SDL Tridion and Upgrade to latest versions

Technology advancements are always evident and this requires an upgrade of not only existing hardware but also of existing software. This ensure the end user is always getting the best out of the technology, from hardware as well as from software perspective.

SDL Tridion has come across a long way in terms of enhancement in feature, robustness, performance and capabilities. This has been achieved gradually through multiple releases – From Tridion R5.x to SDL Tridion 2013 SP1.

Still there are many end users which are living with older hardware and software due to a lot of dependency across many things like – Hardware and OS compatibility, OS and installed applications compatibility etc.

Why you should upgrade

Why there is a need to upgrade from an older version of SDL Tridion to latest version of SDL Tridion?

Below are few points which illustrates this need:

  • The very basic reason is that the support for older SDL Tridion versions like SDL Tridion R.x and 2009 is no more officially available from SDL
  • Another big reason is that the older version of SDL Tridion (R5.x and 2009) are supported on older version of Windows Server OS (like Windows Server 2003). Since the official support for these OS is going to end soon, Organization will have to move to newer versions of these OS for the enhanced security and official support. These Older version of SDL Tridion are never being tested fully on the latest Windows OS and their behavior is unexpected. This implies that upgrading the OS for these system will require to upgrade the SDL Tridion application as well
  • Older versions of SDL Tridion are lagging behind in basic user experience and a bucket full of useful features
  • Performance is always an issue with previous versions of SDL Tridion
  • Maintaining and enhancing older version Tridion system is neither easy nor cheap
  • No support of older SDL Tridion versions (R 5.x & 2009) on latest browser set as these versions are only supported on IE 7. This not only restricts the content manager to use latest browsers and latest OS like Windows 7, Windows 8 (as IE 7 is not supported on these) but also poses a security threat due to the use of age old browsers
  • In the latest SDL Tridion version , tools like Translation Manager and Experience Manager are now consolidated within the SDL Tridion Platform itself
  • Exciting tools and features like Smart Target, Audience Manager, Inline editing, Customer Experience Management etc. are either not supported with older version or not very effective/capable with older version

Comparison of various SDL Tridion Version

Below is a high level comparative features table of various versions of SDL Tridion:

table

What you should take care while upgrade

  •  Scan your existing system, identify and create a report of all items which are deprecated, dropped or something which you should be revamping
  • Identify if you have any custom code which is using legacy COM+ based TOM API  – You may then choose to either install your system along with the Legacy Pack or revamp the entire code it to use appropriate Tridion API (Typically either the TOM.NET API or the Core Service API)
  • Identify if you have written Templates in VB script and you may accordingly choose to have a legacy pack installed or a complete re-do of templating
  • Identify if you have any workflow with some VB Script code and you may take appropriate action as described above for templating
  • Event Systems – You may need to  almost revamp (for versions prior to 2011) it as as there are huge changes in Event System in SDL Tridion 2011 and onwards
  • If you have used the SiteEdit for inline edit, you may accordingly set your Templates, Markup etc. to support for Experience Manager if you choose to have a better inline editing experience as compared to the SiteEdit
  • If you have used the WebForms, then I would recommend revamping it
  • For C# TBB, you may need to refresh the references of Tridion DLLs with that of latest one and rebuild you code – It should be all fine except in few warnings for deprecated/obsolete functions
  • DWT TBBs should work in most cases without any issue
  • If you have used only Deployer Extension – this should work in most cases except you may need to recompile. Further you may think of restructuring your code to use Deployer Extension and Storage Extension accordingly
  • Presentation Server Code – You may require to re-build your code with latest Content Delivery API
  • APIs – If you are using Broker API, it would work in most cases except few changes for change in function signature, obsolete functions etc. You may also think of revamping the code using ODATA service
  • APIs – If you are using TOM.NET API, it would work with recompiling the code with latest DLLs, however, post SDL Tridion 2011 it is recommended that any custom code (apart from C# TBB and Event system) should not be using the TOM.NET API but the Core Service API

Director at Content Bloom India having 15+ years of experience in Software Development Life Cycle using AGILE, Iterative and RUP approaches. Experience in following: - CMS packages: SDL Tridion, Adobe Experience Manager (AEM), Sitecore, Umbraco, Kentico, and Alfresco - Search Engines: SOLR, AWS Cloud Search, Elastic Search - .NET Technologies: .NET & .NET CE Framework, ASP.NET, ASP.NET MVC, WCF, WinForms - Mobile Development: Android Native App, Windows Mobile App - Database: MS-SQL Server, MySQL - Program Management: JIRA, MS-Project, Trello - Design Tools: MS-Visio, StarUML - Infrastructure: Linux, Windows Server, AWS Have decent knowledge about Core Java, Spring MVC Instrumental in Application Architecture, Designing (HLD & LLD), Coding and deployment .NET applications (Web, Desktop, Mobile). Experience in following domain: - Digital Media & eCommerce - Travel & Hospitality - Aviation Industry - Education - Insurance - Automation - Automobile - Railways Education: Bachelor Degree in Computer Engineering and Post Graduate Diploma in Business Administration with specialization in Marketing

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