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3.6 vs 4.0 (all about upgrade)

Version 3.6 and 4.0 main differences

Version 3.6 and 4.0 have a number of very significant differences:

  • Structure:
    Version 3.6 and all previous ViArt versions are based on tables. This means their CSS and HTML templates are designed with certain set of styles applied only for tables structure and that blocks' content in previous versions is placed within three main tables (columns).

    Starting from version 4.0 we introduced a completely different structure - from now on all blocks content is placed not in tables but wrapped within DIV tags. We have spent nearly 2 years redeveloping all CSS styles and HTML templates implementing DIVs and a new set of styles specifically for DIV structure.
  • *Note: because of this reason designs developed for version 3.6 and earlier versions will not work on version 4.0, you will need a new design created on DIVs.

  • CMS:
    Another big change in version 4.0 is new powerful CMS system. It has a great variety of functionalities of true Content Management System:

    • now you can add on a page as many copies of the same block as you want;
    • you can specify to use a different template for any block right in CMS;
    • you can build-in one block into another;
    • you can set styles and HTML code for every frame (groups of blocks);
    • you can specify individual styles for blocks;
    • you can use any blocks on any page, for example Products Listing on articles pages, Special Offer on basket and so on;
    • you are not limited to three columns layout anymore, now you can use one-, two-, three-frames as well as new Hot layout and create your own layouts with your own frames positioning;
    • you can add/delete/edit any block options and assign them to specific CMS modules and pages;
    • in future it will be possible to copy frames settings from one page to another with one click.
  • Zend Optimizer
    When upgrading PHP version on hosting server many users have encountered a problem that Zend Optimizer is no longer compatible with latest PHP versions (starting from PHP5.3) which also disables ViArt Shop. Zend Optimizer is a necessary requisite for version 3.6 and all previous versions of ViArt Shop. Starting from version 4 we refused from Zend Optimizer and use our own encoder.
  • New Functionalities
    Remember in addition to structure changes and new CMS in v.4.0 was added a number of new functionalities, such Shipping Calculator, Export Templates, new coupon settings, new invoice settings and many many more. Please read the full features list in this article:
  • http://www.viart.com/viart_shop_v.4.0_released.html

Upgrade procedure

You can perform upgrade by yourself or we can do it for you for an extra cost.

In case you decide to make upgrade by yourself, please follow the steps listed below:
  • make a backup of all files in your current version;
  • make a dump of your current database;
  • download a new version from http://www.viart.com/php_shopping_cart_free_evaluation_download.html
  • unzip the archive with new version and replace your old files with the new ones (except the ones you've modified, e.g. templates, styles, images);
  • copy the var_definition file from your backup 'includes' folder and paste it in the 'includes' folder of your new version
  • go to your Administration panel ('Tools > System Upgrade') and click the Upgrade Database button;
  • apply custom changes (if any) from previous version to the new version files;
  • your shop is now updated to the latest version.

Please read this article for more information about upgrade and check Upgrade FAQ below.

If your site is running on version 3.6

If your site is running on version 3.6 and you would like to upgrade to version 4.0, please consider these points:

  • Design - if you don't use one of the default designs i.e. Default, Curved, Silver, Convex, Fashion, Rainbow, Classic, Marine, Ecommerce, Demo, Double or if you modified the CSS file of one of these designs then it means you have a custom design and it won't work on version 4.0 so you will need to redevelop it according to new structure. (Our services for such kind of work will be around $1000, please contact our support team for more information).
  • Customizations - by customizations are considered any changes in default files, this can be a minor change to site header, some block's template or a completely new functionality, in any case these customizations are not likely to work after upgrade so be ready to create them once again.
  • Updates Extension - each type of ViArt Software license has an unlimited period of use unless you decide to upgrade your license to the latest version. In this case your license is valid for free updates within 6 months (for Light Edition), 9 months (for Standard Edition) and 12 months (for Enterprise Edition). After this period expires to upgrade your license you will need to buy an Updates Extension.

If your site is running on old version (from 2.x -to 3.5.x)

If your site is running on old version (from 2.x -to 3.5.x) please add to the above mentioned points this one:

  • Upgrade Service - because of a big structure leap between version 2 and 4 you won't be able to perform upgrade by yourself like instructed in this article because upgrade in this case will require manual changes in some scripts. That's why you will need to order the Upgrade Service from our programmers.

Upgrade FAQ

I have upgraded and now see a message "Your license has been expired".

Each type of ViArt Software Commercial Edition has an unlimited period of use unless you decide to upgrade your license to the latest version. In this case your license is valid for free upgrades within 6 months (for Light Edition), 9 months (for Standard Edition) and 12 months (for Enterprise Edition). So in order to use your license with version 4.0 you need to buy the Updates Extension.

I upgraded my shop but now I see a free message at the bottom.

To activate your license on version 4.0 you need to go to activation page where insert your serial number and then select the option to generate a license file for version 4.0 like on this screenshot. Afterwords upload "license.php" file to your shop's 'includes' folder in Binary mode.

I tried to upgrade my site but I have errors like
Database error: Invalid SQL: SELECT c.* FROM (va_currencies c LEFT JOIN va_currencies_sites cs ON c.currency_id=cs.currency_id) WHERE c show_for_user=1 AND (c.sites_all=1 OR cs.site_id=NULL) AND ( c currency_code=NULL OR c.currency_value=NULL ) MySQL Error: Table 'usr_web6_1.va_currencies_sites' doesn't exist
What's wrong?

This error indicates that you are trying to upgrade from an old version which has different database structure. In this case we recommend to order upgrade service or you can try to perform upgrade yourself by doing the following changes:

  • disable admin_security check in all upgrade scripts;
  • comment these includes in admin_upgrade.php:

I've been upgrading my shop and custom mods on the test copy for awhile. How can I safely upgrade my Live site?

There are two ways of how you can proceed:

  • 1) upgrade Live site:
    • upload all files from test copy over your Live files;
    • change the var_definition.php file to link to the Live database;
    • click 'System Upgrade' in admin panel;
    • apply dump of CMS tables from test copy to the Live site (to save layout changes if you made any).
  • 2) use test copy as a Live site:
    • make export of orders, users and products* information from Live site.
      *Note: we do not recommend to add any new products or change current ones during upgrade period because export/import of products doesn't preserve all product information such as options, subcomponents etc.
    • delete your Live site (making a backup beforehand) and upload the test copy in its place;
    • import orders, users and products information.

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On Sunday 11th of November 2012 our servers will be updating hosting software including PHP version. It means starting from around 11:00 a.m. (GMT+0:00) you may experience some interruptions in service for a couple of hours.  read more...read more...