29 October 2006

Updating Symphony

This weekend, the Symphony Team has released an update to the official Symphony 1.5 Public Release (version 1.5.05) that was released on September 21, 2006. Symphony 1.5.06 provides several user requested improvements and bug fixes. Much credit must be given to the Symphony development team for their responsiveness and their fast-paced development.

The 1.5.06 update provides many additional possibilities for the development of a Symphony theme, so you may enjoy a short intermission in our series on “Building a Symphony Theme”:/journal/building-a-symphony-theme-part-1/ as we update the application. It should take merely a moment to update.

First, A Little History

The Symphony 1.5 Public Release was to be named Symphony 1.2 and was to be the introduction of a new distribution model: rather than providing a separate serial number and installer for each purchased license to allow installation of a single site, the Symphony Team released the application to the public for free. The application remains the intellectual property of Twentyone Degrees, so Symphony has not been released as open source software. However, for each registered Symphony account, multiple sites can be installed. The changes and improvements made to Symphony 1.1 were significant, so the public release was called Symphony 1.5 rather than Symphony 1.2. Extensive changes and improvements were made to the database structure and interface which allowed for greater levels of application customization. Unfortunately, the changes were extensive enough to make updating existing sites unfeasible. A means for migrating sites from Symphony 1.1 to Symphony 1.5 has not yet materialized, although it is said to be on the to do list.

Symphony Status Widget

Symphony Updates Available When an update is available for the Symphony application or for any installed Campfire Services, a Status Widget located in the upper right of the Symphony Admin will be highlighted green. Click on the Status Widget icon to view Recent Entries, Recent Comments and System Updates. Under System Updates, you will find any available updates for Symphony and for Campfire Services as well as information about the version currently installed.

Symphony Admin : System Updates Available

To update Symphony to the latest version, click on the update link: Get Symphony 1.5.06. You will be greeted with an Install button with instructions and details about the update. It is highly recommended that you backup your database and workspace folder before performing the update. For our Symphony theme building exercise, this may be a worthwhile exercise as well, though not necessary, since it might be just as easy to reinstall by dropping all the tables from your database, deleting all the Symphony files from the server and running the installer again.

Symphony Admin : Update Symphony

Once you are satisfied that you have the means to return to the way things were, should anything go wrong during the update process, feel free to click on the shiny green Install button. If all goes well, you should be greeted by the Publish page. (My update worked quite well, but I was greeted by a blank page. I clicked on my back button to get back to the Symphony Admin, then clicked on the Status Widget to find that my site had indeed been updated to Symphony 1.5.06. We’ll see if the Symphony Team is able to clean up this minor behaviour glitch in short order.)

Other Widgets

While we are on the subject of widgets, you might like to take a look at the Search and Calendar Widgets as well. The Symphony Admin has some lovely AJAX drawers that reveal other means of finding and creating entries.

Search Widget

Find the entry you are looking for by key word.

Symphony Admin : Search Widget

Calendar Widget

Find an entry by date.

Symphony Admin : Calendar Widget

Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming: Building a Symphony Theme: Part 2