Some learnings below from various Liferay upgrades that I have been part of:

  • Upgrades need us to plan various dry runs in advance on non-production environment
  • Divide your upgrade between core / database and non-core upgrade
  • Core includes Liferay engine, configurations and database
  • Non-core includes themes, custom code, integrations and such
  • Understand how to use database upgrade tool for core upgrade
  • Logging of upgrade should be at much more verbose level than normal
  • You can upgrade with document library or without it using configurations
  • Upgrades between DXP from 7.x to 7.x are easier whereas upgrades from 6.x to 7.x need more planning
  • For database upgrade tool, you have an option of 3 property files or you can use command prompt to enter required details
  • Make sure you are at the latest version of whichever 7.x you are upgrading to
  • Bad and corrupt data are perpetual problems which need to be analyzed properly before upgrade
  • Use groovy to fix bad data not SQL
  • Consider analysis and compliance from Liferay compatibility matrix, Liferay whitepapers on cloud, security, upgrade & scaling before planning your upgrade
  • Create a template document for upgrade with all major areas pre-covered in analysis via the whitepapers on
  • Understand the breaking changes with every major version release
  • Learn to use the upgrade planner for code upgrade
  • Docker containers are available and should be considered
  • Consider headless, clustering, cloud, advanced file store, CMIS repository options right at the analysis phase of Liferay upgrade
  • For your data storage requirements in future as per scaling – understand and analyze the load to confirm to the right choices of infrastructure like Cloud, SAN / NAS and so on
  • Learn to use the basic Linux commands (if you are using Linux) like top, free, tail, ps, grep, liferay bin commands, sudo, vim, thread dumps and such to monitor / manage the upgrade well
  • Look at top thread dump analyzers like: Smart Java thread dump analyzer – thread dump analysis in seconds (
  • Consider learning basics of operating system / network you are using, JVM & database tuning / optimization for threads, core allocations, monitoring and using Eclipse IDE to analyze threads, heap, etc.
  • Keep reference guide for and handy during upgrade of core part
  • Keep headless, GraphQL, Liferay / Java API details handy during code upgrade
  • Explore 7.4 DXP features if you are upgrading to this version: Liferay DXP 7.4 New Features
  • Refer help center articles and open documentation both, they have lot of good, useful content
  • Reference: Upgrade Basics — Liferay Learn

* Use groovy to fix bad data, not SQL...

This is important because Liferay does not use cascading deletes in the database, these are all handled within the Liferay APIs.

When you add/update/delete data via the API, all of the right things will happen such as inserting records in all necessary tables, updating indices, handling cascade deletes, etc.

Liferay Global Services can help with your upgrade projects as well as cloud migration to make both of these efforts easier and faster.