First things first, you need some help from your vendor partners
Older versions of JDE World will indeed work on IBM V7R2. However, the move from V5R4 to V7R2 is a major OS upgrade, and the biggest issue is IBM i object observability. Many system programs and objects delivered by Oracle/JDE for OS V5R4 simply will not work when migrated to V7R2. Therefore, JDE has a software update that corrects this issue and allows these to work correctly on OS V7R2.
That said, to access this software update a company must currently be on Oracle software maintenance. This has become a sticking point for many companies that are using JDE World software and are still on IBM OS V5R4.
Another thing to consider is whether your current IBM hardware will support the latest OS of V7R2. This will determine whether you can perform an in-place OS upgrade or if you will need new hardware and to perform a side-by-side OS upgrade. Both options have their advantages and disadvantages, but knowing what your options are allows you to make an informed decision.
What about JDE, what are my upgrade options?
There are three main options for upgrading your JDE World software. The first and easiest option is to upgrade the IBM OS and apply the patch from Oracle for the World software. This option is relatively quick and easy and has the smallest impact on the operations of the company. However, don’t forget to review the third-party software systems to ensure that they will work properly on V7R2.
The second option is to upgrade the IBM OS and perform a full version upgrade of JDE to A9.x. This upgrade is fairly common, especially for companies that are running older versions of JDE World. These upgrades, while more complex than simply applying the patch, provide more benefits and ‘bang for the buck’. Here are several business drivers for upgrade JDE World.
The third upgrade option would be to migrate from World directly to JDE EnterpriseOne. With this option, it’s common to maintain the IBM i hardware platform, allowing it to be the backbone of the JDE ERP system. These upgrades are more complex, however, the underlying business processes do not change and the user community already understands how the software works. So, while the underlying technologies change, the business and user community only has to adjust to a new User Interface. In general, there are three types of JDE software upgrades. Choosing one is usually based on corporate goals and executive direction.
So, what’s next?
Before making any decisions on the approach, it’s best to gather information from the various vendors and partners involved with the project. First and most importantly, it is good to connect with your Oracle/JD Edwards rep to understand your licensing status. If you are currently on Software Maintenance, this is not an issue at all. If you’re not currently on Software Maintenance, then this has to be the first call you make. Next, you should reach out to your IBM i hardware partner. This person can help you understand the specifications of your current hardware and its capabilities for an OS upgrade. Again, this will help determine whether or not new hardware is needed. Then, as an organization, you should review your corporate goals and growth plans for the next several years. These plans will significantly influence the upgrade path to be used, and they will help to determine the appropriate financial investment to make in the IT hardware and software systems. Once these steps are completed, then an upgrade partner can be selected to help with the upgrade process.
If you are still running JDE World in IBM OS V5R4, the clock is ticking. It’s not the time to panic yet, but you do need to start gathering information and making some decisions. Some companies have taken the approach to first apply the JDE World patch and move to OS V7R2 while staying at their current version of JDE. This buys some time to research their options and make an informed business decision. If you have not started on this, now is the time to get moving.
If you’re not sure where to start, give us a call. We can help sort through these issues and plan whichever upgrade is appropriate for your situation.