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SIMS 7 - Reminder of Guidance to Integrators

We have been notified by our Support Unit Customers of a number of instances where an integrator's product have caused issues with essential SIMS or FMS6 upgrades.  This occurs where the Integrator Product operates in such a way so as to prevent upgrades to SIMS 7 or FMS6 products from completing.  This is often due to the integrator product makig user of SIMS DLLS in an in ungraceful manner.

This topic has previously been covered in most initial training sessions for integrators, however recent trends have been for many potential integrators to use the self service model. Self service makes it easier to get started but may not cover subtleties such as the one described here and integrators are always welcome to request consultancy via partner management if this would assist their development work. (Fees Apply)

The supported integration model requires that partners use SIMS DLLs to access most data.  The act of 'Loading' a DLL usually means that the DLL is thereafter kept in memory and 'locked' from upgrade.

SIMS Upgrades are automated and the upgrade will usually replace other DLLs within SIMS even if it is unable to replace the 'locked' files at that time. This mix of dlls and SIMS database schema may break the installation of  SIMS and also is also likely to break the integrator's aplication.

Solution 1: Where applications are scheduled to run hourly or daily, if these applications are simply executables that are invoked, run and terminate then by schedulting these to run at different times to SIMS upgrades (via SOLUS) then the risk of conflict is minimised.

Solution 2: Where applications are based on always on models such as Windows Services, it must be possible for a maintenance window to be defined where these services release all of their assets and facilitate the upgrade.

Whilst both models require some dovetailing and planning by network managers, these models usually avoid the conflict and offer least angst to 'on premise' customers.  Where Integrator Products are repeatedly causing Support Units issues, there is a likelyhood the Support Unit may advices their customers to focus on Integrator prodcuts that are not prone to causing the issue.

Supported Integrators should contact partner support if they need further assistance.