A different road to Sitecore 8 Upgrade – Part 2

This is the continuation of the blog post “A different road to Sitecore 8 Upgrade“. I got a lot of great feedback and response from the previous post.  I am rushing to get this one out as there seems to be a lot of people stuck in this situation.

Once we have determined the reasons to upgrade next steps include provisioning the infrastructure and have a game plan. The infrastructure I propose looks like below:

Future_Dev

Future_QA
Future_Prod
Now that the infrastructure is setup, here are a few items for your consideration:

  • Depending on the site you are dealing with, chances are that this is not a one man job!
  • Please contact your Sitecore rep to get temporary licenses for the duplicate Sitecore 8 instances. Sitecore is more than happy to give out temp licenses, as long as they know the purpose. (IMPORTANT)
  • You need to plan it as you do for any other project. This is not a one day job.
  • By this time you have identified areas of the code and modules which would have to be completely overhauled.
  • Remember the blog post assumptions. In this hypothetical situation we are going from web forms into MVC. That by itself is a major hurdle since the modules you are using might not be compatible with MVC.
  • You can use the information from these posts for 6.5x web forms to 8.x web forms, just ignore my MVC ramblings.
  • I strongly recommend using a cloud based Mongo. Not a lot of places have infrastructure capability for Mongo in house. There are a lot of vendors out there. I found Object Rocket the best from my trials.
  • Taking a Mongo DBA course, does not make you a seasoned Mongo DBA.
  • You need to have redundancy for your Mongo environment.

Wants

We want to move to Sitecore MVC and do it the right way with Dependency Injection with unit testing, the whole 9 yards!

The Start

Finally! the start can be daunting. Assuming that you keep the UI the same, it should not be difficult to map out how the MVC layout and views are going to be split up.

I am not an MVC guru by any means and I feel that in technology its not what you know its how you learn it!.

Follow your development methodologies and build the site in Sitecore MVC. I will be posting a few videos/blog posts about this soon. During development, its critical you keep a tally of the sublayouts you have with matching view(s) in the new solution.

The premise is that a “Product” page Standard Values in the old solution will have a similar Standard Values in the MVC solution, with a few view(s) changed/split-up/consolidated.

Once the solution is built and tested. You would need to come up with a game plan.

One Launch day and leading up to it, you would follow this process several times:

  1. Clean Sitecore 8.x dbs installed (optional/but recommended)
  2. Package Content and Templates from the old system
  3. Install Content and Templates from the new system
  4. Install Layouts folder package from the new MVC Solution
  5. Install Templates package from the new MVC Solution which has the standard values to match the new layouts and renderings
  6. Run script to reset presentation and set appropriate presentation items in the tree (more on this coming soon)
  7. Make any one off content tweaks
  8. Test
  9. Fix any issues found in the scripts and standard values
  10. Repeat

Once the above is done enough times you will have a fairly seamless process. The advantage to this solution is as follows:

  1. You do not have to do on server upgrade for each Sitecore instance
  2. The new site is on the same box as the old one
  3. The current (old) 6.5x site is preserved
  4. All you need is a simple IIS change to point the host to the Sitecore 8 site on the same instance
  5. If something goes wrong you can just switch in IIS and within a minute your old site is back!!

I will follow up with at least one post about presentation details transfer/mapping.

If you have any questions or comments, be sure to get in touch with me.

 

 

 

 

4 comments

  • Mickey Rahman 2 years ago

    Great post Akshay – the one issue that I can think of is that during the update process, the update scripts make a lot of changes to the existing items – if you package the content from 6.5+ and port it to 8.x, are you missing these updates? What is the impact of this? Have you encountered errors, or any unwanted behavior?

  • Sean Holmesby 2 years ago

    Great post Akshay.
    What Mickey said is true, some items won’t be updated when they should be.
    You must get be ok with it, depending on the items in your Sitecore tree, and the versions you go between… But it could be risky.
    I’ve written a bit more about it here:-
    http://www.seanholmesby.com/the-truth-about-sitecore-upgrades/

  • Hiral 8 months ago

    Hi Akshay,

    Quick question about the Sitecore Goals implementation, if you have sitecore goals implemented in your sitecore 6.6 version and you perform sitecore 8.1 upgrade, do i need to re write the Sitecore Goals again with sitecore 8.1 site or they will also be migrated with upgrade?

    Thanks.

  • akshaysuraadmin 8 months ago

    I personally have not done it but I would imagine you would have to recreate. Thanks.

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