1-2-3 Kentico CMS 6.0 Deployment and Maintenance

Version 6.0 brings huge improvements of Kentico deployment and maintenance. The current process of creating and maintaining Kentico instances remains, but we added several new features like new Kentico Installation Manager, silent install, improved upgrade process and more.

Kentico Installation Manager

Kentico Installation Manager (we call it KIM) is a brand new Windows Forms application for straightforward management of all Kentico instances.

Look at the following figure to see the new Kentico Installation Manager in an action. The screen shows management of several Kentico installations registered in KIM.

KIM Main screen


With KIM, you can:

-          Browse – this option shows you the live site of the selected Kentico installation. If there is more than ONE live site, an additional dialog is shown.

        Select web site dialog


-          Administration – opens Site Manager of the selected instance.

-          Edit – opens the selected instance in Visual Studio.

-          Install – starts new installation of Kentico CMS. This option starts a standard Kentico CMS Web Installer.

-          Uninstall – uninstalls the selected instance.

-          Upgrade/Hotfix – upgrades or applies hotfix on the selected instance.

-          Check – checks if there are new upgrades/hotfixes on the Kentico server.

-          Register/Unregister – registers/unregisters Kentico CMS in KIM. You can register an “unlimited” number of instances of different versions. E.g. the first screen on this page shows registered versions 5.5R2 and 6.0.

-          Settings – settings of KIM itself, e.g. how often it should check for new upgrades/hotfixes.

And where do you find KIM?

You can start KIM after the last step of Kentico CMS installation and it’s also available from the Windows Start menu.

KIM Launch


Upgrades & Hotfixes

After the release of version 6.0, upgrade packages from version 5.5R2 and later from 5.5 and 5.0 will be available. These packages will be prepared for KIM, so it will be easier to upgrade an older version to the latest one using KIM.

The current upgrade/hotfix process will remain, so it’s up to you which approach you will prefer – KIM or standard.

Of course, these packages only update default Kentico code; your custom code must still be upgraded by your own means.


Kentico CMS Installation

The installation process of particular Kentico CMS instances also brings several new options.

As you can see below, .NET 2.0 is not supported anymore. The reason is quite simple: Kentico CMS 6.0 uses several technologies that require .NET 3.5 +, e.g. MS Chart Report etc.

Deployment to Windows Azure will also be easier in version 6.0 as it is supported by the Web Installer.

.NET Fx selection dialog

In Web Installer, you can also register Kentico performance counters for the Health Monitoring module. You can register/unregister them later via another admin tool.

Health Monitoring option

You can also set SQL Collation for the database and schema name of objects that will be created.

SQL DB settings


Easy Navigation to Websites

Every time you start web installation via KIM or Web Installer itself, the created website is registered in KIM and in Windows Start menu. As you can see in the next figure, all created Kentico CMS based websites are accessible directly from the Start menu.



Silent Install

Despite the fact KIM is cool itself, there is another feature I like even more. It’s Silent Install of Kentico CMS aka Installation of Kentico CMS from the command line.

We developed a special command line tool called SilentInstall.exe using which you can silently install the whole Kentico CMS, including database setup, import of websites, turning on/off features, etc. The usage of this tool is pretty easy:

silentinstall.exe <<installation_config_file.xml>>

The .XML configuration file contains all necessary setup information. Below, you can see an example of such a configuration XML file.

<SilentInstall ShowProgress="COMMAND_PROMPT" Log="TRUE" OnError="CONTINUE" LogFile="{%programfiles%}\KenticoCMS\KenticoCMS_{%shortversion%}\setup.log" CheckRequirements="TRUE" >


  <Setup NET="3.5" SetupFolder="{%programfiles%}\KenticoCMS\KenticoCMS_{%shortversion%}" InstallContextHelp="TRUE" OpenAfterInstall="TRUE" WebProject="FALSE" HealthMonitoring="TRUE" />


  <IIS AppPool="Native" Website="Default Web Site" Location="LOCAL" TargetFolder="c:\Inetpub\wwwroot\KenticoCMS_{%shortversion%}" RootFolder="FALSE" />


  <Sql SqlPswd="" Database="{%username%}_{%shortversion%}" Operation="NEW" SqlName="" Server="" Authentication="SQL" />


  <Notification Enabled="TRUE" Server="" From="test@test.tt" To="" Subject="" UserName="" Password="" SSL="FALSE" AttachLogFile="TRUE" />


  <WebTemplates type="Mix">

    <WebTemplate name="BlankSite" operation="Add" />

    <WebTemplate name="CorporateSite" operation="Remove" />



  <UICultures type="Mix">

    <UICulture name="english" operation="Add" />

    <UICulture name="cs-cz" operation="Add" />



  <Modules type="Mix">

    <Module name="BizForms" operation="Add" />

    <Module name="Blogs" operation="Remove" />

    <Module name="Staging" operation="Add" />

    <Module name="Sharepoint" operation="Add" />



  <Dictionaries type="Mix">

    <Dictionary name="english" operation="Add" />

    <Dictionary name="cs-cz" operation="Add" />

    <Dictionary name="de-de" operation="Add" />

    <Dictionary name="en-au" operation="Remove" />




    <WebSite domain="localhost" displayname="Corporate site" codename="CorpSite" webtemplatename="CorporateSite" runsite="TRUE"/>

    <WebSite domain="localhost" displayname="Intranet site" codename="IntranetSite" webtemplatename="IntranetSite" runsite="FALSE" />




    <License domain="localhost">






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You can also use a few macros inside the .XML file like {%shortversion %}, {%username%}, etc.

I think it’s not necessary to describe all XML elements of the configuration file as they are clear J Detailed documentation will be included with the tool.


So, it’s all about new Deployment and Maintenance features in version 6.0. Which one will be your favourite?

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Tim Spring commented on

I just wish the upgrade process from older versions was easier. We're currently using 4.1 and would be interested in upgrading to 6. But having to upgrade everything to 5.0, 5.5 then 5.5R2 before upgrading to 6 is a bit of a pain!

It's a shame the import tool doesnt recognise older Kentico version export files and make the approriate changes during the import process. Then you could simply export all your sites from the old version and import them into a clean install of the new version.

Shannon Dunn commented on

How hard/easy will it be to upgrade a 5.5R2 site to 6?

Rick Seinfeld commented on


Is everything available in all editions? Because I was pretty disappointed with AD import not being available for all editions.

For us, we can hardly utilize silent installation because of missing application pool configuration (identity, timeout and others). We are already using home written scripts for that purpose anyway. But everything else looks pretty good to me.

Michal Neuwirth commented on

The release of next version will be at the end of September 2011.

Mubashir Ali commented on

Nice and Good Looking

when it will be launching?

Brian McKeiver commented on

This looks amazing. It will be so valuable for people who maintain and manage multiple Kentico sites. Is there going to be any special checks or considerations for custom code that is contained inside an installation of the product ? Even if it even throws up a warning icon or something that would helpful.

Petar Kozjak commented on

GREAT! This is what we need!