Background & Problem
Betco, a leader in the commercial cleaning industry, has been a client of The Provato Group for over 6 years. When the need arose to upgrade three websites within their Sitefinity environment from v9.2 to v12.2, we were the first to get a call to engage on the project. This was mostly due to the success Betco had seen from the work we did to redesign and develop their company website, but also thanks to the tight knit partnership we have with Sitefinity.
Behind every upgrade is a reason, and in this case Betco has several reasons why an upgrade was necessary:
- Improved performance was being sought after by users and internal stakeholders alike
- Security vulnerabilities were present, and thus security needed to be upgraded and improved
- Deprecated and discontinued features were making it difficult for admins to manage the three sites within the environment
- With browsers being updated more frequently than ever before, Betco and its digital properties needed to keep up
Solution & Results
The process to upgrade involved three main phases:
- Sitefinity Files and Database Upgrade
- QA and UAT Testing
- Production Release
The first objective was to change from a Project upgrade to a NuGet package resource. In previous releases to upgrade Sitefinity, Progress released an upgrade package via an executable program. This program updated the Sitefinity version along with necessary configuration changes. This upgrade method was a manual process and required the executable installed on a machine that would upgrade other versions.
Progress made the upgrade available as a NuGet package. This allowed the upgrade to complete without the Project executable and follow common development patterns. In addition, it allowed the developer to choose a version without having to install an executable per version on their machine. Changing the upgrade from an executable manual process to the NuGet package also allowed multiple developers to work on the project with a smaller footprint in source control. In addition, it was critical to the upgrade process which required upgrading from 9 to 10 to 11 then to 12.
Sitefinity v10 introduced several new features across the v10 releases. Kendo UI, UI changes in the administration portal and user profile enhancements. With very large user tables in the database, profile changes required specific configuration adjustments and significant changes to the schema. The Kendo UI upgrade required several CSS UI alterations. The UI changes to the administration portal required customization and database table alterations. The version changes greatly affected the release pipeline and configuration requirements. Creating component redirections and log tracing was critical to the process.
Random UI Anomalies
Occasionally, the basiccoatings Sitefinity instance would produce a UI issue where certain images would not display due to a caching problem. After the upgrade several QA tests were performed, and it was determined the upgrade solved the anomaly.
3rd Party Services
In previous versions of Sitefinity, the ability to create a form and send an email to multiple users was not a built-in feature. Several members of the Sitefinity community developed services which would perform this operation. After several versions, the community dropped this service and no longer provided an upgrade path. This 3rd party service had to be removed.
Betco maintains a large product list using a database outside of Sitefinity. We developed an integration technique to deliver their product pages into Sitefinity. With thousands of products, delivering a method for SEO friendly URL’s is an important strategy for marketing. Adjusting the custom redirection process was the final challenge of the upgrade process.
Once the solution was ultimately implemented in production, Betco was thrilled to have eliminated the data security risks from their outdated Sitefinity CMS version, all while improving their website performance for distributors and customers who needed access to their product information, and extending their ability to market and track website activities related to their product offerings. Betco is a technology savvy organization, and they recognize that technology is a key differentiator for their business and their customers.