Friday, May 10, 2013

Gallery Server Pro 3.0 Release Candidate 1 Available

Today I am making available release candidate 1 of Gallery Server Pro 3.0. It is functionally complete and now includes support for upgrading from 2.6.0 and higher. This is a major release and includes a tremendous number of new features and updated styling. Here are a few previous blog posts to refresh your memory:

Public Preview of Gallery Server Pro 3.0

Gallery Server Pro 3.0 Beta Released!

Add a PayPal shopping cart and Facebook to your gallery in 10 minutes

You can download the release candidate here:

Download Gallery Server Pro 3.0 RC1
Download Gallery Server Pro 3.0 RC1 (source code)


The RC ships with two skins – dark and light. The Site Settings – General page lets you switch to a different skin and the popup help icon gives you tips on how you can tweak the styling to suit your preferences, including how to create your own skin.

The beta site has been using the dark skin for a while. Just for fun, I switched it to the light skin for the RC. Check it out.

Reporting Bugs

While I shipped the RC with no known bugs, I will bet good money some are still lurking. Gallery Server Pro is a complex product with over 125 settings, and I have not exhaustively tested every one, much less the nearly infinite combination of them. And don’t even get me started on browser compatibility (sorry IE 6 and 7 users, I can’t support you any longer.) So please report anything you find in the forum.

Product Key and Licensing

The product keys you used in 2.6 do not work in the RC, and I do not yet have the infrastructure in place to provide new ones, so your RC gallery must run in trial mode. The RC is fully functional in trial mode and I expect to release the RTM version before the 30-day window ends, along with an updated product key wizard.

There will be a few licensing changes for 3.0. A free GPL version will continue to be available and I am adding a commercial license that offers benefits not available to GPL license holders. A subsequent blog post will dig into the details.

Upgrade from 2.6

Version 3.0 supports upgrading 2.6 or higher galleries. Note that some settings will be preserved while others are reset to conform to the 3.0 requirements. The upgrade wizard from previous versions has been replaced by a new process that allows you to import a 2.6 backup file into a 3.0 gallery. Follow these steps:

  1. Make a backup of your database, web files, and media files. You’ll only need them if the upgrade fails and you need to revert to 2.6.
  2. In your 2.6 gallery, go to the backup/restore page and create a backup file of your user accounts and gallery data.
  3. Delete your web files, but not your media files (the ones stored in gs\mediaobjects by default).
  4. Download the RC and extract the files to your web directory. As with 2.6, the IIS account needs modify permission to the App_Data and gs\mediaobjects directories.
  5. If using SQL Server, open web.config and update the connectionStrings section to use the SqlClient provider instead of SQL CE (that is, comment out the SQL CE connection string and uncomment the SQL Server one.) Then update the SQL Server connection string to point to your gallery database. Note that 3.0 uses a completely different naming scheme, so the 3.0 tables will exist along side your 2.6 ones until you get a chance to manually delete the 2.6 ones (if you want to). For example, the table gs_Album from 2.6 is named Gsp.Album in 3.0 (note the use of a new Gsp schema).
  6. Open default.aspx in a browser. The gallery will detect that no data structure exists for the connection string named GalleryDb and automatically create it. (For you techies it’s using Code First Migrations for this part.)
  7. A default page will load with a message allowing you to create an admin account. Go ahead and create one. This account will be replaced during the restore operation, so don’t worry about writing down the password.
  8. Now you should be able to go to the backup/restore page in your 3.0 gallery. Click the restore tab and upload the backup file you created in step 2 above. Then restore it.
  9. The restore operation detects the file is from 2.6 and upgrades the schema as it imports it into the new tables it created in step 7. For large galleries this can take a few minutes, especially if you are using SQL CE.
  10. Once complete, review the settings on the various admin pages to verify everything looks the way you want it.

Writing the migration code to convert the 2.6 data to the 3.0 schema was a challenge, and I haven’t had very many databases to test it out on. So it’s very important you try out the upgrade process to make sure it is robust. I wouldn’t be surprised if we find a few glitches, but I need your help to find them.

If you don’t have time to try the upgrade yourself but would like to volunteer your database for testing, send your 2.6 database to me at roger*at*techinfosystems*dot*com (i.e. your .sdf or .mdf file). I’ll test it to make sure it converts. But be aware that a default gallery installation stores passwords as plain text in the database file, so if you won’t want me to see them, don’t send it to me. You can preserve some security by sending me your database anonymously.

Upgrade from the RC to 3.0 RTM

I am hopeful that very small changes will be necessary between the RC and the final release. If so, there is a good chance that you can easily upgrade your RC gallery by copying over a fresh set of web files. Unfortunately, I can’t promise this will be the case, so be prepared for the possibility that there won’t be a RC to RTM upgrade path.

When is it going to be released?

That depends on the RC. I’ll wait a couple weeks to see what gets reported. If there is nothing major, I think I’ll have it out by early June. That will be a Very Good Day.

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