Implementing upgrades for Microsoft Dynamics NAV

So you only have to read the through the blog posts relating to Dynamics NAV for the 2013, then the 2013R2 and now the 2015 versions to understand that Microsoft are

  1. Serious in their commitment to release a new version every October
  2. Getting a remarkable amount of new capability in each new release

While we have to applaud the agile development techniques that’s enabling them to do this with quality it does mean that we need to up our implementation cadence to match, something that’s historically been a problem with each one taking such major time and effort.

So the great news is that new upgrade tools in 2015 mean that the upgrade from 2013 takes just a few hours both objects and data. Even when we tried it on a database that had over a thousand customisations to the objects and over five hundred gigabytes of data we completed to the point of end user testing in just two days.

Which means that for clients on the 2013 version or above we can offer a fixed price annual upgrade which depending on the level of customisation will be between just three and five consulting days.

So what happens if your not on that 2013+ platform, well as your probably aware there are no shortcuts to that upgrade. Sure we will advise going directly to 2015 now but especially if your on the classic client we still have the task of converting forms to pages and reports to the new RDL/Word format.

And with mainstream support for NAV 2009 R2 now ending in just a few months on 13/01/15 this upgrade is getting ever more precipitant . Previously as a partner we’ve been able to support versions all the way back to version 3 by doing what’s known as a technical upgrade. This means using for instance, the executables  (i.e. setup.exe etc.)  from the 2009 R2 version with the objects from your old version, to allow it to install on later versions of Windows for example.

As 2009 R2 was the last version with a classic client,  the end of mainstream support means there will be no more releases of the classic client to do technical upgrades to. This means as soon as a windows component such as windows itself, internet explorer, the .net libraries or office are upgraded and 2009 R2 breaks, we will be unable to give you a new executable set for NAV that fixes it. In a word of increasing security issues that may mean that you are exposed to a vulnerability that you can’t close.

Technology Management will continue to provide the assistance it can for these older versions and its a case of if its working now, there is no reason it will suddenly stop. What you will face however is increasing restrictions in how you can change that in an increasingly complex IT centric world, will in a couple of years at most, become a real pain.

When you combine this news with the fact that its now proven that once you’ve done this ‘big upgrade’ to the new platform, subsequent ones are much much easier then its something you should seriously plan for. My criteria has always been ‘if I were you would I spend the money knowing what I know’ and this time it’s a definite yes.

Over the next few weeks we will be contacting all our clients on versions prior to 2013 to make sure they are aware of the risks, this is not an immediate panic and were not forcing your hand or timescales but we are not doing our job if we don’t explain the risks you’ll face.

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