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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:
5.12.x -- The minimum supported Perl version is now 5.14.1.
5.10.x -- A minor bug was fixed in an edge-case usage of the [area] tag which
could result in incompatibility if your code relies on the buggy
-- Month and year adjustments introduced in 5.7 had a bug where
adjusting the month to one where the target date doesn't exist caused
the day to roll over into the following month (ex: May 31st - 1 month
became May 1st instead of April 30th) and similarily with leapday
year adjustments (Feb 29th, 2016 + 1 year), this was fixed to adjust
to the last day of the correct month instead of rolling over into the
next month. If your code relies on the old behavior please update
5.6.x -- Perl 5.8.8 or newer is now generally required to run Interchange.
See "Known Issues" below.
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.
BEFORE 5.7.2 -- 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 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 to the same location as your current software:
## Create the makefile
perl Makefile.PL
## 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.
1. A bug was fixed in the [area] tag where if you previously passed a fully
qualified URL as the href and used the form attribute then the protocol://domain
portion of the URL would get overwritten by the one in VendUrl. If your code
relies on this buggy behaviour you need to fix it.
1. Perl 5.8.5 (unthreaded) or Perl 5.8.8 (threaded) or newer is now required.
2. The AdminUser configuration directive has been removed.
3. In PostgreSQL 8.3 many implicit type casts were removed, some of
which Interchange or your code may have relied on. You may find that some
features in the Standard demo and some Interchange core SQL may not work
with PostgreSQL 8.3 or newer, though recent testing with PostgreSQL 9.2
did not reveal any problems.
If you run into problems, the easiest way to get things working is
to manually put back any removed casts that you need. The included
eg/pg83-implicit-casts.sql script fixes the known problems with the
Standard demo.
4. Digest::SHA from CPAN is now a recommended module. If it is not
available, Digest::SHA1 will still be used as a fallback.
5. IPv6 incompatibility: Some of the session IP address verification
functions do not work correctly for traffic coming from IPv6 sources,
resulting in lost sessions. You can use catalog directive "WideOpen Yes"
as a workaround but see the documentation to be aware of tradeoffs:
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 the file.
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.
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/query/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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