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With Microsoft Dynamics GP 2015, ignore the old thinking on new releases

by Mark Polino
Director of Client Services, Fastpath, Integrated Business Group
February 23 2015

There’s been a lot of interest lately in Microsoft Dynamics GP 2015, but I’ve heard from a number of people that their company won’t move to the latest release. They insist on waiting until the first service pack or implementing one version back.

The world of software is changing in ways that make that thinking outdated and, in a cloud focused world, impossible to adhere to. But lets talk about GP 2015 specifically.

As I look at and work with GP 2015, I don't think of it as a major release. To me, GP 2013 R2 was the major release and 2015 is really the first update. The naming sequence was marketing-driven and here is why:

The big rocks delivered with GP 2013 R2 included requisitions, workflow and identity management for the web client. GP 2015's big rocks build on what was delivered in R2 with version 2 of workflow providing more workflows and options. GP 2015 also extends R2's identity management by connecting the web client to organizational accounts, which provides single sign-on capabilities for Microsoft Azure AD accounts.

So two of GP 2015's three big rocks are really extensions of GP 2013 R2 features. The third big rock, GP 2015's service based architecture is an optional install and is really designed to allow better connections to and from GP. It's a feature with a lot of promise, but not something users will benefit from for sometime.

GP 2015 also rounds out the last missing features of GP 2013's web client, adding Canadian Payroll and the little used Invoicing module while finally killing Business Portal in favor ...

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About Mark Polino

Mark Polino is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a former Microsoft MVP (2007-2018) for Business Solutions. He is the author or coauthor of 5 books related to Microsoft Dynamics GP.  Mark also maintains the Dynamics GP focused website He speaks and writes regularly about ERP related topics. Mark has been a controller and CFO for a division of a publicly traded company and he has  worked as a consultant implementing ERP solutions. Mark holds additional certifications including Certified Information Technology Professional (CITP), Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF) , Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA). Dynamics Credentialed Professional for Dynamics GP 2015 (Core Install and Core Financials), Xero Certified. He holds a bachelor's degree in accounting from the University of Central Florida and an MBA from Rollins College. Mark lives with his family in Florida.

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Submitted by coin on Wed, 02/25/2015 - 07:47 Permalink

I've been telling clients since GP 2015 came out that the old approach to deployments was dead; a number of them are now planning to upgrade to 2015 in the very near future. Ian Grieve

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Submitted by VictoriaYudin on Wed, 02/25/2015 - 09:50 Permalink

I am not sure I agree with this 100%. There are a number of ISV products still not ready for GP 2015. There are also things that got broken - like PSTL - with the GP 2015 release. I think waiting until at least the first service pack still makes sense. With the changed support lifecycle, it also does not make sense to rush into upgrading, even if you consider this more of a service pack. -Victoria

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Submitted by enylander on Wed, 02/25/2015 - 10:22 Permalink

There is merit in staying on that cutting edge, but there is risk in doing so. Being on the customer side and partner side, I always want my users to get the most benefit that is coming out in the product. I am happy that MS is pushing updates like this. It is hard for ISVs to keep up and test their product. For customers that are just using core product, upgrading right away may be ok. For others, and like myself with very large GP databases, we wait about 1 quarter before we start testing and deploy. This helps mitigate our risk, identify any bugs, and allows our ISV partners to be better prepared. Erik

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Submitted by SandraDodge on Wed, 02/25/2015 - 18:37 Permalink

We were just having this conversation in house today. I think fundamentally your argument doesn't address the most difficult question: "Will the new release be bug free?" Since experience would tell us NO- then an upgrade, on premise or hosted requires testing with your 3rd parties and your data. When we went to GP2013 R2 with 30 end users, most GP modules and 1/2 dozen major 3rd parties it took us a solid 2 months of work. Does the normal team just trust Microsoft and not test it? What do they tell their auditor? This makes no sense on an annual basis.

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Submitted by mgomezb on Thu, 02/26/2015 - 00:17 Permalink

Sandra, I read your reply with interest. I convinced myself a long time ago that software is written by humans and will never be bug free - no exceptions. Ever since, I manage to sleep better at nights :) My customers are also getting the message. Our discussions with our customers are now focused on updating their Microsoft Dynamics GP system on a regular basis - no different than applying a service pack - and rather have moved away from the long, tedious, and time consuming planning of annual or even 2-year upgrade cycles. A leap of faith? Maybe, but I don't see what auditors and service packs have in common. I will agree wholeheartedly that GP 2013 - not GP 2013 R2 - was a major step up from GP 2010, but subsequent updates since have been a breeze. In fact, I just updated our company from GP 2013 R2 to GP 2015 in less than it took to finish my lunch and this included 3 company databases and the system database, plus recreating our demo environment (ah, the beauty of Azure!) As for your comment on ISVs (third party products), I think most have now caught up - the major transition being GP 2013 which saw the release of the web client and major architectural changes. Keep in mind that ISV products were compatible 100% with the desktop client - by the way, so were all Microsoft Dexterity-based Add-Ons) and gradually they made changes in their product for full compatibility with web client, mostly around code optimization (hence the release of HR, MFG, and FSS compatibility with web client for GP 2013 R2). Like with all major changes, some folks just didn't make the transition and did not want to adapt to the changes, but that's true for any technology. As a result, some ISV products are still ...

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