If you have the Sage Advisor Update running as a service on your Sage ERP system and you interact with the server, you may occasionally see a little notification window (pictured to the right) informing you that available update options are loading and preparing to be displayed. Like the all-too-frequent Windows Update service from Microsoft, this is your Sage software checking for product and version updates that might be applicable to your system. Unlike Windows Update, however, it's not as simple as accepting the results that might show up and letting the updater do it's thing. So if the Advisor Update returns from its field-trip with options, what should you do?
If you click on the Sage Advisor Update notification and it has located update options, you will be presented with the Manage Updates window listing those options and offering you the opportunity to select the ones you want and then download or download and install them.
While it would be magical to just click the 'Download & Install' button and watch your ERP software upgrade itself to the latest and greatest version, our experience shows that it's not so easy as that. For one thing, "latest" is rarely synonymous with "greatest" in the world of software. The most current version of any application typically comes with a few bugs that skittered by the Quality Control department and take time - and cost money - in real-world situations for the software manufacturer to identify and correct. Unless there is a critical problem that the newest version resolves, we always recommend staying at least one product update behind the most current version in order to let these glitches work themselves out.
If a version or update presented by Sage Advisor Update does suit your needs, we still recommend going through a process that is defined by several factors including how many versions you are moving up, what modules you own, the volume of data, the timing of your accounting and/or distribution cycles, the readiness of the hardware, and numerous other conditions specific to your organization. One especially critical consideration is custom programming (also known as third party modifications) which is quite common among ERP deployments. If you're using MAS*Ship, Otter Export, Kissinger Direct Deposit, custom reports, and/or any other modifications written by Bennett/Porter or another vendor other than Sage itself, that functionality will no longer be available if you update your system via Sage Advisor Update. And even if you have the installation files to put those programs back, compatibility is not at all guaranteed.
When our ERP Consulting Team performs an upgrade, we have conversations during which we fill out checklists to understand and document all of these factors, and then we follow upgrade procedures that are relevant to that particular environment. We also concern ourselves, almost obsessively, with back-ups, because things can and do go wrong even with the best-laid plans. What we never do is open the Manage Updates window, cross our fingers, and push the 'Download & Install' button. And we recommend that you don't do that either.
If you work with the server frequently and find the Sage Advisor Update notifications annoying, we can disable those altogether so that you can decide when you're ready to update. If you think you are ready to update, or you have questions about when and how to do so, don't hesitate to reach out with questions.