Want to check out the new features of Sitecore 6 before upgrading?
Take a look at the What’s New in Sitecore 6 Document:
This document introduces some of the new features in Sitecore 6 from the perspective of someone familiar with Sitecore 5.3. As someone who is familiar with Sitecore, you‘re going to love Sitecore 6! This release builds upon the solid architecture that you already know, but makes a number of improvements and refinements that make Sitecore even more productive and intuitive to use. The documentation team has put together an extensive set of reference materials and cookbooks that describe how Sitecore 6 works in detail. This ―What‘s New document, however, describes the changes made between Sitecore 5.3 and Sitecore 6. These will help you quickly upgrade your knowledge and skills so that you can begin using Sitecore 6 immediately.
Don’t forget OMS! Sitecore 6.1 introduces advanced online marketing capabilities such as campaign management, web analytics, visitor profiling, multivariate testing and more. For more information on Sitecore OMS, visit the OMS Section of SDN or you can see an OMS video, download a brochure, or request a demo on Sitecore.net.
For the latest detailed information about Sitecore 6 update releases, check out the release history from SDN.
Code written using the Sitecore CMS 5.3.x API must be recompiled to run with Sitecore CMS 6.x. The Sitecore CMS 6.x API does not have any major changes compared to Sitecore V 5.3.1 API, but there are some minor changes that will make development life easier:
Sitecore now uses FieldRenderer to render Rich Text Fields, Links, Images, Dates, and more. Sitecore provides a FieldRenderer Web control which allows users with limited XSLT and .NET skills to output the value of a given field for the requested item or any data source by just adding the control and filling out a property sheet.
Item.Paths.GetFriendlyUrl() no longer exists. Sitecore 6 uses the LinkManager instead, which makes it easier to control the settings applied to Sitecore links. The web.config file contains a <linkManager> element which configures how Sitecore should generate links. This element supports settings such as:
- addAspxExtension – true | false
- alwaysIncludeServerUrl – true | false
- encodeNames – true | false
- languageEmbedding – asNeeded | always | never
- languageLocation – filePath | queryString
- shortenUrls – true | false
- useDisplayName – false | true
New Security API
Sitecore 6 replaces the standard Sitecore security model with the .NET security model. This provides a number of enhancements, including:Sitecore 6 replaces the standard Sitecore security model with the .NET security model. This provides a number of enhancements, including:
- The standard ASP.NET way of handling security.
- The ability to use plug and play security providers from Microsoft.
- Abstraction of data from the real data source.
- An easy option to replace or extend the default configuration with your own custom security providers.
- The possibility of using several providers simultaneously and thus keeping the accounts in identifiable storage areas.
The security model has been enhanced to allow roles in roles, a feature that is not available in the standard .NET security model. These enhancements serve to allow the security of the Sitecore client to handle a lot more users, roles and domains than previously. Along with the new feature of roles in roles this serves to allow for scalability enhancements to support large scale security repositories.
Sitecore 6 has expanded the role of templates, introduced two new template types, improved upon the list of standard field types, and retired the concept of masters.
For detailed information on content definition improvements in Sitecore 6 check out chapter 2 of the What’s New Document.
There are a few extra steps involved in getting your CMS upgraded to the latest Sitecore recommended release. The conversion tool converts your system from a Sitecore 5.x structure to a Sitecore 6.x structure, but it won’t bring you all the way to the top:
The purpose of this tool is to convert Sitecore CMS databases from version 5.3.2 rev.090212 or later to CMS 6.2.0 rev. 100507.
Using the conversion tool is the longest step in the upgrade process, so you should plan your content freeze accordingly (users will not be able to edit content during this stage). The extra steps, which are quicker and easier, are necessary to update Sitecore to the latest available version. Here is an overall map that will lead you to the latest release of Sitecore CMS:
For versions prior to 5.3.0:
Use the Data Migration Module to bring your system up to version 5.3.x.
From 5.3.x to 5.3.2 rev 090212:
Here is an example update path starting from Sitecore CMS 5.3.0 rev. 061102. If your version is not listed, see the link below for specific upgrade paths.
- CMS 5.3.0 061102 or later to CMS 5.3.1 070328
- CMS 5.3.1 070328 to 5.3.1 070924
- CMS 5.3.1 070924 to CMS 5.3.1 071114
- CMS 5.3.1 071114 to CMS 5.3.2 090212
From 5.3.2 rev 090212 to 6.2.0 rev. 100507
Here is where you use the database conversion tool. This will probably be the longest step in the upgrade process.
From 6.0.2 rev 090507 to 6.2.x:
1. Upgrade to Sitecore CMS 6.1.0 Update rev.090630 (initial 6.1.0 release)
2. Upgrade to Sitecore CMS 6.2.0 rev.091012
3. From here, you can upgrade to the latest release of Sitecore CMS. For a full list of update information and instructions for each version update, visit the following section of SDN: