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Blackboard Help

Perform the Upgrade

If you are a Managed Hosting customer, this topic doesn't apply to you.
 

Using the Installer Update option, administrators upgrade Blackboard Learn to the latest version.

Important notes

Starting with the April 2014 release, Blackboard Learn 9.1 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 Blackboard Learn. Please read the Install Learn topic completely before proceeding. Pay particular attention to required port and web server changes.

If using Portfolios and upgrading Blackboard Learn with an Oracle database, there is a risk on Upgrading to 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 Blackboard Learn upgrade you must execute the following SQL on your Oracle database: update pflio set title=‘.' where title is null.

TLS Choice is no longer an option in the user interface. Blackboard Learn is TLS-only. If you had TLS Choice configured, it will be turned off during an upgrade.

The Q2 2016 release contains an upgrade for ActiveMQ. It is important that the ACTIVEMQ_MSGS table is empty before performing your upgrade. If you are a self-hosted customer and need assistance with this action, please open a case with Client Support.


Pre-upgrade steps

Before running the installer to upgrade Blackboard Learn, complete the following tasks:

  1. Read the Release Notes and Technical Details.
  2. Read the Install Learn and Upgrade Learn topics.
  3. Run the Pre-Update Change Report.

Perform the upgrade to Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q2 2016 and later

Upgrading Blackboard Learn uses the same installer as fresh installations. Download the installer for your platform from Behind the Blackboard and place in the desired directory.

Don't close the command line window or any of the other windows that pop up during the upgrade. This will cause the upgrade to fail and may leave the database in an indeterminate state.

Installer properties must be referred to at its full absolute path.

UNIX

Follow these steps to run the updater on UNIX.

  1. Make sure that the $JAVA_HOME system environment variable points to a full Java Platform (JDK). The path cannot contain spaces. For example:/usr/jdk8.
  2. Place the updater file in the desired location, and extract the archive.
  3. Ensure the appropriate installer properties file is created and it is located in the installer directory.
  4. Ensure that the Blackboard license file exists, and is located outside of the Blackboard installation directory.
  5. Open a command-line prompt as the 'bbuser' user and navigate to the directory that holds the updater.
  6. Issue the following command to launch the updater:

    /usr/local/bbinstaller/installer.sh -c /full/path/to/installer.properties | tee -a bb-installer-log.txt 2>&

  7. The installer will download the appropriate Gradle files and begin the installation.

Windows

Follow these steps to run the Updater on Windows:

  1. Make sure that the JAVA_HOME system environment variable points to a full Java Platform (JDK). The path cannot contain spaces. For example: C:\JDK7.
  2. Place the updater file in the desired location, and extract the archive.
  3. Ensure the appropriate installer properties file is created and it is located in the installer directory.
  4. Ensure that the Blackboard license file exists, and is located outside of the Blackboard installation directory.
  5. Open a command-line prompt as the Administrator user or with appropriate Administrator privileges and navigate to the directory that holds the updater.
  6. Issue the following command to launch the updater:

    C:\bbinstaller\installer.bat -c C:\full\path\toinstaller.properties 1> bb-installer-log.txt 2>&1

  7. The installer will download the appropriate Gradle files and begin the installation.

After the installer has completed Blackboard Learn, start services and Blackboard Learn will be available of the following ports by default.

http://localhost:8080
https://localhost:8443

Before continuing with the post configuration steps, confirm Blackboard Learn is available on the server by accessing the application from those URLs.


Perform the upgrade to Blackboard Learn 9.1 Q4 2015 or earlier

Upgrading Learn uses the same installer as if you were performing a fresh installation.

Download the installer for your platform from Behind the Blackboard and place in the desired directory.

If you launched the updater from the command line, do not close the command line window or any of the other windows that pop up during the upgrade. This will cause the upgrade to fail and may leave the database in an indeterminate state.

UNIX

Follow these steps to run the updater on UNIX.

  1. Make sure that the $JAVA_HOME system environment variable points to a full Java Platform (JDK). The path cannot contain spaces. For example:/usr/jdk7.
  2. Place the updater file in the desired location.
  3. Open a command-line prompt as the root user and navigate to the directory that holds the updater.
  4. Issue the following command to launch the updater:

    $JAVA_HOME/bin/java -jar <updater_file>

    If using the X Windows System (X11) or a similar GUI solution and the DISPLAY variable is properly configured, the updater will launch in GUI mode.

    The following steps assume that the command-line updater is used.

  5. A welcome message appears with a reminder to read the release notes and the installation instructions completely before updating.
  6. Press Enter to continue. Instructions appear for navigating through the updater prompts. The updater, in most cases, will provide a default value in brackets.
  7. Press Enter to accept the default and continue, or enter a different value. Press Enter to continue after entering a new value. The first updater prompt asks for the directory where Blackboard will be found.
  8. Press Enter to accept the default, or enter a new value and then press Enter. If Blackboard Learn is not found in the directory provided, the updater attempts to install at the given location.
  9. At the next prompt, type 1 for “1 – Upgrade and Convert” and press Enter. For those clients with content management and the/courses area turned off, a warning appears displaying a message that the /courses content area must be turned on to successfully upgrade. Although not recommended, the /courses area can be disabled again after upgrade, but it must remain on during upgrade.
  10. If the server does not already have a Server Type value, the Server Type screen appears. Properly categorize the server and press Enter.
  11. When a message appears displaying the changes that will be made when the updater runs, carefully verify the changes. You will not be able to undo the changes after you start the upgrade.
  12. Press Enter to start the upgrade.

Windows

Follow these steps to run the Updater on Windows:

  1. Make sure that the JAVA_HOME system environment variable points to a full Java Platform (JDK). The path cannot contain spaces. For example: C:\JDK7.
  2. Place the Updater file in the desired location, and then double-click the Updater file to launch the Updater. A welcome message appears with a reminder to read the release notes and the installations instructions completely before updating.
  3. Select Next to continue.
  4. Confirm the installation and content directories for your environment, and then select Next. Load-balanced systems should use the correct UNC path for your content directory. For those clients with content management and the /courses area turned off, a warning appears displaying a message that the /courses content area must be turned on to successfully upgrade. Although not recommended, the /courses area can be disabled again after upgrade, but it must remain on during upgrade.
  5. At the next prompt, select Provide new license file, and then select Next.
  6. If the server does not already have a Server Type value, the Server Type screen appears. Properly categorize the server and select Next.
  7. When a message appears displaying the changes that will be made when the updater runs, carefully verify the changes. You will not be able to undo the changes after you start the upgrade.
  8. Select Next to start the upgrade.

After the installer has completed Blackboard Learn, start services and Blackboard Learn will be available of the following ports by default.

http://localhost:8080
https://localhost:8443

Before continuing with the post configuration steps, confirm Blackboard Learn is available on the server by accessing the application from those URLs.


Upgrade information for prior releases

If you're upgrading to a version of Blackboard Learn that is not the most currently available, your process may be different. Consult the release notes for that version to learn more.