Microsoft partner Mark Polino recently wrote an interesting and apt article for MSDynamicsWorld.com, in which he made the case for why it’s no longer correct to wait for the first service pack to upgrade to a “major” release of Microsoft Dynamics GP. It’s still a common way of thinking: wait for the first service pack, which will presumably fix the bugs that inevitably come with any major release. Some users just implement one version back of the latest. But Polino argues convincingly that that thinking is outdated due to Microsoft’s current approach to updates.
Microsoft now updates Microsoft Dynamics GP every six months, and they no longer hold back major new features for the next “major” release: when a new feature is done, it goes in the next update. Polino argues that the names of the releases are now just arbitrary because of the new update philosophy. Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 R2, he points out, was actually more of a “major” release than Microsoft Dynamics GP 2015, and GP 2015 was more like the first service pack or update to that major release. Regardless of the names Microsoft gave them.
The major new features delivered with Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 R2 involved requisitions, workflow, and identity management. Microsoft Dynamics GP 2015’s major new features mostly enhanced the new features found in R2, specifically workflows and identity management. The exception is the new service based architecture in Microsoft Dynamics GP 2015, but that is optional, and it is more of a foundation for capabilities that will be delivered down the road.
Polino also points out that Microsoft Dynamics GP 2015 adds some things that were still missing from the R2 web client, and finally renders Business Portal obsolete. And finally, GP 2015 fixes some of the bugs that were found in the R2 release. All in all, Microsoft Dynamics GP 2015 is a big improvement over Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 R2, not because it is the next “major” release, but because it really functions as the first “service pack” for R2, regardless of the name.