Upgrade to Kentico 8
Only three weeks left until the release of Kentico 8. As always, we will prepare an upgrade package for those of you who want to update your existing Kentico 7 projects to the latest version. This article contains more detailed information, such as the date when the upgrade will become available to you and other important material.
The most important information is that the upgrade package to Kentico 8 will be ready for download one month after the release date on the 30th of April, 2014. There are several reasons why we do not provide the upgrade at the exact time of the release:
Kentico 8 is enormous and we want to give it to you in the highest possible quality. At the moment we are completely focusing on the testing and fixing of all of the defects.
The Upgrade is built on top of the finalized version of Kentico 8, so it’s not possible to release it on the same day unless we keep it unreleased for a certain amount of time after it’s ready.
We decided that we prefer quality over speed, so we spent more time on the actual testing of the upgrade package.
As stated above, Kentico 8 is a huge version. We did a lot of work in order to improve its architecture - I hope you will appreciate these changes. This, however, means that there will be quite a large number of changes in our API as well. In the context of upgrade, it means that you will have to replace the changed API in your existing projects, but, we are currently working on two things that will make it easier:
Search on the Devnet portal. In the past, we have provided you with an excel sheet, which contained the changes that had been made. This time, the API changes will be placed on our Devnet portal. You will be able to search for Kentico 7 API; call and search result will tell you what you should use in Kentico 8.
Detection of the API changes in your existing project. After you upgrade and compile the solution, VS will throw a list of errors at you. But, this list of errors is never correct and for some reason you must fix the first error, compile it, and fix the next one and so on. So, we are building a tool that detects which API calls are used in your project and correct the replacement for it in V8. But this tool is not ready yet, so I cannot promise that it will be ready together with the Kentico 8 upgrade package.
Upgrade of live sites
Due to a redesign process in version 8, most of our components have changed their HTML markup. This change also affects some of our components used by default web parts. In addition, some CSS classes have been removed or modified. Therefore, we'll provide you with a guide containing upgrade styling best practices, modified, removed, and new CSS classes.
We'll cover base styling for UI components used on a live site (e.g. Document library) in Skin.css file. This one will be shared by all sites and, of course, it can be removed if it’s not needed. Actually, it is created using LESS preprocessor (similar to a style sheet used for UI styling), which gives you the ability to easily customize it according to your needs - for instance, picking just a few styles for the components you will actually use on your web site.
This guide will be released at the same time as the Kentico upgrade release.
We fully understand that in some projects the upgrade can be a little bit painful, so, we are preparing certain things for the future. The first one is definitely the set of good practices, and how you should build your projects in order to upgrade them easily. We will also work on the upgrade procedure itself. We are constantly trying to improve it in order to make it as automatic and painless as possible. At the bottom of this post there is a short survey for you about the upgrade. Filling out this survey will help us prioritize things better in the future.