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This article applies to: MultiStore, Developer Resources

Upgrading to a 9.x Version


The current software version as of 7/18/2014 is: Multistore 9.4.2.0

Please don't ever upgrade straight onto your live store. Always use a staging environment to thoroughly test the success of your upgrade.

Principles of an upgrade

  • You will start with a clean installation of the latest version.
  • You will connect to your own database, and update it to take advantage of the latest version.
  • You will transfer your design elements, so that the new version looks familiar.
  • You will upload the latest screen prompts that are delivered with each release.
  • You will install the new license key.
  • You will tidy up a few loose ends.
  • You will test and learn all about the things that changed. You will consider how the new feature-set meets your business needs, and if there are any gaps, you will compare the cost of building any custom code afresh on the new version against the cost of 'migrating' earlier custom changes.

Preparing for your upgrade

  • IMPORTANT: Before making any changes to your live site, always ensure that you have a full, working backup of both the contents of the site itself and the database!

  • NOTE: If you were encrypting the web.config on the site previously, you will need to log into the admin site, go to Configuration ? Site Configuration Wizard, and change the "Encrypt Web.config" option to NO before starting the upgrade, or those keys will be unreadable.
  • The .NET user account (typically ASPNET for WindowsXP or NETWORK SERVICE for Windows Server 2003/Vista or IIS_IUSRS for Windows Server 2008/Windows7) must be given Read/Write/Modify access to the folder the web.config file resides in. This is typically the {root} folder. Remember to reset the permissions once the unencrypted web.config file has been copied and the live web.config re-encrypted.

Start with a clean build.

  1. Contact your website host to request a backup of your live site files & database.
  2. Download the new software release from the AspDotNetStorefront Software Downloads page in your license portal.
  3. Install the new software release on your local machine. Refer to the Install Guides for instructions on installing the software. Instead of creating a new database, use the database backup supplied by your hosting provider to create a new database.
TIP: If you don't want to set up a clean build on your local machine, AspDotNetStorefront will install and host a fresh site for you for 30 days, free of charge. That will give you all you need for upgrade & testing. Learn More >>

Connect & Upgrade your database.

  1. Open the web.config file from the website file backup you obtained from your host. Copy the EncryptKey and DBConn values, and paste in to the web.config file in your clean build.
  2. Connect to your local database using SQL Server Management Studio (If you don't have SQL Server Management Studio, you can download the Express version from Microsoft here). Run the upgrade script "Update 9.0 to Latest.sql" from the new version's /db folder against the database.
TIP: Running upgrade scripts requires some proficiency with Microsoft SQL. If you reach this step and you're not sure how to execute SQL scripts, you might benefit from letting AspDotNetStorefront help. Learn More >>

Migrate Skins & Customizations.

  1. Copy the contents of the /images, /download, and /descriptions folders from your live site backup into the clean build.
  2. Carefully merge your custom skins (from within the /App_Themes & /App_Templates folders) from your live site backup into the clean build. Please see the Skinning and Special Considerations page.
TIP: If your store has been customized, you may want to keep your customizations in place. If you're not an experienced developer, we have development partners standing by to help. Find a Partner >>

Test & Deploy.

  1. Remove the old .licx file from your /images folder, and replace it with a new key for the upgraded version. You can retrieve a new key from your license portal. Refer to the license key article for full instructions on installation of license keys.
  2. Open the upgraded site in a browser, verify that it starts, and that the admin site is accessible.
  3. Log into the admin console, and follow the "Reload from Excel file on Server" directions on this page to load the latest string resources on your site. Be sure to select "Leave my modified strings" AND "Replace Existing". If you have multiple locales or are not using en-US, you may need to rename the new excel files in the /StringResources folder appropriately for your locale before reloading them, and also consider not selecting "Replace Existing" if your localized strings are not all considered "modified strings".
  4. Thoroughly test your site, to ensure that all functions are working as they should be. Product pages, admin functions, credit card processing - everything should be checked just to be safe.
  5. Once the upgraded site is thoroughly tested and you are satisfied with the upgrade, you can go live:
    1. Contact your hosting provider to request a full backup of your site (this is a safety precaution, so you can roll back your upgrade if anything should interrupt the process).
    2. Put your site in maintenance mode.
    3. Connect to your live site database and run the upgrade script "Update 9.0 to Latest.sql" from the new version's /db folder against the live database.
    4. Connect to your live site files (using FTP), and delete all files in the web directory.
    5. Upload your upgraded site files to the live site. Update the web.config to ensure the correct EncryptKey & DBConn values are in place to connect to your live site database.
  6. Verify that all Security Best Practices are being followed on the upgraded site.
  7. For Skin upgrading and other special considerations, please see the Skinning and Special Considerations page.