Getting Real About Sage 100 CON V20 – Part 1

5 Steps for Planning Your Upgrade

Getting ready for 2016 Year End? In addition to the “normal” year-end tasks you need to plan your upgrade to Sage 100 Contractor SQL v20.time-to-upgrade

NOTE– Version 19 will be supported through the end of 2017- so DO NOT FEEL PRESSURED TO HURRY- take the time to feel comfortable! There have been plenty of articles, notices and emails about the upgrade- describing the benefits of the upgrade as well as system requirements and upgrade processes. There is plenty of documentation available for these aspects of the upgrade.

BUT, before you begin downloading, loading, converting and testing I recommend spending a little time PLANNING your upgrade. You may have seen some of this information before, but I ask you to consider this from the perspective of PLANNING the process so that your actual upgrade will run smoothly. As you have seen before, this is much more than the “normal” upgrade.

By now, ALL Sage 100 Contractor clients (except those with a Standard or Extended Estimating integration) should have received an upgrade notice. This notice, labeled v 20.3, will provide the link needed to download the software.

Follow these recommendations:

  1. WHEN – can you devote the time and resources to this project?
  2. WHO – do you need to engage your IT company, or your Sage consultant?
  3. REQUIREMENTS – network, hardware, 3rd party apps- are you ready?
  4. TRIAL CONVERT/TEST – you can load/run side-by-side; convert, test, fix data if needed.
  5. FINAL – LIVE! – once everything is tested- a final conversion and go-live!

1. WHEN – can you devote the time and resources to this project?

Take some time to:

  • Verify your system requirements- this may be very simple and take very little time, OR you may discover that a system upgrade is warranted. You will need to budget time and money for system upgrades.
  • Load the software – the software takes some time to load. (Much longer than your “typical” update.) My own workstation took 15 minutes to load. Imagine loading at all of your workstations. And your server. There is a new “component” for you to work with- the “Database Administrator.” This will take some time to load and set up.
  • Planning changes to Users – Log Ins. Learn about the “Authentication” and “Log Ins” and how they differ from what you currently have set up. There are also changes to the “Supervisor” user function. ALLOW TIME to learn about this and PLAN any changes you wish to make before you load and convert.
  • Convert, test, fix data- Your data will take time to convert. The process includes auditing all of the data files as they are converted. Some data files will convert with no errors whatsoever; HOWEVER, most data files will require some sort of “fixing.” An error report is provided so that your version 19.7 data can be fixed and re-converted. This can take some time- the conversion alone will take awhile, and even more if repair and reconversion is needed. I have seen databases commonly taking an hour to convert.
  • Convert, test reports – MANY of your custom reports and form will convert if they were created within the Sage Form Design and Report Writer. There MAY be some forms and reports that require “fixes.” So far, my average “fix time” for a custom report is 15 minutes. Reports written using “outside” report writers will need to be updated- you will need to budget time and/or money for these reports.
  • Make sure 3rd party apps work- check with providers of any 3rd party apps you may be using. Some are ready, some are not.
  • Final convert- once everything is done, loaded, tested and approved, you need to go through the data convert one more time- allow time to do this.
  • Altogether, this could take as little as 3 hours (simple load, small database, no errors, very few custom reports), up to 10 or more hours, if you need to evaluate/upgrade hardware, convert large databases, fix reports, engage 3rd party, etc. It is important to assess this time requirement and schedule the process when you can devote the time and resources, and when your outside resources will be available.

Not every time is a “good” time – year end, busy seasons, and holidays are sometimes not conducive to making major changes or upgrades. Also you need to make sure your own staff AND outside resources are available. (Sage technical support and other Sage related resources are VERY busy from December 15 to February 15. Your own staff may be busy, or unavailable due to vacations or other time away from the office.)

2. WHO – do you need to engage your IT company, or your Sage consultant?

  • Have your IT company verify the system requirements.
  • Do you need to upgrade hardware, network, etc?
  • Do you need resources loading the software?
    • Many clients have IT company assist
    • New concepts- SQL Express, Database Administrator
    • Are you calling Tech Support?
  • Will you need help fixing/converting data and reports?
  • Make sure your resources are available.

3. REQUIREMENTS – network, hardware, 3rd party apps- are you ready?

4. TRIAL CONVERT/TEST – you can load/run side-by-side; convert, test, fix data if needed

  • Schedule time to do a “Trial convert.”
  • If all goes smoothly, and you have no errors, proceed to converting and testing custom reports.
  • If you have errors, read the conversion error report. If you can fix the errors, do so and re-convert. If you need help, contact either Tech Support or our office.
  • Test the newly converted data- enter transactions- make sure you see what you expect to see.
  • Convert and test your reports.
  • Allow enough time and resources to do this RIGHT.

5. FINAL – LIVE! – once everything is tested- a final conversion and go-live!

  • Schedule a final conversion and go-live!

A little time spent planning your upgrade will make the process easier- PLAN to succeed!

Learn more about Sage 100 Contractor here. Or, call Ledgerwood Associates at 877-918-8301 today and we’ll match your needs to the best solution.