This article offers practical advice and proven tips for successfully upgrading to Microsoft Dynamics 2018.
Originally published in H1 2018 GPUG Magazine
It is time to start planning the upgrade to Microsoft Dynamics GP 2018! Whether you are new to an upgrade or have done an upgrade several times, this topic is for you.
When was the last time you did something for the first time? I still remember so clearly back in 2011, one of my clients in New York City asked me to upgrade their Microsoft Dynamics GP from 6.0, running on Pervasive SQL, to Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010. That was unbelievable and unforgettable. I was very much surprised as to why they were still on 6.0, which was released in 2000! Yes, they finally decided to upgrade after a decade! Their upgrade path was 6.0 > 7.0 > 8sp5 >10Sp4 > 2010, and Pervasive SQL to Microsoft SQL 2005. I almost turned down the project, but I’m so glad I didn’t. The most challenging task has the most precious reward, not in monetary measurements, but in experience. It was the most unforgettable upgrade in the history of my career.If someone would ask me how I did it, I can still answer with full confidence because I documented every step with screenshots. Yes, documentation is part of history.
Here are my top five tips to consider when planning an upgrade:
Maximize All Available Resources Online
- System requirements
- Upgrade paths
- Critical upgrade notes
- Service Pack downloads
- Upgrade supportability
- Known upgrade issues
- What’s new
No Need to Reinvent the Wheel
You can use the same approach you did in the previous upgrade and give room for improvements.
- Set resources and target dates
- Set downtime schedule for production upgrade
- Set a quick status call every morning at the same time to discuss what is open and needs to be done that day
- Create an issue log with who, when, why
- Use UAT to test your upgrade
- Use previous test cases and scenarios
- Give end User training on what’s new
Apple and Orange
It is much easier to compare an upgrade without new products added. This is to eliminate any suspicion if there’s any performance issue, compatibility error, etc. I recommend using Phase 1 for version upgrade only. Use Phase 2 for any additional products to implement and for Users’ wish functionality.
Take screenshots as you upgrade so you don’t have to rely on your memory on what option you selected during the upgrade process and at what point the error message popped up.
Create a Five-Minute Upgrade Checklist
Use Microsoft Excel to create a detailed task sheet, status of completion, and comments. An upgrade can be overwhelming if you are thinking about the detailed steps and executing at the same time. It is better to prepare your list in advance. You may use the upgrade manual to create your own list like the following:
- Verify hardware compliance
- Get disk space double the current file size (if your database size before the upgrade is 100GB, make sure you have an extra 100GB disk space available on the transaction log). Lack of disk space causes tables to not upgrade. For example, GL2000 and GL30000 tables become blank.
- Download all install media
- Get all registration keys
- Create a list of all customized reports
- Backup Forms.dic, Reports.dic, and create a report package
- Backup Extender, SmartList Builder, etc.
- Create a report in Query Analyzer that will list all of your tables and their count – this will be used as your reference after the upgrade. Make sure all important tables are included GL20000, GL30000, SOP30200, SOP30300, IV30200, IV30300, IV30500, RM20101, RM20201, RM30101, RM30301, PM00400, PM20000, PM30200, PM30600, CM20200, CM20201, CM20300, CM20400, etc.
- Execute the script to all companies and verify the results match your server name: select @@servername
- Post all batches
- Print critical reports
- Run check links
Database upgrade checklist
- Make a final backup
- Upgrade path - steps
- Create a dexsql.log before you begin the update process
- Be sure to synchronize account framework; open dex.ini and set synchronize =TRUE
- Upgrade database
- Upgrade third-party products
- Upgrade modified forms and reports
- Make a complete backup of databases after the upgrade
- Reconcile financial data (Tools>>Utilities>>Financial>>Reconcile)
- Check links for currency table (File>>Maintenance >>Check Links >> select Multicurrency setup)
- Discontinue the DexSQL.Log. Open dex.ini and set the following statement to false:
- Initial validation – check each table total count; test if you can save a new journal entry transaction
- Print reports after the upgrade
Back Up Your Data Files
Database backup may be the single most important maintenance item related to a Microsoft Dynamics GP upgrade. You should make at least one complete backup of all your databases before upgrading. It’s a good idea to make a backup before completing table maintenance procedures, in case you encounter any problems in that process. You also should make a backup of your modified forms and reports, eConnect pre- and post-procedures, and your existing Integration Manager database.
Please refer to this link for more details. This page offers easy access to Microsoft Dynamics GP resources. This page is intended to provide a consolidated view of relevant documentation, videos, solutions to known issues, and links to related resources, as well as community sites for implementing Microsoft Dynamics GP.
And remember these wise words of Benjamin Franklin: By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.