Over the past few years I have played around with many different blogging engines and Community Sites, but in the end I always seem to end up turning back to Community Server. So for the last 3 years I have been running different versions of Community Server, and with the release of the latest version I thought it was time to go through the upgrade process once again.
To make sure that the process works over the weekend I spent a great deal of time dragging my current production site down to my home development server. In the end I did get it running but found out that it is not as easy as people say to get a dev site going.
One of the main things that I did need to do was change the main community server configuration configuration file so that it would accept the new domain. By default the community server system removes the www from the beginning of the URL for the site during it’s URL rewriting process. When I configured my production site I set the system to require the www. Now that I am running the development site under a different prefix I needed to change the system to ignore the prefix and just continue. If you are interested you can find out about this setting in the first section of the communityserver.config file.
The next thing I needed to do was add another site and set of site mappings to the database to allow the new domain.
For the records here I am using the Community Server 2008 SDK and a sample database.
The first step I needed to do was add a new site to the Database, the sites are stored in the dbo.CS_Sites table. and the following step is to add a site mapping that will link the two sites together (The Site Mappings are stored in dbo.cs_SiteMappings). To do this you need to execute the following query.
exec dbo.cs_System_AddNewUrl @ExistingUrl = ‘<CurrentURL>’, @NewUrl = ‘<AdditionalURL>’
For this example I used the following query.
exec dbo.cs_System_AddNewUrl @ExistingUrl = ‘localhost/cs’, @NewUrl = ‘dev.localhost/cs’
The above query will add a new URL to the current community and link the site in the mappings table to the new URL. Completing the above statements you will now be able to use the same database or backup of the database from either of the URLs, this allows for some proper testing before the upgrade.
The last problem that I can across was one of my own making, when releasing the new versions the Community Server guys are not able to cater for all of the customizations that people can do for their sites. What I found is that one of my custom changes did not work to well when moved to a new site. So as I will also need to change to custom changes in the end I backed them all out and reverted back to the default themes that ship with Community Server.
With all off the hard work done I now have a full development copy of my site running and ready to upgrade.
Cross Post from www.virtualrealm.com.au