Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 Upgrade Tips and Tricks: From Planning to Post-Upgrade

Looking to upgrade your current version of Microsoft Dynamics GP to Dynamics GP 2013?  As field experts have already pointed out, there is plenty of GP 2013 prep work required for anyone already itching to get to the latest and greatest after this week's general availability date

Microsoft Sr. Support Escalation Engineer Kelly Youells has also shared some tips and tricks from to help you run a successful upgrade to GP 2013, speaking at a recent GPUG webinar.

"There are only two direct upgrade paths to Dynamics GP 2013 from GP 10 and GP 2010," Youells told the audience. "So if you're on an older release, you have to make you way to GP 10 or GP 2010 before you can make your way to GP 2013."

Youells shared some other general server preparation tips before beginning a Dynamics GP 2013 upgrade:

  • You should upgrade in a test environment. "That's very important," she said. "We want to make sure that you work out the issues that you could potentially run into during the upgrade in a test environment."
  • Verify your integrating products and customizations. "So don't forget about those ISV products and those customizations that you have," Youells said. "Make sure that those are all tested and ready to go for GP 2013."
  • Plan to back up all databases at key points. "Once your GP databases are upgraded, back up your databases," she said. "Then move into your integrating products, your third-party products, your customizations."
  • Back up SQL Server Reporting Services reports if you've modified those reports. "Be sure to export all those reports so you have a back up, otherwise we'll come through in utilities and overwrite those reports with the changes that we have," she said.
  • Approve all workflows in process before you go through the upgrade.
  • Download and install the latest patch for the new release.

When it comes to utilities, Youells shares these tips:

  • Install all features currently in use and any new feature needed in the new release.
  • Upgrade multilingual databases with matching client code language installation. "So if you have a translated Spanish database you want to use the translated Spanish code to upgrade.
  • To speed up the upgrade, start the upgrade from multiple machines. But remember not to overload SQL Server, she warned
  • Allow plenty of space for database growth. "If you have very large historical tables, you have to allow plenty of space for the database to grow at least the size of the largest table that you have.
  • Use the security conversion to convert existing security from Release 9.0 or an older version, plan to set up new roles and tasks.
  • Ignore the "white screen" or "Not Responding" during utilities - the upgrade is not locked up. However, if you feel the upgrade is locked up, the best bet is to start a SQL Server profile trace to tell if the upgrade activity is still going, Youells said.
  • Manage database growth once the upgrade is complete.

Youells' tips for Forms and Reports include:

  • The Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 Dynamics.set file must be pointing to the modified dictionary you want to upgrade.
  • You need access to the application dictionary from the prior release. "Don't forget about that," she said. "Reports and Forms upgrade does rely on the previous release. So be sure you keep around a 9.0 or 10.0 install folder, 2010 install folder for the upgrade.
  • Multiple Dynamics.set files pointing to multiple modified reports and forms - need to upgrade each dictionary.
  • Upgrade all reports even if they're on the "Reports that do not upgrade" list. "Don't give up on those reports," Youells said. "You still want to take those reports through utilities and go into GP and test them out."
  • Users must test all reports and recommend sign off on all the reports they need on a day-to-day basis before going live.
  • To save time, you should stop all report and form modification between test and live upgrade - use the upgraded dictionaries from the test upgrade.

After the upgrade, Youells outlines these key steps:

  • Printing and comparing the critical reports in modules used.
  • Upgrading integrating products and customizations.
  • Installing all clients and terminal servers.
  • Obtaining user acceptance sign off for all modules used.
  • Upgrading Web Services, Business Portal and Workflow.
  • Backing up all databases.
About Linda Rosencrance

Linda Rosencrance is a freelance writer/editor in Massachusetts. She has written about information technology for 10 years. She has been a journalist since the late 1980s. She wrote for numerous community newspapers in the Boston area, where she covered politics and was a high-profile investigative reporter. She has freelanced for the Boston Globe and the Boston Herald. She is the published author of four true crime books "Murder at Morses Pond," "An Act of Murder," "Ripper", and "Bone Crusher" for Kensington Publishing Corp. (Pinnacle imprint). She has just started her fifth true crime book for Kensington.

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