You may wonder why The Resource Group recommends upgrading your Microsoft Dynamics® GP software in a test environment prior to completing the upgrade in the production environment. What is gained from the additional time and expense of essentially doing the same upgrade twice? The recent experience of one client illustrates the benefits of a “trial run” for a major version upgrade in a test environment.
Our client requested to schedule an upgrade several months in advance, and initially declined the recommendation to upgrade in a test environment first. The first step in the upgrade process was to apply a Service Pack in order to bring the Microsoft Dynamics GP10 software to the version required to upgrade to Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 in one step. This was done in the production environment. During the Service Pack update, one company database would not update properly. Microsoft was engaged to assist with determining the cause of the errors, and found it was due to a previous version upgrade. To resolve the issue, several tables had to be manually rebuilt. This company’s database was down in the production environment for two days while the issues were investigated and resolved.
The Resource Group recommended including a test upgrade as part of the project once more, and this time the client accepted the recommendation. During the test upgrade, further issues were encountered in another company database. These issues would have resulted in five days of downtime if the upgrade had been completed only in the production environment.
All of the issues encountered during the test upgrade were documented in detail, along with the steps required to resolve each issue. This allowed the upgrade in the client’s production environment to be completed on time, and without incident.
At the conclusion of the project the client happily proclaimed they had not missed a single production deadline during the course of the upgrade project. They attributed that to following the recommendation to include a test upgrade, which provided the opportunity to identify and mitigate risk during the production upgrade.
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