Are you thinking about upgrading to Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 but not sure where to get started?  You’ve come to the right place, so keep on reading and be sure to check back for the complete Microsoft Dynamics GP Upgrade blog series!

One of the first things you need to think about when planning your upgrade is; will your current hardware support the new version?

Make sure to check the system requirements for Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 to see if your current hardware will still meet the minimum system requirements.   Look at your client machines as well as the server recommendations.  Here is the link to the “System Requirements for Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013” page.

If you use any of the Dynamics GP Web Applications (Workflow, Business Portal, Web Services, SSRS), here is the link to the “System Requirements for Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 Web Applications” page.

Note: The Dynamics GP “Web Applications” are not to be confused with the “GP Web Client”.  The GP Web Client has it’s own system requirements. 

Often times with a major version upgrade (as opposed to a service pack update) it’s quite common to upgrade the server hardware at the same time as the upgrade.  Many people have asked me, “Should I perform the upgrade on the existing server, then move to the new server?  Or should I move to the new server first, then perform the upgrade?”

The answer to that question somewhat depends on what version you are upgrading from, however I always recommend whenever possible to perform your upgrade on the new server for one simple reason:  You leave the current production environment alone!  Another benefit when moving to new hardware is it’s very easy to do a Test upgrade first on the new server while business operations continue on the existing server.  You will then be well prepared  to handle any upgrade issues when performing the Live upgrade.  Of course, we recommend to always plan on doing a test upgrade!  The increased time/cost of doing a test upgrade is very easily outweighed by being down for an extra day or two if you encounter problems during a Live upgrade.

If you will be moving your GP databases to a new SQL server as part of your upgrade, you will want to bookmark this KB article: “How to transfer an existing Microsoft Dynamics GP, Microsoft Small Business Financials, or Microsoft Small Business Manager installation to a new server that is running Microsoft SQL Server ”.

The other thing to consider when planning your upgrade is what version of Microsoft Dynamics GP are you currently on?

Why is this important?  Because depending on the version of GP that you are currently running, you may have to perform multiple upgrades to get to GP2013.  GP upgrades support a two version jump.  That means you can upgrade from 9.0 directly to 2010, or GP10.0 directly to GP2013, but you cannot upgrade directly from 9.0 to GP2013 because that is a three version difference;  10.0, 2010, 2013.  You would have to do an upgrade to 10 or 2010 first to get to a supported upgrade path before making the move to GP2013.  It’s also possible that you may need to apply a service pack to your existing environment so you can get to a supported upgrade path.  Here is a link to the “Upgrading to Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013” page, also referred to as our “Hot Topics” page (each supported GP version has a “Hot Topics” page).

This page lists all the valid upgrade paths for upgrading to Dynamics GP 2013.  As you can see from this example, you will note that in order to upgrade from GP10 to GP2013, you must be on at least GP10 build 10.00.1779 which is after GP10 SP5 (2011 US Payroll Year End update KB2599501).

GP10 Upgrade paths

If you are on GP 2010, you must be on at least build 11.00.1860 which is after GP2010 SP2 (2011 US Payroll Year End update KB2599505). 

GP2010 Upgrade paths

If your current GP 10 or GP2010 environment in on an older build, prior to build 10.00.1779 or 11.00.1860, then you will need to first apply a Service Pack to your existing environment before you will be able to upgrade to GP2013.

Also on the “Upgrading to Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013” page, we post critical update notes such as known upgrade issues to be aware of and links to important upgrade resources like system requirements,  upgrade related documentation and upgrade specific blog articles from this blog.  One thing I’d like to specifically point out is the link to the “Dynamics GP 2013 Upgrade Manual”.   This manual contains an upgrade checklist, discusses system requirements, hard disk space considerations for the update process, data and system preparation and many other key elements of the overall upgrade process.

By reviewing this guide before your upgrade you can avoid a lot of surprises.  More of the actual upgrade process will be discussed in future posts on this blog.

Check out our Upgrade Blog Series for future blog dates!

Happy Upgrading!