v28 WAS (Web Application Server) upgrade issues

I just wanted to post a few quick tips/warnings concerning v28 WAS upgrades. I have upgraded quite a few servers for several of our clients as well as our own now, and some went very smoothly, others ran into a few issues, but nothing that I couldn’t overcome.

These issues haven’t been consistent enough for me to establish an exact pattern so I can tell you when this happens, do this, but I can at least give you my suspicions and general solutions.

Most of the issues seem to stem from servers that were still running Apache 2.2. First, it should be no surprise that I am talking about Apache servers as anyone who has asked me about maintaining an IIS server has heard my soapbox speech concerning IIS :-).

Apache 2.4 was actually first released in 2012, however, v28 is the first WEBDEV release that actively supports it. We have been using Apache 2.4 for several years, but we had to do some custom adjustments to the setup. With v28, the WAS server is actually looking for 2.4, which is good news, but it seems to cause a few issues with 2.2 servers. For the most part, the config files are the same as before 2.2 and 2.4 but there are a few directives that are different, and it seems that v28 is now confused by 2.2, and after upgrading the WAS on a 2.2 server I am getting URL not found when it tries to launch the site.

I could likely tweak the 2.2 config and get it working, but it is a good excuse to upgrade those remaining 2.2 servers to 2.4 anyway, so that has been my preferred solution. Unfortunately, I have yet to remember to do this prior to upgrading a server to v28. I suspect if you are running Apache 2.2, upgrading it to 2.4 before upgrading the WAS to v28 might go smoother than upgrading to v28 first.

If you do upgrade Apache be sure to save your config (mainly your vhost file) and SSL folders as you will need that stuff in 2.4, and as mentioned there are some config directives that you might need to update when you copy your entries into the 2.4 vhost. The Grant All directive for the Directory and Files is different which is one of the entries WAS makes to give permissions to the publishing directories.

I have also had issues with v28 upgrade not changing the ForceType to reference v28 instead of v27.

And I have also had WEBDEV tell me that the site already exists when I try to publish for the first type from v28, as it it is trying to publish a new site.

Although I have ways of manually adjusting the config files to resolve most of these issues, the easiest solution, especially for those not as familiar with Apache, is to remove all the WEBDEV specific entries from the Vhost config file. Delete the Site from the list of sites in the WAS (not don’t delete the physical files or directory, just the WAS entry). And then republish the site, after upgrading the project to v28. This gives you a new set of entries you your vhost config file and a new site entry in the WAS. In fact, I have done this a few times in the past with servers that have been upgraded several times as it cleans up a lot of extra lines from the config file that don’t need to be there any longer. As always your mileage may vary, and you should definitely do a backup before you do anything else!

Finally on one server upgrade, when we tried to publish, the WAS users didn’t exist, in fact, when we went into the admin on the server it shows no WAS users at all. Although concerning it was fairly easy to recreate the users because the Windows accounts still existed and when creating a WAS user you are able to select as existing Windows account.

Although I haven’t been able to give you a specific list of issues and their solutions, I hope I have at least given you enough information to prepare you for some of the issues you may face.

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