Planning Dynamics GP Upgrade all the Way up to version 2010

Published: 12th April 2011
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Upgrade is often a bit confusing process and project. Why don’t we just insert new version DVD and follow the upgrade wizard? The answer is – no, there are numerous factors to review. Of course if you are on version 10.0 or 9.0 – upgrade could be done in one step with recommendation to switch also from SQL Server 2005 to 2008 (R2 is recommended, 64 bit version on Windows 2008 Server 64, as we are compiling these lines in April 2011). But for the rest of us, who in the past decided to skip more than two version and now facing update from the following versions: 8.0, 7.5, 7.0, 6.0, 5.5, 5.0 or even earlier (technically upgrade is possible from archaic versions on Pervasive SQL 2000/Btrieve and Ctree and also from Great Plains DOS, Windows or Mac Accounting versions 9.5, 9.2 and earlier) – we have to plan on upgrade path, expecting one or more intermediate releases. Let’s review some recommendations:

1. Direct update from GP 10.0 or 9.0 to 2010/11.0. This upgrade is one step, as we already mentioned. There is official document available on the Partner or Customer Source, giving you the required Server Packs to be applied first, prior to launching final update. In both cases: 9.0 or 10.0 you have an option to migrate your Dynamics and companies databases to SQL Server 2008 (64 bit edition is recommended). Some things to bear in your mind. First of all, be sure that if you are deploying ISV add-ons or unique Dexterity customizations – you need to be sure that upgrade is available for these modules. Second, if you are using FRx Financial Reports – Microsoft Business Solutions doesn’t support them on Windows 7, Vista or XP 64 bit editions (however FRx client seems to work OK, according to some posts and blogs, plus we have several customers, where FRx is deployed for GP 2010 on SQL 2008 – but in any case – it is good time to phase out FRx and convert to Microsoft Management Reporter). If you are upgrading from version 9.0 you need to know that GP introduced new user security model, where it is based on the user role (with Tasks, Roles and Modified Forms and Reports ID, versus pre 10.0 Windows, Tables, Reports, etc.). Conversion will create user roles with user ID prefix in the role name, but for the new users it is recommended to setup standard Roles – consider some training budget, or assign your IT resource to get some exposure to the new security model

2. Migrating from pre 9.0 version, such as 8.0, 7.5 and earlier. Here you may expect two steps, however SQL Server version is a player. 9.0, 8.0 and earlier releases do not support SQL Server 2008 (and 8.0 is Great Plains service pack sensitive to be compatible with SQL 2005). If you are on version 8.0 you may have two options – upgrade to 9.0 and then go to 2010 or upgrade to 10.0 and then go directly to 2010. However if you would like to do upgrade on SQL 2008 – version 9.0 is not compatible and you have to do 8.0 -> 10.0 way

3. Version, earlier than 8.0 on MS SQL Server. These are 7.5, 7.0, 6.0, 5.5. You have to do a step or two to get you on 8.0 or 9.0. We recommend you to stay on SQL 2000. If you do not have such old SQL Servers, consider install SQL 2000 Developer edition on Windows XP just to cover a step or two

4. Pervasive SQL 2000/Btrieve or Ctree DB platforms. The last version available on these was 7.5. There is migration tool, which moves your Pervasive/Btrieve or Ctree data to MS SQL Server

5. Small Business Financials (9.0, 8.0, 7.5 and 7.0). This small business ERP product line is closed on version 9.0 and existing customers got incentives to migrate to Dynamics GP Business Ready (historically MBS recommended Great Plains Accounting DOS or Windows customers to migrate to SBF as this line was in synch with lower ERP licenses budget expectations). There is migration tool, which should convert your SBF 9.0 to GP 9.0 (do not apply Service Pack for 9.0, as migration tool is working with manufactured version of 9.0 CD)

6. Intellisol Advanced Purchase Order Processing 7.5 and earlier versions. Intellisol International was one of the favorites in late 1990th, and one of the candidates to become the base for Project Accounting and Purchase Order Processing modules for Great Plains Software. But the deal didn’t happen and instead GPA decided to acquire Match Data for its project module foundation (Software Development Company based in Philippines). Well, we are small fish and have to follow the guidelines of GPS and its successor Microsoft. Migration tool was and is available to move your Intellisol Advanced POP to Great Plains POP for version 7.5 and couple of earlier versions. Author is not aware if migration option was offered to Intellisol Project Accounting, if somebody knows, please feel free to add a comment

7. Great Plains Accounting for DOS, Windows and Mac (regarding Macintosh, please note that we have only limited experience, but we believe that it was based in Btrieve file format). GPA was considered as not year 2000 compliant (however later on it was turned out that it likely was). Great Plains DOS is long living veteran with reasonably high number of customers on Novel, Windows NT and even new Microsoft Windows Servers (2008, 2003 – this important thing is to stick to 32 bit architecture, where you can deploy GPA on Pervasive SQL 2000 Server). If you finally decided to say goodbye to GPA, your migration path would be to 7.5 (migration tool is available) and then all the way to 2010/11.0

8. Integration Manager Upgrade Notes. Traditional OLE Server based integrations are upgradeable fine. If you were deploying eConnect connectors for IM 10.0 – you may decide to review the upgrade with your GP technical consultant

9. Report Writer reports upgrade. It is very likely that you have something like Sales Order Processing Blank Invoice form modified in RW and the typical modification includes graphical company logo on the header. RW reports upgrade is part of Great Plains Utility upgrade routine

10. Crystal Reports and your new version. CR is usually based on SQL Stored Procedure or View and is version immune

11. FRx upgrade. Several versions of GP are compatible with FRx 6.7, you just need to be sure that you are on the compatible FRx Service pack. In 2010 MBS introduced the shift from FRx to Microsoft Management Reporter

12. Dexterity customization upgrade. If you have the code specially programmed for your company, please be sure that you have contacted your Dexterity programmer and have him review the module to be compatible with the new version

13. If you feel that your concerns are not addressed or your question is not answered, please feel free to contact our office. Support domestically in the USA, Canada, Mexico and internationally. This option is possible via Web Sessions, Skype or Phone conferences and direct visits onsite (in the case of the large scale project). Our consulting team speaks English, Chinese, Portuguese, Spanish, Russian, Filipino. Feel free to call us 1-866-304-3265, 1-269-605-4904, or email

Andrew Karasev is Great Plains Certified Master, MVP, 1-866-304-3265, 1-269-605-4904. He is also the initiator of eFaru project and founder of Alba Spectrum information space

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