Microsoft Dynamics GP Upgrade
Decisions | Timing | Features | Requirements | Methodology

Dynamics GP

Latest Release: Dynamics GP 18.6 (aka GP 2024) – October 2023

Dynamics GP is a trusted ERP solution…

However, as technology evolves, staying up-to-date becomes crucial.

One of the benefits of upgrading your Dynamics GP software is that you can enjoy the latest features and enhancements that can improve your business efficiency and productivity. But how do you make sure that the upgrade process goes smoothly and without any disruptions? That’s where we come in.

To help you get the most out of your Dynamics GP upgrade, we provide a full range of services that cover every aspect of the upgrade process. From testing the upgrade in a sandbox environment to verify compatibility and performance, to training you on the new features, to launching the new version with confidence, we make sure that you have a seamless and successful transition.

Dynamics GP Upgrade Initial Decisions:

  • Infrastructure | Where will your test upgrade environment be built? (new server, virtual server, or cloud)
  • Timing | When will you go live, and when will your team be available for testing?
  • New modules | An upgrade is a good time to add functionality. (See list below, section “New Features”)
  • Training | Review the list of new features by version to identify where you might want training (See list below, section “New Features”)
  • Security set-up review | As malware and ransomware attacks continue, we recommend reviewing your GP and Microsoft security set-up

Dynamics GP Upgrade Timing:

A typical upgrade schedule

  1. Provide written approval for us to conduct a 1-2 hour System Review
  2. TMC Upgrade technician conducts review and provides your project manager with metrics for your upgrade
  3. Decision made to procure a new server, create new virtual server, choose to host GP in Azure for your new production environment
  4. Upgrade Statement of Work (SOW) provided
  5. Sign and return upgrade SOW
  6. Project set up and scheduled
  7. Kickoff/planning meeting is scheduled (should include your IT resource if you are keeping GP on site)
  8. Test upgrade is planned and executed using the new production environment
  9. Your team tests the new version with TMC’s help while continuing to do business as usual in the old environment
  10. Data is re-migrated to the test environment which becomes your new production environment
  11. You are live on the new version!

Dynamics GP Upgrade and New Features:

Dynamics GP Upgrade System Requirements/Server Options:

There are three options for the test environment that you can discuss with our team.

  1. New Server
  1. Virtual Server
    • Your IT folks can create a virtual server space
  1. Azure Hosting
    • Many of our clients are choosing to move Dynamics GP onto a Microsoft Azure cloud environment to increase security, protect themselves from ransomware/malware attacks, allow more effective support from technical partners, and avoid hardware maintenance costs.   
    • Azure can be used as a permanent replacement for physical servers or a temporary test environment if your current servers are new enough that you don’t want to purchase new servers.

Dynamics GP Upgrade Methodology:

There’s a reason why our clients trust TMC to upgrade their Dynamics GP systems to the latest version.  It’s a complicated process and we’ve done hundreds of them.  Upgrades can take anywhere from 30 to over 100 hours depending on the complexity of your system.  Here’s how that time is spent: 

  1. Back up all of your Dynamics GP data. Safety first!
  2. Move your database to a new SQL environment
  3. Run a number of scripts to check the database integrity, make sure permissions are accurate, and transfer all the SQL logins over from the old server to the new server
  4. Install the new version of Dynamics GP, making sure the same modules currently being used are installed
  5. Run Dynamics GP Utilities to upgrade the system database
  6. Check to be sure the upgrade path is supported (sometimes there needs to be a “hop” if a direct upgrade path is unavailable due to older version)
  7. Update the table structure, rename any tables that need to be updated, drop any indexes, stored procedures, views, triggers, etc., create the new table structure, and then copy the data back in so that no data is lost
  8. Repeat step #5 for each Company database – After the system database is upgraded, the same process is done for each company’s databases
  9. The duration of the conversion process varies greatly from hours to days and depends on system hardware, the number of GP companies, and the size of the databases for each company
  10. If the Dynamics GP upgrade is across multiple versions, oftentimes a second hop is required.  The process is the same, but before moving from the incremental version to the next or to the final GP version, we take backups at each step along the way
  11. If any errors occur further along in the process, we can roll back to an incremental step rather than starting over at the very beginning
  12. When the primary Dynamics GP upgrade process is completed, we log into the application and update the registration keys
  13. Transfer all customizations
  14. Reset user passwords (this needs to be done anytime you move to a different SQL server)
  15. Install and upgrade all 3rd party ISV products
  16. Work with the client to validate the test environment, the data, reports, and all functionality through a User Acceptance Testing (UAT) process
  17. Testing should occur for at least a week
  18. When the UAT has been approved – all procedures functioning properly within the test environment, the live upgrade is scheduled
  19. Disable access to the old version, to prevent users from making accidental changes in the wrong version of Dynamics GP
  20. Take more backups
  21. Move the databases to the new server and follow back through the upgrade steps
  22. If issues were discovered during testing, the resolution for those issues are documented so as to be resolved when we do the live upgrade
  23. The test upgrade also gives us a good estimate of how much downtime to expect for the live upgrade
  24. Provide training on new features
  25. Set you loose with your brand-new version of Dynamics GP!