The fourth lesson is aiming to give you the keys in order to determine the right Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2015 Upgrade Path for your business. Now, you need to know that depending of the specific path you choose, will determine the time, budget and work effort of your staff and partner to reach the upgrade. There are 3 possible paths you can choose from to be the most efficient.
What is an upgrade path?
The upgrade path is the specific method chosen that results in:
- The latest version of the application software installed
- Your Dynamics NAV database upgraded
- Configuration and customization of functionality to meet your business needs
To do so, you have three possible paths – a technical upgrade, a re-implementation, or a hybrid upgrade. The following chart gives you a very good overview of typical aims behind the selection of one path over another. Select the one that fits the best your specific situation.
Path option 1 | Technical Upgrade
The technical upgrade starts with analyzing your existing NAV database. This stage is focused on customized objects, reports, tables, and ISV functionality. The technical upgrade allows you to update the solution to the current version of Dynamics NAV using a test environment so that customizations can be modified or developed as needed. Once tested, the solution is deployed to production servers.
Overview of a Technical Upgrade
A technical upgrade has three major components:
- Upgrading the application code involves bringing application components forward from your existing version to the newer version
- Merging custom objects involves making pre-existing customizations functional in the new version of NA V
- Upgrading the database involves using data conversion tools to convert the existing data, and customizations
Path option 2 | Reimplementation
On the other side of the upgrade spectrum is re-implementing Dynamics NAV. This upgrade path is involving a fresh install of the latest NAV application objects and database, configured and customized to support the business’ current and anticipated needs.
When does a reimplementation make sense?
If you want to consider the re-implementation path, you must have a system that like the following:
- Several versions behind the most recent NAV release
- It has been more than 3 or 4 years since your last upgrade or implementation
- You have lapsed on your Microsoft maintenance and owe substantial fees to get current on your maintenance
- Many of your existing customizations can be replaced by the new, current functionality
- Your dimension structure needs significant revision or was never implemented
- You need to add new users and/or modules to the current system
- Business needs have evolved and changed
- ISV capabilities are no longer needed
Path option 3 | Hybrid
A hybrid upgrade includes a fresh implementation of the latest NAV software release, combined with a process called an object merge which takes only a desired subset of existing customizations and integrates them with new software release objects. This Hybrid approach can encompass any scenario that does not fit neatly into the other two models as it is equal parts technical upgrade and re-implementation
When does a hybrid upgrade make sense?
You are happy with your solution because your system is almost meeting all your needs despite the fact you are several versions behind the latest version of NAV. If you are in this situation, you may want to bring forward relevant business process, functionality, and data but it is not practical to perform each version hop on the way to your upgrade destination.
Often a hybrid upgrade path is best when there is a large amount of customization and unique reports in the existing system that cannot be replaced by new functionality in the latest NAV release.
In this case, companies can benefit from greater utilization and adoption of standard NAV capabilities while preserving important customizations that are still functioning well and supporting key business needs.