Thinking about upgrading to Sitecore 7? Recently upgrading and looking to find out more about the newest version's benefits and limitations? You've come to the right place.

Sitecore release time is pretty exciting here at nonlinear. With four technical MVPs, and one digital MVP, we've got a whole crew of people who await news that the customer experience platform has sent its newest version out into the world. As with any that have come before it, the most recent release, Sitecore 7, comes with its own benefits and challenges. This post outlines some of our nonlinear thinking about the product up til this point. 

It's upgrade time

Making the decision on whether to upgrade from a previous version to the newest requires answering a few basic questions about your Sitecore instance: are you starting a rebuild? Will the added capabilities provide much needed value? Is your Sitecore instance more than two years old? Once you've determined your upgrade status, you'll be able to make an informed decision and get the ball rolling. 

Preparing for a Sitecore upgrade

Regardless of which version of Sitecore you'll be upgrading to, following our three best practices for upgrade preparation will ensure that you're adequately prepared for what's ahead. Looking for a sneak peak? Here are our three tips: 1) move your configuration customizations to include files 2) map out your upgrade path and finally 3) configure for a live upgrade with a load balancer. Learn more about each of these three in the article:

9 steps to Sitecore 7.2

So you've answered the questions, you've put all your ducks in a row and it's time to upgrade; we promise it's not as intimating as it looks. Follow along with Sitecore MVP Nick Allen as he masterfully guides you through an upgrade from Sitecore 7.1 to Sitecore 7.2, keeping a running tally of time spent throughout the post. 

Putting Sitecore 7.2's publishing to the test

Previous versions of Sitecore suffered from slow performance when it came to publishing, but 7.2 was designed to change that. To evaluate the new parallel publishing, we conducted some benchmark performance testing, executing a full site publish of a Sitecore database both with and without parallelism. The results show definite improvement, but also a few hiccups.

Avoiding publishing workarounds in Sitecore

Even the very best products face challenges in certain aspects of execution; as stated previously, publishing has the tendency to be that challenge for Sitecore. Luckily, they've addressed some of this in Sitecore 7.2 by improving the process involved in item publishing. 

This one's for the content authors 

Without a doubt, search reigns supreme when to comes to content author focused upgrades in Sitecore 7. While there are lots of reasons to be excited about what these new search capabilities will mean for your own Sitecore instance, our own Tannis Gibson outlines the eight we are most excited about and sheds some light on what makes them stand out from the crowd.

Testing, testing 123

Join us as we go on a quest to find the best method for unit testing Sitecore 7 without a mocking framework. We follow the journey from inception, to research, trial and error to eventual success, all told with relateable humour and helpful tips. BONUS: developers can try out the unit test for themselves with an on page prototype download.

Which Sitecore 7 capabilities have you found most useful for your organization?

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