Upgrading The LMS

To many IT managers, upgrading the Learning Management System can be a breeze or a hassle. Here are some common pitfalls to avoid when managing a LMS.

  1. Upgrade Path

The upgrade path for your LMS should always remain front and center whenever a change, or series of changes, are slated for introduction into your learning system.

Always ensure you are not deviating from the upgrade path prescribed by the vendor. Before you begin an upgrade, always ensure you review the vendor’s release notes for the version of code you will be upgrading to.

It is not uncommon to upgrade your application dependencies first before introducing your new application code base. For example, a more recent release of your LMS may require an update to PHP and other libraries.

It is crucial you create a checklist to ensure you understand the moving pieces and the different layers of your architecture this upgrade affects.

2. Do Not Hack Core Code!

A common practice by a number of developers involve direct core-code manipulation, or DCCM – this often entails tweaking core code to derive a quick fix or solution instead of the arduous method of introducing changes via plugins or building blocks. This DCCM process effectively breaks the upgrade path between your LMS and the vendor’s base code and should be immediately banned as a company policy.

3. Ownership and File Permissions

Generic file permission and ownership error

In a number of situations, the culprit for hour-long troubleshooting sessions against a failed upgrade deployment may simply be singled down to permissions and file ownership. Always ensure the web server user has the necessary permissions to its data folders as well as its PHP and HTML pages.

While these ideas may appear common sense worthy, these remain the top three issues reported for botched upgrade maintenance windows.