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Upgrading ERP system in the middle of the calendar month? Yes- it is possible!

Updated: Feb 10, 2022

“Upgrading ERP system during a weekend in the middle of a calendar month? How so? This is unheard of!” – this was my initial reaction when I heard of the idea to carry out the ERP system upgrade in a middle of the month on a weekend. However, after giving the idea some consideration, it sounded feasible and even a good solution for our customer Nortal who was planning an upgrade form Dynamics AX 2012 to Dynamics 365 Finance cloud solution.

Although I do not recall saying this out loud, I remember I gave a technical answer “Whenever” to a technical question “When can it be done?”, without really understanding the full ramification of it. That is, it would collide with our usual approach of setting up the upgrade to coincide with the change of calendar month. Later it dawned on me “yes, why not?” as the upgrade day in the middle of a month really should not matter if all the data will be migrated and the end-of-month procedures can be completed by migrating some of the transactions and creating some in a new environment.

As one of the requirements in the project was to migrate all the historical data, we applied official process of data migration, which enabled us to migrate all the data needed to start working in new environment during the migration from the old one. While preparing for the upgrade almost a year, and in addition to migrating the customizations to extensions, we had to rework some of the functionalities due to customer request and due to the cloud nature of the new environment, which made it necessary to include trial runs of the data migration process itself in the project. This meant that we carried out the entire database migration into the new environment to validate whether the actual migration would be successful. Those experiments gave us valuable information regarding what needs to be fixed or adjusted and what would be the approximate duration of the migration.

Final migration was carried out during a long weekend (Friday being an official state holiday) and this gave us ample time to verify whether the end result was good enough to launch on Sunday. It also gave us an opportunity for a rollback, if the need would occur. However, as the planned migration was successful, the work continued in Dynamics 365 Finance environment from a place where it was left off in Dynamics 2012 environment, including

  • all the necessary data (originated from previous environment) was accessible in the new environment;

  • all interfaces continued their work from where there they were left it off in the previous environment;

  • migrated and yet unposted journals could be reviewed and posted.

"Upgrading Dynamics with full data migration was undoubtedly bold but definitely the right decision. Assuming the migration would be a success, it seemed a good idea to go live in the middle of calendar month, as it's rather quiet time in accounting. In cooperation with DataCatering, the upgrade was successful,” says Evelin Koitmaa, Finance Manager of Nortal.


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