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With all the great new features coming with the release of GP 2013 R2, you are most likely not thinking about “if” you will update to R2, but rather “when and how!” This blog, and the blogs to come in the following weeks, will help to answer some of the questions you have, and help you to come up with an upgrade plan of your own. Our teams are very excited to get these great new features out to you, and I know that you are just as eager to work with them, so let’s get started!
The first thing you should consider with your update to R2 is your current hardware. Maybe you’ve been eyeballing some shiny new server hardware, or maybe you’ve been considering deploying GP to the cloud. Whatever your decision might be, make sure that you are referring back to our System Requirements page to ensure that your new system is not falling short of the minimums! Upgrading hardware at the same time you upgrade the gives you a perfect test environment to test out the database upgrade, installation, and configuration, all while remaining outside your live environment. System Requirements, as of right now, have not changed with R2. However, if you’ve been holding off on a system update for some time, now is a great time.
Next, you’ll want to assess which version of GP you will be coming from. Maybe you’re still on GP 2010, and the great new features have helped make the decision to upgrade R2. Depending on what version you will be upgrading from, you may need to perform a multi-hop upgrade to get to R2. If you’re on an even older version of GP, you may have to upgrade to GP 2010 before you can upgrade to R2. At this time, the 2013 Upgrade Hot Topic page is still the best source for upgrade path information. Head over to this link, and check out the “Upgrade Paths” section!
One of the most important steps in any upgrade process is your test environment. If you have not set up a test environment yet, or perhaps your existing environment is in need of some attention, now is the time to get it 100% functional. You might be saying, “I’ve never done a test upgrade before, why would I start now?” Perhaps you’re the type to just make some backups, shoot for the moon, and hope that everything goes fine. Don’t put it off any longer! You could use that old server that your IT staff uses for a doorstop, or a simple Virtual Machine deployed in Hyper-V, or perhaps it’s time to explore the Microsoft Azure workspace and deploy some virtual machines in the cloud to test your upgrade! Whichever you decide to use, your system, time, and (more importantly) data will be much more protected from unforeseen issues in a test environment.
If you rely on some of the great third party add-ons that are available for GP 2013 for your day-to-day workings, your test environment is a perfect sandbox to confirm their functionality with R2, and with one another. A test environment is a great place to work with new add-ons you may be considering implementing in your environment. One of the upcoming blogs will go over the Table Changes in R2, which will give some good insight at how these pieces will interact with the new features. Keeping your business processes working smoothly is a very high priority, and performing valid tests of these functions before taking the plunge will ensure a smooth transition into R2.
Check back in the coming weeks, as we will be going through the entire upgrade process in this blog series.