We have a development system on 7.1.9 version with few hundred rules, it is a headless implementation and we hardly have any custom rules. What is the best approach to take for an update to 7.2.1? To run update scripts or to install and just import the package after a fresh install?
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There is no reason to go for a fresh install for an update. However, you can do a fresh install with a new schema in the same DB , migrate, run update scripts and repoint. UI tool should also work for updates.
Generelly you don't need fresh install, you can just run the wizard and update it.
One scenario where you will need this 'Install & Migrate' method, suppose you are running 7.1.9 with Multitenancy feture disabled, and you want to upgrade to 7.2.1 and enable multitenancy. In this scenario you will need to follow 'Install & Migrate' approach. upgrade by running script and enabling Multitenancy is not possible.
If you have multiple application in the Pega 7.1.9 environment and you want to update only one application then we will go for install and migrate. If entire applications needs to be updated then we can follow other approaches in-place/out of place.