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DNN Upgrades Made Simple (DNN Summit 2019)


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If you've ever even read about upgrading DNN, you know that any number of things can go wrong. There's no shortage of horror stories, for sure. Did you know that nearly 100% of those horror stories were avoidable, though? After maintaining DNN websites for over 15 years, you'll learn the approaches I take to upgrading DNN websites. Following this session, you'll learn the processes, tips, tricks, and methods that help me upgrade client websites flawlessly.

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DNN Upgrades Made Simple (DNN Summit 2019)

  1. 1. DNN Upgrades Made Simple Will Strohl @WillStrohl | @UpendoVentures
  2. 2. We Want Your Feedback! Download the DNN Summit Mobile App now and take the survey at the end of the conference to be entered to win a $100 Amazon gift card!
  3. 3. Will Strohl • Using DNN since 2003 • CEO & Founder, Upendo Ventures • Former CEO, Hotcakes Commerce (2013-2017) • Former DNN Corp employee • DNN MVP since 2013* • Leader of the Awareness EAG • DNN Author & Technical Editor • Founder of DNNCon (Day of DNN) • Founded 2 DNN User Groups* • 25+ open source projects “hismightiness” @WillStrohl
  4. 4. Upendo Ventures We use technology to help your business change people’s lives • Platform & Evoq • E-Commerce • Implementations • Integrations • Custom Modules • Upgrades & Downgrades • Custom Themes • Training • Fixing stuff other people did ;) @UpendoVentures
  5. 5. DNN Upgrades Made Simple
  6. 6. Objectives I hope you learn… • Critical steps to begin • Preventative maintenance • Pitfalls to look for • Our process Prerequisites • Some local/server SysAdmin experience • Knowledge of how ASP.NET & SQL Server work and interact with each other
  7. 7. Common Complaints “My website keeps redirecting!” “Upgrading is really hard!” “I don´t know how to upgrade DNN.” “My upgrade page is blank!” “Every time I upgrade, I get an error!” “Upgrades take too long!” “The security analyzer is failing the upgrade.” “I upgraded and now some of my images are broken!” “The upgrade only works locally… Argh!”
  8. 8. Preventative Tips • Upgrade DNN often • Upgrade extensions often • Uninstall extensions as soon as possible • Vet extensions thoroughly before installing them anywhere • Never “test” a module in your production website • Never change core code • Smoke test your website whenever installing a new module
  9. 9. Before You Begin… Eliminate Distractions!
  10. 10. Information Gathering Try to Find Out • Version & edition of DNN • File system size • Database size & version • Number of, name, and version of third-party extensions • Timeline Special Concerns • Custom extensions (source code) • End-of-life extensions • Extension licensing • Perform a risk assessment
  11. 11. Get a Backup File System & Database Size • Many DNN websites are very large • Lengthens the time it takes for all steps • May need to consider cleaning the website first Considerations • Clean the DB user data • Remove all cache data • Remove log files • Remove search data
  12. 12. Preparation Work Better Safe Than Sorry • Run a virus scan on all files • Perform a search for *.asp & *.php • Clean the DB user data • Rebuild DB indexes* • Remove all cache data • Remove log files • Remove search data • Remove /Install packages • Remove source control files • Note the URL provider Useful Tools • FileLocator Lite • atorlite/download/ • Test Plans
  13. 13. Restore the Website Nothing Special Here… • Create a local URL • Restore the DB • Add a user & attach to the DB • Add the URL to the DB • Restore the files • Apply permissions • Add the website in IIS • Run the website • Add a superuser* Optional Steps • Change the SMTP setting • Change autoupgrade to false • Enable debug mode • Update Robots.txt: User-agent: * Disallow /
  14. 14. General Steps Action Test Backup Document
  15. 15. Create an Initial Backup Have a naming convention website-backup-201902201320.bak Additional Examples: website-backup-201902201320-SITE-RESTORED.bak website-backup-201902210939-Updated-to-DNN6.bak
  16. 16. Remove Unused Extensions Do… • Review Extensions view • Review themes / containers • Confirm extensions to be removed • Some extensions may not cleanly uninstall* Review Bin Review DesktopModules Review DB Why? • Lowers the footprint of the website • Increases security • Potential performance increases • Reduces potential upgrade issues DOCUMENT and BACKUP!
  17. 17. Determine Upgrade Path This can be somewhat unique for almost every upgrade. General Rule: Upgrade the latest release of each major version. Documentation: • Before • During • After Example: • 07.04.02 • 08.00.04 • 09.01.01* • 09.02.02* • 09.03.00 DOCUMENT and BACKUP!
  18. 18. DNN Editions Be sure to pay attention to the edition of DNN… Evoq* vs. Platform
  19. 19. Upgrade Packages Recent Releases Older Releases Evoq Releases network/software-downloads
  20. 20. Upgrading DNN General Instructions • Disable the website (App_Offline.htm)* • Backup!!! • Extract the DNN version over the website • Re-apply the permissions to the file system • View the website; OR run the upgrade URL (preferred)
  21. 21. Upgrading DNN Use the upgrade URL: /Install/Install.aspx?mode=upgrade Becomes…
  22. 22. Upgrade Extensions Upgrading Extensions • Upgrade all existing extensions* • This is an iterative process. • You may need to do this multiple times, after specific DNN upgrades. Additional Tips • Backup after each successful upgrade, after testing. • Review Extensions view to see which pages to test. • Contact vendors for upgrade tips DOCUMENT and BACKUP!
  23. 23. Upgrade Version Tips 07.04.02 • May need to manually add Entity Framework DLLs 08.00.04 • Review the container files for Actions Menu skin object references, and remove them • Uninstall Security Analyzer* 09.01.01 • Apply security patches All • Compare & merge web.config updates • Security review
  24. 24. Core Code Changes
  25. 25. We Want Your Feedback! Download the DNN Summit Mobile App now and take the survey at the end of the conference to be entered to win a $100 Amazon gift card!
  26. 26. Thank You So Much! We use technology to help your business change people’s lives 548 Market St. #65401 San Francisco, CA 94104 (650) 381-9160 @UpendoVentures