Discussing ProcessWire CMS Infrastructure And Configurations

Episode 4: ProcessWire Module: Upgrades

Podcast Show Transcipt: PDF Version


Episode 4 - ProcessWire Module: Upgrades

Hello, this is Charles Stevens, the Editor of the PW Review.

In this episode, we will take a look at the ProcessWire Upgrades module.

Ryan Cramer, the Lead Developer, maintainer and creator of ProcessWire is the author of this Non-Commercial module. This module was created in September 2014. The last published update to the Upgrades module (which is listed as Version 7) was in December 2016.

Upgrades is a tool that helps you identify and install core or module upgrades. When installed on your website it is listed under the Admin Setup Menu.

Within the Upgrades admin screen it will show ProcessWIre Core CMS and module information such as:

- Module. Which is the official name of the Core CMS or Module.
- Class. Which is the special ProcessWire Class Name that you can use to install a module.
- Installed. Which is the numbered version that is installed on your installation.
- Latest. Which is the numbered version of what is listed as the latest officially published version.
- Status. Which shows you if your installation is up-to-date or not. If the Core CMS or module current version and the official published version are the same, it will show as up-to-date. If by chance you have installed a newer version that the official published version, it shows as up-to-date with a plus sign. This will most probably be a development version you have installed. If the Core CMS or Module is not up-to-date, it will show a red hyperlink, a light-bulb icon and say “Upgrade available”.

Let’s talk about Core CMS upgrades first. This utility will check to see if ProcessWire CMS upgrades are available for your installation. If a new version is available, it will download the update.

With Core CMS upgrades, you normally have up to 6 choices. They are:

- ProcessWire Core (Dev)
- ProcessWire Core (Master)
- ProcessWire Core (Legacy/Master)
- ProcessWire Core (Prev/Dev)
- ProcessWire Core (Prev/Devns)
- ProcessWire Core (Prev/Master)

The last 4 choices are normally a step down from where your ProcessWire CMS installation currently is.

Let’s now talk about Module Upgrades. The utility uses web services from modules.processwire.com to compare your current installed versions to the latest remote versions available. The utility will provide upgrade links whenever it finds a newer version than what you have installed.

Now let’s talk about actually upgrading either the Core CMS or a Module.

To upgrade, you would click on the red hyperlink under Status. You will be prompted to either download or abort from where you are at. The utility will also let you know that the version that you are trying to use the Upgrades module on is the same version you have installed, a newer version or an older version.

The utility makes versioned backup copies of the files it will eventually overwrite. In the event of an unsuccessful upgrade, you can manually restore the last version that you had installed. No harm, no fowl.

The utility should give you the option to backup your database. This has been the case in ProcessWire version 2.5.14 or greater. If you are given the option to backup, I would strongly suggest that you backup your database without fail.

Once you have upgraded, it would be a good process to check to make sure things are still working. Make sure you can still access the Front-End side of your website, as well as that you can continue to access the Back-End administrative side also.

You may notice that there are red clickable hyperlinks under Module. For the Core CMS, if you click on one of those links the utility will prompt you to confirm whether you want to install whatever version you clicked on.

There are updates made to the ProcessWire Development Core sometimes on a daily basis. These updates are committed, however they don’t always lead to Development Core CMS version number upgrades. If you want the latest of the latest updates, then you would click the red hyperlink for the ProcessWire Core (Dev). You will be prompted that you are installing the same version, but if you go ahead you will have the latest changes to the ProcessWire Development environment. Just make sure you have an adequate backup strategy when doing this.

One important point I need to emphasize. ProcessWire Commercial modules cannot be upgraded via the Upgrades module. This is not the fault of the Upgrades module, it’s just that Commercial modules have a different upgrade method, which remains a process of manually upgrading them. The Upgrades modules will show the Commercial Modules on the listing of modules and will do the version comparison. This is extremely helpful with at least knowing what you have installed on your website.

In conclusion, the Upgrade module is a time saver and has the potential to help you update Non-Commercial modules and the ProcessWire Core CMS. I make sure that this module is installed on all of my installations.

That’s it for now. Thank you for listening.