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Start all over or try to Fix it

    • 13 posts
    April 16, 2018 7:25 PM EDT

    I have a situation here and maybe I can get some input...

    After trying to update 4.10.3p1, my site went down and became inaccessible, back end and all. From what I found in forums and the Internet, the source of the problem is most likely due to the SocialEngineAddOns Core Plugin. This annoys me a great deal. I no longer want to include any third-party plugins because I understand that several third-party plugins use a core module that modifies SE tables. Please correct me if I'm wrong. I don't want to have to deal with 2 parties when I upgrade, especially if one of them can cause my site to break. Thus, I want to remove the SEAO core module and all of their modifications.

    My question is two-part; should I purchase support with SE and ask them to restore my tables or go to SocialEngineAddOns and ask them to do it? I prefer to go with with SE for several reasons and as I am very happy with the support I have received. I dislike the 13 hour time difference and communication challenges with SEAO in India.

    -OR-

    Should I just start all over as the current business model I am using is now obsolete and I wish to to repurpose the site? The obvious answer to me would be to start all over. However, there is a ton of content I can continue to use and most of my 2,000 members would most likely like to remain members in the repurposed site. Their data is highly valued.

    What do you think?

    Donna, I would especially like your perspective.

     

  • gs
    • 450 posts
    April 16, 2018 9:10 PM EDT

    IMHO it seems your answer is based on what's most important to you - keeping your content and membership -or- forever having only stock SE.

     

    Maybe it's possible for SE to just strip away all non-SE stuff and keep your members & content (this scenario#03  seems to accomplish both priorities).

     

    Although I see your point about some 3PDs and their Plugins, are you 100% sure you'll never need a 3PD?  Although there may be other 3PDs that modified SE Core tables even though they're not supposed to, I was aware of only SEAO and SES doing so in their respective Activity Feeds.  There are many 3PDs that have their own core, but I don't believe they all modify SE's core tables (i.e. their cores are used for code purposes).

     

    If I was in your shoes. I'd want as much flexibility in my (future) site as possible, since it's difficult to know for sure you will never use a 3PD product - ever.  Thus I'd go with scenario#04 - fix the current isdue and plan on including 3PD products in the future (and probably now with the existing SEAO product).

     

    Although I haven't yet moved to 4.10.*, I did have to juggle 6-7 3PDs' products when moving to 4.09.*.  I guess it's like construction on an existing hotel or building w/tenants: one has to determine if it will be a brief or longer interruption, and if not brief, what's the best way of implementing - either complete shutdown, or hopefully mitigation plans to stay open during construction.  The good news is that software (unlike most physical construction) allows testing in a separate sandbox environment to get the bugs worked out of the upgrade process, so you should be able to minimize either the downtime or mitigation time.  Of course physical construction processes have some advantages over software.

     

    Everyone's situation and priorities are different (ex. I require many products by different 3PDs plus about 20 minor customizations and 1 major one), so once you place your marker (priority #01) in the ground, then everything else will have to work around it.

     

    Just my 2 cents :)

     

     

     

     


    This post was edited by gs at April 16, 2018 10:53 PM EDT
    • 112 posts
    April 16, 2018 10:00 PM EDT

    I am in agreement with GS.

    Get what you have sorted and then never make a change/upgrade again without testing it in a dev site first.

    Depending on what your monetization model is you will be hard pressed to really give your end user something that wow's them unless you modify the stock functionality with a 3PD enhancement. I know Donna will get up on the soap box tomorrow about only using certified plugins, which is a great concept, but there is not enough of them to really make your site stand out.

    I am new to SE but have ran our community for over 9 years and one thing I can guarantee - you need to upgrade on a cycle, keep things fresh and always bring in whatever the latest technology is for your end user. Or they will go find it elsewhere.

    • 1591 posts
    April 17, 2018 5:05 AM EDT

    Yes I will get on the soap box about certified. If all of the clients would back this and tell third party experts to submit for certification, then these issues wouldn't be there. We don't allow callbacks other than mobile api and other api. We don't allow any core edits. Seems a simple solution - get the third parties to certify their stuff. :)

    As for SE fixing the issues - we don't offer support for third party products and cannot restore a site broken from them. You would want to get with the third party experts to remove their source and database edits.

    I agree about offering things other than what's in the box (se base products). No script can be everything to everyone. SE is a starting point. You need to take it and then connect the dots from that to the end result you need for your site. That generally means extending with third party products or customizations. That being said, don't get everything you think you want. Get what you NEED. Big difference. Many many people make the mistake to bulk up their sites with everything under the sun. Then, users get confused with TMI, TMS (too much info, too much stuff) and they leave because it's just too much. So, balance it. Feng Shui your site.  

    • 13 posts
    April 17, 2018 10:25 AM EDT

    Hi Donna,

    Thank you for your response. I had installed SEAO core last year before SE started the certified vendor program. Too bad frown

    It's also too bad I can't hire SE support to restore my site to its standard design. cry

    I've been developing my community since 2007. I'm pretty comfortable saying I know what they want and expect by now. They come to my site for my content and a shared interest with other like minds. In my regular job I administer 1,800 SharePoint sites (out of 10,000+) for a major health care organization in Northern California. In the support, training and consultation I provide, I preach KISS (Keep it super simple), "don't make me think" and focus on what your users need and want. So, I'm pretty much in alignment with your philosophy.

    I'll check with SEAO and see if I can get them to remove all of their modifications, but I'm not really comfortable with that. If I experience any difficulty I'll just start over. I will be re-purposing the site to become my blog, so I'm not going to need a lot of features; I've already got/own the content. Keeping it simple, stable and easy to maintain will be essential. At work I have a team that manages the servers and the databases for me. We follow a strict path to prod process. I don't want to have to do that with my site...at least until I'm making a bizillion dollars.

    If I do start over I at least want to extract all of the email addresses for my members before doing so, so I can send them information about what's going on. Can you tell me how to do that or point me to a post if it's already been discussed?

    Thanks everyone for your feedback. You've given me a lot to consider that I missed or would have missed going it alone.

    I'm very appreciative of your time.

    • 1591 posts
    April 17, 2018 11:20 AM EDT

    It would really stink to have to start over. You could let SEAO know of this thread and perhaps they can give you some tips. We do plan on improving the removal process in upcoming versions  but with source edits, that can't be done.

    To extract the emails, you could just export the user database. Another way to do it if you have more than one license is to open the new site and let current users join before closing the old if you go that route.