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Sitecore upgrade best practices

Scott Stocker shares the best practices you can follow while upgrading your Sitecore environment to its latest version. He also shares handy solutions for common challenges you may face.

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Sitecore upgrade best practices

  1. 1. Sitecore Upgrade Best Practices
  2. 2. Let's talk! • Quick Intro • Why should you upgrade? • Upgrade basics • Research and planning • Recommended approach • Tips for a smooth upgrade
  3. 3. Sitecore expert with 12 years of CMS experience and over 10 years of experience on the Sitecore platform. He loves building personalized web experiences using Sitecore's experience platformand helping clients understand Sitecore's capabilities. Scott has architectedmany large Sitecore applications including sites serving 200+ million page views annually. Hi. I’m Scott. Scott Stocker scott.stocker@edynamic.net @sestocker
  4. 4. An award winning global digital marketing and technology agency focused on customer experience
  5. 5. Exceptional Sitecore Expertise Sitecore Practice Sitecore partnership since 2003 Over 200 solutions delivered Large global resource pool > 80 certified Sitecore resources Center of Excellence Best practice development 3 MVPs on staff Ongoing internal training program run by MVPs Creation of industry acceleratorsand reusable frameworks such as content accelerators,customdata connectors Creation of reusable Sitecore connectors: Eloqua, Pardot, Marketo, CRMs
  6. 6. edynamic Sitecore integrations
  7. 7. • Identify reasons to keep Sitecore on a current version • Identify parts of the upgrade process • Identify areas for research and planning • Review the recommended approach • Get everyone more comfortable with the upgrade process Goals Today
  8. 8. Why upgrade?
  9. 9. • Support from Sitecore • Browser Compatibility • Server/Database Support • New Features Why Upgrade
  10. 10. Sitecore Support
  11. 11. Sitecore Support
  12. 12. Browser Support
  13. 13. Server/Workstation OS
  14. 14. Database Server
  15. 15. • Sitecore tagging /facetsfor improved search experiences • Item Bucketsfor improved content architecture • Introductionof xDB • Introductionof xProfile • IntegratedTag Management • Sitecore ContentSearch • SPEAK UI improvements • Sitecore Items WebAPI • Support for MVCASP.NET5.1 New Features
  16. 16. The Basics
  17. 17. • Database • Configuration • New Sitecore Files • DLL’s • /sitecoredirectory • Code Updates • New Server Roles Components of a Sitecore Upgrade
  18. 18. • Have to run steps separately as documented by Sitecore • Downloadthe.updatefiles • UsuallyUpdateInstallation Wizard • Sometimesdatabasescripts • Upgrades the content database and files on disk • Get needed files from Sitecore • SDNforversionsofSitecorebefore8 • Devfor8.0andabove Running the Sitecore Upgrade
  19. 19. Running the Sitecore Upgrade
  20. 20. Configuration Changes
  21. 21. • Usually only required for major versions • Forexample,ContentSearchAPIfrom6.6to7.0 • Analytics APIchangeswithxDBintroduction • IntroductionofSPEAK • Start with new Sitecore DLL’s • Addtoyoursolutioninsourcecontrol • Lookforcompilationerrors • Testlocally • If making several leaps, wait until the final version to make code changes • Forexample,ifgoingfrom6.6to8.1,don’tstopat7.0tomake ContentSearchchanges Code Changes
  22. 22. • If you are upgrading from < 7.5: • MongoDB • Processingserver • Other options • xManagementmode • xDBCloudfromSitecore New Server Roles
  23. 23. Planning
  24. 24. • Developer Workstations • Development Server • QA • UAT/Staging • Production CMS • Production CD Sitecore Installations
  25. 25. • Sitecore Modules • WFFM • Marketplace Modules • Aretheycompatiblewiththeversionyouareupgradingto? • Other third party components • ClayTabletUpgrade • .NETframework(MicrosoftIdentitychanges) Sitecore “add-ons”
  26. 26. • “Big bang” upgrade? • Canallsitesbeupgradedatonce? • Don’t forget about Sitecore licensing • PerSitecoreinstance • Temporarylicensingavailable Sites
  27. 27. • Baseline metrics • Responsetimefortoppages • CPU • Memory • Hardware requirements are different for Sitecore 8.x Performance
  28. 28. • Document non-Sitecore web.config changes • Customsettingsections • WCFEndpointdefinitions • Etc. • Patch in Sitecoreconfiguration changes • Ensurethatthepatchingplacesyourconfigurationwhereitneedstobein thenewversion • /sitecore/admin/showconfig.aspxcanhelpthisprocess Configuration
  29. 29. • Final Database UpgradeTiming • Content Freeze • Code/Config Deployment • Rollback Go Live
  30. 30. Approach
  31. 31. • On a developer workstation or sandbox environment • PracticeUpgradeSteps • WorkwithSitecoreSupportonanyerrors • UsevanillaCMinstances • Remove customizations – especially pipelines • UpgrademodulesalongwithSitecoreversions • Documentstepsandproblems • Upgraded database can now be used for developer changes • Re-enablecustomizationsandtest • Makenecessarycodechanges Local Upgrade
  32. 32. • Server where final upgrade will be run • PracticeUpgradeSteps • UsevanillaCMinstances • Remove customizations – especially pipelines • Makeiteasytoreplicaterunningtheupgrade • Should be able to run the upgrade steps easily • Practice at least once before the final upgrade of content • Have your CM and CD ready ahead of time • Code/Configwillbedeployedviayourbuildprocess • Rememberthatcustomconfigchangeswillbepatchedin Upgrade Environment
  33. 33. • Upgrade the databases using out-of-the-boxSitecore instances • Sitecore files and configuration should come from the Sitecore installer • Customconfigshouldbepatchedin! • Don’ttrytofollowthepagesofconfigchanges • Remember to remove Sitecoresupport files you might have • Typically thesearehotfixesforaparticularknownissue • Test both content management and content delivery • Don’t forget to review log files,both during the upgrade and after Recommendations
  34. 34. 33 Features  Easy to install on your Sitecore instance - just select the current and target versions and start an upgrade  Pre-configured with automated testing capabilities powered by Selenium  Full support for multiple languages  Can handle any number of websites or microsites  Tool tracks all upgrade events in Sitecore log file so you can see success/failure at any time  Full support for user interface resolutions post upgrade  Full support for any on-premise or cloud deployment  Comes with 2 weeks of free, warranty support Benefits  Upgrade from any old Sitecore version to a higher versions within days Sitecore Automatic Version Upgrader
  35. 35. edynamic‘s Auto vUpgrader for Sitecore Tool detects the current version by itself. User needs to select the next version Confirmation message displayed once the upgrade is complete Automated test case can be run subsequently with the tool Test results are displayed
  36. 36. Upgrade of 13 sites from Sitecore 6.6 to 8.1 within 1.2 weeks Georgia-Pacific LLC is one of the world's leading manufacturers & distributors of pulp, paper, tissue, toilet and paper towel dispensers and related chemicals. They were struggling for over past 4 months to upgrade multiple sites from Sitecore 6.6 to the latest version Background Solution & Benefits • edynamic was hired by G-P to rescue its upgrade project undergoing delays for months by incumbent vendor • With its upgrade utility tool edynamic upgraded 13 sites from Sitecore 6.6 to Sitecore 8.1 within a record time of 1.2 weeks • Test results showed minimal errors and were easily fixed after the upgrade
  37. 37. • Migration – not an upgrade • Youtellthetoolwhatcontenttomigrate • Migrates: • Contentitemsandmedia • Allusers,rolesandsecuritypermissions • Assistswithconfigurationmigrations Sitecore Express Migration Tool
  38. 38. Sitecore Express Migration Tool
  39. 39. • Upgrade Sitecore regularly • Irecommendatleastonceevery12-18months • Planning is key for success • Engage a partner for help • Sitecorepartnersdoupgradesallthetime! • Practice helps – often based on content freeze and time it takes to upgrade, you will need to do the process several times • Engage SitecoreSupport for issues you can’t google • Note:onlySitecorecertifieddeveloperscanengagesupport • Don’t use IE to run the upgrade • Modify the web.config/sitecore.configto increase timeouts Tips
  40. 40. Tips
  41. 41. • Email: scott.stocker@edynamic.net • Twitter: @sestocker • LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/scottstocker • Sitecore Stack Exchange: https://sitecore.stackexchange.com/ • Awesome-Sitecore: https://github.com/sestocker/awesome-sitecore Contact Me
  42. 42. Questions?

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