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XML upgrades for managing site configuration changes

Hi all,

Just added a neat little feature to help manage user interface deployments. One limitation we had faced is that when we had new features to be added to the user interface as part of a component update we had to manually write a function to add the sections, map the section content and add menu items, etc. This is still possible (and useful) but there is now a new way to handle these situations making use of our XML import/export mechanism.

The procedure for doing so is as follows:

  1. Add an upgrade to the component upgrade manager the same way as you would for a database schema update, but specify xml as the update source:
      "1.2" => "sql:Added usage_statistics view",
      "1.3" => "sql:Renamed date to capture_date in usage_statistics view",
      "1.4" => "xml:Import new menu items and mobile section"
  2. If your component doesn't already have one (and it won't at first) add a sub-folder called "updates".
  3. Run an export of the associated data from your development server, save it as <component>_<version>.xml and move it into the component's updates folder. For instance, for the update above, taken from the 'griot' component the file name would be griot_1.4.xml.
  4. Commit everything to SVN and deploy to your server. Next time the component is updated the XML file will be imported into the database.

This can be used to make sure that menu structures and section content are consistent between dev and production. More generally, you can use it for any data that has a serialization handler. Be careful with this feature - as with the import/export feature in general it is destructive, meaning that the data in the import REPLACES ALL the data in the target database for the imported objects. If you need to do an incremental update (to preserve customizations on the production server) then write an update function using the previously available APIs.


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