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Home > Success Center > Web Help Desk (WHD) > Web Help Desk Administrator Guide > Upgrade the Web Help Desk (WHD) application

Upgrade the Web Help Desk (WHD) application

Created by Steve.Hawkins, last modified by Steve.Hawkins on Apr 27, 2017

Views: 951 Votes: 0 Revisions: 11

Updated: 6-14-2017

Supports: WHD 12.5.1 and earlier

This guide walks you through upgrading only your SolarWinds Web Help Desk (WHD) product. We include checklists to prepare and complete your upgrades, gotchas, and troubleshooting steps.

Upgrading multiple products? See our SolarWinds multiple products upgrade guide!

Preflight upgrade checklist

This preflight checklist details a number of important steps to help plan and prep for your upgrade.

Review release notes Review product release notes and available documentation in our Success Center.
Review system requirements

Make sure your environment has all of the required hardware and software requirements for your installations. You may need to also check the administrator guide for your product to locate the requirements.

Review licenses Review your current product licenses and determine if you need to make any changes. You can download any updated license keys for your upgrade through your Customer Portal. Verify any license upgrades and needs with your SolarWinds account manager or contact SolarWinds.
Do you need to migrate?

You may need to migrate products and databases to new dedicated servers or to shared servers. Check if you need to migrate by reviewing new requirements, your products, and your current environment.

Migrating adds time to your upgrade, but you have the best opportunity to update to new servers during an upgrade.

Do you plan to enable FIPS 140-2 cryptography?

If you plan to enable Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140-2 compliant cryptography after the upgrade, ensure that your WHD deployment meets all hardware and software requirements

This feature is required for computer systems installed in U.S. Federal Government agencies and companies in a regulated industry (such as healthcare and financial institutions) that share and distribute sensitive but unclassified (SBU) information.

Gather credentials Make sure you have all account credentials, Microsoft SQL Server or MySQL database credentials, your SolarWinds account, and local admin server credentials.
Upgrade to WHD 12.0 or later

If you are running WHD 11.2.1 or earlier, upgrade to WHD 12.0 or later before you upgrade to the current version.

WHD 12.0 and later does not support an embedded FrontBase or an external Oracle database. 

Run all Windows updates Before upgrading, check for and run all Microsoft Windows Updates on your WHD server and all additional web servers. As you upgrade, if a Windows update runs, your system may reboot as needed by Windows.
Schedule the upgrade Set up the maintenance window, preferably off-peak hours. Depending on the number of products, size of database(s), and size of environment, you may need hours to complete your upgrade.

Upgrades will require polling engines and SolarWinds services to be offline for a length of time, causing you to lose a portion of polling data.

Notify your company Send a message to your company of the upgrade schedule and maintenance window. If you need additional help, contact and allocate specific staff to be available.

How long does an upgrade take?

The time it takes to complete an upgrade depends on:

  • Hardware
  • Database server performance and database size
  • Environment performance

Since every configuration is different, we cannot predict exactly how long your upgrade will take.

Gotchas you should review

  • You must be running WHD 12.0 or later to upgrade to the latest version. 
  • If you plan to enable FIPS 140-2 cryptography after the upgrade, ensure that your WHD deployment supports the required resources. Enabling FIPS 140-2 compliant cryptography requires careful planning and coordination with IT management and corporate personnel for a successful implementation. Review the FIPS installation requirements in the WHD Admin Guide to ensure you have the appropriate amount of time, hardware, software, and resources for your deployment.

    After you enable FIPS 140-2 compliant cryptography in your WHD deployment, you cannot revert back to your previous configuration.

    FIPS 140-2 compliant cryptography is not recommended in a multiple-instance environment. 

  • If you are upgrading from a version prior to WHD 12.0, you may want to install a new product instead of performing an upgrade, saving or migrating your data. Support can provide the best advice for these upgrade scenarios.
  • Always check that you have enough hard drive space for zipped and unzipped installers. One unzipped installer could consume a couple GBs of space.
  • If you are migrating your database using a third-party tool, contact the tool vendor for assistance.
  • If you are upgrading an embedded FrontBase to WHD 12.0 on a server running Windows Server 2008, be sure to run the installer as an administrator to prevent the upgrade from stalling. See this article for full details. 
  • If you are migrating your PostgreSQL database to a new server, restore the database after you upgrade WHD to the latest version.  
  • If your deployment requires database management features such as failover clusters, use any supported DBMS except the embedded PostgreSQL database included with WHD. Failover clusters are not available with the embedded PostgreSQL database.
  • If you added code, such as .jar files provided by Support, the code may be overwritten during the upgrade.

Prepare your environment to upgrade

When you are ready to upgrade, complete these steps. They include the common actions you need to complete before upgrading products.

If you have a test or staging environment, we highly recommend testing the upgrade first. You cannot roll back an installation once completed.

1. Back up the database

Back up your WHD SolarWinds SQL database. If you need help, please check your vendor's site for documentation and instructions.

You cannot roll back an upgrade. Always create a database backup.

2. Exclude files on anti-virus software

To ensure the best performance on your server host and provide full file access, exclude specific file paths and directories from anti-virus software scans. See this article for details.

You can also place your systems behind a firewall to completely disable your anti-virus software during an upgrade.

Upgrade WHD

The following illustration provides the upgrade paths from current supported versions to the latest version. For example, if you are running an Oracle or FrontBase database, migrate to a PostgreSQL, MySQL, or Microsoft SQL Server database to support WHD 12.0 and later. 

Upgrade to WHD 12.0 from an earlier version

This checklist details the steps for upgrading WHD in your environment.

Upgrade Tip! If you have a test or staging environment, we highly recommend testing the upgrade first. You cannot roll back an installation once it's completed.

1. Back up your data
  1. Back up your WHD server.
  2. Back up any database server associated with WHD. 
2. Check your databases

If you are upgrading from an embedded FrontBase database, ensure that:

  • The embedded FrontBase and PostgreSQL databases are running.
  • The embedded FrontBase database uses the whd and user whd schemas. 
  • The server hosting WHD includes enough free space to support the database migration. WHD notifies you about the required space before the migration begins.
  • You have write privileges on both the FrontBase and PostgreSQL databases.
  • You right-click the installer and select Run as Administrator on a server running Windows Server 2008. Otherwise, the upgrade installation may fail. See this article for full details.   

The WHD 12.0.0 upgrade converts your embedded FrontBase database to an embedded PostgreSQL database. No additional database conversions are required.

If you are upgrading from an external FrontBase, OpenBase, or Oracle database, you must manually migrate your data to the embedded PostgreSQL database.

Use a migration tool that migrates your data to a supported database (such as PostgreSQL, MySQL, or SQL Server). Use caution when choosing target data types to use in one of the supported databases. If WHD does not support the data type, you may experience unexpected results when upgrading to the latest version.

See the following articles for details:

If you are upgrading from a MySQL or Microsoft SQL database, ensure that WHD supports your version of MySQL or Microsoft SQL Server. See Database requirements for specific details. 

3. Install a JDBC driver (if required) 

If you are connecting to a MySQL database (such as that used by certain asset discovery connections), manually install the MySQL JDBC driver. To ensure compliance with MySQL licensing restrictions, the MySQL JDBC driver is no longer bundled with Web Help Desk.

You can download the JDBC driver from the Oracle website

4. Download the software installer Contact Support for a copy of WHD 12.0.
5. Stop WHD  Navigate to the <WebHelpDesk> directory, right-click whd_stop.bat, and select Run as Administrator. 
6. Run the installer
  1. Launch the WHD 12.0 installer.
  2. Follow the prompts on your screen to complete the installation.
  3. When the installation is completed, close all web browsers.
7. Start WHD Navigate to the <WebHelpDesk> directory, right-click whd_start.bat, and select Run as Administrator. 

Upgrade WHD 12.0 and later to the latest version

This checklist details the steps for upgrading only WHD 12.0 and later in your environment.

Upgrading WHD may add new tables, but the procedure does not impact your database and database table data. See Database migration options for specific details.

Upgrade Tip! If you have a test or staging environment, we highly recommend testing the upgrade first. You cannot roll back an installation once it's completed.

1. Back up your data
  1. Back up your WHD server.
  2. Back up any database server associated with WHD.
  3. Navigate to <WebHelpDesk>\conf\ and back up your current tomcat_web_template.xml file to an external directory. 

2. Select a database that supports failover clusters

(Optional)

If your deployment requires database management features such as failover clusters, select any supported DBMS except the embedded PostgreSQL database included with WHD. Failover clusters are not available with the embedded PostgreSQL DBMS.

3. Install the database management tools

(SQL Server and MySQL only)

If you use the non-embedded, non-default Microsoft SQL Server or MySQL as your primary database, install the database engine and management tools according to the instructions included with your software. Install the database on a dedicated drive with at least 20 GB of space to accommodate the database engine, management tools, help desk tickets, and ticket file attachments.

4. Prepare the time zone tables

(MySQL only)

If you use the non-embedded, non-default MySQL as your primary database, install the database and manually populate your time zone system tables with data.

Beginning in version 12.5, you can search for tickets using two new qualifiers:

  • Due Date
  • First Call Resolution

These qualifiers rely on data located in four MySQL system tables:

  • time_zone
  • time_zone_name
  • time_zone_transition
  • time_zone_transition_type

These tables exist when you install MySQL in your deployment, but are not populated by default with data. WHD requires this data because Due Date and First Call Resolution qualifier logic is implemented from within the database. If the database is missing time zone data, these qualifiers will not work properly.

Be sure to manually populate these system tables with time zone data. See the MySQL website and follow the instructions for MySQL Server time zone support.

You can check the system tables by executing the following query:

SELECT * FROM mysql.time_zone

If the query does not create new table rows, the tables are not populated with data.

5. Enable TCP/IP

(New SQL Server implementation only)

If you are migrating to Microsoft SQL Server for your primary database, configure the following settings in the SQL Server Configuration Manager. 

Setting Value
TCP/IP Protocol Enabled in SQL Server Network Configuration > Protocols for SQL 20xx
IP Address 127.0.0.1 (if installed on the WHD server)
Server IP address (if installed on a separate server)
TCP Port 1433
TCP Dynamic Ports Blank

6. Create and configure your database

(New SQL Server implementation only)

If you are migrating to Microsoft SQL Server for your primary database, configure the following settings in the SQL Server Management Studio for SQL Server to create and configure SQL Server to the WHD database instance.

Setting Value
SQL Server and Windows Authentication Mode Enabled
Login Name whd
SQL Server Authentication: Password Enabled and configured
SQL Server Authentication: Enforce password policy Disabled
SQL Server Authentication: Enforce password expiration Disabled
SQL Server Authentication: User must change password at next login Disabled
Database name whd
Database owner whd

7. Update your JDBC driver.

(OS X only)

Update your Oracle Java Database Connector (JDBC) driver (if applicable).

Beginning in WHD 12.2.0, WHD for OS X includes an embedded Java Virtual Machine (JVM). If you are running an external Oracle JVM, WHD preserves your Java settings during the installation procedure and continues using the external Oracle JVM.

8. Download the installer Download the latest installer from the SolarWinds Customer Portal
9. Stop WHD Navigate to the <WebHelpDesk> directory, right-click whd_stop.bat, and select Run as Administrator. 
10. Launch the installer
  1. Double-click the new WHD installer.
  2. When prompted, accept the upgrade terms.
  3. Follow the prompts on your screen to complete the upgrade.

    The upgrade procedure replaces the tomcat_web_template.xml file  with an updated file that includes the new version settings.

  4. When the upgrade is completed, close all web browsers. 
11. Update the Apache Tomcat configuration file
  1. Navigate to <WebHelpDesk>\conf\ and open your new tomcat_web_template.xml file in a text editor.  
  2. Open your backup tomcat_web_template.xml file in a text editor.
  3. Apply your personal settings from the backup file to the new file.
  4. Save and close the new file.
  5. Close the backup file.  
12. Start WHD Navigate to the <WebHelpDesk> directory, right-click whd_start.bat, and select Run as Administrator. 
13. Increase the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) memory WHD requires additional max heap memory than the JVM default. After you complete the upgrade, increase the MAXIMUM_MEMORY value in the whd.conf file and restart WHD. See this article for full details. 

14. Enable FIPS

(Optional)

Configure your WHD deployment for FIPS 140-2 compliant cryptography.FIPS 140-2 compliant cryptography.

See Enable FIPS in the WHD Admin Guide for system requirements and installation procedures. 

After you enable FIPS 140-2 compliant cryptography in your FIPS 140-2 compliant cryptography in your WHD deployment, you cannot revert back to your previous configuration.

Check your system after the upgrade

All product versions should be installed properly. Open the application and verify the versions displayed in the footer of the Web Console. Try current and new features with your system to check performance and expected functionality. If you run into issues, check the troubleshooting tips.

Troubleshooting

General 

  • If you experience issues and are not on the latest product versions, we recommend completing a full upgrade.
  • Check our Success Center for troubleshooting. We recommend searching the name of the product, the version number, any error codes or messages displayed, and the general issue you found.
  • Check your Customer Portal for any new hot fixes. 

Error messages

  • If WHD displays Error 404 after the upgrade, the installer was not unlocked properly or WHD cannot load a specific .jar file. See this article for details.
  • If WHD displays Error 404 after you change the default port to port 80, see this article for troubleshooting. 
  • If WHD fails to start and displays a DB_Invalid error after the upgrade, see this article for troubleshooting.
  • If WHD displays 403 Forbidden Error when you access the WHD console, see this article for troubleshooting.
  • If WHD displays An update to the help desk is in progress, verify that your database update is completed. See this article for details.

Other issues

  • If your FAQs fail to load after the upgrade, you may be running outdated Apache Tomcat libraries. See this article for details.
  • If you cannot access WHD using your current Web browser, see this article for troubleshooting.
  • If LDAP fails to connect when initiating a connection from the WHD server to the LDAP server, see this article for troubleshooting.

If an issue occurs you need additional help with, contact Support. We recommend creating a screenshot of the issue and collecting any error codes you receive. Attach and add this information to your ticket. You may also want to gather additional diagnostics on the system hosting WHD.

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Last modified
08:39, 27 Apr 2017

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