Upgrading SAP ASE

    By: Jeffrey Ross Garbus on Jun 01, 2014

    Two steps forward, one step back. Sometimes embracing change reminds us that while we need not fear it, we do need to assure ourselves that the change will be positive.

    Upgrades to the database server present a situation where the binaries for the database server are being replaced. This presents the possibility that the database will not react as expected when in use. For the most part, certain bugs that used to exist will disappear. The problem with upgrades is they represent a change in code. For the most part, this should be a benign thing; bugs were fixed, issues that might affect your system can now be avoided. But occasionally (note, I did not say often), an upgrade can fix some problems but at the same time introduce new ones.

    The goal with the upgrade/update is to get to the end of the process without a major incident. You should reduce possible issues during an upgrade by planning.

    • Be patient/do the research.
      I have never seen nor heard of a software release that was “Bug free”. I have heard of many situations where an update that fixes many issues also introduces a problem into the system. While the possibility of hitting a new bug is considered small, it still exists and presents as an unknown for the upgrade process. For this reason, it may be a good idea not to rush into upgrading a system just because “it's the latest version” or “it fixes a lot of bugs”. At the same time, I don’t recommend the mantra of “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” I do, however, believe that letting someone else “be the guinea pig” is the safer bet, especially if the DBMS is currently stable. In short, this means that you should avoid installing updates as soon as they become available. Note: while we do know some experienced DBAs who will apply a patch the moment it becomes available (mostly DBAs in the windows world) – we do question their sanity, as we have personally been burnt by application of EBFs/SWRs, and rolling back is painful. It may be safer to let someone else do the upgrades and determine if there are any issues. It should also be noted that if everyone followed this advice, updates may never happen. In other words, do some research, find out if the update/upgrade has caused any issues for others.


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    Released: June 1, 2014, 1:50 pm | Updated: July 17, 2014, 10:06 am
    Keywords: ASE DBA Article | Technical Journal | Alvin Chang | ASE | Data Management | Database Upgrades | Jeff Garbus | Malathy Mani




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