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Upgrading to CF8 – Tips

I gave a presentation today at the Central New York CFUG about upgrading to ColdFusion 8.  I'm afraid I may have scared some people away from updating, but that was not my intent!  I simply wanted to prepare them for things they MIGHT run into.  Most of the installs I have done have gone smoothly, and the problems are generally easy to figure out with a little research.  The benefits of CF8 far outweigh running into a glitch or two during an upgrade.

I've included the Powerpoint presentation download below, but here are some of the tips.

  • Do a full clean install on another computer before attempting to upgrade a server.  I've run into situations where not all of the files will copy over in a new ColdFusion instance, and it is nice to be able to pull files from a clean install instead of reinstalling.
  • Prior to running an update, archive CF settings to a CAR file using the ColdFusion Archive feature in CF Administrator.  You should back up everything except your JVM settings – CF8 uses a new JVM.  Take note of your old settings for special class paths being used for CFX or Java, but do NOT try to apply them to CF8. 
  • If you are using Enterprise …
    • stop all ColdFusion and IIS services including Verity (Search Service), ODBC, all instances, and IIS Admin Service.
    • make a copy of the JRUN4 folder
    • Uninstall ColdFusion 7
    • Delete the JRUN4 folder
    • Do a clean install
  • If you are using Standard …
    • The upgrade process is smooth
    • Back up your 'cfide' folder because CF8 will change the contents
    • Take note of any custom tags, CFX, or other items that you had in the CFusionMX7 folder.  The CF8 install will create a new folder called ColdFusion8.  It will NOT delete the old folder.
    • Make sure you move any CFX, Custom Tags, Java Libraries, etc from CFusionMX7 to ColdFusion8 and update all references in the CF Administrator – including your JVM Settings.

Things you MIGHT run into…

    • When deploying instances in CF8, many times it will not copy all of the files needed.  This is a common problem.  Specifically, look for files in the {drive}\JRUN4\servers\{instancename}\cfusion.ear\ cfusion.war\WEB-INF\cfusion\db folder.
    • ODBC Services do not start.  I've seen this in two installs now.  One of them I fixed by copying registry entries from a good install.  If you aren't comfortable with registry edits, you may need to reinstall for this.  Or… if you are using the built-in JDBC drivers, you don't need ODBC services anyhow.
    • If you aren't running one of the newer releases of BlogCFC, you'll need to either upgrade or make this small change.
    • Custom tags and CFX – Watch those paths in your CF configuration and jvm.config!  Remember that they may point to CFusionMX7 (standard), or you may have to retrieve some files from your JRUN4 backup folder (Enterprise)
    • Custom IIS Application Folders – If you modified the mappings in IIS for a specific application or folder, they will not get upgraded when the CF installer updates your connectors.  They will still map to the CF7 dll.  You'll need to update those manually to match the mappings and wildcard DLL in the root folder of your site.  Drop me an an e-mail if you want clarification on this.

Overall, the upgrade is DEFINITELY worth it.  The speed increase alone is amazing, and the new CFIMAGE, CFFEED, and Ajax features are a huge boost to ColdFusion development.

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