This support statement proposes a revision to the definition of "supported" and "unsupported" with respect to the various products of which IBM
® Portal depends on for proper operation.
Portal requires the use of several collateral products for its normal operations. In particular, it requires WebSphere
Application Server, a database, a repository for user information (typically an LDAP), and other products depending on specific customer requirements.
During the testing of a new release, Development generally tests WebSphere
Portal with a prescribed list of these collateral products. These products are designated as "Supported Products" in the documented hardware and software requirements for that release.
Because the list of "Supported Products" cannot reasonably describe all possible configurations that a customer may need to use, some customers have voiced concerns about the level of support that will be provided for configurations that are not specifically designated as "Supported." This document is intended to provide clarification of the level of support that can be generally expected for the current release with various combinations of dependent products.
Note: Although the statements in this document reflect the general level of support that can be expected for WebSphere Portal, the terms and conditions of any specific support offering, license or other Agreement you might have with IBM will determine the actual delivered support for the product. Nothing herein shall be construed as supplementing, modifying or superseding the terms of your IBM license agreement for WebSphere Portal or any other agreement you might have with IBM, nor shall it create any obligation for IBM to deliver a level of support other than might be set forth in such Agreements.
Categories of Support
There are three (3) categories of support for collateral products to WebSphere
Portal. They are "Supported Products", "Newer Versions and Releases of Supported Products" and "Unsupported Products". The definition and support statement for each category follows:
A "Supported Product" is a product (at a specified version, release and fix level) that was tested by Development and is known to work with WebSphere Portal.Newer Versions and Releases of Supported Products
Products in this category are supported as per the terms of your WebSphere Portal License Agreement. PMRs (Problem Management Records) will be accepted by IBM Support in accordance with the conditions of the WebSphere Portal License Agreement.
Many products outside the specific version(s), release(s) or fix pack(s) of the "Supported" version, (referenced in the documented hardware and software requirements) may not have been explicitly tested by IBM WebSphere Development, yet can reasonably be expected to perform within the accepted bounds of reliability, function and performance by a customer. Unsupported Products
Products that fall into this category are typically newer releases or fix levels of a product already in the "Supported Product" category or a product that adheres to a standard API that WebSphere Portal supports (such as an LDAP server). Some specific examples might include a newer operating system fix level, a WebSphere Application Server (WAS) fix pack newer than the original "Supported "fix pack level, an IBM Java (JVM) fix pack, a new fix pack or release of DB2 or an updated LDAP server.
For products that fall into this category, support is as follows:
For IBM products, such as IBM Directory Server or Domino LDAP, IBM DB2, IBM JDKs (JVMs) and WebSphere Application Server, WebSphere Portal will fully support fix-pack, release and version updates that do not significantly change interfaces or other underlying support that WebSphere Portal depends on for its functionality. If and when a newer release of one of these products is shipped that WebSphere Portal cannot accommodate, that fact will be noted as described in the next section entitled "Unsupported Products". Note that in order for WebSphere Portal to support an update to a database or LDAP product, WebSphere Application Server must support that update as well.
For non-IBM products, the Support team will make a commercially reasonable effort to support products in this category. Support will accept problem reports (PMRs) for the appropriate releases using these untested products. If Support is able to re-create the reported problem using a "Supported" version of the product, we will attempt to fix the problem.
If Support is not able to re-create the problem with a "Supported" version of the product in question and is not able to resolve the problem on the untested version of the product in question, Support will look to the support organization for the product in question to provide resolution. Please note that varying degrees of customer involvement may be necessary to handle this process for non-IBM products.
If the support organization for the untested product in question is unable to resolve the problem, Support will deem that version, release or fix pack level of the untested product in question to now be an "Unsupported Product".
An "Unsupported Product" is a product (at a specified version, release and fix level) that is known to not work with WebSphere Portal and is therefore not supported. A product can be included in this category as a result of an explicit test effort by Development or as a result of discovery from a prior customer problem. The WebSphere Portal Support team maintains a list, by WebSphere Portal release, of all known "Unsupported Products" published on the web as a techdoc available to all customers.
WebSphere Application Server has a similar support statement which can be found on the web.
Note: WebSphere Application Server uses specially customized builds of the IBM Java SDKs on certain platforms. Updates to these must be obtained from WebSphere Application Server support.
WebSphere Portal can be sensitive to changes in the underlying WebSphere Application Server. Upgrading to a new fix pack level of the application server is well tolerated and encouraged (such as from WebSphere Application Server version 7.0 to 7.0.x) as long as all required fixes for WebSphere Application Server are available as integrated into that fix pack or by applying an interim fix specifically for that maintenance level. However, upgrading from one version of WebSphere Application Server to the next (such as from 6.1 to 7.0) is quite problematic if not done within the context of a migration of versions and should never be attempted with an "in-place" system.
For example, an existing instance of WebSphere Portal version 7.0 installed and functioning on WebSphere Application Server version 7.0 cannot be successfully migrated to WebSphere Application Server version 7.1 simply by using the WebSphere Application Server Migration Tools. Such attempts may result in a non-functional system. Consult IBM WebSphere Portal support for more information on such scenarios, if required.
Support for LDAP Servers
LDAP support spans two (2) categories:
Fully tested and supported LDAP servers:
The list of fully tested LDAP servers for each release of WebSphere Portal is documented in the detailed system requirements for each release. For more information on system requirements, see the link below. WebSphere Portal support accepts problem reports for the appropriate WebSphere Portal releases using the tested directory servers. These problem reports receive high-priority attention. Features that are tested with these directories include relatively simple search and retrieval functions for user and group objects. Functions outside this scope, such as the Active Directory Global Catalog feature, are considered advanced features and have not been tested with WebSphere Portal. WebSphere Portal support encourages customers to work with their LDAP provider for additional support on these advanced features.Untested and partially supported LDAP servers:
In general, WebSphere Portal support makes a best effort to support directory servers that have not been tested with WebSphere Portal. WebSphere Portal support accepts problem reports for the appropriate WebSphere Portal releases using untested directory servers. If WebSphere Portal support can re-create the reported problem using a tested LDAP server, staff will attempt to fix the problem. If the support team is not able to re-create the problem on a tested LDAP server, customers are referred to the LDAP provider for further assistance.
Support for External Security Managers (ESM)
ESM support spans two (2) categories:
Fully tested and supported ESM software:
The list of fully tested ESM software versions for each release of WebSphere Portal is documented in the detailed system requirements for each release. For more information on system requirements, see the link below. WebSphere Portal support accepts problem reports for the appropriate WebSphere Portal releases using the tested ESM servers. These problem reports receive high-priority attention. Features that are tested with these software products include authentication and authorization. Functions outside this scope, such as login customizations, referrals, impersonation, and step up authentication are considered advanced features and have not been tested with WebSphere Portal. WebSphere Portal support encourages customers to work with their ESM provider for additional support on these advanced features.Untested and partially supported ESM servers:
In general, WebSphere Portal support makes a best effort to support ESM servers that have not been tested with WebSphere Portal when relying on the ESM for authentication only. WebSphere Portal support accepts problem reports for the appropriate WebSphere Portal releases using untested ESM Trust Association Interceptor (TAI) implementations. If WebSphere Portal support can re-create the reported problem using a tested ESM, staff will attempt to fix the problem. If the support team is not able to re-create the problem on a tested ESM, customers are referred to the ESM provider for further assistance.Parent topic: Planning to install WebSphere Portal