Upgrade to DD4T 2.0 – Overview

Recently I got a chance to upgrade a big enterprise level neat implementation with SDL Tridion 2013 SP1 and DD4T 1.31 to DD4T 2.0. A big thanks to Harald Hoffelink for helping in a big way to achieve this. Ahh BTW, this was a .NET based implementation.

Why you should upgrade to DD4T 2.0 from an earlier version:

Following are few benefits that you should be considering for upgrade to DD4T 2.0 –

  • DD4T 2.0 now renders in JSON format instead of XML and also omits rarely used data elements – this means a smaller transport package size thereby decreasing the overall publishing time due to reduced transport time
  • Compression of published data – means further smaller size of data in the transport package as well as in the broker DB which further means a faster publishing and a faster website
  • Resolves binaries and publish them by default – means no need to add “Publish binaries for components” TBB
  • Support for SDL Media Manager
  • Support for ECL
  • A number of Bug Fixes – bugs related to linking of multimedia in RTF field, bugs related to keywords (e.g. a binary linked in a multimedia field in the keyword’s metadata does not get publish OOTB in earlier versions) etc.

Steps involved in a typical DD4T 2.0 upgrade:

On a high level, you would be doing following:

CM Side

  • Download and install the DD4T TBB setup on your CM server following the instructions provided on http://www.dd4t.org – Do Not try to overwrite the existing TBBs of older DD4T version
  • Changes the reference in all your CTs and PTs for using these updated TBBs
  • Try Publishing the content (page and component) using these new TBBs and ensure it is publishing successfully.

NOTE: DD4T 2.0 does not (at the time of writing this) support to XML and only renders the JSON output – This means if you have any customization in TBBs or if you are using a custom TBB along with DD4T TBBs to make a compound template – Well you may need to rewrite all those TBBs

CD Side:

  • Remove references to older DD4T dlls
  • Download and Install the DD4T 2.0 packages using NuGet Manager
  • Ensure your project is using references to these new dlls
  • Compile the project – You would be presented with few hundreds of compile errors due to various changes in the framework – work on to resolve these compile errors
  • Once compiled try to run your project – you may come across few run time error – this depends on your existing code and mostly due to new dependencies introduced which you may need to define in your DI framework
  • DD4T 2.0 is known to be backward compatible and should be working with your previously published items in XML format but this is something you should test
  • Publish your new items in JSON format and test your code

NOTE: The number and resolution of compile time errors and run time errors depends on a variety of factors including how much customization of DD4T classes have been done

NEXT – Upgrade to DD4T 2.0 – Content Delivery (CD)

NEXT – Upgrade to DD4T 2.0 – Content Manager (CM)

10+ years of experience in Software Development Life Cycle using AGILE, Iterative and RUP approaches. Hand-on experience in following: - CMS packages: SDL Tridion, Umbraco, Kentico, SiteFinity and Alfresco - Search Engines: SOLR, Endecca, FAST - .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 - Design Tools: MS-Visio, StarUML Have decent knowledge about Core Java, Spring MVC, Ektron and Google Mini 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 Freelance trainer and consultant in .NET, CMS, SDL Tridion, Alfresco and soft skills like business communication, e-mail etiquette etc. Education: Bachelor Degree in Computer Engineering and Post Graduate Diploma in Business Administration with specialization in Marketing

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