On updates, including ZDU, and skipping versions

Discussion created by Carsten_Schmitz on Apr 23, 2018
Latest reply on Apr 23, 2018 by Carsten_Schmitz



I was wondering, and maybe I can get a statement from Automic (or anyone else "in the know") on this: With regular updates and with ZDU, is there any way to tell if I can (or can't) skip certain releases, and if so: What are the rules?


For instance, if I look at the ZDU documentation, it's not as helpful as one would hope. It says:


You can use this function to upgrade between all maintained versions by Automic. Depending on changes between your current version and later versions, you may need to upgrade to a version between your current version and the desired target version first.


If these were the 90s, and Dilbert would be all the rage, I'd be inserting a picture of a weasel here, because this part of the documentation is conviniently vague


On 2018-4-14, a new AE release popped up (somewhat surprisingly) for download. It contains some +HF4 components. For instance, should I track each and every hotfix release to be safe, thus updating my production system to +HF4 and any hotfix, and thus, possibly do an update every few days?


Or is it generally safe to say one only needs to track the third digit (12.1.1, 12.1.2, 12.1.3 ...) or even the major version (12.1, 12.2, 12.3 ...)? Is there any rule? Or is this trial and error, as the exceprt from the manual above suggest - "hey, we're on 12.0, let's try to ZDU to 12.1.1+hf4 and see if it works ...". And if it's the later: What if it doesn't work, what are the implications? Does at least ZDU have any built-in protections and will clearly say "Stop, you can't go from version x to z while skipping version y", or would the client just need to try it and possibly discover that something is eventually broken because of the chosen upgrade path?


The whole thing is of course compounded in it's severity by something I have pointed out before: The downloads section and release process is still not always obvious. It's better than it once was with pointless nightly releases, but it's still not great: 12.1.1+hf4 appeared somewhat out of nowhere, and worse, the only way you can see that there actually is a new hotfix is by scouring a manifest file that appeared five days after the download appeared, or downloading the archive and hunting for version numbers in the UNIX binaries with "strings".


Why can't the download button (or area) still not clearly say: "The current release is 12.1.1+hf4" ? I suspect many people wouldn't even realize that there is a +HF4, certainly took me a second (and third) look ...


Best regards,