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7 reasons you should upgrade to Sitefinity 4.2

by Gabe Sumner

I’m delighted to announce that Sitefinity 4.2 is now available for download.  This is a really big release for us.  This is certainly evidenced by the lengthy release notes, but this release represents more than the sum of its parts.  I’m not going to cover every individual item in this release.  Instead, I’ll quickly tick through a few of the highlights.

#1 - Sitefinity 4.2 is rock-solid

Releasing new code into the wild is always nerve-wracking.  There is always the perpetual feeling that we could do more with a few more hour of polish.  However, our internal processes are as rigorous as ever and this release contains a massive number of improvements.

In addition, we’ve been testing this release with select partners and customers (using real-world projects) for weeks.  This feedback has been invaluable and helped produce our most battle-tested release to date.

#2 - Sitefinity 4.2 is faster…a lot faster

We do a lot of testing related to speed and we’re constantly introducing incremental performance boosts.  However, Sitefinity 4.2 includes a revamped caching engine, sitemap improvements and heavily optimized database queries.  All of this results in a substantial and noticeable increase in the backend performance of Sitefinity.  

#3 - Sitefinity 4.2 includes Ecommerce functionality

We had a full webinar devoted to this Sitefinity’s ecommerce functionality.  This is simply version 1 of this module, but the feature set is already impressive.  Be sure to checkout our Ecommerce Benefits page and the Ecommerce webinar for more information.

#4 - Sitefinity 4.2 can now store files on the filesystem

This is primarily valuable for customers who are working with limited database storage capacity.  Sitefinity 4.2 includes a File-Based Library Provider.  This enables you to store images, documents, videos, etc. on the file system instead of the database.  This can vastly reduce the amount of database storage space required by your web site.

#5 - Sitefinity 4.2 includes the ability to easily import templates

This feature will be used in conjunction with the Template Builder (which we’re in the midst of launching through a game).  Speaking as someone who is design-challenged I’m greatly anticipating the ability to easily utilize templates designed by the community.

#6 - Sitefinity 4.2 includes more filter options for your RSS feeds

Sitefinity 4 has always contained a rich set of taxonomies for classifying your content.  However, I’m delighted to see new ways to use these classifications to produce tailored RSS feeds. 

#7 - Sitefinity 4.2 takes upgrading very seriously

Georgi Chokov posted a few weeks about the Sitefinity 3.x Migration Tool which is now included in Sitefinity 4.2  This release contains an BETA release of this tool.  Consider this phase 1 in an extended campaign.  We’re nowhere near done.  Our goal is to help our Sitefinity 3.x customers get moved to the new platform. 

And for our Sitefinity 4.x customers, keeping the web site upgraded should be relatively easy.  If you’re coming from any version of Sitefinity 4.1 then follow the normal upgrade instructions.  Otherwise, you should upgrade by way of Sitefinity 4.1 (4.0 –> 4.1 –> 4.2).

Expect many more improvements to come on this front.

And much more…

I know I’m missing a lot.  I would encourage everyone to spend some time with the release notes.  After that, download Sitefinity 4.2 and post your impressions to Facebook, Twitter or Google Plus.  As always, we look forward to seeing your reactions.


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  1. Thomas Weidman Aug 10, 2011

    The 4.2 project manager will not accept valid license files downloaded from the account section of your website.

    I would think this is a critical bug.

  2. Hristo Borisov Aug 10, 2011
    If something is not working at the moment with the project, my suggestion is to simply place the license file you downloaded here SitefinityWebApp/App_Data/Sitefinity/Sitefinity.lic and you will be all set.

    We will make sure this inconvenience is resolved asap.
  3. Phill Aug 10, 2011
    Gabe, features sound great but unfortunately the release isn't usable, upgraded project (multiple projects) and can't get license to work and no option to download trial license.

    Hristo, that solution doesn't work. I manually downloaded 4.2 license, copied to that location and still prompts me to activate license or select downloaded license. Again Telerik has released another SF4 version with a critical bug and I haven't even had a chance to use it yet! Really disappointed (again!)
  4. Thomas Weidman Aug 10, 2011

    I forgot to mention I tried that before I posted a comment here and had the same result as Phil.  For weeks of testing this seems like an important feature.

  5. John Tolar Aug 10, 2011
    My question is why can't they coordinate the SDK release with the version release.. If history is any indication we will now have to wait 1-2 weeks before the SDK release.  
  6. Gabe Sumner Aug 10, 2011
    Hey everyone,

    First of all, sorry for the troubles.  It looks like some licenses downloaded through the web site have issues.  It also looks like licenses fetched through the web service (which is what Sitefinity's project manager uses) avoid this issue.

    Consequently, a workaround is to fetch your 4.2 license by typing your credentials into the Sitefinity Project Manager (as opposed to getting the license through the web site).  However, this solution only works if you have 1 license associated with your account.  Anyone who has multiple paid licenses associated with their account will be directed to the web site.  /:|

    This issue will be addressed early tomorrow.  In fact, I hope it's already resolved by the time you read this comment.  
  7. John Aug 10, 2011


    Has anyone downloaded SDK successfully? Mine came out corrupt twice.



  8. Gabe Sumner Aug 10, 2011
    John, the SDK has a whole other layer of sample projects, documentation, included tools, etc. that need tested and updated.  Because not everyone uses the SDK there is hesitation to let the SDK delay the primary release.

    THAT BEING SAID, the SDK team is getting a lot faster and getting these tools upgraded.  From what I've seen, it looks likely the SDK will land this week.
  9. Chris Aug 10, 2011
    Gabe - re: #4 - Sitefinity 4.2 can now store files on the filesystem

    Is this an option for existing 4.x projects where numerous files are already stored in the database, or only for brand new 4.2 projects?

  10. Georgi Aug 11, 2011
    The licensing server is fixed, guys. There was intermittent issue, appearing in a bad timing. We've ensured that this won't happen again.

    Chris, this is valid for all projects that are upgraded to 4.2, and for new projects as well.

    John, the SDK should be available by the end of the week. We are still on track with it.
  11. Stuart Aug 11, 2011
    I know I should just jump in, both feet as it were, but I'm gonna hang on, just for a few days, I think.
  12. Phill Aug 11, 2011
    Gabe, regarding claim #2, how do you guage performance improvements? I haven't gotten out the stopwatch yet but SF in the backend and frontend seem just as slow as they've ever been, and that's running locally on my dev machine w/ 8GB of RAM. I'd love to see more specifics on where performance was improved and what the measures that were used were. I did noticed that under Known Issues (listed as critical to boot) System Requirements for memory have gone from 500mb to 550-600mb, so that's an increase where with performance improvements I'd expect this to have gone down.
  13. Michael W Aug 11, 2011
    Based on these comments and my experience with 4.1, I'd say your testing methodology is way inadequate. I'm actually afraid to try 4.2. I agree the SDK release should coincide with version releases. For now, I'm sticking with 3.7 SP4.
  14. Sharon F Aug 11, 2011
      For those of us sitting on 3.7sp4 could you guys do a document somewhere with the whole collection of what you get by going to 4.2 and how you get there from 3.7sp4?

    I've been poking around for a couple of days and am gathering info but it would be great to have it in one place so I don't miss something in my research.
  15. Sharon F Aug 11, 2011
      For those of us sitting on 3.7sp4 could you guys do a document somewhere with the whole collection of what you get by going to 4.2 and how you get there from 3.7sp4?

    I've been poking around for a couple of days and am gathering info but it would be great to have it in one place so I don't miss something in my research.
  16. lasse Aug 11, 2011
    unfortunately one of the critical bugs still weren't addressed.. meaning that any newsletter sent with sitefinity will still not load any images - that coupled with the licensing issue the point #1 seems invalid, and that puts questions for the rest :(
  17. Gabe Sumner Aug 11, 2011
    @Phil - I'll let the team provide specifics.  

    @Michael - The SDK is now available.

    @Sharon - Yes, absolutely we'll be doing that.  

    @Lasse - Licensing is now addressed.  I not personally familiar with the newsletter image issue.  I'll check into it though.
  18. Sharon F Aug 16, 2011
    Thanks Gabe!
  19. Sean Molam Aug 18, 2011
    Hi Gabe,

    Is there going to be any documentation on upgrade Custom modules and the changes that have been made to the framework, there are quite a lot of now obsolete methods which is helpful but not all of them explain what has changed.  I think this will be very useful for most developers don't you think?

  20. Anton Aug 18, 2011
    @Sean Molarn

    For instance, what is the difference between IContentLifecycleManager and ILifecycleManager?
  21. Pavel Iliev Aug 19, 2011
    Hi Anton,

    In few words - multilingual lifecycle support, extensibility for the lifecycle of built in modules and about 20 methods less in managers and providers that clients have to implement :)

    - With ILifecycleManager we've introduced support for multilingual lifecycle which was not supported up to now. Now for example when you publish/unpublish something in French you have only the French translation visible, same applies for the workflow operations too.
    - Also with ILifecycleManager we have decoupled the lifecycle(master/temp/live concept) from Content, so now it is possible to create a module that can has draft and live versions for an item which is not based on Content.
    - The whole lifecycle logic is encapsulated in the LifecycleDecorator and for new modules you don't have to implement all those methods in the manager  like CheckIn/CheckOut/Publish/Unpublish, etc. And now it is possible to extend the lifecycle for the existing managers like for news/libriaries/etc with few lines of code, no need to have your own provider, manager, etc. The Products Module in the SDK is implemented like that.

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