesday.