IBM® Sterling B2B Integrator 6.0 and IBM® Sterling File Gateway 6.0 End of Support FAQs

Posted by Scott Hulme on Nov 10, 2023 4:14 PM


We have confirmed that IBM® will end support for IBM® Sterling B2B Integrator 6.0.x and IBM® Sterling File Gateway 6.0.x on April 30, 2024.

If you're planning to upgrade to the current versions of these products, we urge you to begin planning as far in advance as possible. Failing to upgrade in time can be seriously problematic; risks include being ineligible for IBM support and exposure to security vulnerabilities.

  1. To help you prepare, we've compiled the answers to the most frequently asked questions from our Sterling Integrator users.
    1. Which versions of these products will no longer be supported as of April 30th, 2024?
      IBM® Sterling B2B Integrator 6.0.x; IBM® Sterling File Gateway 6.0.x.
    2. What versions will be supported after April 30th, 2024?
      View the release strategy for IBM® Sterling B2B Integrator and IBM® Sterling File Gateway v6.1.x and v6.2.x onwards here.
    3. How do I find out what version of Sterling B2B Integrator I am currently on?
      Use this link to identify which version you are currently on.
    4. What are the costs incurred by upgrading to the newest version?
      There are no software costs if you are current on your IBM® Software Support and Maintenance. If you would like Remedi to upgrade your environment, we can schedule a scoping call and provide you with an estimate.
    5. If we stay on our current version, what will happen?
      As of April 30, 2024, IBM® will no longer provide technical support on versions 6.0.x. If you have a software issue and have not upgraded to v6.1 or higher, IBM® will instruct you to upgrade first before providing technical support. Remedi will still assist you if you experience an issue while on an unsupported version, although our ability to fully resolve it will be constrained if there are issues with the software.
    6. Are there any mapping changes that would come with this upgrade?
      No mapping changes will be required due to upgrading. However, we do recommend testing your processes, maps, and end points after upgrading to verify compatibility.
    7. What does an average upgrade timeline look like? How much time does the actual upgrade take with time allowed for testing?  
      We would need to set up a scoping call before we could give a definitive answer. Upgrade timelines will vary from client to client based on your particular environment. A good rule of thumb to use as a starting point is to allow no less than 30 days.  

      Environmental variables that can impact upgrade timelines include: 1) Number of environments (test, QA, prod), 2) clustered vs non-clustered environments, 3) add-on or associated companion products/services, 4) associated OS and DB upgrades, 5) inline upgrade vs new physical/virtual servers, 6) number of business processes, partners, maps, and thoroughness of testing required with each (sample testing, comprehensive testing, parallel testing), 7) best practice deployment review, write-up, and remediation. 

    8. Can I do the upgrade myself?
      Yes, and many organizations choose this option. At the same time, customers who engage Remedi find it's more cost-efficient and less stressful on in-house resources. It's not a question of competence; it's about the value of repeated exposure to the process involved. Because our consultants do Sterling upgrades and patching on a regular basis, they bring the best practices and critical checklists required to deliver a clean upgrade on schedule with no disruption to trading partners or the business. 

      If you would like to engage a Remedi Sterling Integrator consultant to implement the upgrade, be advised their availability will become more limited the closer we get to the April 30, 2024 End of Support deadline. 

      For example, as of this posting, our key Sterling Integrator resources are already scheduling into January.  
    9. Is it really necessary that we upgrade?
      While there are organizations who are willing to accept the risks of trusting their trading partner relationships and cash flow to out of support software, we strongly advise against it. To many, flood insurance seems like an unnecessary expense until they find the river rising to the top of their coffee table. By the same token, you don’t want to be caught in a production cycle with an out of support version that suddenly freezes because of compatibility conflict with another element somewhere in your data exchange ecosystem. 

      Many large retail trading partners such as Walmart will levy fines or halt payments on invoices due to document errors that disrupt their warehouse workflows schedules. For a small manufacturer, consequences like this can put them out of business.
    10. What new features do we have access to by upgrading to IBM® Sterling B2B Integrator 6.2? 
      You can find the documentation for v. 6.2 here. Check the release notes for the version-specific new features.  
    11. What are the benefits of upgrading to IBM® Sterling B2B Integrator 6.2? 
      In today's economy, being easy to do business with can mean the difference between hitting growth targets or losing deals to digitally savvy competitors. IBM® Sterling B2B Integrator 6.2 is the latest release of one of the most widely used, end-to-end data integration gateways among leading enterprises in the manufacturing, transportation, and food and beverage industries. This release offers a number of new features and enhancements that make it easier than ever to quickly onboard your trading partners, connect internal and external applications, and automate business processes. 

      Here’s just a partial list:

      • Certified containers: Simplify and streamline deployment and management for cloud and on-premise environments
      • Cloud native support: Native support for cloud-based file transfer (S3, Microsoft Blob) and databases as a service (Microsoft Azure SQL Managed Instance, AWS RDS, IBM® Cloud SQL)
      • Business process as a service (BPaaS): Host your business processes as RESTful APIs, making them accessible to other applications and services
      • Support for Kafka message broker: Integrate your Sterling B2B Integrator deployments with Kafka, a popular distributed streaming platform
      • TLS 1.3 support: Improved security for connections to Microsoft SQL Server and DB2

    Lastly, upgrading to the latest versions gives you the ability to meet evolving business objectives that demand agility such as connecting with online marketplaces through APIs. Not only does upgrading ensure access to support and the latest fixes, it also provides the ideal opportunity to review and optimize the other components in your integration suite, including your operating system and hosting strategy.

    If you don’t see your question answered here, reach out to your Remedi account rep or set up a call with a Sterling subject matter expert to discuss how we would approach your upgrades.

    About Remedi
    Remedi Electronic Commerce Group helps companies save time and money, provide a better customer experience, and quickly respond to new opportunities using integration and B2B ecommerce strategies built for a digitally driven economy.