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Database and DNN upgrade best practices

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New Around Here

    So I'm looking at best practices upgrading DNN in a test/dev environment when there are active changes happening in a production context.

    Our ops team handles all servers and has just started naming them slightly different names in a production database environment then not changing the database name when it goes live.

    For example one dnn site in a test environment has this connection string

    name="SiteSqlServer" connectionString="Data Source=[Server]\PROD;Initial Catalog=clientname;User ID=dnn_client;Password=*****" providerName="System.Data.SqlClient"

    This is driving me (module developer, integration guy) bonkers

    We have a meeting to discuss naming conventions and how servers should be handled and I honestly hit a 'nice guy' wall when the issue becomes, if the updates aren't done in the production context then after all the testing is done, they have to do them again in the production context, which seems to defeat the purpose of the 'promote to production' which typically does mild changes to the production database and code is promoted to the server.

    This may be my cognitive disconnect from older websites to newer CMS product based site management. Just want to come up with somethnig to give them that may make sense. Because it seems that Dev/Stage/Prod isn't a thing they really want to manage


    Veteran Member

      for security and simplicity: if possible, use Windows authentification using the app pool identity account - this avoids the need of specifying username and password.

      Veteran Member


        in short: mind the DNN Platform Suggested Upgrade Path.

        1. Make a copy of your SQL Database to the SQL Server in your testing environment.
        2. Copy the Files from your (DNN) website to the root of a website in your testing environment.
        3. Change the HttpAlias in the PortalAlias table to the host header from this testing website.
        4. Change the connection string in the web.config in your testing website to the copied database.
        5. Check permissions (database, file system)
        6. Check if everything is running.
        7. Backup the database and files from your testing environment.
        8. Upgrade the website in your testing environment. See DNN Platform Upgrades for details.
        9. Check if everything is running. If you need to update any extension you can do the following:
          1. Unzip the DNN upgrade package to an empty folder on your machine (e.g. C:\DNN_09.11.00_Custom)
          2. Copy the extension upgrade package(s) to the approbriate folder under the /Install folder (Module, Skin, Provider, Language...)
          3. Zip the complete folder (C:\DNN_09.11.00_Custom) to a new DNN upgrade package.
          4. Restore files and database from the previous version (Backups from step 7)
          5. Re-run the upgrade and test.
        10. If everything works, go to step 7 until you are on the latest version.
        11. When you are on the latest version, repeat the upgrade steps (using the customized packages if necessary) in your production environment - not after backing up everything, but this is the only backup you need this time. Take the site offline as described here: DNN Platform Upgrades

        Hope it helps.

        Happy DNNing!


        Michael Tobisch

        dnnWerk Austria
        DNN Connect
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