GP18.4 Releases Ready

All of our software is now ready for GP18.4!

We wanted to take this occasion to share with you our thoughts on the 18.x releases.  While this new numbering approach gives the impression that each new “DOT” build (18.2, 18.3, 18.4) is just a “service pack”, this is not the case, and it is not how we treat them.

In short, we treat them as MAJOR releases (like going from GP2016 to GP2018).  Between each DOT release there can be major changes that affect integrating products, such as:

  • New tables in the SQL database
  • New columns added to existing tables
  • Changes to the sort order of Keys on tables
  • New parameters in existing Procedures and Functions (dexterity code)

All of the potential changes mean that integrating software needs to be tested on the latest release of Dynamics GP.

On the topic of software releases, we received a support question recently looking for an explanation of how our build numbers work.  We recently changed our software build numbering logic so that regardless of the GP Major Version (i.e. GP2013, GP2015, GP18.4, and so on), a release of one of our products has the same “core” build number.

For example, MFG PowerPack has the current build numbers:

  • For GP2013:  12.9.186
  • For GP2014:  15.9.186
  • For GP2016:  16.9.186
  • For GP2018:  18.9.186

The first number is the Major Version, and that must match the GP version you are installing into.  For example, if you are on GP2016 you have to install a 16.x.y build of our software.

We think of the next two numbers as the “Internal Major” and “Internal Minor” build numbers, in the example above “9.186”.

The Internal Major number only changes if we need to make changes to the SQL database, such as change a table, adding a table, or creating a stored procedure.  For example, if the internal build changes from “9.186” to “10.187” it means that the new release has changes to the SQL database and the full installation routine needs to be run as “SA” with no users in the system.  If the internal build changes from “9.186” to “9.187” it means that it is a CODE-ONLY change and the new code (the CNK) can be dropped onto the GP client and you will NOT have to run an installation routine after logging in.

Prior to making this change to our release numbers, as each product was upgraded for a new release of GP we would start the build numbering over again.  For example, the first build of MFG PowerPack after upgrading it to GP2018 would be 18.0.1.

We felt this was confusing because MFG PowerPack is actually the SAME code on GP2013 all the way through GP18.4.  We build logic into the software so it knows what version of GP it is on, and what is different about that version of GP, and it changes accordingly.  For example, GP18.4 has new User Defined Fields on GL Transactions that were not present in GP2013.  If MFG PowerPack needs to create a Journal Entry, it checks to see what version of GP it is running in, and then runs the correct “create journal entry line” routine for GP2013 or GP18.4 (one without user defined fields, and one with user defined fields).

We felt that carrying the same internal build number over ALL supported versions of Dynamics GP better reflected the fact that the functionality you get from our product is IDENTICAL across all supported versions of GP.  This is the benefit you receive from WilloWare of staying current on software maintenance–even if you do not upgrade GP you are still getting the latest functionality from WilloWare.

Happy Upgrading!