Use the following procedure to upgrade your current version of Sitefinity CMS to any other higher version. We recommend that you always upgrade to the latest version.
However, you may want to upgrade to any other version. For example, you may want to upgrade from Sitefinity CMS 5.2 to 6.1.
IMPORTANT: If you project uses NuGet packages, you must not upgrade it to Sitefinity CMS 8.1 using the Project Manager. In this case, upgrade you project to Sitefinity CMS 8.0 using the procedure below and then upgrade from 8.0 to 8.1 using procedure Upgrade a project that uses NuGet packages.
PREREQUISITES: Before you proceed with the upgrade, make sure you have complied with the prerequisites.
To upgrade your 4.x and above project, perform the following:
IMPORTANT: You can use automatic web.config merge if your current project is Sitefinity CMS version 5.4 and above and you want to upgrade to Sitefinity CMS 6.3 and above.
If your current project is Sitefinity CMS version 4.0 and above, you can still use automatic web.config merge, but you must get the Sitefinity CMS Internal hotfix build 7.1.5201 or any later version.
For all other cases, Sitefinity CMS Project Manager automatically updates the assemblies and adds new files and folders, but you must manually merge the web.config changes.
If your project is part of a larger solution where you have custom projects that reference Sitefinity CMS assemblies, check the references to those assemblies in your project and make sure that they are referencing the newer assemblies.
NOTE: The Sitefinity CMS Project Manager does not remove any .dll files - it only adds the new ones. Thus, if you have referenced the old .dll files anywhere in your solution, the upgrade will not break your customizations. If you want to remove the .dll files, you must do this this manually after making sure the .dll files are not used anywhere in your project.
NOTE: If you do not use Sitefinity CMS Project Manager application to upgrade your project, you must replace the assemblies manually, you must manually merge the web.config files, and add all the new files and folders from a new Empty Project. For each version, Sitefinity CMS Project Manager automatically creates the _EmptyProject folder once you create a new project. You can use DiffMerge or any other software that allows you to differentiate and merge the web.config changes, new files and folder structure.
IMPORTANT: You must not manually change the Sitefinity CMS version numbers stored in your configuration files. This is handled automatically by the upgrade process that starts with the first run of the website.
NOTE: The first run of the upgraded website can be time-consuming, because Sitefinity CMS automatically performs incremental database upgrades from the database schemes used in the previous version to the one used in the new version. Information about the Sitefinity CMS version is stored both in the database and in the configuration files. At any time, the configuration files must match your database scheme.
IMPORTANT: Sitefinity CMS 7.3 comes with granular permissions for dynamic content items. The upgrade of the permissions is done asynchronously - after you have upgraded and ran your website, the permissions upgrade starts. During this time, you may notice that Sitefinity CMS uses CPU resources. If the permissions upgrade is successful, you will see PASSED : Upgrading dynamic content permissions message in the UpgradeTrace.log file.
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