9/27/2017

Teamcenter 11.3 Introduces New Version Naming Convention

Siemens has changed the way they name their Teamcenter software kits, and this is causing some confusion among otherwise knowledgeable Teamcenter administrators.  Specifically, Teamcenter 11.3 introduces Minor Releases and does away with Service Packs.  This article attempts to explain the naming convention change to help clear up any confusion, and provides guidance on patching installations currently running Teamcenter (or Teamcenter Rapid Start) 11.2.x.x.

The Prior Naming Convention 

First, let's look at the prior Teamcenter version naming convention, keeping in mind that Siemens published Major Releases, Service Packs and Patches.   Here are some examples:  
Major releases: 10.1, 11.2.  (Note that 10.0, 11.0 and 11.1 were not publicly released.) 
Of course, there have been Service Packs for these as well. 
Service Packs: 11.2.1, 11.2.2, 11.2.3. 
Then for each of those there were patches. 
Patches: 11.2.1.1, 11.2.2.1, 11.2.3.1 

Service Packs Become Minor Releases 

Siemens has another year or two of releases planned for the Teamcenter 11 platform.  These releases will align with new versions of Active Workspace, which is on a more conventional version scheme of X.Y.Z, where X is the major release, Y is the minor release and Z is the patch release.  The new Teamcenter version naming convention still doesn't follow the X.Y.Z scheme, but it's closer.  Service Packs, which were the third digit, are now Minor Releases, which are denoted in the second digit. 
Minor releases: 11.3, 11.4, 11.5 

However, patches continue to be the fourth digit.  So, now we have a version naming convention that appears to be X.Y.0.Z.  Yes, that's a zero in the third position.  (I hope they resolve this with the release of Teamcenter 12, next year.) 

Upgrades and Patches 

An upgrade is required when going from 10.1.x.x (i.e. 10-dot-anything) to 11.x.x.x (i.e. 11-dot-anything).  Upgrades can be quite challenging, but patching is relatively straight forward.  That's especially true since Teamcenter 10.1.x.x patches became all-inclusive, which meant we could patch from 10.1.4.1 to 10.1.5.1 without installing 10.1.5.   

Where this all comes into play (and potentially confusing) is when a site intends to go from Tc 11.2.x.x to Tc 11.3.x.x.  11.2 is a major release, so do we "upgrade" to 11.3?  Well, no, because 11.3 is not a major release, it's a minor release.  For me the key is to think of Minor Releases like Service Packs, which are installed as a patch. 

For example, to go from Tc 11.2.2.0 to Tc 11.3.0.1, take a look at the Tc11.3.0_patch_1_README.pdf

pat-blog_orig.png#asset:515

As we can see, the Tc11.3.0_patch_1 release can be used to patch any prior 11.2.x.x installation, including 11.3, resulting in version 11.3.0.1.  (Teamcenter administrators, please always read the README.)  Similarly, the Tc11.3.0 release can be used to patch any 11.2.x.x installation, resulting in version 11.3.0.0.   

Final Remarks 

So, where we stand now with Teamcenter 11 releases is that any patch, service pack or minor release can be used to patch any prior release within (or "under") that major release.  Keeping in mind Tc11.2 is the major release, where Tc11.3 through Tc11.7 are minor releases. 

Hopefully this article has helped clear up any confusion caused by Siemens' change in the Teamcenter version naming convention.  However, for a more thorough explanation (and another perspective on this subject), see Teamcenter 11.3 introduces new version convention and Installing, upgrading, and patching Teamcenter in the Siemens online Teamcenter documentation (a webkey is required). 

Thanks for reading. 

Patrick Kennedy

Pat brings years of real-world experience to his position at Acuity — and we would know. He departed our team to spend four years on the road, holding positions that furthered his skills in planning, implementing and administering Siemens engineering systems as well as competing products.

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