What you must know about V7 Extended Support for WCS Commerce

A lot of customers have been inquiring about V7 Extended Support so I thought may be it’s best to share our thoughts with everyone.

If time is running out for your migration options or maybe you just could not get that funding for a migration, here’s a quick update on WebSphere Commerce V7 Extended Support from IBM/HCL. IBM has offered Extended Support for WC V7 from May 1, 2020 to Dec 30, 2021 but this is not without a challenge. The challenge with the Extended Support is not with Commerce Server but rather with the underlying WebSphere Application Server and DB2. The reason lies in the fact that WC V7 runs on WAS 7 which was out of support since April 2018. See WAS V7 EOS here.

So fundamentally, in order to qualify for the extended support, WC V7 customers must satisfy 2 criteria:

  1. Upgrade WC V7 to Feature Pack levels 6, 7 or 8 with FixPack 9.
  2. Upgrade WAS 7 to WAS 8.5.5 and Java level to Java 8.

Both of these upgrades will require application regression testing because of the fundamental changes in the programming language Java 8 and in the WebSphere Application Server. You can view the full announcement here.

So more than ever, the choices are clear. Customers on WCS V7 must upgrade for extended support or migrate.

  1. Upgrade to WAS 8.5.5 and get Extended Support for V7
  2. Migrate to V8
  3. Migrate to V9

Though it may seem like the simplest of the three choices, Extending Support for V7 comes with its challenges as mentioned. From a technical perspective, upgrading WAS, Java and WC fix packs and feature packs involve a lot of technicality. Companies need to strategize how they will manage their time, resources, and budget for facilitating the necessary upgrades and testing. Companies must also be cautious of the downtime that they may experience during the process, and what steps should be taken to minimize downtime as much as possible. We have documented many of these details in an implementation guide that we created to help companies and individuals like you in taking the appropriate steps in extending their V7 support. Please feel free to get the V7 Extended Support Implementation Guide below!

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