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Interchange is designed to be drop-in compatible in its major version.
5.2.x -- There should be few to no compatibility issues in
upgrading from Interchange 5.2.x.
5.0.x -- There should be few to no compatibility issues in
upgrading from Interchange 5.0.x.
4.8.x -- There should be only a few issues in upgrading from 4.8.x; known
issues are shown below. The major change is in the admin UI,
and you will have a distinctly different look and feel
in that area. Most people find it an improvement.
4.6.x -- Upgrading from 4.6.x and before is problematic if you rely on
the admin UI -- particularly if you have customized it. The public-
facing side should be fairly straightforward to port. See
"UPGRADING FROM 4.6.x" below.
ALL VERSIONS -- A security vulnerability has been found that allows
remote searching of any table in your database configured in
Interchange. To fix this vulnerability, you may need to
make some adjustments to your catalog. See "REMOTE SEARCHING"
NOTE: All below procedures assume you have installed in
/usr/local/interchange -- substitute paths as appropriate.
1. Make a tar backup of your Interchange software directory, e.g.
tar czvf ~/ic_backup.tar.gz /usr/local/interchange
2. Unpack the new version of the software and change
to that directory.
tar xzf interchange-5.x.x.tar.gz
cd interchange-5.x.x
3. You can see the section below, "TO TEST BEFORE YOU UPGRADE", if
you want to try it out before you switch your running catalog.
4. Install it in the same location as your current software:
## Create the makefile
perl Makefile.PL prefix=/usr/local/interchange
## Make the software
## Test -- if this fails, don't worry too much.
make test
## Install the software
make install
5. You don't need to run makecat again!!!
6. Restart Interchange.
That's it. Verify your catalog's operation, and you are live.
Interchange is designed to be compatible between major versions, and
for the most part a catalog designed under Interchange 4.8 should
be compatible with 5.0.
More information on upgrades is available in the document icupgrade, part
of the Interchange documentation package.
* Add a new column "extended" to products/mv_metadata.asc. This just involves
adding a TAB and "extended" to the end of the first line of the file.
* Remove variables UI_IMAGE_DIR and UI_IMAGE_DIR_SECURE or point
them to the new location, e.g. replace /interchange/
with /interchange-5/.
* If you didn't follow Interchange's SKU naming convention for Matrix
options, and assigned them arbitrary part numbers, or you hand-edited
the options table, you may find that your product options don't work.
You should post the question to the user mail list or contact a
competent Interchange consultant at
* You will probably receive a message about "history-scan tag overrides global
definition". See the section "PROBLEMS WITH USERTAGS" below.
* The static-page build capability is no longer supported in
Interchange 5. You will receive warnings about "Directive StaticPath
no longer supported at line XXX".
To stop these warnings, remove the NoCache directive and any
directive beginning with "Static" from your catalog.cfg file.
In the standard-style catalog, these are all located near
each other.
If you use the static page build facility, there are other means of
accomplishing the same thing with scripts. Contact a competent
Interchange consultant at to get help.
* See the section "PROBLEMS WITH USERTAGS" below.
YOU SHOULD STILL BACK UP, and in addition it is recommended you back
up your catalog. While the new server should not impact your running
catalog beyond normal catalog interaction for orders, statistics,
userdb, and such, it is not outside of the realm of possiblity that
something could happen. It should not happen in a catalog that is
based on Foundation and not heavily customized (i.e. using global UserTag
1. Install the new Interchange 5.x.x in /usr/lib/interchange-5.x.x
using the procedure from INSTALL.
2. Make /usr/lib/interchange-5.x.x/interchange.cfg match your
/usr/lib/interchange.cfg. Note that there may be new options; but the
existing one should work if you just copy it.
3. Run bin/compile_link:
cd /usr/lib/interchange-5
bin/compile_link -p 7787
NOTE: If you use the INET mode linking method, you have to run the
test server on a different port. Assuming you use the standard
7786 on your live catalog, you would add to interchange.cfg:
TcpMap localhost:7787
After running compile_link, you should see four new files in the
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 8088 Oct 3 09:59 tlink
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 8088 Oct 3 09:59 tlink.localhost.7787
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 7704 Oct 3 09:59 vlink
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 7704 Oct 3 09:59 vlink._usr_lib_interchange_5_etc_socket
4. Note the Catalog lines in your interchange.cfg:
Catalog standard /var/lib/interchange/standard /cgi-bin/standard
You should comment out all but the one you want to test.
5. Change the /cgi-bin/standard script link name to /cgi-bin/test5.
Catalog standard /var/lib/interchange/standard /cgi-bin/test5
6. Copy the src/vlink (UNIX mode) or src/tlink (INET mode) link executable
to your CGI directory and name it "test5", i.e.
cp src/vlink /var/www/cgi-bin/test5
7. IMPORTANT: Make sure its permissions match the permissions on your
running 4.x catalog! You may have to make it SUID, i.e.:
chmod u+s /var/www/cgi-bin/test5
That should only be done if you are in UNIX mode and your current
link program is SUID.
8. Add this line to the /usr/lib/interchange-5/interchange.cfg file:
Variable TEST_SERVER 1
9. Copy any *custom* global UserTag files to the usertag/ directory. Do not
copy any that were distributed with Interchange if you did not modify them.
10. Copy the new Interchange image and CSS files to the interchange-5
subdirectory in your document root, i.e.:
cp -r /usr/lib/interchange-5/share/interchange \
11. Modify your /var/lib/interchange/standard/catalog.cfg file to
point the URLs to the test server if appropriate by placing at the
Variable CGI_URL /cgi-bin/test5
Variable UI_IMAGE_DIR /interchange-5/
Variable UI_IMAGE_DIR_SECURE /interchange-5/
## This ensures the UI image directory will be set properly
Pragma dynamic_variables_file_only
VendURL http://__SERVER_NAME____CGI_URL__
SecureURL https://__SERVER_NAME____CGI_URL__
12. Start the new interchange server:
At that point, your catalog should be running on both Interchange 5 and
Interchange 4. Test thoroughly and then upgrade. Note that the UI will
be significantly changed, and that all features of the UI may not be
supported by your old catalog. The customer-facing side should function
in much the same way.
The public-facing side of a 4.6.x catalog is fairly straightforward to
port. The Admin UI is problematic, particularly if you have customized
You should be able to update a catalog from 4.6.x if you are reasonably
proficient in Perl and/or Interchange. If you expect to rely on the
backend admin UI, it is sometimes better to build a new catalog from
scratch, and integrate your look and feel with that. Contact a competent
Interchange consultant to help (
That being said, here are some of the issues.
If you have this line in interchange.cfg:
#include usertag/*
You should change it to:
include usertag/*.tag
(The leading # sign is no longer needed).
If you have created any other UserTag definitions you will need
to either rename the file to add a .tag extension, or include
them explicitly like:
include usertag/my_tag
See the "problems with UserTags" section, below.
If you use CyberCash, you should replace these lines in catalog.cfg
Variable CYBER_MODE mauthonly
Variable CYBER_CONFIGFILE /path/to/your/merchant_conf
Variable MV_PAYMENT_MODE cybercash
Variable MV_PAYMENT_CONFIGFILE /path/to/your/merchant_conf
There is one security change that can break constructs that ran under 4.6.x.
If you had a database object which contained ITL tags and
they now show up as [itl-tag arg=val], then you probably
need to add the safe-data=1 parameter around your [loop ...]
or [query ...] construct.
The reason this change was made was the capability of Interchange
to directly enter user submissions into a database. If the
user put in something in [square brackets], knowingly or even
unknowingly, it could cause anomalous or insecure behavior.
(There were no known exploits in the demo, but they could
easily be constructed.)
You may see the following error/warning messages when you (re)start
1. Duplicate usertag xxxx found.
This message is most likely to mean that you have a global "usertags"
directory included from your interchange.cfg file. Interchange 4.9 has a
new location (code/UserTag) for global UserTags. Your old globals may
"clash" with the new ones. Delete the old usertags that are named in the
error messages. As always, it is recommended that you back up everything
before you start.
This message will also be raised if Interchange notices two local UserTags
with the same name. If this is detected then rename or delete one of the
two UserTags.
2. Local usertag xxxx overrides global definition.
This message is most likely to refer to your local history_scan UserTag.
If you have this tag definition in your catalog.cfg file then you may
safely delete it; Interchange 4.9 includes this as a global UserTag.
This message will also be raised if you have created a local UserTag
and have given it a name identical to one of the global tags (SystemTag,
UserTags, UI_Tag etc.) The message is only a warning as your local UserTag
will override the global one. If you didn't mean to override the global
tag of the same name then simply rename your tag and restart Interchange.
A security vulnerability was recently discovered where any table configured
in your Interchange installation could be viewed remotely by an unauthenticated
user via a specially crafted search request.
This is a serious vulnerability, and all previous versions of Interchange are
affected. Even if you do not use the default search structure, your catalog
is likely to still be vulnerable.
To resolve this, a new configuration option, AllowRemoteSearch has been
introduced. It should be specified in each catalog configuration, and defaults
AllowRemoteSearch products variants options
Any table specified in this option will be remotely searchable, and you should
not permit any table with sensitive information to be searched in this way. You
should carefully consider the implications of adding any further tables to this
configuration option.
Remote searches may be used by your existing catalog. These should continue
working without any changes as long as they only search tables that are permitted
by the AllowRemoteSearch configuration. You should carefully examine your
catalog for uses of the "search" form action, or pages which submit a form to
a page called "search" or "scan". If they specify a search file other than
products, variants or options, you should consider rewriting that page to just
accept the search terms via CGI parameters, and not the entire search. Please
consult the documentation on in page searches at:
If your catalog makes use of ActionMaps that perform searches, these should
continue to work as intended as long as they search a table allowed by
AllowRemoteSearch. However, you should consider updating them to use the
new "search" tag. For example, an existing ActionMap that performs a search
like this:
ActionMap old_cat <<EOR
sub {
my ($action, $class) = split('/', shift);
$class =~ s/_/ /g;
# Originally, search parameters were placed in the CGI hash.
$CGI->{co} = 1;
$CGI->{fi} = 'products';
$CGI->{st} = 'db';
$CGI->{sf} = 'category';
$CGI->{se} = "$class";
$CGI->{sp} = 'results';
$CGI->{tf} = 'category,description:f';
$CGI->{op} = 'eq';
$CGI->{mv_todo} = 'search';
$CGI->{mv_nextpage} = 'results';
# And the "update" tag was called to re-evaluate the page with
# the provided search parameters.
return 1;
Would be updated to instead look like this:
ActionMap new_cat <<EOR
sub {
my ($action, $class) = split('/', shift);
$class =~ s/_/ /g;
# Now, you must create a hash to hold the search
# parameters.
my $search;
$search->{co} = 1;
$search->{fi} = 'products';
$search->{st} = 'db';
$search->{sf} = 'category';
$search->{se} = "$class";
$search->{sp} = 'results';
$search->{tf} = 'category,description:f';
$search->{op} = "eq";
$CGI->{mv_nextpage} = 'results';
# And call the new search tag, which isn't subject to the
# AllowRemoteSearch restrictions.
$Tag->search({ search => $search });
return 1;
If you are using a modern version of the standard catalog as the basis
for your catalog, there is a special subroutine that provides friendly
URLs for product categories, but is not a traditional ActionMap. Similar
to the example above, you will need to alter your catalog.cfg, replacing
the entire Sub ncheck_category with:
Sub ncheck_category <<EOS
sub {
my ($name) = @_;
return unless $name =~ m{^[A-Z]};
$name =~ s,_, ,g;
my ($prod_group, $category) = split m{/}, $name;
my $search;
$search->{co} = 1;
$search->{fi} = 'products';
$search->{st} = 'db';
$search->{sf} = join "\0", 'prod_group', 'category';
$search->{op} = join "\0", 'eq', 'eq';
$search->{se} = join "\0", $prod_group, $category;
$search->{sp} = 'results';
$search->{mv_todo} = 'search';
$Tag->search({ search => $search });
if (($o = $Search->{''}) && @{$o->{mv_results}}) {
return (1, $Config->{Special}->{results});
In the standard and foundation catalogs, the "lost password" feature makes use
of the remote search feature to be able to retrieve lost passwords. We recommend
that you remove catalog/pages/query/get_password.html from your catalog, and
replace catalog/pages/lost_password.html with an updated version from this
distribution. As an alternative, you may apply the following patch to your
existing catalog/pages/query/get_password.html:
diff --git a/dist/standard/pages/query/get_password.html
index 2d70c84..5aa51f1 100644
--- a/dist/standard/pages/query/get_password.html
+++ b/dist/standard/pages/query/get_password.html
@@ -32,8 +32,10 @@ ui_template_name: leftonly
if( $Scratch->{tried_pw_retrieve}++ > 10 ) {
return "No way, Jos&eacute;. Too many times.";
$CGI->{mv_todo} = 'search';
$Config->{NoSearch} = '';
+ push(@{$Config->{AllowRemoteSearch}},'userdb');
+ return;
[update process]
This is not a recommended solution, and is only a workaround until you can
consider the changes in the updated lost password page.
If you do not wish to upgrade your Interchange installation to fix this
vulnerability, patches for all currently supported Interchange versions are
also available from You will still need to
follow the upgrade advice contained here.
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