Thank you for your feedback. We have created a documentation feedback to the Pega Documentation Group. I have updated the request ID in the Related Support Case Number field above and will update this post for any updates I receive. Since you are a Pega Employee, I will send you an email with details and access to the documentation feedback request.
The documentation feedback request is Resolved with the following update.
Differences between updates and upgrades
An update is a new distribution image that contains cumulative fixes and enhancements to the
product since Pega 7.3.0; it is not a full product release. In contrast, upgrades are full product
releases. If you need to move from any version prior to Pega 7.3.0, you must upgrade. To move from
any Pega 7.3.x version to the most current release, you can either update or upgrade. For more
information, see the Pega Platform Update Deployment Guide on the PDN at Support > Deployments & Upgrades > Deployment Guides.
The following list identifies the major differences between updates and upgrades. For more
information, see PDN > Support to determine if you can update, or if you need the full upgrade:
Updates are smaller and faster than upgrades.
Because an update distribution image only contains the cumulative changes since the latest
major release, the distribution image is approximately 50% smaller than a typical full upgrade
distribution image. Most of the difference is because of the rules in the PRPC_Rules.jar file.
Both the update and upgrade consist of a series of ANT targets, executed in sequence. However, the update process omits 3 ANT targets:
ImportPreupgradeRuntime — This step is only required to run the newest engine, which is already present on the Pega Platform.
UpgradeJavaSyntax — This step upgrades snippets of Java code to be compatible with the Pega Platform.
RemapDatabaseTables — This step maps some Data-Admin-DB-Tables to PegaDATA, which is not necessary for the Pega Platform.
For smaller databases (less than 10 GB), the update process can be up to 25% faster than an upgrade, because there are fewer rules to process and fewer ANT targets to execute. For larger databases (greater than 100 GB), the update process is up to 10% faster, because the performance benefits are diminished by other long-running processes. The performance varies greatly depending on the size and structure of your database.
Updates manage superseded hotfixes. The update process contains specialized error handling for superseded hotfixes. If your system contains a hotfix that is newer than the hotfix Pega Platform Upgrade Guide provided in the update, the update exits. For information about how to force an update, see the Pega Platform Update Guide.
Many updates can be reversed. You can reverse an out-of-place, split-schema update on a development system with Oracle Database, Microsoft SQL Server, or PostgreSQL. Upgrades and other updates cannot be reversed.
Updates do not include updated help. The prhelp.war file is not included in an update. You can download the file from the update page of the PDN or use the online version.
Updates do not include additional products. If your system includes Pega Web Mashup (formerly Internet Application Composer (IAC)) or Business Intelligence Exchange (BIX), you can update the Pega Platform, and then use the upgrade distribution image to add just the latest version of the additional products to your system.