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Blackboard Help

Upgrade Learn

Learn 9.1 April 2014 and later is based on an Apache™ Tomcat-only architecture, which no longer requires the installation of an HTTPD service (Apache or IIS). As a result, this release requires specific operating system configuration changes prior to installation that were not necessary for previous versions of Learn. Please read the Release Notes and the Install Learn topics completely before proceeding. Pay particular attention to port and web server changes required for Learn 9.1 April 2014 and later.

If using Portfolios and upgrading Blackboard Learn with an Oracle database, there is a risk on upgrading to the new Portfolios that will leave partially migrated Portfolios and possible duplicates of partially migrated portfolios. Only personal Portfolios with no name are affected. To mitigate the risk of partially migrated Portfolios prior to running the Learn upgrade, you must execute the following SQL on your Oracle database: update pflio set title='.' where title is null.

Prepare for the Upgrade

To prepare for your upgrade, read the Release Notes for the release that you are installing. Also review Understanding the Changes. These topics contain important information such as what's new and changed, prerequisites for the upgrade, and instructions for running the Installer. 

Finally as preparation make certain you have backed up your current application server and database. See Back Up and Recovery for instructions for backup and recovery of Learn and the supporting database. 

To learn more about the methodologies for determining the Dell or Sun hardware needed to support Blackboard Learn, see Hardware Sizing.

Upgrade Checklist

  1. For self-hosted installations, be sure your server hardware and software will support Learn 9.1 2014 and later.
  2. If you have made customizations to your login page, system themes, roles, course templates, or building block availability, record all of the customizations and back up customized files.
  3. Review all security measures and policies to be sure your system has the best protection and meets any new standards or security changes.
  4. Prepare your end users, faculty, staff, and students using the Communication and Adoption Toolkit for April 2014 or the Communication and Adoption Toolkit for October 2014 to inform them about new features and functions.
  5. Review other relevant institutional practices and policies.
  6. If you have an Outcomes Assessment license, read Change Management and Updates to Outcomes Assessment before upgrading to Learn 9.1 2014 and later.

There is an impact on your assessment data in Learn 9.1 2014 and later. It is important to review the change management documentation and plan an upgrade pathway to the new Outcomes Assessment building block before upgrading to Learn 9.1 2014 and later.

For a thorough checklist of tasks after an upgrade, see Post Install and Upgrade Tasks and Test the Learn Environment Post Install or Upgrade.

Perform the Upgrade

For steps to upgrade to Blackboard Learn Release 9.1, see the appropriate upgrading section of this help project.

For steps to perform a fresh install of Blackboard Learn Release 9.1, see Install Learn.

After the Upgrade

Learn 9.1 April 2014 and later requires TLS. TLS serves to guarantee the authenticity of your server. Self-signed certificates such as the one installed by the Blackboard Learn installer do not provide an TLS required chain of trust. Chain of trust provides the Certificate Authority which guarantees the authenticity of the certificate identifying the server. For this reason a non-commercial self-signed certificate is not suitable for connecting to Safe-Assign or Blackboard Cloud Services which require a commercial Certificate Authority.

To learn about configuring Blackboard Learn to use TLS, see TLS.

To learn about improving the performance of a Blackboard Learn deployment, see Performance Optimization.

For information about the back-end administration of Blackboard Learn, including how to integrate with an existing authentication system, see Application Management and Server Management and Integrations.