Time to Upgrade Your Adobe Campaign Instances?

TAP London
3 Nov 2021

In a world of software as a service, it is easy to forget that all software stacks need regular updates, from simple patches to migration towards a new major version. Why is this topic so important with Adobe Campaign Classic?

The Importance of Adobe Campaign Upgrades?

There are two key factors that make upgrades an important consideration with Adobe Campaign Classic. First, the product runs on dedicated instances which is fairly unique these days and provides the ability to be deployed on-premise, as well as true technical isolation when hosted in the cloud (your performance won’t depend on how many other clients are using the system as it is often be the case with some SaaS solutions). Secondly, it allows much more flexibility in customising everything from data model to processes. Technically speaking, there is rarely something that cannot be done.

Beware The Challenges of Upgrades

We could say that “with great flexibility comes greater responsibility” during an upgrade. This could come as a surprise, but it is a worthwhile trade-off which also brings its share of opportunities.

Let’s have a quick look at some practical reasons why a migration is not always straightforward. First, from an architecture perspective, each version brings new scalability features, some are in the code and happen automatically, some have architectural impact. For example, an upgrade once introduced the split of the Logs table to scale-up tracking abilities. More recently Adobe Campaign V8 brought the ability to utilise Snowflake on the back-end. Those are powerful and structurally impactful changes which need to be managed.

Additionally, the introduction of new features can require specific deployment changes. For example, the real-time execution servers of Message Centre or the Inbound Interaction capability have strong availability constraints which are addressed through a specific architecture. Those are not visible to the end-user, but if not set up correctly, they will prevent the functionality from running adequately. At best it could be a source of frustrations for the users, at worst a very bad customer experience!

“Incorrect setup will at best be a source of frustrations for the users, and at worst result in a very bad customer experience!”

Another challenge in upgrading ACC resides in the difficulty for Adobe to guarantee full backward compatibility. The application is of course mostly backward compatible with previous configurations but some of the workflow activities are extremely open (JavaScript, SQL, API, etc…) and there can be some edge cases that simply cannot be predicted until the instance has been upgraded.

How To Upgrade Adobe Campaign For The Better

On top of getting access to new features, an upgrade is a great opportunity to take stock, to review what is used and what has been left aside. The migration is an opportunity to leave behind unused configurations such as workflows, old templates and anything that is no longer serving a purpose. Involving the business in the process can make it a worthwhile clean-up exercise.

Ultimately, there are 3 approaches when it comes to running the project:

–    Minimal compatibility upgrade (get bug fixes and onto a supported version)

–    Migrate and implement new features.

–    Migrate, review business needs, clean-up, and implement new features

An upgrade is not a trivial task and getting experts with Adobe Campaign Migration experience to perform it will save you time, money, and grief! Get in touch if you’d like to discuss options.

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