January 31, 2012, 3:41 PM

HomeDepot.com will shut down for almost a day for maintenance

The home improvement retailer is upgrading to a new version of IBM WebSphere.

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HomeDepot.com will shut down tomorrow at noon Eastern time for scheduled maintenance and the site will be unavailable until sometime Thursday morning, says a spokesman for the retail chain.

The Home Depot Inc., No. 43 in Internet Retailer’s Top 500 Guide, has been operating on an older version of the IBM WebSphere e-commerce platform for years, a spokesman says without specifying the exact year. So the merchant is temporarily taking the site down to upgrade to the most current version, 7.0.

Home Depot would not discuss why it decided to shut down on a Wednesday in the middle of the day, as opposed to a weekend or late at night, for competitive reasons. The retailer also would not discuss why it will take almost a day for the upgrade, though it’s possible for an upgrade of this kind to take a more than a few hours, says Justin Knoll, sales and marketing manager for web performance monitoring firm AlertBot.

“It’s not unheard of that someone would take their site down for almost a day,” he says. “It’s long, but this is a pretty major upgrade. Since it’s a platform upgrade, they will have to take the entire site down and bring it back up again. We will be watching to see how the site performs after the upgrade.”

The Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide includes 32 merchants, such as Staples Inc. (No. 2), Office Depot Inc. (No. 5) and Sears Holdings Corp. (No. 7), that use the IBM WebSphere e-commerce platform.

On Thursday, AlertBot said the Home Depot e-commerce site was down for about 20 hours.

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