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Upgrading to Umbraco 7.3

A week or so ago Niels from Umbraco tweeted that you could now upgrade the database from an old 4.7.1 install all the way up to 7.3 with the new installer. This was pretty exciting news, as upgrading Umbraco (especially through a lot of versions) is traditionally a very painful experience.

As luck would have it, we had a client who wants to update an old 4.7.1 site to 7.3 to use some of the newer features. Fortuitously, it's also a fairly simple Umbraco install with only handful of plugins, most of which aren't needed in 7.

So, fully expecting things to not go as smoothly as expected, I embarked on my upgrade quest. I decided to do a fresh install of 7.3 via Nuget into a VS project, and then merge in the relevant config bits into the site. I'd check the database had upgraded OK, then add back in the bits that I needed. Next I pointed the installer at the old 4.7.1 database (use the customize option during the setup wizard). Finally I copied in my masterpages, CSS, JS and images.

I ran the wizard and immediately hit an error that I thought was down to some of the additional tables in the database, but which turned out to be down to an issue with schema ownership in the database. Once I'd fixed that, I ran the installer again, and crossed my fingers. About a minute later, and BAM!!! I was staring at the 7.3 back office with all of the content from the old site in it!

I went through the site, and everything seemed to be working fine, happy days! I then swapped the uComponents tree pickers for the built in multinode pickers (as I was storing them as CSV already), and viola, it all worked! I had to go through and re-add some of the associated packages, but other than that, I was golden. I ran into a couple of minor gotchas on the XSLT front, mostly caused by the site using EXSLT extensions that were removed from the site in v7. Those were pretty straighforward to fix though.

All in all, I'm very impressed with the way it went, it really was remarkably straightforward, and it makes upgrading much older sites a much more appealing prospect. If you have a more complex site with tons of custom DataTypes etc, you'll need to port those to Angular and migrate the data, but for most simple sites, it should be relatively painless to upgrade from the look of it.

Kudos to the HQ guys for the hard work they've put into this, it looks like the effort paid off!

Once I've fully completed the upgrade, I'll document it here on my blog, to help anyone else who's considering upgrading older sites.

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4 comments for “Upgrading to 7.3”

  1. Gravatar of Søren KottalSøren Kottal
    Posted 02 October 2015 at 12:26:19

    Sounds great, I recently tried to do a 6.1.1 to 7.2.8 upgrade the same way as you. It worked like a charm!

  2. Posted 09 October 2015 at 07:59:49

    Hey guys, we're at the beginning of upgrading 6.0 and want to go straight to 7.3 . Did you use the version specific upgrade pages like here https://our.umbraco.org/documentation/getting-started/setup/upgrading/version-specific . Or did the nuget package installs solve most of the problems?


  3. Gravatar of Tim PayneTim Payne
    Posted 27 October 2015 at 09:04:21

    Hi Neil,

    Have a look at the second part of the article that I just published, that details how I did the upgrade. If you're already installed from NuGet, you can jump straight from 6 to 7.3 via NuGet if you want.

  4. Posted 03 November 2015 at 03:29:02


    I tried to upgrade from 4.11.8 to 7.3.1 but not successful.
    It's throwing this error
    The database failed to upgrade. ERROR: The database configuration failed with the following message: Invalid column name 'UniqueID'. Please check log file for additional information (can be found in '/App_Data/Logs/UmbracoTraceLog.txt')

    Do you have any idea on how to fix it?
    Please let me know