Upgrading to ProductCart v5.0

Last Updated: Feb 02, 2016 09:04PM EST
Version 5.0 of ProductCart is a major update to the existing software; nearly all of the code pages have been updated in some way. Much of the recoding has resulted in faster page load times, streamlined processes, and support for all the latest browsers and devices. While much has changed, upgrading can be painless. Let one of our experienced programmers complete the upgrade for you, or take advantage of the following upgrade guide.
Upgrades to 5.0 are a full file set, so our recommended upgrade process is different than with previous versions. Please follow the steps below for best results.

How Do You Get the Upgrade?

If you are currently enrolled in our Technical Support & Updates Plan, simply log in to your Control Panel, go to the Help menu, and choose Check for Updates.

IMPORTANT NOTES: Under v5, Access databases are NOT supported! If you are using MS Access with ProductCart v4, you will need to migrate the data to MS SQL before upgrading. In addition, some of the Data Types have changed (from "nvarchar" to "varcharMax"), so MS SQL 2000 is no longer supported. Finally, there is no longer a Parent Paths Disabled (PPD) version of ProductCart, so you should ask your hosting provider to Enable Parent Paths for your site. If that is not an option, then you will need to do the necessary "Find & Replaces", as described here.

What You'll Need

Step 1: Backup Database

While it is highly unlikely that anything negative will happen during the install, it is a good idea to create a backup copy of your store’s database. Please do not skip this step. If you need to roll back to your v4 database you'll need to have a backup copy. Note that this process varies by web host. So if you need assistance, please contact your web host for specific instructions.

Step 2: Create a new v5 Directory

This tutorial installs ProductCart v5 into a brand new, parallel directory in your web space. This allows you to keep your v4 store active while you take your time and complete the upgrade.
As stated above... this guide installs v5 into a mirror directory so you can keep your store active. However, it still shares the live database. Any changes you make to your v5 store settings will also happen on the live v4 store.
Now use your FTP software to connect with your Web Site and create the new "mirror" folder named v5store.  The process varies by FTP Software, but it generally involves using the file menu to create a "New Folder" (as seen in the image below).

create new directory

Step 3: Installing the Files

Unzip the v5 downloadable into a directory on your computer. Now use the FTP software to upload all files to the directory you created in Step 2.

Upload files to remote server

After uploading all of the files you'll need to do the following:

- Edit the variables in the following files to reflect the proper folder names on the "staging" site:


- Set the following folder permissions for the "Internet User" (IUSR) or the "Everyone" User:
  • READ/WRITE on the 'staging'  folder and all of its files and folders.
  • READ/WRITE/DELETE on the staging/includes folder and all of its files and folders
  • READ/WRITE/DELETE on the staging/pcadmin folder and all of its files and folders

Do not attempt to set permissions with the FTP Software. File permissions can only be set via your web hosting control panel or IIS. For more information read our file permissions tutorial.

Step 4: Connecting to the Database

Next, you need to connect your new v5 store to the database. This can be accomplished simply by copying the connection settings from the v4 store over to the v5 store. The connection settings are located inside a file called storeconstants.asp, which is in the includes folder. Once again using your FTP Software, download that file from your v4 store and upload it to overwrite the one in the v5store/includes directory.

Step 5: Upgrade the Database

If you completed Steps 1 through 4 correctly you should be able to access your control panel via your web browser. In the example below the store directory is of course v5store and the control panel directory is the default pcadmin. Your URL may look different if you changed the name.
Perhaps the easiest way to find your new control panel is to first load the old control panel, then simply edit the URL to point to the new v5store directory and click ENTER. If you get a database error screen, then go back and repeat Step 3 very carefully. If all goes well you'll login and automatically be prompted to update your database. Just follow the on-screen instructions until you reach the confirmation page.

Congratulations! Welcome to your new v5 store. You probably noticed the large red banner at the top of your store indicating you are in "Upgrade Mode". So don't go exploring new features just yet. There is still more to do before you can browser around the store. If you need to take a break now is a good time. Your v4 store will continue to remain active while you work on the remaining tasks. Follow the steps below to migrate your store's catalog and design.

Step 6: Migrating your Product Catalog

Copy your product images to the new store. The product catalog is saved in the location pc/catalog. Once again, you can use your FTP Software to download the catalog from the v4 store and upload to the new store. Please keep in mind that large product catalogs can take a long time to upload / download. Those that have direct access to the server may want to copy and paste from one folder to the other (as you would on your local computer).
If you add new products with images while completing this guide, then you will need to repeat Step 6. Any images you upload via the v4 control panel will not automatically move over to the new v5 directory.

Step 7: Migrating Store Settings

We added new store settings in v5 so do not copy the main "settings" files over from the v4 store, with the exception of the specific files listed in Step 8. Instead, what you need to do is log into your v5 control panel and navigate to Settings > Store Settings. Most of the settings will be pre-filled from the v4 store, but you should review each setting because some will be new. Once you have reviewed all of the settings you can save them.
Important Information About SEO URLs
If your site is configured to use 404.asp for SEO URLs, then you probably have a web.config file in your site's root folder. If you have web.config in your root folder this file should not need moved. However, the SEO URLs will not work on the v5 store during this upgrade until the final step. Don't worry about the SEO URLs just yet.

Step 8: Migrating Tax, E-mail and Shipping Settings

If you are using tax files, make sure to 'copy' the tax rate file(s) located in the folder "pc/tax" over to the respective directory in the v5store store. In addition, you should copy the following "settings" files over from the 'live' store:


Then, login to the v5 Control Panel and navigate to the following Settings Pages and click "Update" to review and re-apply the settings:

Settings > Manage Taxes > Update

Settings > Store Settings > E-mail Settings > Review & Update

Shipping > Shipping Settings > Complete & Review for Accuracy > Update

Step 9: Migrating your Store Design (Optional)

This step is optional. ProductCart v5 comes with several "ready to go" themes, including fully responsive designs that look great on tablets and phones.  If you want to use one of the new themes, then skip to step 10.  To convert your existing design to a v5 theme follow the "How to Upgrade a v4 Store Design" guide.  Once you complete the guide be sure to come back to this page and continue to step 10. 

Step 10: Re-Apply Customizations or 3rd Party Add-Ons (Optional)

If you have not customized your store files or languages then you're just about done. Please skip to Step 11.  If you customized your store languages, then you'll want to update the file v5store/includes/languages.asp. Do not copy the old version from your v4 store because we have added several new language definitions. You can edit the new file with your preferred text or merge the old file using a tool, such as "Exam Diff".

If you have installed any 3rd Party Add-Ons it is now time to re-install them.  The first thing you need to do is check out the v5 feature list to make sure your Add-On is still needed. ProductCart now includes many of the features that used to require customizations.  For example, ProductCart now includes a tabbed product layout feature, so if you are using the Tabbed Display from Greybeard Design, we have included a script to allow you to 'migrate' your current tab content into the format used by ProductCart v5. To migrate your tabbed content, you would load the following page (GBTabMigration.asp) once you are logged in to the ProductCart Control Panel for the v5 "staging" store. E.G.:


If you had any custom programming done you will need to have your programmer merge it into v5 (very carefully).  Standard support plans do not include custom coding, but we have additional paid developer assistance should you need it.  Best Practices are to avoid changing programming files if at all possible.

Step 11:  Select your Theme

Log into your control panel and navigate to Store Settings > Display Settings. On the Display Settings tab select the theme you want to use from the drop down menu. If you completed the Upgrade Guide in Step 9 you will find your custom theme name in the list. Once you have made your selection save the settings using the button at the bottom of the page.

Step 12:  Going Live!

You made it!  That wasn't so bad was it?  We know your hard work will pay off.  ProductCart v5 has dozens of new features designed to help you sell more.  So without further delay, let's go live...
Rename your Folders
Your live store will be offline for a couple seconds during this process. First, look at the name of your v47 store's directory. In most cases it will be either productcart or store (if you renamed it). Now memorize that name or write it down. Next, rename the folder to v47backup (for additional security choose a random folder name). Finally, rename the directory v5store to the name you just memorized. Don't forget to also update the variable in the file "/includes/productcartFolder.asp" to make sure it matches the actual folder name. You're v5 store is now live! You also have a convenient backup directory containing an exact copy of your previous store.
If your v4 control panel directory was renamed from pcadmin to something else, then now is the time to rename it in your v5store directory. After you rename the admin directory you need to let ProductCart know by downloading the file includes/secureadminfolder.asp, change the name, save, and reupload to the server. Learn more.
Review your Sitemaps
Since you renamed your old store folder you will need to regenerate your site map. You may want to regenerate files for Bing, Google Sitemap, Nextag, Yahoo, etc. If you had any other special, custom files in your old store folders you will want to move those as well. An example of a file that would need moved would be a file containing special IDs for identifying your site, such as those used by Google Analytic.
Not everyone using Google Analytic has a special file to move. You may have used another method to verify your domain to Google. Generally speaking, if you don't remember uploading any special files, then you are probably done!
Turn OFF Upgrade Mode
The final step is to turn off upgrade mode. To do so just click the gray "Switch to Live Mode" button in the bright red banner. When you are asked to confirm your choice click "Continue". That's all!


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