Planning your Liferay 7.4 Upgrade

Assuming you’ve made the decision to upgrade, congratulations!

That’s the first big step. Now, all you need to do is plan your upgrade. Learn more here.

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If you’re reading this article, chances are you’re either considering or planning a Liferay DXP 7.4 upgrade. Perhaps your current Liferay version has reached its end of life, or you’re eager to take advantage of the new features and enhancements in Liferay DXP 7.4. If you’re uncertain whether an upgrade is right for you, check out our article “Why should I upgrade Liferay?”.

Liferay DXP 7.4 Upgrade

Proper planning is crucial to ensure a successful upgrade to Liferay DXP 7.4. There are various topics that need to be covered during this planning phase, including:

  • Reviewing your existing Liferay implementation
  • Identifying and addressing any current pain points
  • Determining new and changed requirements
  • Reviewing version-specific topics related to both the Liferay version you’re upgrading from and any versions you’re skipping and identifying which new Liferay features you’ll leverage during the upgrade
  • Planning your Liferay data upgrade
  • Planning your Liferay code upgrade
  • Planning your Liferay environments upgrade or migration
  • Reviewing technical constraints
  • Reviewing security measures
  • Planning resource allocation and the development process
  • Planning your Liferay DXP 7.4 maintenance strategy or plan

General Considerations When Upgrading Liferay

Are there any hard deadlines you need to meet? Is your current Liferay version close to or past its end of life? Does your business have any market-driven deadlines, such as harvest time or Christmas for a video game manufacturer? What version of Liferay are you upgrading from, and how will you upgrade the Liferay code and data? Do you have any older “war” modules that need to be upgraded to OSGi modules? If so, there are a few common pitfalls to watch out for when converting them:

  • Define naming conventions correctly to avoid collisions in the OSGi container.
  • Clearly define a package structure for each module and consider what packages should be exported and imported.
  • Only export what other modules can consume or extend, and don’t export the same package from multiple bundles.
  • Avoid bundling JAR files into each module and instead leverage the OSGi container to share common features and functionality.

In addition to the technical details, it’s also worth considering the broader impacts of upgrading to Liferay DXP 7.4. For example:

  • How many environments do you currently have, and how many do you need? Now may be a good time to consider containers or cloud deployment.
  • Is a site redesign or architecture overhaul on the horizon? Upgrading to Liferay DXP 7.4 is an excellent opportunity to make these changes.
  • A Liferay upgrade will require a JDK upgrade, so it’s also important to allocate resources for that.

By thoughtfully considering these factors, you can ensure a smooth transition to Liferay DXP 7.4 and a better digital experience for your customers, employees, and partners.

Liferay Specific Considerations

When upgrading to Liferay DXP 7.4, it’s important to consider the upgrade of your portlets, now called widgets. Here are some checklist questions to help with your portlet upgrade plans:

  • How many portlet apps do you have, and how many portlets are in those modules? Are they simple or complex?
  • What kind of portlets are you using, Liferay MVC or Spring MVC portlets? If so, an architecture redesign may be necessary.
  • Do you still have an EXT environment? If you do, we’ll need to do some planning as the EXT plugin was deprecated in newer Liferay versions. We’ll need to analyze your EXT plugin and prepare for this part of the upgrade.
  • Is it more straightforward to rebuild a theme than upgrade it? How many themes do you have, and can we eliminate your custom themes and replace them with master page templates and style books?
  • How many hooks have you developed? What type of hooks are you currently leveraging?
  • Upgrading hooks is not too difficult, but we’ll need to decide what needs to be upgraded and what doesn’t.
  • Are there any common internal libraries that you leverage? What other common industry libraries are used, like React, Angular, Spring, Hibernate, etc. We’ll need to plan an upgrade for these libraries as well.
  • What build tools are you leveraging? We’ll likely be upgrading your build tools as part of this initiative.
  • We’ll need to plan a deep analysis of your portal-ext properties to optimize for performance and scalability.
  • Are there any Marketplace Apps we need to upgrade as well?

Liferay Site & Content Considerations

When planning your content upgrade, here are a few questions that help provide a high-level estimate on the time required for both the upgrade and regression testing. This is perhaps the simplest part of our upgrade. Liferay does a great job upgrading your content. However, it might also be a good time to perform a content review and clean up any stale/old content.

  • How many sites are utilized within Liferay?
  • Approximately how many pages are in the site(s)?
  • Approximately how many users are on the site?
  • Approximately how many web content articles are in the site(s)?
  • Any current content/site publishing workflow?
  • Do you have any custom Liferay patches applied?
  • Is the current site responsive?

Infrastructure Considerations

When planning for a Liferay DXP 7.4 upgrade, it’s essential to consider various factors, including your current app server. If you’re not already using Tomcat, would you consider switching to it to simplify the process? Most Liferay environments run on Tomcat; any container-specific issues would have been resolved already.

Additionally, evaluating any existing applications integrated with the portal and how they are integrated is crucial. Consider your current user repository – is it the Liferay DB, LDAP/AD? How do users authenticate to Portal – with a simple username/password combination or something more robust like 2-factor authentication? If there’s an SSO infrastructure in place or required as part of the upgrade, it’s essential to plan and prepare for that as well.

Liferay DXP 7.4 Upgrade Planning Summary

Upgrading Liferay DXP to version 7.4 requires careful planning, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. While this is not an exhaustive list of items to review, it provides a good starting point for your planning process. Every Liferay DXP solution has unique challenges that need to be addressed, but the following checklist, which is a subset of the one we use at XTIVIA, can help you get started on planning your upgrade:

  • Review your existing Liferay implementation
  • Address any current pain points
  • Determine new and changed requirements
  • Review version-specific topics related to the Liferay version you are upgrading to
  • Plan your Liferay data upgrade
  • Plan your Liferay code upgrade
  • Plan your Liferay environments upgrade or migration
  • Review technical constraints
  • Review security measures
  • Plan resource allocation and development processes
  • Design your maintenance strategy for Liferay DXP 7.4

In Conclusion

If you need further assistance with planning your Liferay DXP upgrade or require help with your Liferay DXP implementation, feel free to engage with us through the form above or contact us at

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