The Update Center

Abstract

Guide to finding and installing Sitecore updates with the Update Center.

Note

This topic is valid for Sitecore 9, Update 2, to Sitecore 10.1.

You use the Update Center to find, download, install, and manage updates and hotfixes for the Sitecore platform and Sitecore modules. The Update Center accesses a package management service for information about updates and for the update packages themselves. Sitecore provides a package management service, or you can install and provide a service yourself. Finally, the Update Center can install updates from a package in the file system.

You open the Update Center window from the Sitecore Dashboard:

The_Update_Center-Picture_1-rId10-1004398451.png

In the left pane, you have three options:

  • Updates – click to see a list of available updates from the package management service.

  • Installed modules – click to see a list of already installed modules.

  • Install custom update – click to select an update package in the file system.

When you select an update package from the list of available updates, the Update Center shows information about the selected package. This information is from the package meta data, and it typically includes:

  • Version number.

  • Information about breaking changes.

  • A link to the release note for the packages.

  • Pre- and post-installation steps.

The final element of the Update Center is the Enter update mode/Exit update mode button that toggles the update mode on and off.

When you install an update, you use the Ready to install window to set options and start the process:

The_Update_Center-Picture_4-rId11-1245776824.png

We recommend that you turn on update mode when you install updates.

The Sitecore configuration is divided into four layers:

  • Sitecore

  • Modules

  • Custom

  • Environment

When Sitecore is in update mode, it turns all configuration layers except the Sitecore layer off. Additionally, it adds and activates a layer called Update, and creates a temporary folder called Update in the App_Config folder.

The Update folder contains these configuration files:

  • DisableXDB.config – this file disables Sitecore xDB and Sitecore xDB Tracking.

  • DataFolder.config – this file enables the Data folder. This is necessary because Sitecore does not work without access to the license.xml file.

  • Layers.config.orig – this file is a copy of how the Layers.config file was when Sitecore entered update mode.

When Sitecore is in update mode, it runs as platform-only. This provides more stability while the update takes place. When Sitecore exits update mode, it restores the Layers.config file and deletes the temporary Update folder.

You specify what package management service the Update Center connects to in the App_Config/ConnectionStrings.config file.

The setting is PackageManagementServiceUrl. The default setting connects to Sitecore package management:

<add name="PackageManagementServiceUrl" connectionString="https://updatecenter.cloud.sitecore.net/" />

Important

Remember to open your firewall to access the update center URL.

You can point to a local instance of the package management service, if you have set up such a service. For example:

<add name="PackageManagementServiceUrl" connectionString="https://someserver.local/packagemanagementservice/" />