A recent article on a Microsoft Dynamics NAV reseller site reminds us of a few necessary cautions for those upgrading – not just NAV software, but any software.
In the article, the author, Linda Rosencrance, a freelance writer of, interestingly, ERP topics and ‘true crime’ books, notes the example of one company of about 70 employees that had multiple B2B e-commerce sites. They had some issues under their older NAV 2009 software with multiple choke-points at some of their sites, and were frustrated with a limitation on the number of transactions they could push through them due to the older system’s single-threaded architecture.
So they were excited about an upgrade to NAV 2013 and the inherent ability to develop web services from NAV 2013 pages. Thus, a sales order “form” in their older system could now become a sales order “page” in the new system which could be exposed as a web service.
To keep this simple and brief, all did not go as planned – for technical reasons beyond the intent of this article – but in the end, after a couple re-works and further test iterations it all came together, and as the customer notes, “gave us the performance of pushing data in and getting data out that we still expected.”
The point here is what’s important: it doesn’t all work the first time!
The single most important element of any software upgrade – and we see this all the time – is user TESTING.
The software publisher – the author – does their best to write a serviceable product. The software implementer does its best to implement and pre-test. But at the end of the day, it is and always has been the client’s responsibility to test… test… test. Software is always and notoriously sold… “as is.”
Clients often don’t realize that software vendor contracts specifically exclude consequential damage liability for when things go wrong. Translation: they’re not going to pay for business losses you incur because the software does not perform as you expected. Software implementers (like us) have the same contract exclusions. We’ll do everything we can to make your software the best experience possible. But at the end of the day, the client is responsible for their outcome when they use the software.
It’s worth reminding all: Caveat Emptor. So test, test, test. Then test one more time. Hey, it’s your business we’re talking about here. And there is NO SUCH THING as bug-free software.