We are looking to upgrade the existing Tridion 5.3 to Tridion 2013. What steps are required?
This is a bit of a broad question, so my answer will be rather of the same. What is required is basically the following:
- asses if your current R5.3 implementation uses anything that is deprecated or not forward compatible with 2013, and make an upgrade plan
- fix the issues found in step 1
- do an upgrade to a dev environment, so you are not impacting production if your upgrade scenario was not complete
- validate the upgrade
- plan upgrade for all other environments
Each of these steps will likely have some sub steps in them, in short:
- if you are using deprecated APIs you could consider leaving the code as is, but keep in mind, it will be dropped in a future release. So it is better to handle it in your upgrade already. Check out the release notes of 2013, 2011 and 2009 for API changes that you need to look for, all these will require you to modify your code, so now is a good time to start looking for the source code of your event system etc.
- this can be a huge list of things to do, it could be that a new template implementation is quicker, all depending on what you currently have
- follow the documentation, basically the steps are
- upgrade the database(s) (If I remember correctly it is done in phases, so first from 5.3 to 2009, then to 2001 and then to 2013, the documentation will explain it
- upgrade the CD server(s)
- upgrade the CM server
- make sure you have a proper test plan, involve your authors/editors and web masters
- this is where you need to make a solid plan, there could be a lot of CD servers, which hopefully are behind a load balancer so you can upgrade one at a time without your website being down. downtime of the CM server should be expected, but can be as little as a single content freeze of a day (maybe even less).
This is a major upgrade (going through 3 major versions), which you should not take lightly, it might be best to contact SDL Professional Services and have them (at the very least) do an upgrade scan for you.
I agree with Bart's approach and steps. I also wrote a simple overview here for 2011, but the steps are the same for 2013. Tridion 5.3 is about 7 years behind the current version. I believe IE 6 was the popular browser at the time, and Windows Server 2000 / 2003 was common on the server and Windows 98 or Windows XP on the client, for example, to give you an idea of the age of the Tridion software you're using.
In general, the DB upgrade scripts are the major thing. Once that is done, you *could install the CMS fresh (no upgrade) and point it to the DB and the CMS backend should work.
Then you have to get the event system working, if you have one. And finally, if you did any customization or special things in the Content Delivery system, you'll have to look carefully at those.
The good news is if you install the legacy pack (VBScript) then your VBScript templates and also any Custom Pages should work out of the box.
You will want to migrate your TOM custom pages to use the new Core Service, and your potential Event System to use the new .Net model.
But, the best first step is to do an audit, as Bart suggests, and get a good idea of any magic that is baked into your implementation.