Blackboard Upgrade July 1/2/3 2017

iSolutions is upgrading Blackboard. During the upgrade we will endeavour to provide useful updates to inform you of when to expect service to return.

Most recent updates Refresh

Upgrade progress

Service was restored at

Sunday 2 July 15:00 BST

Visualisation of progress so far:

Upgrade Timeline

The upgrade window is 1 July to 2 July with 3 July reserved for contingency.  The contingency day will only be used if problems arise during the upgrade which require us to spend more time to bring Blackboard back to service.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • It is necessary to upgrade Blackboard for several reasons:

    1. To maintain support from the application provider.
    2. To benefit from new features and enhancements.
    3. To provide additional storage capacity.
    4. To provide security fixes and enhancements.
    5. To resolve known issues and bugs.
    6. To provide updates to back end technology, such as a new version of Java.
  • The upgrade entails large changes to Blackboard application code and database tables.  These changes cannot be made whilst the application is running.

  • Here is the plan for the two days:

    SATRemove Blackboard from service, take backups, run preliminary tasks
    Oracle security patching
    Optimise application security
    Upgrade Java and Upgrade Blackboard application
    Configuration changes
    Sanity check application
    Finish for day
    SUNGUI-based configuration and testing
    Restart test
    Remove temporary files
    Finish for day

    A contingency day is reserved in the event of upgrade failure or unforseen problems.  We hope not to use it but we feel it is better to set your expectations now, rather than to provide an unwelcome extra system unavailability.

  • We have a core upgrade team of

    • two Blackboard application administrators
    • a Linux system administrator
    • an Oracle database administrator
    • a web applications expert

    The three systems roles above each have a back up.  In the event of illness we have someone who will be able to step in to ensure the upgrade proceeds without delay.

  • During the upgrade weekend we will be posting updates to our twitter feed @uos_mle 

    When service is restored the first place where this will be publicised is the above twitter account.

  • A review of new features available after the upgrade is here:

    Blackboard 2017: What’s new