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Upgrading to Otter 2023

Modified on July 19, 2024view on GitHub

Otter 2023 is a major upgrade, and this article provides information about what changed, the impact to your instance, and how to mitigate risk during upgrade.

Planning for Your Upgrade

Although Otter 2023 is a major upgrade, the majority of changes were additive features, platform updates (library upgrades, etc.), and UI changes.

No major features have been removed and there were no significant changes to the core components; we anticipate the upgrade will be relatively easy and no preparation will be required.

You can safely downgrade to Otter 2022 without rolling back the database.

Changes in Otter 2023

Most of the changes were additive between Otter 2022 and Otter 2023.

  • OtterScript Visual Editor Improvements; we improved the look/styling of the visual editor and added tag-based searching for statements
  • Ability to Clone or Rename Job Template; you can now clone an existing job template
  • More Options for PowerShell 6/7 Support; you can now change the default behavior of PowerShell scripts on Windows; before you'd need to specify whether a PowerShell script would use PowerShell or PowerShellCore at the operation level; now you can set a configuration variable for that
  • Added environments to role page; see feature request in the forums for more details

OtterScript Updates

To help simplify your OtterScript scripts, we added a handful of control statements:

  • break can be used in side of an iteration (loop) statement, and will exit the iteration
  • continue can be used inside of an iteration (loop), and will skip to the next item
  • return will exit the current script or module
  • else if, which will make long if/else statements easier to work with.

We also made some minor UI changes to the low-code Script Editor that makes it easier to work in visual mode.

New "Set" Statement Behavior

The set statement (i.e. set $myvar = myval;) has a slightly new behavior; it will simply default to using the global scope when creating a new variable instead of the current "kind of local, kind of global" behavior.

For example, consider the following script.

# This script works in Otter 2023 but fails in Otter 2022
  set $myvar = myval;
Log-Information "myvar" is $myvar;

In Otter 2022 and earlier, this would fail with an error like $myvar is not declared. But if you used set global $myvar = newval then it would work and log the result. In Otter 2023, the script will not error, and will simply work as if you wrote set global.

# This script works in Otter 2022 and Otter 2023
  set global $myvar = myval;
Log-Information "myvar" is $myvar;

The above example works, but this is not a good general purpose solution, because set global only considers the global scope for assignment, so the below example could yield confusing behavior:

  set $myvar = myval;
    set global $myvar = my new val;

  Log-Information "myvar" is $myvar;

The output of the above example would be myvar is myval, because set global will only assign or create variables in the global scope.

If you want Otter 2023 to create a variable in the local scope, then you can use the local scope as follows:

# This script fails in Otter 2022 and 2023
  set local $myvar2  = myval;
Log-Information "myvar2" is $myval;

Note that set local will always create a variable in the local scope, even if one already exists in a higher enclosing scope.

What made Otter 2022's default set behavior a bit confusing is that:

  • Variables already initialized in a higher scope would be set
  • Uninitialized variables would be set in the current scope

We've made default set more intuitive in Otter 2023. The new behavior is:

  • Variables initialized in a higher scope will still be set
  • Uninitialized variables will be created in the global scope

By defaulting set to create new variables in the global scope, this will behave as more users expect.

Custom Extensions Changes

Otter 2023 targets Inedo.SDK-2.4, which means you will not need to rebuild custom extensions you've created for Otter 2022. If you are upgrading from an earlier version of Otter v3 or earlier, you'll need to rebuild your extensions. See creating an extension documentation to learn more about how to do this.

Upgrade Process

You can perform the upgrade from the Inedo Hub. Like with all upgrades, you should make sure your installation is backed-up.

You can upgrade from any version of Otter to v2022, and there is no need to install intermediate versions. But do note that you can only rollback to Otter 3.0; any earlier, and you'll need to restore your database as well.

Rolling Back

You can rollback using the Inedo Hub.

While there are database schema changes, they are all backwards-compatible, which means you can safely rollback your Otter installation if there's a showstopper bug, and then upgrade later.