Mark's Sitecore Blog

10 issues you might run into when upgrading to Sitecore 9

In this post I’ll list 10 issues that – depending on your particular setup, you might also run into when upgrading to Sitecore 9. They are all easy to fix, so I hope this post saves you some time.

1. Proxy Data providers

Could not find configuration node: proxyDataProviders/main

If you have configured extra databases other than core, master or web i.E. additional publish targets, your old config will need to be updated. Remove the proxyDataProvider  section from your database config node. Additionally you’ll need to define PropertyStoreProvider and eventing/eventQueueProvider. See this Stackexchange post for details

2. Compilation errors because of ProxyDisabler()

Anything to do with proxy items has been deprecated and removed in Sitecore 9. Any occurrence of ProxyDisabler() in your code has to be removed.

using (new ProxyDisabler())
... this will fail

Look out for third party libraries that were not compiled against the Sitecore 9 kernel. You might run into runtime errors if they include ProxyDisabler anywhere. Suggestion is to obviously only use third party libraries that are compatible with Sitecore 9.

3. WFFM Failing Upgrade Post Steps

If you’re upgrading WFFM from before 8.2 you might run into an exception because the upgrade post steps are not compatible with Sitecore 9 API.

Executing Post Installation instructions: 'Sitecore.Forms.Core.Configuration.UpgradePostStep, Sitecore.Forms.Core'

System.MissingMethodException: Method not found: 'Sitecore.Data.ID Sitecore.Marketing.Definitions.IDefinition.get_Id()'.

at Sitecore.Update.Installer.Items.CustomActionInstaller.Process(IProcessingContext entry, IProcessingContext context)

at Sitecore.Update.Installer.DiffInstaller.ExecutePostInstallationInstructions(String packagePath, String historyPath, InstallMode mode, MetadataView view, ILog installationProcessLogger, List`1& entries)

at Sitecore.Update.Wizard.InstallPackage.ExecutePostStep(List`1 entries, MetadataView view, IEnumerable`1 log)

The solution is to decompile the post steps from the upgrade package, fix the code and run them separately. I’ve added a gist with an aspx page that runs the fixed code.

4. TypeLoadException during WFFM upgrade

After installing the Web Forms for Marketers 9.0 rev. 171003 package, your instance might fail to start with the following exception:

ReflectionTypeLoadException: Unable to load one or more of the requested types. Retrieve the LoaderExceptions property for more information.]

System.Reflection.RuntimeModule.GetTypes(RuntimeModule module) +0

System.Reflection.Assembly.GetTypes() +112

RazorGenerator.Mvc.PrecompiledMvcEngine..ctor(Assembly assembly, String baseVirtualPath, IViewPageActivator viewPageActivator) +353

Sitecore.Forms.Core.RazorGeneratorMvcStart.Start() +68

To continue the WFFM upgrade, remove Sitecore.Forms.Core.dll and temporarily disable all WFFM configs in /App_Config/Modules to continue with the next update package.

If this happens after you’ve installed the final WFFM update package, check that you have the correct version of Sitecore.Forms.Core.dll inside your bin folder and also check, if the WFFM configuration files are correct in /App_Config/Modules

5. Compatibility issues with new versions of System.IdentityModel.Tokens.Jwt

If you are using the System.IdentityModel.Tokens.Jwt library, you’re most likely using a recent one (5.1+ at the time of writing). Sitecore uses version 4.0.4 for validating the license and there are breaking changes between 4.x and 5.x in that library.

Luckily, both assemblies can be used at the same time by adding them to a different folder than /bin and setting the following in the assemblyBinding section of web.config:

        <assemblyIdentity name="System.IdentityModel.Tokens.Jwt" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" culture="neutral" xmlns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:asm.v1" />
        <codeBase version="" href="jwt\5.1.5\System.IdentityModel.Tokens.Jwt.dll" />
        <codeBase version="4.0.40306.1554" href="jwt\\System.IdentityModel.Tokens.Jwt.dll" />

6. SolrSearchIndex. No matching constructor was found on ContentDelivery

In case the Update Installation wizard has created a Sitecore.ContentSearch.Solr.Index.Master.patch.config file during the upgrade process, this file will reference the master index which is disabled for the ContentDelivery role. Review the config changes in the .patch.config and if they are needed, apply them to the Standalone or ContentManagement role only.

ConfigurationException: Could not create instance of type: Sitecore.ContentSearch.SolrProvider.SolrSearchIndex. No matching constructor was found.]

Sitecore.Configuration.DefaultFactory.CreateFromTypeName(XmlNode configNode, String[] parameters, Boolean assert) +280

Sitecore.Configuration.DefaultFactory.CreateObject(XmlNode configNode, String[] parameters, Boolean assert, IFactoryHelper helper) +163

Sitecore.Configuration.DefaultFactory.CreateObject(XmlNode configNode, String[] parameters, Boolean assert) +72

Sitecore.Configuration.DefaultFactory.GetInnerObject(XmlNode paramNode, String[] parameters, Boolean assert) +941

Sitecore.Configuration.DefaultFactory.AssignProperties(XmlNode configNode, String[] parameters, Object obj, Boolean assert, Boolean deferred, IFactoryHelper helper) +527

Sitecore.Configuration.DefaultFactory.CreateObject(XmlNode configNode, String[] parameters, Boolean assert, IFactoryHelper helper) +320

Sitecore.Configuration.DefaultFactory.CreateObject(XmlNode configNode, String[] parameters, Boolean assert) +72

Sitecore.Configuration.DefaultFactory.CreateObject(String configPath, String[] parameters, Boolean assert) +693

Sitecore.ContentSearch.ContentSearchManager.get_SearchConfiguration() +305

Sitecore.ContentSearch.SolrProvider.SolrContentSearchManager.Initialize() +21

7. Query.MaxItems affecting query results

This is a hard one to find: The default limit for items returned by Query.MaxItems is 100. In some previous versions, this had been patched to to 260 through Sitecore.ExperienceExplorer.config. If you happen to upgrade from one of those previous versions and are using queries, check your code if it still works as expected.

In some cases your queries might only return 100 items now instead of 260 and this might result in different behaviour. Thanks to Christoph Brunner for finding this one.

Just the usual reminder around queries: It is usually a bad idea to increase the Query.MaxItems value as this can drastically reduce performance. Always consider carefully if it is a good option to use Queries.

8. SessionProvider issue when Tracker is enabled

On our solution, the UpdateInstallationWizard had created a Sitecore.Analytics.Tracking.patch.config as follows:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<configuration xmlns:p="" xmlns:s="" p:p="1">
      <sharedSessionState s:defaultProvider="mssql">
          <add name="InProc">
            <p:d />
          <add name="mongo">
			<p:d />
          <add name="mssql" p:after="*[1=2]" s:type="Sitecore.SessionProvider.Sql.SqlSessionStateProvider, Sitecore.SessionProvider.Sql" s:sessionType="shared" s:connectionStringName="session" s:pollingInterval="2" s:compression="true" />

This led to the following exception:

Exception: System.NullReferenceException
Message: Object reference not set to an instance of an object.
Source: Sitecore.SessionProvider.Sql
at Sitecore.SessionProvider.Sql.SqlSessionStateProvider.Initialize(String name, NameValueCollection config)
at Sitecore.Configuration.DefaultFactory.GetProviders[TProvider,TCollection](List`1 nodes)
at Sitecore.Configuration.DefaultFactory.GetProviders[TProvider,TCollection](String rootPath, TProvider&amp; defaultProvider)
at Sitecore.Configuration.ProviderHelper`2.ReadProviders()
at Sitecore.Configuration.ProviderHelper`2.get_Provider()
at Sitecore.Analytics.Data.Dictionaries.DictionaryData.Session.SessionDictionaryData..ctor(SharedSessionStateConfigBase configuration)

As we wanted to use the default SQL Session state configuration, the simple solution was to just delete this .patch.config file.

9. Good performance but slower startup

Overall performance of the 9+ versions is very good but the startup time of Content Editor, Experience Editor seems to be a bit longer than with previous versions. Also on our solution, WFFM forms take quite some time when loaded for the first time after an App pool restart. The subsequent loads are quick again.

To provide the best experience for editors and visitors of your sites it is a good idea to implement a warmup of ContentEditor, Experience Editor and your forms on the ContentDelivery instances.

Checkout Jeff L’Hereux’s Warmup Script for Habitat Home as a starting point.

10. SOLR Index config issues

Could not find add method: ExcludeTemplate (type: Sitecore.ContentSearch.SolrIndexConfiguration)

This will most likely only happen to you if you’re upgrading from a version older than 8.2. The config structure has changed so you’ll need to update all of your custom index configs.

There are example configs in App_config/Include/Example. Also check this great summary of changes by Radoslaw Kozlowski



One thought on “10 issues you might run into when upgrading to Sitecore 9

  1. Arjunan

    Wow, i recently faced couple of issues that you mentioned when migrating from sitecore 7.2 to sitecore 9.Properties like IsPageEditor and IsPageEditorEditing is no longer available.

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