mojoPortal Tips: Upgrading to the Latest Version of mojoPortal, Part 2

In Part 1, we covered how to set up your local testing environment with the latest database version from your mojoPortal live site, and how to download and apply the update locally for testing. We’ll pick up from there with the areas that usually require the most attention after running an update, ensuring that your updates are solid, and applying the update to your live site.

Testing, Cont.

Skins

The first, and usually the most glaringly obvious issue with upgrades, is the fact that the supporting infrastructure for the UI (“skins”) has a tendency to change frequently, in response to changes from ongoing technology and supporting software, such as Artisteer.  Depending on how long it’s been since your last upgrade, the changes may be small, or cause your site to look horribly awry. Have no fear; Joe and his team have been keeping a running update on what changes to apply for each version at “Important Skin Changes” – be sure to go through each step to confirm that you’ve applied all the changes to your mojoPortal skins.

Not sure what version you’re upgrading from? Not a problem; just log into your active site as an administrator, and go to (your URL)/Admin/ServerInformation.aspx – you’ll see which version you’ve been running there, and that’s the version you’ve upgraded from locally.

Plugins

The next area that shows up as a potential issue is the case of any custom coding or third-party plugins you may have applied to your mojoPortal instance.  Be sure to download the latest version of your plugins, and apply them to your local site for testing; if any error messages come up, copy them, and report them to your plugin supplier for resolution. Usually the developer who supplied your plugin will be more than happy to work with you to ensure that the plugin is compatible with the latest version of mojoPortal.

Be sure to navigate through all the areas of your site, to ensure that you haven’t missed any potential “Gotcha!” moments; custom HTML, third-party includes, and the like. Satisfied that you’ve got it all smoothed out? Great – now it’s time to upload to the live server!

Going Live

If you’ve done any custom work, the best option is to “Publish” to a local folder from Visual Studio, to get the latest version of code ready for deployment to your live site. Open your live site via FTP, and navigate to your root folder. Take the same precautions with your web.config as mentioned earlier for your testing environment, so that you don’t lose any of your previous setting information.

I do highly recommend doing this during non-peak hours for your site, as there will be some disruption during the upgrade process.  If you’ve added an upgrade recently, you’ll have the option to “close” the site via the admin section, under “Site Settings” – this is a good time to do just that.

Now – upload all your files from your local “Publish” folder to your live site – this may take a bit, depending on your connection. Once the upload is complete, update your new web.config to the proper database settings, navigate to your mojoPortal instance home page, and let the setup scripts do their job. (If you don’t automatically see the upgrade page, navigate to (your URL)/setup/default.aspx).

Since you’ve updated all your skins and plugins using a mirrored version of the database, the live update should run with no problem, and when you navigate to the live page, it’ll be updated without any further to-do.  Don’t forget to turn your site back “on”!

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Author Spotlight

Carole Bennett

Carole Bennett is the founder and principal of IndigoTea. As a professional IT consultant, Carole has provided solutions for companies as diverse as Verizon, Frito-Lay, Capital One Auto Finance, and Zales Jewelers, parlaying a unique talent for acting as a translator between the worlds of business challenges and technology solutions. She considers multi-tasking skills gained from simultaneously 1) managing a fire performance troupe, 2) raising a family, and 3) working as a full-time IT consultant excellent preparation for her current career incarnation as the driving force behind IndigoTea. "Fire-breathing redhead on a mission" is not just a metaphorical description!

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