Upgrading from jDownloads 3.2 to 3.9 [NEEDS REF]

The jDownloads 3.9 series has introduced several enhancements, some of which are noted below.
  • Revised Configuration, now uses the Joomla Options style
  • Support of Joomla Custom Fields
  • Improved User Groups Settings layout
  • More front end user group settings
  • Much enhanced Control Panel
  • Support multi language Associations
  • Enhanced Single User Access
  • Wide support for language placeholders such as {fr-FR} ... {/fr-FR}  in layouts
  • More features in 'Check Downloads' area
  • Better Limits setting page in User Groups Settings
  • Ability to add an Inquiry Form when user downloading
  • Planned support for 'modern' style links
Upgrading from jDownloads 3.2 series to the 3.9 series is, in most cases, similar to a normal update.  However you do need to be at least at  jDownloads 3.2.65 or later and at Joomla 3.9.x.  There are of course many extra features in the the 3.9 series which are outlined in  [NEEDS REF].

One of the first things to note is that the Configuration section has been updated and is not in the left hand panel with Categories, Downloads, Layouts and so on.
It now uses the Joomla! Options button options01 which is situated at the top right of the Control Panel.  See the article Control Panel Overview [NEEDS REF] for more details.

When upgrading to the 3.9 series there are presently two temporary situations that may cause you to remain for the time being with the 3.2 series. 
These are:
  1. extensive use of jDownloads Custom Fields;
  2. reliance on other third party extensions to jDownloads. Note that the 'usual' third party extensions listed below are Supported.
For more details of the supported third party extensions please see the section Extending jDownloads with other Extensions (this and all other documentation links here open in a new window/tab) in the Documentation. The following are supported:
If your present site relies heavily on other extensions to jDownloads that have not been updated by their vendors we again suggest staying for the time being with the jD 3.2 series.
Custom Fields
One of the newer features in Joomla! is Joomla Custom Fields, these have far more scope with more than a dozen diferent field types compared to the four types provided in the jDownloads Custom Fields.  See for example  the article Joomla Custom Fields which describes the 15 available types.  As well as Fields, Joomla! has Field Groups which aid multilanguage sites.  There are Joomla! Custom Fields that match those that are available in the jDownloads 3.2 and earlier series.

As a result jDownloads 3.9 no longer supports the jDownloads custom fields, it does fully support the more extensive Joomla! Custom Fields.  At the time of writing, June 2019, jDownloads does not support automatically transferring the old jDownloads Custom Fields into Jooma! Custom Fields.   The upgrade from jDownloads 3.32.64 to 3.9 offers the opportunity to export the existing jDcownloads CustomFields to a spreadsheet for subsequent use.  Further notes on exporting the jDownloads Custom Fields are included in an appendix below.  For those users who make extensive use of jD custom fields we suggest staying for the time being with the jD 3.2 series.

Database changes
For even better integration with Joomla! there have been some database item name changes, for example in the files data base table the name of the ID field has changed from file_id to just id, file_title has become title and so on. Also some now redundant entries have been removed, for example all the cusom_field items.

The first step is to check you have the latest jDownloads 3.2 series release and if necessary update to that version of to the latest.  If you have an earlier series (1.9 or 2.5) then first see the jD 3.2 Migration documentation
The Compatibility Appendix below shows the versions of jDownloads compatible with different Joomla! versions.

Upgrading from jD 3.2.65 to jD 3.9 is, in general, similar to a regular update.  That is upgrading from the jDownloads 3.2 series to the 3.9 series is straightforward, it is just the same as a simple upgrade from one one version to another.  Because there are changes to the database the update is done twice as noted below.

It is not a 'migration' requiring special treatment.  The system requirements, which are listed below, are the same as those required for Joomla!
REMINDER: you must be at jDownloads v3.2.64 or higher in order to upgrade to the 3.9 series.

Miniumum System Requirements

  • PHP 5.7+ (7.1+ recommended)
  • MySQL 5.7+
  • Joomla 3.9+ or newer
  • jDownloads 3.2.63
Note It would be a good time to upgrade your server to PHP 7.1+ if you have not already done so.  Also bear in mind that Joomla! 4 is expected in late 2019 and that will require PHP 7.1+ as a minimum, that is it will not support the PHP 5 series.  As a final note PHP7 series is faster and lighter weight than the PHP 5 series.
So assuming you have a jDownloads v3.2 series installed please check if it is  version 3.2.64 or higher.  If it is not at least at  version 3.2.64 then the first step is to upgrade to jDownloads version 3.2.64 or higher, which is available at http://www.jdownloads.com/index.php

Next Step

This process follows the normal upgrade process. 

So go to Extensions - Manage- Install
This brings up the regular installation screen which allows a variety of uploading methods.  In this example 'Upload Package File' has been choosen.

This assumes you have previously downloaded the current jDownloads 3.9 version from www.jdownloads.com to a suitable location on your device.

So drag the file to the upload panel.  Installation will begin automatically.

First Time Install

When doing the upgrade for the first time then the upgrade will intentionally stop to show the message opposite.

Specifically it advises that because of database changes then some third party extensions may not work properly and they need an update.
This gives you the opportunity remain for the time being with the jD 3.2 series.

It also advises that to continue the update you need to start it again just as before.  That is go to Extensions - Manage - Install and proceed with the same as previously.

There are now two situations:
  1. either the installation will complete as noted below;
  2. or it will detect that your site is making use of jDownloads Custom fields, in which case please see the appendix
    jDownloads Custom Fields Detected and follow the instructions there.

Installation of the Upgrade Completes

The final stage shows a successful upgrade.

Note the need to click on Start jDownloads.

After clicking on Start jDownloads then the Control Panel will be shown.
This is quite different from the jD 3.2 series control panel. The left hand side has links to items like Categories, Layouts and so on.  Files has been changed to Downloads but most significantly there is no link to Configuration!

Similar to Joomla! these are now accessed through the Options button  upgrade12 at the top right of the Control Panel.  This is consistent with the standard Joomla! style for Components.

It is recommended that you take a look at the following two articles for more details.

Appendix jDownloads Custom Fields Detected
If jDownloads does detect that you are actively using jDownloads Custom Fields then the upgrade will have stopped and you will see an error message such as shown opposite.

At this time, as noted above,  jDownloads v3.9 does not automatically convert the jDownloads Custom Fields to the Joomla! Fields.

Please note that no changes have been made to your existing site. 

One choice is to defer the upgrade to the 3.9 series to a later time.  So just exit from the upgrade process.

The second choice is essentially removing the jDownloads Custom Fields.  The initial step in this process is to click on the 'this file' as shown in choice upgrade10 This will enable you to have a copy of the Custom Fields data.  An example sequence  of using  upgrade10 is shown below.


Notes on Option 2   upgrade10

If you click on 'this file' in Option 2 then you will be able to download a file called "jd_exported_custom_fields_data.csv" such as shown opposite.

When imported into a spreadsheet such as Excel, Libre Office or Google Sheets then it would appear similar to that shown opposite.

In this example there were just three jDownloads Custom fields and the 'questions' were 'Select vehicle', 'description' and 'add Date' as shown in the heading line.  The first two columns are the file ID and the Title of the Downloads that contain the jDownloads custom fields.  The same IDs are retained across the upgrade.

Remove jDownloads Custom Fields
upgrade10 3

To remove the jDownloads Custom Fields  from your jDownloads 3.2 version go to Configuration - Custom Data Fields tab. 

For the above example the custom fields in use are shown in the closest image opposite.

So then clear the title entries as show in the far image and then use the Save & Close button.  It does not matter if you leave or clear the default values and the list values.

Having removed the jDownloads Custom Fields then action the Upgrading process as described near the top of this article.
upgrade07 upgrade08

Appendix  jDownloads and Joomla! Compatibility
These are summarised in the table below where the 'green' background indicates the supported versions.  If you are in the 'red' zone then you will need to upgrade your Joomla! to Joomla! 3.2 and then to Joomla! 3.9.  Note there is only a direct migration of jDownloads versions in the 'red' zone to the jDownloads 3.2 series.  That is you cannot go from the 'red' zone directly to the jDownloads 3.9 series.  Please see the jDownloads 3.2 documention - migration for more details. [NEEDS REF]
1.5 2.5 3.0 & 3.1 3.2 to 3.9+ 3.9 4.0+
jDownloads Version: 1.8.3
or 2.5
3.2.x 3.9.x 4.0

Colin Mercer September 2019

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