Craig Gibbons' Lifeblog lifeblog://tri.eat.net

11Nov/050

CommunityServer upgrade

For many months, I have been trying to upgrade gibbons.co.za to CommunityServer, the new .NET based blogging software from Telligent Systems. Each attempt has been met with blinding frustration and dismal failure, but at last, after trying and trying again, I have prevailed and managed a successful upgrade to CommunityServer v1.1 with the aid of two very key pieces of software. I write here as complete a description as possible of the procedure followed, tools used and problems encountered so as to provide assistance to any other would-be CommunityServer migrants. After running the new software for only a week, I can comprehensively say it is a vast improvement on .Text v0.95, although I intend no disrespect whatsoever to the original blog software, which was excellent for its time.

Migrating to CommunityServer is essentially a simple process, consisting of the following steps. Note that you must use CommunityServer v1.1 because the DotText-CS-Converter wizard (mentioned in point 5 below) only works with this version.

  1. Download the CommunityServer software from Telligent and follow the instructions in the README.
  2. Follow the setup instructions. Once complete you should have a functioning blog running in multi-blog (normal) mode.
  3. If you have an old .Text 0.95 blog, use Ken Harder’s DotText-CS-Converter tool to migrate the data. Full instructions on how to do this are included in the README accompanying the tool.
  4. To run your blog in single-blog mode, you need to replace the default SiteUrls.config in your site root, with one generated using Ken Robertson’s Single Blog/Gallery SiteUrls Generator. Note that you need to set the options ‘Single Blog’ and ‘Single Gallery’ to ‘Yes’. Your blog name will probably be 'blog_0'.
  5. You should then be able to open your site as per usual.

Troubleshooting

If you hit your site after following the above steps and the first page displays fine, but you get a 404 (Page not found) error when clicking any of the links, it’s probably because your site is not correctly configured in IIS to support URL rewriting. If you are hosting your site with a hosting company you may have a problem here. I had initially taken a hosting package with Fasthosts.co.uk but after much banging of head against the nearest wall, I finally contacted Ken Robertson and pleaded for help. He was gracious enough to advise me that the option “Check that file exists” must be unchecked. This option can be found by going into Internet Services Manager, then by choosing ‘Properties’ on the website, go to the ‘Directory’ tab and click ‘Configuration’, then select ‘.aspx’ from the ‘Application Mappings’ list on the ‘Mappings’ tab and click ‘Edit’. Fasthosts was unwilling to uncheck this box for me, so after a protracted discussion, I ended up getting flatly refused and am now hosting elsewhere.

I encountered one other problem which is worth mentioning. When running the DotText-CS-Converter wizard, I chose the option to migrate trackbacks. My site has been in operation for about a year now and I had close on 1000 trackbacks. Ordinarily this wouldn’t be a problem, but after migrating several hundred of those, I got an error saying the transaction log was full. I guess it’s obvious, but any hosting company will impose a size quote on your database and log to prevent disk space shortages. The number of transaction taking place during the migration quite simply used all that space.

Good luck.

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