So I just wanted to share something. I have a client who is using 6.2 and SQL 2005. They want to upgrade to 6.5. They have SQL 2005 and SQL 2012. Sitecore officially says that SQL 2012 is not supported for versions less than 6.5. The option of moving to SQL 2008 , performing the upgrade, and then moving to SQL 2012 was less than fun to consider. Instead, I tried doing a Sitecore 6.2 install, attaching the 6.2 databases to my SQL 2012 server. Worked like a charm. I’d say that for a short term “need to upgrade and don’t want to waste time with 2008” scenario you can go ahead and try attaching your databases to SQL 2012 and doing the upgrade. I have yet to do the actual upgrade, but I suspect that it should go just fine.
So welcome to my first post on my Sitecore experiences blog. As a Sitecore Solutions Engineer, I thought it was about time to start my own blog of my experiences with Sitecore and hopefully be able to pass along some of my own knowledge and experiences to all of you. What I am currently working on and would welcome feedback on is the upgrade process for Sitecore.
I recently had a customer who was trying to upgrade from Sitecore version 6.1.x and they wanted to get to the current Sitecore recommended version. In doing so, they would have had to go to the upgrade page and go through the process of mapping out all the individual updates they would need to install to get them to the current version. We ended up providing them with the update versions to install.. which was done via a manual process of looking at each update and finding out a prereq and then adding that prereq version to the list. With Sitecore there isn’t a clear upgrade path that allows for you to just install “the upgrade” and be done with it. Since there are so many different updates and most updates have a prerequisite update that you have to have installed before you can install that update, this can be quite tedious and involve installing 4-5 installs. This still doesn’t sound like that big a deal until you throw in the fact that you have to walk through about 8-10 steps per upgrade.. which doesn’t include counting all the steps to adding things to .config files.. which can be several steps as well. To further complicate this, not all upgrades are needed.. only certain ones.. and there are also “optional” steps to the upgrade process. All of this has to happen and if you miss a step, you could potentially have to start again (i.e. my customer didn’t have a backup for each update and had one of the upgrades gone wrong, he would have had to start at the beginning after doing a restore). The more complex the Sitecore install is, the harder this whole process is going to be. I also have to mention that there are lots of modules out there that also have upgraded separately from the actual upgrade. All of this makes for quite the undertaking and there doesn’t seem to be an easy route to doing all this.
I have decided to try to build a web based upgrade assistant. No.. it won’t do the update for you… but it will help you in figuring out what you NEED to install.. what files you’ll need to do so.. give you some step by step instructions, provide you with links to modules (at some point.. not sure how easy that will be since there are so many that are 3rd party) and then if there are optional steps to consider in the update, .. it will help you make informed decisions about those decisions (sometimes this is rather complex.. and given that there are going to potentially be a lot of times where a developer isn’t even familiar with Sitecore going into the install process, making these sorts of decisions really ends up requiring some help from Sitecore Support). So this is my goal. Wish me luck. 🙂
If you have any feedback or comments.. I welcome them.