Alfresco Tech Talk Live 82 – Upgrading to Alfresco 5

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Keensoft took part in the monthly technical talk that Alfresco organized in January 2015, held via Google Hangout, and contributed with its experience in upgrading to Alfresco 5.0.

Access to the full video of the conference at Alfresco Tech Talk Live 82 (January 2015)

The following is a summary of the different aspects discussed by participants

  • The best rated new features in 0.5 are the search (faceting, search suggestions, filter management) and the document previews (in PDF via HTML 5)
  • Furthermore, the incorporation of the new Alfresco SDK 2.0.0 ,totally based on Maven facilitates developers’ work
  • The steps for upgrading to Alfresco 5 from a previous version are described in Alfresco documentation and include, amongst others, the following:
    • Performing a new installation of Alfresco 5
    • Copying the prior content files (default location in alf_data directory) to the new installation
    • Importing the previous database in the new installation
    • Carrying out total re-indexing of SOLR (due to the fact that Alfresco 5 uses SOLR 4 while previous versions used Lucene or SOLR 1)
  • The most difficult step is usually re-indexing SOLR 4, although SOLR 1 can be kept going until the process is completed so that the system can continue to provide service during this period
  • There are some restrictions that have to be taken into account for the 5.0 version
    • A version of Alfresco RM is still not available
    • Not all system configurations  are supported
    • A lot of obsolete functions have been eliminated (Alfresco Explorer, AVM, Lucene)
    • The property files, traditionally deployed in the file system are now packaged inside the JARs
  • Validation of the new installation, apart from checking contents, workflows and database, can include the Selenium test via the WebDriver component.
  • On some occasions an ETL (Export-Transform-Load) migration can be contemplated for implement ing Alfresco 5 instead of an upgrade, particularly in systems in which the idea is to take advantage of this process to reorganize or cure contents
  • Adapting Alfresco Share personalizations may be affected by the new Aikau development framework which is very much present in Alfresco 5 and which will be extended to all of the platform components in the future.
    • However, the YUI extension patterns are still around in this version so that a lot of the available add-ons will continue to work for Alfresco 5

We hope you have found this information useful and we recommend that before migrating to Alfresco 5 you review your system in order to be ready to deal with any unforeseen issues quickly.

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