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How to Update a Customized Store

Overview

If your ProductCart-powered store has been customized, updating to a newer version of ProductCart can take a bit longer. The time required really depends on how much of the source code has been customized, and how well the customizations have been documented.

This article focuses on an additional set of instructions that apply in this scenario. You should follow these instructions in addition to those provided for the specific software update that you wish to apply.

Skills required

Customizations to the ProductCart source code are typically performed by a developer. However, that does not mean that you have to hire that developer again to update the customized files.

If you have a working knowledge of HTML, you can try comparing and synchronizing the customized files to the latest version of the same files (even if you don't know ASP). In many cases the customizations are self-explanatory and can be easily ported over to the latest files. The simpler the customizations, the higher the likelihood that you will be able to compare and merge the file changes on your own.

Once you compare the files, if you don't feel confident about synchronizing the two versions, you can always go back to a developer at that point. And if you know that the customizations were extensive, then it probably makes sense to ask the same developer for assistance.

Isolate the customized files

The first step in the update process is to locate the files that have been customized:

  • When you customize any files, you should keep a list of those customizations, and comments on what was altered. If you didn't do it, remember to do it next time.
  • If you don't have a list:
    • Obtain a default file set for your current version. If you don't have it, contact NetSource Commerce.
    • Compare the default file set to yours using a file comparison tool such as ExamDiff Pro. The files that are different are typically the ones that were customized.

Once you have a list of the files that had been customized, back them up to a separate folder. For example, create a folder called ”Customized Files” with the ProductCart subfolders in which the customized files actually reside (e.g. ”pc”, ”includes”, etc.).

Obtain the updated files

Download the updated files using the “Check for Updates” feature in the ProductCart Control Panel. You must be enrolled in the ProductCart Technical Support & Software Updates Plan to do so.

Compare customized and updated files

Once you've downloaded the ZIP file:

  • Unzip the file to a folder with the same name (e.g. ProductCart_v4.5_Update)
  • Locate the folder that corresponds to the file type you are using (Parent Paths Enabled or Disabled: typically the “Enabled” ones are used)
  • Rename that folder ”Default Files
  • Rename the ”pcadmin” folder under ”Default Files” to the name you are using for that folder in your store (that folder is typically renamed)
  • Create a copy of ”Default Files” and rename the folder ”Updated Files
  • Copy your ”Customized Files” folder in the same location
  • You know have 3 folders under the parent folder. In this example, under ProductCart_v4.5_Update you have:
    • Customized Files”, which contains your old, customized files
    • Default files”, which you will keep as a backup of the default updated files
    • Updated Files”, which are the files that you will upload to your store
  • You are now ready to compare ”Customized Files” and ”Updated Files” to port the code changes to the files that you will upload to your store.
  • Using your favorite file comparison tool:
    • Folder by folder, compare your ”Customized Files” to the ”Updated Files” and merge the changes into the newer version of the same file. If the code changes were properly commented, you will be able to quickly locate them. In many cases, merging the files is simply a matter of copying the customized code over to the new source code. There are cases, however, in which this is not the case. If you are unsure, please contact the developer that originally worked on those customizations.
    • As you compare and merge the files changes, your ”Customized Files” will never be edited. You are only editing the ”Updated Files” to apply the code changes to them.
  • When you are done with this process, your ”Updated Files” are ready to be uploaded to your store. That folder now contains the latest files, with the customizations that had been previously made to your store.

Perform the Update

At this point you are ready to update your store to the newer version. Make sure to carefully review the update instructions that are made available with each software update.

The first step, is always to back-up your store.


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