I made no secret that I’m a die-hard advocate for upgrading to latest EPiServer CMS/Commerce version. There are several reasons for that, mostly from new shiny features that your businesses dearly need, new big performance improvements that your customers firmly demand.
But there is another, not so obvious reason: support.
Let me tell you a story.
This morning we received a support case from support team. A customer recently upgraded from Commerce 7.5 (Eww) to 11.7 (Yay!), things went well except they had a small problem with data displaying in Catalog UI. Some of the properties were not properly displayed, but they are still showing correct in Commerce Manager.
Of course that would prevent them from launching their big deploy. Luckily for all of us, this reminded us of something we encountered and fixed recently – so we had a very good guess on what is wrong and how to fix it. It took me just 15 minutes to confirm that it is indeed the problem I thought it to be, develop a fix, test it, make sure it work, and write an explanation so our guys in support team can forward the information to the customer.
If it was in an older version, say, 10.x, or even worse, 9.x, how long do you think it would take us to setup an environment to debug, actually debug it to find out what is wrong, and develop a fix? And how many hairs would be lost in the progress?
The truth is simple – the more recent version you are using, the easier it is for us to help, and therefore, the faster answer/solution you will get. It’s a win-win situation. You lose nothing, yet you gain everything.
Even if the problem was (very unlikely), a bug in our side, we can quickly fix it in a newer version – yet we don’t backport it. Say in the case above, if it was a bug, we can simply introduce a fix in Commerce 11.8.3, and upgrading from 11.7 to 11.8.3 would be easy enough. It might not be so, if you have to upgrade from 10.x, or an older version, to get that bug fix.
Upgrading to a major version is not an easy or trivial task, especially when it usually comes with API breaking changes and database migration. But trust me, my friend, it’s worth it. Your time and effort in upgrading will be paid several times later!
So keep up-to-date please. And the partner developers in the story above will simple get beers – I’m buying.