Monday, June 1, 2015

Upgrading M3 to 13.3

I've been looking at the M3 13.3 installation, and while the documentation is a little unclear on the process to upgrade from 13.2 to 13.3, there is a video that provides a little more information.  After working my way through this, my quick notes on the process I followed are below:

Step 1 - Upgrade the technology stack

  • Download Lifecycle Manager Server, Core technology package and Session provider package;
  • Update Lifecycle Manager Server from the command prompt.  This is similar to the initial install process, however we select the Upgrade path and upgrade the existing Server instance; 
  • Start Lifecycle Manager - we are prompted to restart and LCM will then be upgraded;
  • Upload the core technology package and restart LCM when prompted;
  • Upload the session provider package and restart LCM when prompted;
  • Upgrade the Grid;
  • Upgrade GDBC;
  • Upgrade Event analytics and Event hub;

Step 2 - Upgrade the business engine

  • Apply a major upgrade to the BE instance;
  • On the BE, upload the FP3 feature pack for MVX and the country variant;
  • On the BE, apply the feature pack and select FP3;
  • Run upgrade database with fix/feature pack for MVX and the country variant;
  • Run import database data for MVX and the country variant;
  • Run apply MI metadata;

Step 3 - Apply MCP1 for 15.1.3 and then run fix programs

  • The documentation suggests that the next step would be to run the fix programs, but I found these failed to start.  So I downloaded and applied MCP1 (including apply feature pack, upgrade database and import database data for this).  Once MCP1 was installed the fix programs would start;
  • Run fix programs.  This is a new function that replaces the process where these were previously applied one by one from Serverview;

At this stage the "M3 Core" applications have been updated to 13.3 levels.  We still however need to upgrade the other components:

Step 4 - Upgrade other components

  • Download Smart Office and H5 packages;
  • Upload Smart Office and H5 packages;
  • Upgrade UI Adapter;
  • Upgrade Mango server (includes upgrade, installation point export, sign and import);
  • etc.

In general the 13.3 upgrade process is a massive improvement, in particular for the BE and core M3 components.  The complexity of upgrading the add-on components hasn't really changed though and these still vary from a simple right-click upgrade, through complexity approaching that of the initial install.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

M3 13.3 (BE 15.1.3) and M3 on Linux

Infor has just released to GA M3 13.3 (BE 15.1.3) along with a day 1 mandatory MCP.

On InforXtreme there is the M3 13.3 release summary, what's new and BE release notes.

A highlight for me from 13.3 is the increase to 10 character dimension field.  Many sites I work with struggle to fit the information they want to store into the space available in the dimensions, so this is a great improvement.  A minor niggle is given we were looking at a fairly significant database change for this, it would have been nice to have moved to 15 characters for each dimension so we could post large item codes directly into the GL without using surrogate keys, but this is still a massive improvement.

The grower contract management module, discussed in its early stages of development at Inforum 2014, is also of interest.  This leverages purchase agreements and the QMS module for testing while the product is growing.  It also allows for provisional payments to suppliers and final payments based on receipt and testing.

A minor but very nice change is price list identifiers are increased from 2 to 10 characters.  This is a very welcome change.

There's a lot of good changes in this release, as there were in 13.1 and 13.2 before it, way too many to list here.

M3 on Linux
At Inforum last year, M3 running on Linux with PostgreSQL as a back-end was promised.  With M3 13.3 Infor have met this promise for the core M3 application.  The M3/Linux installation guide is up on InforXtreme for this.  This requires RHEL and Postgres Plus Advanced Server.  CentOS is likely compatible, if unsupported, and there is a 60 day trial available for Postgres Plus.  Time to fire up a VM and take a look.

With the 13.x series Infor continues to demonstrate its willingness and capability to invest in M3 to deliver new functionality to published and predictable schedules.