Planning for the Unexpected

In our experience, updates do occasionally break some configuration that's specific to an individual client. I don't think we've ever really seen an update break the core application functionality, but we've seen them impact configurations, meaning, changes to the screen, or business logic that a client's manager configuration console. We've even seen updates impact custom security classes and security roles that are also created through the configuration console. These are items that definitely need to be identified and mitigated, especially because the updates are on a regular schedule from Infor, although they do put out fairly detailed release notes in advance. I think it is advisable to make a process to get prepared for that update, read the release notes, look for potential impacts in your system in advance of the update, and then immediately after the update occurs, look at those potential problem areas to see if anything happened and work to mitigate those problems.

I think that process has been working okay for our clients who have adopted it. It is a little bit different, but it involves getting ahead of any fixes before they start to impact business areas. Infor offers the ability to test system updates in advance through a program called “pre-prod.” Basically you can get a CloudSuite environment that is updated a couple of weeks in advance of your production system that will allow you to do some testing. There's a fee for having that tenet available. There's also quite a large amount of work on the client side to manage that and actually execute all that testing in advance.

If that's something you're interested in, I would recommend just mapping out exactly what would be the process to using pre-prod and asking yourself important questions. Will you follow through in making sure pre-prod is data refreshed at the right schedule? Will you actually execute testing in advance of the update? Will that yield a return on investment? There are some organizations out there that have it and are making use of it, but it's not necessarily right for everyone.

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