What to do When Upgrading Hotcakes

Hotcakes Commerce has releases as often as we can create them.  The updates in releases can vary from minor updates, to major overhauls.  With Hotcakes being as flexible as it is, having numerous extension points that allow you to customize nearly everything about your store, this presents an additional layer of checks that you should pay attention to with any upgrade, no matter how innocent it may appear to be.

Cloud vs. On Premise

On Premise customers can do things like they always do.  Please move to the next section.

Cloud customers have the following process:

  1. Request a backup of your site using a support request.
  2. Have your technical team perform the steps below.
  3. Package up and/or document any updates that may be necessary for your site.  (If you don't have a technical team, our partners are available to help.)
  4. Schedule a non-peak time for our staff to upgrade your site.
  5. We upgrade it for you.
  6. You rest, while we work for you.

Reference:  How to Upgrade Hotcakes Commerce

Test First

Create a test version of your live/production website somewhere locally or in your staging environment, and apply the upgrade there first.  Then, run through all of the scenarios and testing that you need to.  This helps you to understand if anything might break, and the steps required to perform the upgrade as seamlessly and quickly as possible when you do it in your production environment.

Document everything that you do, so that you know the exact steps required to upgrade in production.  

Backup, Backup, Backup...

No matter what, backup your site first.  A true backup will be comprised of all of the physical files that your website has, as well as the database.  Do this even if your local testing went flawlessly.  You never know what might break only in production.  

When you're performing this step in production, be sure to begin at a non-peak selling hour if possible, and you might want to shut down access to your site temporarily, to prevent any accidental partial orders or other unforeseen content synchronization issues.

Be sure to have your backup handy, so you can execute a restore quickly, if needed.


Upgrading Hotcakes is as simple as uploading the installation package, and then clicking through the installation wizard.  At the end, the module is upgraded.  

Merge Viewsets

If you're using your own custom viewset (and we think you should be), it is sometimes okay to skip this step - that is, depending on how custom your viewset is.  If you've added any dynamic capabilities to your views, then you definitely should take a look.  

We always suggest at the very least comparing the CSS, scripts, and any updates to the cart and checkout views.  Updates in those areas always have a direct impact on the success of your store.  Also, we sometimes add new messages to the system, which have their text defined in resource files.  You'll find those throughout your viewset as files ending with "resx."

When you merge changes from the default viewset to your own, you'l want to use a merge tool to do so.  It makes this process much easier.  One of the most common ones we see used is free, called WinMerge.

Updated and/or Rebuild Integrations

Now you should attempt to rebuild any integrations you might have to ensure that there's no broken code.  With the exception of major release versions, there should be minimal work required when it comes to your integrations.  We try to not break any API's for any release that's not a major release.  

We generally try to make the necessary updates self-explanatory, but if we've changed something and there's no clear way to fix it, just send us a support request.

Test, Test, and Test Some More

Next, you'll want to test all of your integration work and your typical customer workflows.  This makes sure that nothing that already worked is broken in any way.  You also should review the release notes, and look for any breaking changes, or for anything that you might want to review/test prior to moving on with the next step.

You're Done!

Now that you've tested, everything should be good to go.  Go ahead and resume with your normal operations.

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