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Understanding the HCL Commerce Upgrade from the Consultant’s Perspective

With extensive program upgrades and technical improvements, many businesses are finding its time to upgrade from HCL V7 to the more recent version, HCL V9. We understand that upgrades to any system can be frustrating, extensive, and difficult to navigate, which is why partnering with HCL experts who can walk you through the migration and outline the central changes and challenges will prove to be invaluable to help shift your mindset around a V9 upgrade.

Some key factors to consider and additional value a V9 upgrade provides include:

Architecture Change

Before V9, you would set up dedicated, yet static individual systems for installation. In fact, administrators would have to add another system into the installation base if they needed to expand and add capacity to their system. HCL V9 uses Docker technology, which is a technology that runs preconfigured containers that contain the operating system software. Clients will no longer have to manage or operate these systems on their own as HCL essentially provides the operating environment for the software.

Shifts in Technology

These containers also make troubleshooting and deploying new configurations much easier. Before V9, when troubleshooting issues you would have to log into the runtime, make edits, and restart the server to see if it was resolved. With V9, the new process is to check the changes made into a repository, rebuild containers within the settings of the platform, and deploy the containers to test what works. Does this process take more time? Yes, but the containerization platform is much more effective in terms of consistency and tracking to ensure you complete the job correctly.

Docker technology contains most of the installation components for the HCL upgrade, but the Docker also needs an underlying architecture that assists with installation and manages the technology. Kubernetes, an orchestration software, now manages the Docker so it can properly install in the HCL software.

Cache Invalidations

With V9, HCL moved its previous application server to a more lightweight version that allows containers to run independently. HCL uses Kafka and ZooKeeper as cache invalidation tools to allow invalidations to pass between systems. These tools act as a central system that allows any app server with a cache invalidation to disseminate the cache to other servers.

Search Configuration Improvements

V9 also allows for a cleaner and simpler search configuration method. In previous versions, the setup, script execution, new languages, and multiple file locations had to be created manually and executed in several environments. The V9 upgrade automated all these processes into the product, saving time, and allowing for smoother project transitions.

The Merchant Key

V9 now requires a Merchant Key with 32 bits of value instead of the default 16 bits. This piece encrypts all data from the database and is a prerequisite before upgrading to V9.

The Bigger Picture

You’ll see a significant change in the way your commerce platform performs when you upgrade to V9. This upgrade may initially take some getting used to, but it makes this platform easier to operate and will benefit your business in the long run.

To learn more about how to execute your own HCL V9 upgrade, contact our commerce experts today.

Contributions made by Nathan Sellers.

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Cliff Frasure

Cliff Frasure is a Senior Technical Consultant with large-scale enterprise experience supporting and building out commerce environments. He is passionate about eliminating barriers, improving processes, and empowering teams to execute and deliver.

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