The Sage MAS 90 and MAS 200 Upgrade Hangover

Talk about a hangover….   The day after an upgrade is “complete” can feel just like a hangover.   Everyone can be exhausted after a long night of “upgrading”.   You were up later in the night than you thought you’d be.   In the middle of it all, someone might have yelled “Let’s go to Vegas!”    At around midnight, you actually thought “well…if we’re going to stay up this late…we might as well stay up all night!”   Towards the end, the thought  “I will never, ever do that again” often occurs.    And the next day is that darn hangover….

This is not unique to Sage MAS 90 or MAS 200.   It’s been a part of the process for almost every software package we’ve seen over the years.

It doesn’t have to be that way, of course.   However, even for the smoothest of upgrades that don’t require pulling an all-nighter, there is always some kind of hangover effect.  It helps to be prepared and know what to expect in those few days and maybe weeks after the upgrade.   Here are some tips:

  • The more planning you do before the upgrade, the better.   Make sure you know what to expect and what not to expect.   Make sure everyone in the organization is prepared as well.
  • During the data migration/upgrade process, there may not be a way to know exactly how long it will take.   The data migration depends mightily on the size of the data files being converted as well as the speed of the server and network.   We can estimate, but we can’t know for sure.   Recent data migrations have spanned anywhere from two hours to 12 hours with the computer just chugging along, migrating the data.
  • The first day after an upgrade should be viewed as a “Test Day” if possible.   It doesn’t mean you can’t run live transactions and do everything you normally do, but it does mean it’s our first opportunity to test with live data.   Even if we do a “test upgrade” before or a “conference room test” before, the first day after the “live upgrade” is still a good day to consider a “test day”.
  • After the upgrade, be prepared for a week or so of small issues to arise.  Things like forms not printing exactly right, etc.   This is normal.   While we do a lot of testing prior to the upgrade, there is no way to precisely simulate exactly how the upgrade will proceed on your system in a live environment.   There could always be differences.   Especially if there was no opportunity to do a full blown test upgrade on your system.
  • Custom Reports may take a few days after the upgrade to get exactly right as well.   We either re-write them or upgrade them prior to the MAS upgrade, but sometimes there’s no substitute for actual, live client data.  Again, if there was no time built into the budget for a full-blown test upgrade on your system, there’s no 100% full-proof way to know how they will come out.
  • Some Custom Reports may look a little different when you launch the report in the new version.  Please be sure to take a good look to see what the report is “asking for”, as it may be the same as before; it may just look a bit different.
  • Some standard reports in the new version will look “different” from in the old version.  The data is the same, but the look and feel of the report might be slightly different.
  • Some software tasks may have moved to different menus or might be on “buttons” now. Don’t be afraid to “poke around” a bit.
  • You may have issues with Security for the first few days after the conversion; this is normal. Until we have Users accessing the system, we cannot test that portion completely for each user.
  • Have a list of “critical tasks” that need to be working right away.   Make sure those are up and running.   Then, don’t sweat the smaller stuff.

The bottom line in all of this is to be prepared for “The Hangover”.   Drink lots of water, have some Advil on hand, and, of course, know and accept that it’s coming.    Oh…and eating greasy food sometimes helps too….