That is THE big question! We ran a two-part series in our August and September 2016 newsletters, and these are up on our website under News, Newsletters. The two-part article covers the history, the reason for the change, and many other details. For now, I’d like to focus on the order of events and what is different about this upgrade compared to all the rest.
First of all, the word ‘upgrade’ is a little misleading. This is really a brand new program with a new back end (like a replacement engine under the hood). Sage 100 Contractor version 20 will be installed right next to version 19, both of them installed as separate programs. What’s the big deal? That means you will need more server space than when you simply upgrade an existing program; there will be two (2) programs.
Next, you are NOT ready to go. There are some changes when you first log onto version 20, many of which are really great. These include moving from a Supervisor logon to users designated as having Supervisor permissions; there are choices to be made for the frequency of automatic backups of the data (again, more drive storage space ramifications); location of the SQL installation; and a few other things you’ll want to setup with your Network Tech. We spent a lovely evening working through all of this together, so all of our Techs are familiar.
Then there’s the data—proceed with caution on two fronts:
Item #1: First, you have to migrate your version 19 data set to the version 20 installation. In our testing, data sets were 3 to 7 times larger than the original version 19 data size, so again, check that you have sufficient drive space! Just start with your most recent data set. Don’t worry, the version 19 data set will still be there—now there’ll be two of them; one in version 19 that you’re going to keep using, and one in version 20 that you’re going to test like crazy for a few weeks.
Item #2: Test, Test, then TEST again. Start building a list of all the reports you use at the end of the week, month, quarter, and year. These all need to be tested. Focus on third-party reports and programs such as Paperless Environments, Crystal Reports, Syscon Custom Analytical Tools (Over/Under Billing, T&M Analysis, Cost to Complete, etc.), Syscon Custom Reports (Progress Billing, Union Reports, Certified Payroll Reports, etc.). Take your list, contact your vendors, and find out when they’ll have version 20 compatible software releases so you can test.
All of these will need to be available AND tested before you go ‘live’ with version 20. When you’re ready, ALL data sets get converted, so again make sure you have enough room before you start. Later, you can archive/delete version 19 and all its data sets, but that’s much later.
Join us February 16th at 11:30 Central time for a Town Hall Webinar to go through some screens, the steps, and answer some questions. We’ll have a Network Technician, Sage 100 Contractor experts, and a great discussion! – CMW