Plone has a wide variety of add-on products, providing custom features to adapt to the specific needs of your company.
Six Feet Up has long been a proponent of following best practices for software installation as to save time and money in the long run. We have created a handy buildout quick reference that can help developers understand some of these processes.
Benefits of following such practices include:
- Stability: versions of the products are pinned to ensure that no future release will break the site.
- Portability: a well structured buildout can be worked on by any Plone professional with optimum adaptation time
- Time efficiency for future work: all products are properly listed and easy to find.
After we include the products in your buildout instance and have them automatically installed, we release the site to our testing server for our QA team to check for potential compatibility issues and for you to try out the new products. Once the work has been approved, we release the products into the production environment.
Don't hesitate to use our Plone expertise and let us recommend products that could save you a lot of time and effort.
If done correctly, using the latest version of Plone can give your site increased substance, as newer releases usually come with more variety and ease-of-use in the built-in features. Upgrading also ensures that your site will be easily updated when you need new functionalities added. Below are the steps we follow to ensure smooth transitions.
The upgrade process
Six Feet Up always starts by reviewing existing code against the specifications of the latest version of Plone to identify the elements that will need to be migrated, including:
- CSS rules
- Custom content types
- Third-party products
- Custom Membership Setup
- Existing Deployment Strategies
- Custom Folder Usage
Following this comparison, Six Feet Up puts together a detailed estimate related to the proposed migration effort that includes a review of potential conflicts and/or recommended code updates.
Upgrading to a newer version of Plone typically includes:
- Setting up development and testing environments (if not already in place)
- Bringing all current templates up to date with the latest Plone best practices
- Merging catalogs
- Setting up buildout for development/deployment
- Moving Custom Folder items into products
- Safely migrating the data to the newer version
- Testing and deploying to production
The goal at Six Feet Up is to make your migration as easy as possible while ensuring that you have all of the tools that you need to keep your website up-to-date, informative and interesting.
When we move your site to Plone 4, we will need to migrate Plone products you might be using, such as PloneFormGen, Lineage, Plone4Artists, etc. If you are interested in a worry-free package of Plone add-ons that will get you up and going quicker on Plone 4 and easily migrate to Plone 5, check out our Plone packages.
Plone 4 has bee around long enough that most critical products are now compatible. The following list is an overview of some of the products we tested:
||√||Six Feet Up certified
|Spotlight||√||√||√||Six Feet Up certified|
|Resonate||√||√||√||Six Feet Up certified|
|Easyslideshow||√||√||√||Six Feet Up certified|
|SolrIndex||√||√||√||Six Feet Up certified|
|√||√||Renders odd with the Sunburst theme
||Reported rendering issues with Sunburst theme
||Fail||Not compatible; Tuneup announced
||Fail||See blog post here
We also got some input from our fellow Plone developers regarding the following products:
- RelStorage (added, installed, used)
- GetPaid (added, installed, used)
- Products.Collage (mostly works, one minor issue with icons; reported to bug tracker)
- collective.collage.portlets (seems okay)
- collective.twitterportlet (seems okay and works)
- collective.easyslider (apply slider to folders ok, and JS all working; actually better with adding slides than Plone 3)
- plone.app.ldap (and associated underlying packages)
- collective.ckeditor (alpha but working good)
- collective.plonefinder (idem)
- Not yet compatible:
- Products.CacheSetup (Zope wouldn't start due to certain imports)
- Products.PloneHelpCentre 3.0b3 (apparently branch in the works)
- Products.Ploneboard 2.1b2 (apparently branch in the works)
- Products.QuillsEnabled 1.7.0 (blogs can't be applied)
- webcourtier.dropdownmenu 2.0 (breaks themes etc)
Finally, for a listing of all the products that claim to be Plone 4 compatible by their authors, you can visit the plone.org release search page.