Overview of Theme and SDK Version Upgrades | Yext Hitchhikers Platform

What You’ll Learn

By the end of this unit, you will be able to:

  • Locate the Search changelogs and use them to recall feature updates from various Theme and SDK versions
  • List the differences and similarities between the Search UI SDK and Legacy Search Bar
  • Recall when you need to update the SDK version


As you know, Search is an extremely iterative product. Search captures real-time search analytics which allows Hitchhikers to make data-driven decisions, whether that’s adding new entities into the platform or adjusting existing content.

Similarly, the Yext team works hard to make enhancements to the product based on feedback and engagement from both clients and Hitchhikers. The Yext team will periodically release updates to the Search UI SDK (also referred to as the JavaScript Library or the SDK), which include new features, enhancements to existing features, deprecation of old features, and bug fixes. We will also add new functionality, new cards, and new page templates to the Answers Hitchhiker Theme.

As a Hitchhiker, it’s critical that you are aware of any upgrades that are released by the Yext team. Want to take advantage of all of the cool new features that our Product team releases? Then you’ll need to upgrade both the theme and the Search UI SDK in your Search experience.

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Solution templates will always be on the latest Theme and Search UI SDK versions so that new sites built off of them have the latest and greatest version of Search.

Where to Find Information on Upgrade Versions

Within Search, there are a few pieces that have upgrade versions. Below is a table of them, links to their changelogs, and where to update the version numbers.

In this module, we’ll focus specifically on the first two: upgrades to the Search UI SDK and Hitchhiker Theme.

Search Component Changelog Where to Update
Search UI SDK Search UI SDK Changelog Frontend Code Editor - global_config.json file
Answers Hitchhiker Theme Hitchhikers Theme Changelog Frontend Code Editor - “Upgrade Theme” Jambo command
Speed Optimized Search Bar Search UI SDK - Search Bar Only Changelog Integration (done by owner of site where search bar lives, usually Yext client)
Legacy Search Bar Search UI SDK Changelog Integration (done by owner of site where search bar lives, usually Yext client)

We post all updates to the theme and SDK changelogs within the Search reference documentation.

These posts will outline changes and bug fixes included with each version, including any upgrade implications or callouts to be aware of when you make the upgrade. A new Search UI SDK version will always be tied to a new Theme version, but the Theme is updated more frequently than the Search UI SDK. Let’s look at two changelog posts as examples:

  • This section  outlines the changes and new formatters included with the Hitchhiker Theme v1.24, including files you may need to re-fork (more on this later).
  • This section notes changes and upgrade instructions for the Hitchhiker Theme v1.23, but also includes the Search UI 1.10, which means you’ll have to update the Search UI SDK when you upgrade the theme.

Note on the search bar and Theme/Search UI SDK upgrades: You’ll notice that the legacy search bar also uses the same changelog as the Search UI SDK. That’s because they are both using the same JavaScript library of components. However, it’s important to note that the search bar version and the library version are distinct because they use different components in the library. That means that upgrading the library version does not require a corresponding update to the search bar version, which would save you the trouble of upgrading the search bar version with every update. Once in a while we may ask you to upgrade your search bar version if it’s no longer supported or if there has been a major change (you’ll learn more about types of changes below). For example, there was a breaking bug in v0.13.0 of the search bar that was fixed in v1.0.0. If your site uses a legacy search bar with a version below v1.0.0, we recommend upgrading the version. You can switch to the speed optimized search bar while you’re at it!

Why You Need to Update the SDK When Upgrading the Theme

The  Search UI SDK documentation  walks through everything you need to know about the library, including code to implement components yourself if you’re a developer. If you’re not a developer, the theme takes care of adding components and writing all this code for us.

The theme references the specific code from the SDK to build Search experiences. When you update the theme, you’ll want to also update the SDK version the theme is working with. If there is a new version of the SDK, there may be different code used to implement components. A new theme version will update the theme files to accommodate the changes in the SDK.

Since the theme files are built directly off of the SDK components, you’ll want to make sure they’re compatible with each other by using the latest versions of both.

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    Error Success Question 1 of 2

    How can you learn more about the features in a past theme or SDK version release?

    Error Success Question 2 of 2

    How do the Search UI SDK and Hitchhiker Theme relate to each other?

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