Typical upgrade steps:
1) Download and install the new version of JBoss AS. Do not install in the same folder as the old version.
2) Rebuild your app using the JARs fro mthe newer version of JBoss AS (since you are moving from 4.2.1 to 4.2.3 you might not need to do this, the JBoss team was much better at preserving compatibility among the 4.2.x versions that what they had done previously)
3) Migrate any configuration settings from your old version of JBoss AS to the new version. Don't just copy the files, rather isolate the changes you made and reapply those changes.
4) Deploy your app and keep your fingers crossed.
5) Fix and issues with the deployment (you can post eexcpetion stack traces in the forums if you don't understand them)
This also might help: http://www.coderanch.com/t/517946/JBoss/Migration-jboss
For #1, does 'install' just mean unzipping the folders to a new root folder, such as c:\JBoss-4.2.3.GA? Or is there an EXE that would perform an upgrade so that the new files are incorporated into the 4.2.1 folders? That's still one of my hangups...
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Yes, with JBoss AS, install means "unzip to a folder of yoru choice". There is no EXE, and there is no installation program that handles upgrades. Upgrades are always manual. The process I mentioned is the accepted best pratice.
Thanks for confirming Peter.