This page applies to self-managed installations only. Appian Cloud customers do not need to follow these instructions when upgrading to newer versions of Appian.
This guide assumes you are on Appian version 19.2 or higher. If you are on a lower version of Appian, upgrade to 19.2 first before upgrading to the current release.
To view your current Appian version, log into your Appian environment as a designer or system administrator and click the navigation menu > About Appian.
In this document, the following conventions are used to indicate the locations you have selected on your servers during installation:
Appian 20.3 requires K4 version 4.0. Before upgrading to the latest Appian version, you will need to ensure that you have a valid K4 license installed on your Windows or Linux system by running the Appian KDB+ License Checker.
Each zip contains the following files:
license_check.batfor Windows OS
license_check.shfor Linux OS
To access the Appian KDB+ License Checker zip file, you must be registered with your company on Appian Community.
To download the zip file for your operating system:
The steps in this section apply to upgrades only and not new Appian installations. For detailed information and instructions on new installs, see Installation Prerequisites.
license_check.xxx executable file for your operating system:
If you have a valid K4 version 4.0 license, the following success message will appear:
1 2 "Expiry Date: 2023.03.15, Update Date: 2021.03.15" "SUCCESS - License is compatible with Appian 20.3"
If you do not have a valid K4 version 4.0 license, the following error message will appear:
1 2 "Expiry Date: 2021.03.15, Update Date: 2020.01.15" "ERROR - License is NOT compatible with Appian 20.3. Please reach out to support to obtain a new license."
If you receive a success message, go to Review New System Requirements and Behavior Changes to continue with the upgrade process. If you receive an error message, please open a support case for assistance obtaining a valid K4 version 4.0 license before continuing with the Appian 20.3 upgrade process.
Appian components communicate with each other over specified network ports. If you are preparing a distributed installation, you must first ensure that the required ports are open between the servers that host the different Appian components.
In Appian 19.4 and later, servers hosting instances of the application server need to access ports 2181, 2888, 3888, 9092 on servers hosting instances of the Internal Messaging Service. See the Port Usage for all required ports.
Always check the release notes for defect fixes, Java API deprecations and removals, and other changes that may affect plug-ins used by your installation.
Some plug-ins may need to be updated as part of the upgrade in order to continue to provide the desired functionality.
If your application contains custom Application Portal and non-SAIL forms, See the How to upgrade legacy customizations knowledge base article for instructions.
Halt any scheduling for the following scripts to prevent system changes while upgrading or unnecessary jobs from continuing.
For all versions 20.3 and later, all engines in a highly-available configuration will restart automatically during checkpointing (given it is safe to restart). If you have previously scheduled the engineRestart script to run periodically it should also be disabled. You will not need to re-enable the script in the steps below.
Refer to Starting and Stopping Appian for the version of Appian that you are upgrading from for instructions on how to shut down Appian.
If you are installing the new version of Appian on the same server as your current Appian instance, first rename your current Appian installation directory to keep from losing the existing data (you will need to copy this data over after installing the new version in the next step). For example, you might change the current directory name of
OLD_APPIAN_HOME. This will allow you to install the new version into
Refer to the Appian Installation Guides specific to your environment and new version. Follow the steps in Part 1 of the guide to install the new version of Appian and then configure the installation as detailed in Part 2. You should not start Appian until you have completed all instructions prior to step 9 in this document.
Keep the following in mind:
conf.suite.BASE_PATHproperty in custom.properties file located in the
<APPIAN_HOME>/conf/directory using forward slashes on both UNIX and Windows.
<APPIAN_HOME>/conf/. The contents of this file should match across all servers in the environment.
Copy the following files and folders from the old Appian directory into the same location in your new Appian installation. Some of these directories might not exist in the legacy Appian directory, depending on what version it is.
If you copied your data files for the
_admin/mini/ directory into a directory that uses a different file path than before, such as
//NewRootFolder/_admin/mini/ instead of
//OldRootFolder/_admin/mini/, you must run the
change-paths.sh (.bat) file located in
<APPIAN_HOME>/_admin/_scripts/tools/ to update the mini website content directory location.
Note that copying the corresponding files from the old Appian installation into
<APPIAN_HOME>/services/data/kafka-logs/ in the new installation is mandatory since this directory contains essential data required for proper start up. The target directory must be empty before copying the data from the previous installation.
Double check each directory to ensure that your old files were successfully copied over.
The system may still start successfully with improperly copied or missing resources. However, resulting system errors may still occur later when a process action that relies on a missing resource is attempted.
Copy the custom.properties file located at
<OLD_APPIAN_HOME>/conf/ to the
1 2 conf.content.download.byId=true conf.tasks.accessibleById=true
These properties are new in 20.3 with the introduction of opaque URLs for tasks and documents. The configurations above provide backwards compatibility for some applications developed in 20.2 or earlier that constructed custom links using a numeric ID. After upgrade, developers can follow the opaque URL guidance to modify their applications to support opaque URLs in custom links. Once applications have been updated to use only opaque URLs, these configurations can be removed from custom.properties.
For any other custom configuration files, such as appian-topology.xml, merge your customizations with the new default example or template files and place the resulting file in the new installation's directory.
Starting in Appian 20.2, the system will automatically delete older .kdb files from the
<APPIAN_HOME>/services/data/archived/ directory, so the cleanupArchives.sh (.bat) script no longer needs to be scheduled to run. By default, two .kdb files will be kept for every engine. The number of .kdb files that are kept can be configured using the property
serviceManager.checkpoint.archives.keep in custom.properties. If you were previously running the cleanupArchives.sh (.bat) with a
--keep parameter greater than the recommended value of
2, add the
serviceManager.checkpoint.archives.keep property with that value (example:
The Appian data source must reuse the same database before and after upgrading in order to preserve the existing data. The schema of that data source will be automatically updated to the latest version during application server startup.
Elevated user rights (such as Schema Owner or Database Owner) are required for the Appian Data Source during the application server startup portion of the upgrade process. These elevated rights may be removed after upgrading, if desired.
See also: Configuring Relational Databases
Support for custom Spring Security configurations has been deprecated since version 7.11 and you should convert your authentication configuration to one of the three out-of-the-box authentication mechanisms at the earliest opportunity.
If you have not yet converted to using the out-of-the-box authentication configurations and you maintain customized or overridden Spring Security .xml files, you must merge them with the associated base files in the
<APPIAN_HOME>/deployment/web.war/WEB-INF/conf/security/ directory when upgrading to the latest version of Appian.
You need to recreate search server indices only if you are upgrading from an Appian version prior to 19.3. If you are already on version 19.3 or later, you can skip this section. You do not need to recreate search indices. This step clears Current User Activity and Historical Performance Trends for interface executions.
To account for changes in the format of the search server indices since the last upgrade, delete the contents of the
<APPIAN_HOME>/search-server/data/ directory from every server. Do not delete the directory itself.
After following these steps, the search indices will be recreated during the application server startup.
Note: Upon the recreation of indices, Current User Activity and Historical Performance Trends for interface executions will not be preserved across upgrades. These data metrics are gathered and retained on a sliding time frame and will be started fresh after the indices are recreated.
If you have multiple application servers, start one application server and wait for it to complete startup before starting the rest. The remaining application servers may be started simultaneously.
It is possible to successfully upgrade Appian, but see a blank page or older login screen while testing the initial login. If this occurs, clear you browser cache, and try navigating to the
Reschedule the administrative script(s) you disabled in the first step, except for cleanupArchives.sh (.bat), which does not need to be scheduled to run starting in Appian 20.2.
Make sure to update the script location to the new instance.
If you used customized email templates in the prior version, reapply these changes to the new templates used in your new version of Appian.
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