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Interchange is designed to be drop-in compatible in its major version.
Briefly summarized, here's what you can expect when upgrading from the
following versions:
5.4.x -- A number of incompatible changes were made. Most of them will be
simple to deal with, but please consult the list below in the
"Known Issues" section. Your code will almost certainly fail to
work properly until you make the necessary changes described!
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.
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 to a temporary directory,
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.
In PostgreSQL 8.3 many implicit casts were removed, some of which Interchange
relied on. By default, the Standard demo and some Interchange core SQL does
not work with PostgreSQL 8.3.
We expect to work around this in a future version of Interchange, but at the
moment the easiest way to get things working is to manually put back the
removed casts, as Peter Eisentraut describes here:
Running his pg83-implicit-casts.sql script fixes the known problems with the
Standard demo.
This issue does not affect earlier versions of PostgreSQL.
1. Several old versions of CPAN modules were distributed in the extra/
directory but have been removed:
Business::UPS - part of Bundle::InterchangeKitchenSink
File::Spec - now distributed with Perl itself
Tie::ShadowHash - part of Bundle::Interchange
URI::URL - part of Bundle::Interchange
If you find Interchange won't start up, check to make sure you have all the
necessary Perl modules.
2. We have removed the option available in some polymorphs of the
database abstraction layer's set_slice() routine that allowed key/value
pairs to be passed in as a simple array. For example, this will no longer
$db->set_slice($key, $field1, $value1)
But it can be rewritten as this, which has long worked:
$db->set_slice($key, [$field1], [$value1])
3. The syntax of the custom SQL function for counters has changed. At the time
of the feature's introduction on 2007-11-17, the syntax was e.g.:
UserDB default sql_counter "userdb:custom_counter('userdb_username_seq')"
That conflicted with MySQL pseudo-sequence functionality that used the same
syntax. The new syntax does not conflict and has the benefit of being more
generic, allowing any SELECT statement:
UserDB default sql_counter "userdb:SELECT custom_counter('userdb_username_seq')"
SpecialSub catalog_init has been renamed to request_init.
UserTrack now defaults to "no", so if you want the X-Track HTTP response header
to be output, add "UserTrack yes" to your catalog.cfg.
UserTrack also no longer affects TrackFile, so if you don't want TrackFile
output, you should not have a TrackFile directive in catalog.cfg.
Check the "special_pages/missing.html" file, in all of your Interchange-driven
websites, for a line that looks like the following:
[if type=explicit compare="q{[subject]} =~ m{^admin/}"]
If found then replace with the following two lines:
[tmpn missing_subject][subject][/tmpn]
[if scratch missing_subject =~ /^admin/]
Perl 5.8.0 or newer is now required. Running with threads is still not
recommended for production installations, but is allowed under Perl 5.8.5
or newer.
The long-deprecated [sql] tag has been removed. You'll likely want to
rewrite queries to use the [query] tag.
The ConfigParseComments directive has been removed, and Interchange now
behaves as if "ConfigParseComments No" has been specified. That means that
no configuration file line beginning with # will be parsed, including
#ifdef, #include, etc., as was done in the past. Bare ifdef, include, etc.
must now be used.
Global ActionMaps: Previously, the path passed to a global ActionMap
did not include the action itself, but the path passed to a catalog
ActionMap did include the action. This discrepancy was annoying to keep
track of. Now both kinds of ActionMaps receive a path that includes
the action. This means that all global ActionMap code will need to be
updated to deal with the action. Most simply, you can strip off the
action at the beginning of the sub something like this:
ActionMap your_action <<EOR
sub {
my ($path) = @_;
# remove action
$path =~ s:^[^/]+/::;
# your code here
Removed SOAP_Host, RequiredFields, HTMLmirror and UseCode directives.
All previously deprecated configuration directives have been removed.
Deprecated-feature pragmas and associated code have been removed:
* compatible_5_2 - used to keep table editor error text (mistakenly)
hidden, as it was the case up to Interchange 5.2.
* no_html_parse - used to disable parsing of MV= arguments inside HTML tags.
If MV_COUNTRY_FIELD was in use to determine the country for tax
purposes, then that setting needs to be changed to MV_COUNTRY_TAX_VAR.
The [either] tag historically reparsed its output. This has been changed
so that while the tag body parts are interpolated, the tag output is not
Removed the [fedex-query] tag, which hasn't been useful for some time
because FedEx discontinued their web API that the tag interfaced with.
Removed the [/page] and [/order] macros. The [page] and [order] tags have
never been container tags; [/page] and [/order] were macros that were
replaced with </a>. You should now just use </a> in HTML instead.
The various *Robot* directives have been split from the interchange.cfg
file into a new robots.cfg file. If you are upgrading then you will
need to remove any existing *Robot* directives from your interchange.cfg
file and add "include robots.cfg" in their place.
A new subdomains.cfg file has been created, and should be included into
your interchange.cfg file with "include subdomains.cfg". This file defines
a list of country-specific standardised subdomains that should be taken
into account when the DomainTail directive is in effect.
The session per IP counters have been changed to the new "timecard" round-robin
style counters. You will need to delete the old counter files from the
tmp/addr_ctr directory with a command similar to the following:
rm -rf catroot/tmp/addr_ctr/* careful with the above command. If mistyped it can seriously mess up
your filesystem.
The [error] and [formel] tags now make use of the following CSS class,
that will need to be added to your CSS file:
.mv_contrast {
color: #FF0000;
The name of the class can be specified using the CSS_CONTRAST Variable,
or will default to "mv_contrast".
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.
* If MV_COUNTRY_FIELD was in use to determine the country for
tax purposes, then that setting needs to be changed to
* 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 -p 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.
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