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Our CMS has been stagnate at 7.3.4 assembly: 1.0.5820.25371 for a few years now and we very much want to upgrade to the latest 7.15.3 but unsure on the path to move forward here.
We have Windows hosting and a machine in production already, does it make sense to put another machine into action and point DNS there while we work on an upgrade? Is it just a matter of updating some files and running a few upgrade scripts? I've looked through version specific upgrades but I have a feeling this big a jump is going to need a lift
It depends a little on your implementation, eg use of custom property editors and site implementation as to whether you will hit any snags in an upgrade of this nature.
What I'd normally do with this kind of hop, is to do some investigation.
I'd take a copy of the live database
And work locally
upgrading first to 7.6.14 and then to 7.7.14 and then to 7.15.7... (this is to workaround an issue in 7.7 when UserGroups were implemented)
The version specific guide is useful to explain which bits to manually update in your code for each upgrade: https://our.umbraco.com/Documentation/Fundamentals/Setup/upgrading/version-specific
At each initial upgrade, I'd only be letting the upgrade, 'upgrade the database' - then finally when at 7.15.7 I'd start testing to see what has worked and not worked - Custom Property Editors may need upgrading or replacing with another equivalent, eg Nested Content, RJP MultiUrlPicker became part of the core...
Along the way I'd make notes of everything I did to overcome issues, and changes I made - so I'd have a repeatable 'script' of actions to take to replay when doing the upgrade for real.
You also get a sense of how long each of the steps take, so you can then advise the editors of how long to 'freeze' updating content.
Your upgraded 'discovery' version can be tested by editors, and if everyone is happy, you can then pick a date to do it for real.
I'd keep the live site serving the site, but setup the new site in parallel, take a copy of the db, run through your custom upgrade script steps to perform the upgrade, all should work! Then if all looks good point the domains at the new site to switch to the upgraded site.
But yes, it's not a simple upgrade from 7.3, upgrades got easier after 7.7 - plenty to go wrong and catch you out along the way!
Okay! this is an awesome walk through, so basically have to have a local version of Umbraco installed in Windows, and then start upgrading from there and do it with versions as stated in this doc.
Now to find my copy of Windows!
Nothing stopping you from using the server you have if you have full access. Create a new IIS site instance (copy the website files, add a new binding to newsite.mydomain.com) - copy the database and amend your web.config to point at the copy of the DB.
Personally I like to have it locally and running under visual studio and use nuget but no reason you couldn't do the manual upgrades this way.
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