DrupalCon Chicago, Part 1: Upgrading Drupal 6 to 7

I will be taking a retrospective look at DrupalCon Chicago over this next week; there was just too much going on while I was there to comprehend blogging about it at the time!

On our first day, while Wes and Trevor went to the Drupal 7 modules session, I attended “Upgrading Drupal 6 to 7,” a hands-on class where we upgraded a variety of websites to the newest version of Drupal. The session was taught by Acquia members Jacob Singh, Joshua Brauer, and Erik Webb, as well as additional help from Heather James, and they were fantastic to learn from.

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Though there are no immediate plans to do this upgrade at the U of L, I thought it would be a great way to learn the changes in Drupal 7 and prepare myself for when we do take the plunge.

I was amazed at how easily everything upgraded, especially that:

  • Views migrated seamlessly with no additional steps required
  • Using Migrate Fields, you can import all of your old fields
  • Any previously generated Automatic URLs move across flawlessly, only requiring you to manually update any syntax incompatibilities after you upgrade
  • Most conversion problems can be solved and updated simply by resubmitting forms

Foreseeable issues:

  • Complex sites may need to be built from scratch and then use content migrate
  • Themes do not have an upgrade path and also need to be rebuilt
  • Slidehow does not yet have a stable release for Drupal 7 (and a few new modules we are eager to try out aren’t ready)

Although it will involve a lot of work and planning, I’m excited for when we can start making the upgrade.