Question before upgrading to 2.09.

Since I personally have never worked with CS Cart prior to our current client’s site, and because there is little to no documentation on exactly what is and is not “off limits” to modify in the source files (coupled with the fact that we did not find any documentation on the hooks system until about halfway into the project)…

We’ve modified a lot of the .tpl files that came with the installation of CS Cart 2.08 in order to implement the client’s layout and add in some dynamic areas that weren’t in the site to begin with.

The question we have now is this: We have to present the site to our client tomorrow (Friday) for review and we’re finishing up a couple custom addons for their site today and tomorrow. Given the 2 posts we’ve seen so far about failed upgrades/difficulties/etc, we’d really like to know if our modifications to the .tpl/.css/etc files throughout the site will be affected by this upgrade.

Additionally we’ve found a bug in CS Cart regarding upgrade notifications. Upon logging in to an admin account which was restricted to managing our custom addons only, we received the notification that the store had an update available. Since this account does not have access permissions to upgrade the store, they should not be receiving this notification.

Our main concern is that we don’t want to upgrade their store installation and undo all of the work we’ve put in over the past 2 months for this project. We, of course, would make a complete backup of all the files and the database before upgrading, but the fact is we would still need to upgrade their store at some point soon and don’t want to have to redo all of our work because of it.

If anyone has any information about whether this will or will not work or any potential issues we may encounter, that would be most helpful as we want to make this upgrade as simple as possible as to not lose our work.


We tried the upgrade process after a complete backup and have the following to say:

  1. It completely decimated our layout and work

  2. The “file checking” done before the upgrade is half-accurate at best. It didn’t pick up on 90% of the changes we made which altered not only the file size, but the number of lines in the file along with other attributes that could be (or are and not working correctly?) used to compare the local file with the one that should be there for that store version. In Short: Don’t trust it, either compare yourself or reference your changelog from any modifications you made.

  3. Upon reverting to the previous installation, the store was still broken. The upgrade replaced many graphics throughout the site that had been customized which were overwritten with the upgrade. The upgrade center backed up all the files it was about to modify before the upgrade, with the exception of all the custom graphics.

    So the reality is that for the time being it’s more efficient for us to gut the admin section to remove the upgrade center than to try to make this upgrade work with all the customizations we’ve made so far.

    Bear in mind that a vast majority of the modifications were ruined because they were not made using the hooks/customization addons intended to be used by CS Cart. Also keep in mind that the reason we did not use those methods at first was because of the lack of advertisement of an online documentation (we had to post on the forums before getting a link to an online documentation for cs cart 2 which was not available anywhere on the site and contained no technical details that should be restricted to current users) and the generic nature of the information contained within it. I would best describe it as asking for directions from California to New York City and getting “Go down to the light and turn left. You’ll figure the rest out.”

    For a commercial product, you’d think there would be a better “user manual”. There’s no excuse in my mind for a complex, fully customizable, state-of-the-art ajax-driven online store with content management capabilities to have less documentation than a toaster.

    CS Cart has a (surprisingly) intuitive cascading structure to it which leaves many many possibilities to extend not only the layout, but the functionality of the store without affecting the core code. This (should) lead to the ability to completely customize the software to meet your (or a clients) needs while still being able to upgrade it to fix any bugs, security issues, etc that existed. The problem is that since CS Cart has no documentation to say where you can and can not edit and how you could get started in creating/modifying the layout/functionality. New users (like myself) who have vast technical expertise can still get completely lost in the 12,000 files that make up the default installation of the store. As a result we “cut” where we shouldn’t resulting in holes and issues like this one.

    Granted all of this could be remedied by some changes to the upgrade center as mentioned above so that at least when an upgrade goes wrong it can be undone with the click of a button instead of a complicated restoration of the store database structure, information, and files from .bak, .sql, and/or tarballs/zips.