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Rollback and Error Handling

Clarive keeps track of what has been deployed so far and can roll back intelligently to a previous state, by simply uninstalling technologies and undoing current changes (select Deploy, Monitor, Job, Rollback).

Clarive can roll back to every version of every application for any release, for business as well as configuration/deployment logic.

There are three types of rollback in Clarive:

  • Undeploy
  • Fail-safe
  • Demote (Backout)

Undeploy Rollback

Undeploy rolls back a Job, in a way that it "uninstalls" any artifacts and changes applied to the Job.

Fail-safe Rollback

Rollback is what happens when a Job fails halfway through and the rollback flag is set.

This is a fail-safe mechanism that undoes everything that has been installed when an error is detected during the deployment phase.

Demote Rollback

A Demote is a Topic transition out of an environment. Demoting topics from a status that is linked to an Environment will trigger a Backout Job that will execute a redeploy of the previous versions of the pertinent artifacts.

A Topic Backout allows rollback only of selected functional components and unwanted changes from an environment.

Demote or Backout rollback is done on a per-release or per-changeset basis, which is a very powerful way to demote individual logical entities.

For example, a single changeset can be demoted out of QA, which will trigger a rollback of simply the contents of that given changeset (given there are no dependencies left behind). Clarive will rebuild the QA environment to match the new situation of the release contents. This is typically used during QA, Pre-production and UAT phases to discard unwanted functional changes without having to rebuild and redeploy the entire application.

Fail-safe Rollback Intelligence

Clarive implements several failover rollback detection and execution mechanisms that allow the system to keep track of what has been changed in the destination Environments, so that, in the event of a failure, a fail-safe rollback is triggered automatically. This is controlled by a deployment flag called Needs Rollback.

File Shipping Rollback Triggers

This tracking of changes is done automatically every time Clarive runs a ship operation from within a Pipeline Rule.

And every time a file ships correctly, the rollback flag is set and the deployment rollback will be triggered.

Needs Rollback Field

The rollback flags can be set manually in a rule by choosing Properties for a given op, then selecting the Needs Rollback field option that best describes the rollback behavior for the node.

Undeploy rollbacks of an automation job can be done by selecting a Job, as long as there are no subsequent Jobs for the same component or artifact in that Environment.

Writing Reversible Rules

Pipeline rules can be executed in a forward or backwards fashion. This means the same rule can be used for deploying a new or previous version of an artifact.

Run Forward

This op Properties flag tells the Clarive rule engine to run this op when going forward (deployment). If not selected, it will not run in deployment mode.

Run Rollback

This op Properties flag tells the Clarive rule engine to run this op when performing a rollback. If not selected, it will not run in deployment mode.

It is useful to skip rule ops when in rollback mode. Op nodes in the rule tree are flagged with NO ROLLBACK when this option is deactived.


The IF ROLLBACK control operation exists so that rules can branch into different behavior, depending on whether it is being deployed forwards or backwards.

This control operation is very useful when, for instance, rollback is actually very particular to that technology and cannot be "guessed" by Clarive file backup logic.

Trapping Errors

Use the op Properties option Error Handling to trap errors and avoid a rollback being triggered by an op failure.

Throw Errors

Errors are not trapped or ignored, and a rollback is triggered if there is an error and the needs rollback flag is on for the job.

Trap Errors

These pause the job on an error. The job status changes to Trapped and user intervention is necessary.

If the trap timeout is set, the rule engine will fail the job and take appropriate action (rollback or just finish with an error).

Ignore Errors

Errors will be ignored (but reported to the log) for this op. This means no rollback is triggered on error.

Grouping Ops and Error Handling

Ops can be grouped by using the GROUP control op, or any op that allows nesting.

If the Error Handling flag is set at the group level and the user response is set to Retry, the whole group is retried from the beginning.

If the Error Handling flag is set at the group level and the user response is Skip, then the whole group is skipped.