upgrade 5.6 to 5.7

Feb 24, 2016

When we released concrete5 5.7 last year, it was a big deal. The interface and underlying code had been completely modernized, giving Concrete CMS a solid foundation for the evolving web. Unfortunately, that overhaul was not without some downsides: marketplace add-ons needed to be rewritten, and for the first time ever, there was a version of concrete that wasn't backward-compatible.

Thankfully now we have the answer for that: these are our migration tools, built for both 5.6 and earlier and concrete 5.7. These tools are free, open source and available on GitHub.

http://github.com/concrete5/addon_migration_tool_legacy http://github.com/concrete5/addon_migration_tool

The legacy version exports content from a concrete 5.6 site, and the 5.7 migration tool handles export from and import to a 5.7 site. Export lets you choose which content you want to include from your site, and add it piecemeal to a batch:

The content is then turned into XML, written in the concrete5 Interchange Format (formerly the Content Import Format.) Download this XML file and any associated files, and import them into the new site. Importing is even more powerful: knowing that we were migrating from old, completely different 5.6 installs into 5.7 forced us to build the import tools in a forgiving, powerful and flexible way. When you import content there's full error reporting, file support, and the ability to map old content types found in the XML to new content types found in your site.

We used these tools when building our new community-driven documentation website and they work great.

The export tools built into the 5.7 migration tool also replace the Sample Content Generator, which add-on and theme developers can use to generate sample content. Unlike the Sample Content Generator add-on, the migration tool can build XML exports of just portions of your site, making it much easier to work with than the old add-on.

There's much more to do: specifically the 5.7 exporter needs support for all the data types that can be included in CIF files. There will be GitHub issues for these items shortly, and we'd love community help on this project. Let's get out there and upgrade some sites!

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