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Is there a best method for syncing/uploading an Umbraco local installation to the live version on a seb server?
At the moment I have had to create 2 installations and then sync files inbetween using an FTP client. Using Webmatrix this sometimes didn't upload all files.
Has anyone had any experience with this?
I've occasionally had issues with FTP not transferring all files exactly, but it's rare. Although I'd use FTP for transferring files, I wouldn't necessarily use it for syncing umbraco installations (especially if there's any merging going on) as Umbraco relies on a combination of both physical files and datbase data, which may be problematic to sync over FTP.
It might be worth looking at Courier, which is a commercial package for handling deployment of sites across multiple servers, but the Express version is just 99 Euros and it should do exactly what you're looking for.
Let us know if this isn't a goer, and maybe give some specifics on what's not working and someone here is bound to be able to help :)
Thanks for the response,
I have looked into Courier and it looks like a great addon, however initially we really want to keep the licensing fee as low as possible for the customer - an extra 99 Euros per domain wouldn't be ideal straight away.
Our current plan is to use a local visual studio project which contains the files we may want to edit/update on the Umbraco site (i.e. css, masterpages). These changes are then uploaded via FTP to the Umbraco installation.
In terms of changes to content/pages (and files which are stored by Umbraco in the database) we expect most of this to be done by the client. We have been using the CE version of the database which means we can upload the entire thing once it is done/edited, however we're not sure whether we are hindered greatly perfomance wise by doing this/if it is safe compared to using the normal SQL database.
Does this method seem OK to begin with?
I don't see anything wrong with that approach - you're separating the dev side of things (templates, CSS etc) and the content side of things (which the client is doing through the Umbraco UI), so that should work.
I would definitely recommend that you update to SQL Server though rather than SQLCE, especially when you get to production. SQLCE is great for quick set-ups and miniscule sites with low activity and it's very easy to transfer the database since it's just a stand-alone file, but it's very noticably slower and you're likely to come up against issues once the database gets to a larger size. I've been stung with this before. For some reason Microsoft makes it very difficult to deal with SQLCE especially when it grows large, in terms of getting data out, but thankfully there are some great tools available to 'upgrade' to a fuller version, such as the SQL Compact Data and Schema Script Utility by Erik Ej. There's even an Umbraco SQLCE plug-in which uses this utility. If I were you I'd do that pretty soon in the process.
Good luck with it!
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