Installing the latest version of your favorite software suite can be an exciting time as you eagerly await your chance to try out all the latest features and bug fixes. However, as anyone who has installed one of the latest windows updates can tell you, they can also be a stressful time as these updates give a new chance for bugs and rogue features to jump up and cripple your system.
But never fear, with this guide we will teach you how to use test instances to safely update your Profound UI installation, minimizing the chances of discovering any unintended surprises on new release day. Additionally, you can always check the Profound UI version log on our documentation website, so you can read up on all of the latest changes in Profound UI.
Step 1: Determine that an update is available for your installation
The first question you may ask is, “How do I know that there is an update for Profound UI available for me to install?” There are 2 ways to determine which version and fix pack level of Profound UI you are running, and what the latest release is. The first method is to navigate to the Profound UI welcome page that comes installed by default with your Profound UI installation. To visit the welcome page, you must navigate to the following URL:
(Where hostname is the host name or ip address of your IBM i machine, and port is the port number of your Profound UI instance.)
This will navigate you to the Profound UI welcome page where you can find some quick links to the different Profound UI modules. In the top right corner of this page, you will find the current version number and fix pack level of your installed instance of Profound UI. Additionally, when the page first loads, or when you click on the ‘Check for Update’ link just under the version number, the page will automatically check with our servers to see if there is more recent version of Profound UI available. If there is an update available, you will be greeted by a message letting you know the version and fix pack level of the latest release, as well as some handy links for updating your installation.
The second option is to use the Profound UI ‘Work with Instances’ tool to manually compare the version and fix pack level of your currently installed copy of Profound UI with the latest version listed on our documentation website. To use this tool, you simply need to call the PUIWRKINST command stored in your Profound UI installation library (default is PROFOUNDUI) from any 5250 command-line emulator. Once the command completes, you will be greeted with a screen that lists all your Profound UI installations on this LPAR, as well as their port numbers, current version and fix pack levels. On this screen the version and fix pack levels are combined into one number, where the first number is the version number, and the second two numbers are the fix pack level.
The next step is to manually check for the latest release of Profound UI and to compare the numbers to see if you have the latest release or not. You can always find the latest version number and fix pack level of Profound UI its versions page in our documentation website.
Step 2: Downloading the installer
So now that we know that our Profound UI installation can be updated, how do we go about in doing so, especially in a way that will minimize unforeseen issues? The next step is to download one of the Profound UI installers. Yes, you read that correctly, Profound UI has two installers you can use to install the product, and each installer comes with their own pros and cons. Both are downloaded from the same place on our website. First you must select ‘Profound UI’ in the product select box, and then you need to select which installer you want to download from the second select box.
The first, and more popular option, is the Windows Executable or GUI version of the installer. This is a windows program that will connect to your IBM i and use the FTP protocol to install Profound UI. The advantage of this installer is that it is much easier to use because of its GUI interface, and it does not require some additional steps to move the installer to the IBM i before running it. However, it does require that your IBM i is reachable via FTP from your PC, and it does not provide the option to install Profound UI onto an IASP.
The second option is to install Profound UI using a Save File (SAVF) and the 5250 command-line. This option requires you to download the save file from our website to your local PC, then transfer the file from your PC to your IBM i. Once the file is transferred you will need to restore the PUISETUP library and run the installation program stored within. This installer has the advantage of providing the option to install Profound UI onto an IASP and does not require that your PC has a constant FTP connection to the IBM i, after the save file has already been transferred to it. However, it does have the disadvantage that it requires some extra steps before you can run the installation program and may be more difficult to use for people not familiar with the 5250 command-line interface.
Ultimately, both installers will deliver the same version of Profound UI, and unless you are limited by one of the disadvantages mentioned previously, which installer to use will be up to your personal choice. Choose one of the options and download it to your PC, saving it in a safe spot on your PC because we will be using the installer multiple times during this process.
Step 3: Set up a test instance
Now that we have our preferred installer of the latest version of Profound UI, the natural feeling will be to use it to update your production instance, but this is not the recommended update path. Before we update the production instance, we want to be able to test the latest changes without impacting your day to day operations. This is where the test instance comes into play. We will create a test instance (which we will update first) where we can test the update process and the new changes, while leaving the production instance in its current form.
To create the test instance we are going to go back to the Profound UI ‘Work with Instances’ tool (PUIWRKINST), where we will use option 3 to copy an instance. The instance you want to copy should be the original instance you planed on updating at the end of this process.
To complete the copy process you need to provide an unused instance library name, and unused port number for this new instance. The library does not need to be created prior to this process; the copy process will create the new library itself. Also make sure to take note of the name and port number that you choose, as we will need to remember these in a later step. If you need to look up these values later, you can use the ‘Work with Instances’ tool to find both the installation library name and the port number for every Profound UI instance installed on this LPAR, including the test instance we just created. After the instance has been copied you should be returned to the first screen of the ‘Work with Instances’ tool, where you can then see your freshly copied instance is now active and running using the installation library and port number you specified earlier. We will use this freshly copied instance as the test instance where we can test the update process.
So that is how you can set up a test instance ready to test the newest update. In Part II on this topic we’ll cover the final steps to update your Profound UI install. Check back soon!