With the release of Microsoft Dynamics GP in October 2019, we have a "new" term to our GP vocabulary we are not all that familiar with called Modern Lifecycle.

We all know when you start spouting off new terminology that is not explained well it will cause confusion, frustration and be mis-construed by many, so below I will try to break this down to help us understand what this means for Microsoft Dynamics GP going forward.

As you can see from some of the documentation that has published with the release the "year" has been dropped from our name.  This is because Microsoft Dynamics GP is moving to the Modern Lifecycle model. (like most of Microsoft's other products)  I know, I know we all don't like change, but honestly, this is a really good thing for Microsoft Dynamics GP.  This demonstrates Microsoft's commitment to Dynamics GP and a clear Roadmap for customers and partners to tell the story of what to expect in the future.

Below shows the Modern Lifecycle for Dynamics GP, lets break it down a bit more

Software Lifecycle Policy for Microsoft Dynamics GP

1. Each year you are guaranteed at minimum:
-Feature update in October, meaning a larger update that includes new features for our customers.
-Year end  updates in November (U.S.) December  (Canada)
-Mid-Year update (typically June/July timeframe) depending on regulatory changes for the year

This is the minimum, there may be hotfixes released throughout the year with other changes.
With each of the above releases, there will be continual quality fixes in each update.

2. This lifecycle shows beyond any end date we currently have for Dynamics GP and will continually be updated.

3. With this policy there is no Mainstream support or Extended Support for another 5 years.  With the modern policy we encourage customers to stay current with the release and apply at least 1 update a year if at all possible.  If for example, a customer has not applied an update in 2 years, this does not mean when they call into support we will not help them, we will help them with their support questions.  If this customer was running into a quality issue that was fixed in a prior update, then they need to apply the latest patch to receive the fix.

4. If you are on the following versions, you will be subject to the previous lifecycle and  sunset dates listed below, the new modern lifecycle does not apply
(Mainstream means you receive taxes, product release, service packs, etc.  Extended means you receive support help, but no product updates)

Microsoft Dynamics GP 2015-      Mainstream end date 4/14/2020                 Support End date 4/8/2025
Microsoft Dynamics GP 2016-     Mainstream end date 7/13/2021                   Support End date 7/14/2026
Microsoft Dynamics GP 2018 -    Version 18.00.0727 and prior (anything prior to October 2019 release)
                                                     Mainstream end date 1/10/2023                  Support End date 1/11/2028

(Once an existing Dynamics GP 2018 customer installs the new release in October 2019 or applies the 2019 November/December year end update, then they too are on the Modern Lifecycle)

I know what you are thinking, this is easier said than done 'stay current'.  We are a large customer, we have many ISV (3rd party) solutions, we cannot be down, testing needs to be done, etc, the excuses and list is endless.  Over the years, you ask any partner that does updates, it has gotten way easier, today all they do is install the update, push a button and let it run right?   We have come a long way with our updates and due to the stage of life GP is in, we are not making large architecture changes as we did 10 years ago.  This equates to easier updates, less failures and simpler for our customers to apply.  I'm not in any way trying to down play an update, there are System Requirements, SQL versions, Operating systems, etc, but you get my drift in general, gone are the days of the grueling updates we all used to know.  

Did you know over 80 percent (probably higher) of our customers have at least 1 3rd party product they use in conjunction with Dynamics GP.  Our community and Dynamics GP add on solutions are endless to help our customers get the best product ever.  Over the years, these solution providers too have changed and release much faster then before.  Most providers I know release at least 30 days after us, if not sooner.  All these providers receive an early (ISV drop) to make sure their code is compliant with our changes, then they too can turn the release quick.

                                             

This is an exciting time for Microsoft Dynamics GP, lets enjoy it, adapt to change and continue to be advocate for the product.

Terry Heley

Microsoft