Fatwire announces end of life for Content Server 4.0

Fatwire recently announced end of life for version 4 of its flagship Content Server product. I read about it at CMSWatch. I’ve seen this product since version 2x and this is one product that has survived more take overs than any other product in the same space. IPS (As it was originally called) moved from Futuretense, Open Market, divine and finally landed with Fatwire.

This shows that the product has an inherently sound architecture, which has essentially remained same inspite of changing so many hands (there are still references to IPS, OMKT etc at different places in the code) . However, this also means upgrades are not very easy to do. Now with this announcement, a lot of customers who are using the 4x versions would be forced to upgrade too.

These are the broad level steps for an upgrade:

1. If you are on 4.0 or 4.0.1 or 4.0.2, first upgrade to 4.0.3. This is quite straight forward.
2. Upgrade to 5.0. There are utilities available which will help you identify the changes that need to be done. However, the changes need to be made manually and there are no utilities that automate this. The changes include:

a. making template changes to replace deprecated tags
b. Change entries in SiteCatalog and ElementCatalog
c. Check Data integrity and asset structure
d. Configure users, create tree tabs, search menus, configure assets and finally reindex assets

3. Finally upgrade to 6x. This is not as complicated as that upgrade from 4x to 5x. The asset structure, templating, SiteCatalog and ElementCatalog structure has not changed that much and most of the effort goes in configuring the new setup – LDAP, Application (and Portal) server etc.

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