Updating Anywhere365

When is the time to update my Anywhere365 software?

Anywhere365 is a suite of software components that need regular maintenance and updates just like any other software in use in private or corporate environments.

All Anywhere365 software components are built on underlying Microsoft technology (Windows OS, Skype for BusinessSkype for Business is an enterprise software from Microsoft and provides users with instant messaging, online meetings, availabillity information, and audio and video calling. It requires a Skype for Business Server. The Anywhere365 application server is added to the Skype for Business Typology as Trusted Application Server., Teams, SQL, or SharePoint to name a few) and Microsoft programming standards (.NET and C++).

Besides version updates of the individual Anywhere365 software components also these underlying technologies need updates or even replacement due to life cycle or strategic changes.

Anywhere365 will adhere to its End-of-life guideline for support on Anywhere365 software, no more technical support on the last 3 minor versions and functional support up until a year after release, unless no new version has been released within that time. Also see: Anywhere365 Support End of Life

 

Every 3, 6 or 12 months

To stay up to date with the latest Anywhere365 our guideline is to schedule a planned Anywhere365 component refresh every 3, 6 or at most 12 months. We don’t have “a new version is available” push mechanism inside our software (as Windows OS or Office or (mobile) AppStore programs do), but we do require customers to keep their software updated none the less.

The best (and only) place to see the latest version of each individual software component is the Release Notes Website. On here you will find what new features, enhancements and sometimes relationship to other software components are added to this release. Below are instructions on how to handle each software component update.

For a list of possible Anywhere365 software components you have found are eligible for updating a good starting place is the list on the “Guides” page on this GoLive website.

Besides a listing all documented Anywhere365 software components, many have a direct link to an “Update” article, which describes how to update the specific components.

 

Approach

Before you start the update, you need to think about your approach and prepare the update. Are the versions of the underlying Microsoft technology still supported and up to date?

Which components are used, which version of the component is used? Are there any dependencies for updating a component? How do I validate if the component(s) is working correctly after the update? Do I have a rollback plan in case something goes wrong?

If you have a user acceptance environment, then start with the server(s) in that environment if the update is successful, then continue with the production environment.

You can have different architectures, which lead to different approaches for the update. Each approach exists of a couple of phases:

  • Preparation

  • Update

  • Testing

  • Clean up

 

Single server architecture

In this architecture there is only one server.

Preparation

Before you start the update, it is important to prepare the update.

 

Update

The update of the components consists of the following steps

  1. Make a backup of each component that is being updated. If mentioned in the release notes, then make a backup of the Anywhere365 database(s)

  2. Keep track of your changes (log)

  3. Install new .NET framework version (if required) and reboot server if asked

  4. Stop the UCC Service

  5. Update each required component by following the Update Guides

    1. If you have multiple folders for the Dialogue Intelligence Reports, then you need to run the update for each folder and specify the correct folder name

    2. SharePoint Timer Jobs, copy new files over the existing files, except for the config file

    3. SharePoint Retention Policy, copy new files over the existing files, except for the config file

    4. Plugins, copy new files over the existing files

  6. Delete the cache folder

  7. Reboot the server (advised)

  8. Check if the UCC Service is running

  9. Check if the UCC's are started

  10. Check UCC log for errors

 

Testing

Run the scenarios from your acceptance testing plan. If the test results are met, then continue, otherwise troubleshoot the issue. Perform a rollback if the issue cannot be fixed easily.

 

Clean up

Remove for example old cache folders, old backups and logfiles and the previous software from the install folder

 

Client software

Do not forget to also update client software like the Snapper, Wallboard and Attendant. If you are using a software distribution tool, then you can create the new package during the preparation and rollout the package after the Core update.

 

Active/Passive servers within the same trusted application pool

When you have two Anywhere365 servers configured for failover within the same trusted application pool, then the updates steps are different from the above approach.

Preparation

Before you start the update, it is important to prepare the update.

  • Document which components you are using, and which version is used.

    Note If you are using an old Core version (more than two years old), you probably also use an old operating system. Consider a technology refresh and move to a new server with a clean install and migrate the UCC’s to this server

  • Note the current .NET Framework version

  • Make sure that the copy config script and/or the backup and restore applications scripts are installed, configured and running correctly

  • Note the current .NET Framework version

  • Server is updated with latest Microsoft patches and updates.

  • Skype for Business Server CU level of Anywhere365 server is on the same level as Skype for Business servers

  • Check GoLive release notes to see which updates are available and check any dependencies. If there are dependencies, then first resolve this before continuing

  • Determine which components to update

  • Create an acceptance testing plan, describe your scenarios, test cases and success criteria. This can be used for testing existing functionality, enhancements, or new features. Make sure you have a test UCC

  • Create a rollback plan

  • Download the components from our Partner Portal. Direct customers can request the software from our ServiceDesk

  • Determine the update order for the components, be aware that the Core is always leading. This means only after the update of the Core, you can update other components

  • Schedule a maintenance window or multiple for the update

  • Create a runbook that you can use for future updates

 

Update

The update of the components consists of the following steps

  1. Make a backup of each component that is being updated. If mentioned in the release notes, then make a backup of the Anywhere365 database(s)

  2. Keep track of your changes (log)

  3. Start with the passive server

  4. Install new .NET framework version (if required) and reboot server if asked

  5. Update each required component by following the Update Guides

    1. If you have multiple folders for the Dialogue Intelligence Reports, then you need to run the update for each folder and specify the correct folder name

    2. SharePoint Timer Jobs, copy new files over the existing files, except for the config file

    3. SharePoint Retention Policy, copy new files over the existing files, except for the config file

    4. Plugins, copy new files over the existing files

  6. Rename the cache folder on the passive server

  7. Reboot the passive server (advised)

  8. Start service on passive with only the test UCC, start testing

  9. Stop the UCC service on the primary server if testing was successful

  10. Start the UCC service on the passive server with the original config.xml

  11. Check if the UCC service is running

  12. Check if all UCC’s are started

  13. Check UCC log for errors

  14. Perform your tests

  15. If the testing is successful, then repeat the step 1 to 14 for the primary server

  16. If both servers are working correctly, perform a failback (optional)

    1. Then perform stop the UCC service

    2. Reboot the active server (advised)

  17. Start the UCC service on the primary server

 

Testing

Run the scenarios from the acceptance testing plan. Otherwise troubleshoot the issue. Perform a rollback if the issue cannot be fixed easily.

 

Clean up

Remove for example old cache folders, old backups and logfiles and the previous software from the install folder.

 

Client software

Do not forget to also update client software like the Snapper, Wallboard and Attendant. If you are using a software distribution tool, then you can create the new package during the preparation and rollout the package after the Core update.

 

Active/Passive servers in different trusted application pools

When you have two Anywhere365 servers configured for failover across different trusted application pools, then the updates steps are different from the previous approaches. This is usually the case if you have setup Skype for Business and Anywhere365 in two datacentres.

Preparation

Before you start the update, it is important to prepare the update.

  • Document which components you are using, and which version is used.

    Note If you are using an old Core version (more than two years old), you probably also use an old operating system. Consider a technology refresh and move to a new server with a clean install and migrate the UCC’s to this server

  • Note the current .NET Framework version

  • Make sure that the copy config script and/or the backup and restore applications scripts are installed, configured and running correctly

  • Note the current .NET Framework version

  • Server is updated with latest Microsoft patches and updates.

  • Skype for Business Server CU level of Anywhere365 server is on the same level as Skype for Business servers

  • Check GoLive release notes to see which updates are available and check any dependencies. If there are dependencies, then first resolve this before continuing

  • Determine which components to update

  • Create an acceptance testing plan, describe your scenarios, test cases and success criteria. This can be used for testing existing functionality, enhancements, or new features. Make sure you have a test UCC

  • Create a rollback plan

  • Download the components from our Partner Portal. Direct customers can request the software from our ServiceDesk

  • Determine the update order for the components, be aware that the Core is always leading. This means only after the update of the Core, you can update other components

  • Schedule a maintenance window or multiple for the update

  • Create a runbook that you can use for future updates

 

Update

The update of the components consists of the following steps

  1. Make a backup of each component that is being updated. If mentioned in the release notes, then make a backup of the Anywhere365 database(s)

  2. Keep track of your changes (log)

  3. Start with the passive server

  4. Install new .NET framework version (if required) and reboot server if asked

  5. Update each required component by following the Update Guides

    1. If you have multiple folders for the Dialogue Intelligence Reports, then you need to run the update for each folder and specify the correct folder name

    2. SharePoint Timer Jobs, copy new files over the existing files, except for the config file

    3. SharePoint Retention Policy, copy new files over the existing files, except for the config file

    4. Plugins, copy new files over the existing files

  6. Rename the cache folder on the server

  7. Reboot the server (advised)

  8. Start UCC service on passive with only the test UCC

  9. Check if the UCC service is running

  10. Check if the test UCC is started

  11. Check UCC log for errors

  12. Perform your tests

  13. If the testing is successful, then stop the UCC service on the primary server

  14. Perform a failover of the apps and endpoints using the failover scripts

  15. Start the UCC service on the passive server

  16. Check if the UCC service is running

  17. Check if all UCC’s are started

  18. Check UCC log for errors

  19. Perform your tests

  20. If the testing is successful, then repeat the step 1 to 12 for the other primary server

  21. If both servers are working correctly, then perform a failback (optional)

 

Testing

Run the scenarios from the acceptance testing plan. Otherwise troubleshoot the issue. Perform a rollback if the issue cannot be fixed easily.

 

Clean up

Remove for example old cache folders, old backups and logfiles and the previous software from the install folder.

 

Client software

Do not forget to also update client software like the Snapper, Wallboard and Attendant. If you are using a software distribution tool, then you can create the new package during the preparation and rollout the package after the Core update.

 

Update Core with Enterprise Plus

Updating the Core with the Enterprise Plus license, requires multiple additional steps.