Oracle recently announced an updated support timeline for JD Edwards World A9.4, revealing that Premier Support is effective through at least April 2022 and Extended Support through at least April 2025. This announcement confirms that Oracle is throwing their weight behind JD Edwards World A9.4 and that it’s the version all World users should be operating on.
If you aren’t running A9.4, now is the time to upgrade. Here are a few reasons why upgrading to JD Edwards World A9.4 is the best option.
IBM i Operating System Upgrade
If you’re running JD Edwards World along with IBM i, it’s important to know that IBM i OS 7.3 is compatible with World versions A9.4 and A9.3V1. So, if you’re running OS 7.1 or 7.2 and are hoping to upgrade to 7.3 (what with the end of support coming for 7.1), then you'll need to upgrade your JDE World environment as well.
Also, if you’ve been using IBM i Access for Windows, you will need to migrate to IBM i Access Client Solutions (ACS) as it includes support for Windows 10 and will be the only product to be kept updated. Of course, ACS requires a newer version of IBM i OS.
With new support dates, customers can feel confident in upgrading to A9.4 due to its long Premier Support time. Prior to this announcement, JDE users were delaying their decision to upgrade to World A9.4 because of what was then a relatively short Premier Support window. Now that Premier Support is guaranteed through at least April 2022, there is no longer any reason to hesitate. Users are guaranteed three more years of support. That alone is a reason to upgrade, even if you are on a more recent version like JDE World A9.3.
JDE products are moving to a Continuous Delivery program, with customers getting smaller and more timely product innovations without the cost and potential disruption of a major upgrade. These incremental enhancements are easier to consume and users can choose and control when to add new functionality.
World A9.4 updates will be delivered as needed throughout the year. These deliveries will keep your A9.4 environment up to date. These updates are where Oracle will be putting all of their time and effort for World, with A9.4 being the only platform to receive new deliveries in the future.
World A9.4 introduced some new features this year for users in manufacturing, sales and procurement, and financials.
Two large changes have been introduced for Manufacturing: Forecast Consumption by Customer and Cost by Work Center.
With Forecast Consumption by Customer, sales and shipments are compared to customer-specific forecast quantities rather than aggregate. This ensures the ability to meet contractual requirements based on customer-furnished forecasts. Using Forecast Consumption by Customer, standard forecast consumption logic is applied by customer to create an adjusted forecast, which will drive planning. This updated processing option allows you to specify the forecast type to be generated.
Cost by Work Center allows users to maintain costs by both cost components and work center, enabling variance monitoring by work center. After turning this functionality on by populating a new field in the manufacturing constants, users can still see aggregate cost numbers in cost components. However, users will also be able to see the cost types broken down by work center via a new function key/nav bar. Optionally, journal entries can also be written by work center via a new manufacturing accounting processing option.
Sales and Procurement
A new feature in Sales and Procurement is Encumbrance and Commitment. This feature works to improve data, tracking, balancing, and reporting of purchase orders with commitments by:
- Tracking cancel dates for POs with commitments.
- Providing a new integrity report for the PA ledger to identify discrepancies and ensure balances.
- Giving users the option to prevent a PO cancellation in a different fiscal year than it was created.
- Enabling receipt, reversal, and re-receipt of a PO without exiting the program and corrupting the PA ledger.
Financials has seen an updated Tax Field G/L Post. To reduce rounding errors associated with foreign and domestic taxes, new tax fields were added to A/P and A/R to support purchasing and sales passing detailed tax information.
With the updated Tax Field G/L Post, Purchasing and Sales directly update the detail tax fields in A/P and A/R. Additionally, New Tax application updates the tax ledger with the detail amounts, which reduces the amount of rounding errors by not recalculating taxes at a summarized amount.
This feature simplifies tax calculations so that they are only performed by the initial entry program. It also aligns tax ledger updates to work similarly to all other applications that create G/L transactions.
Another change found in Financials is G/L Componentization and Posting. This breaks out all the functionality within the post application that is not directly related to balancing, editing, creating I/C settlements, and posting from G/L transaction table to Account Balance table into separate applications. A/P and A/R pre-posts are aligned to work similarly to other applications that create G/L transactions.
By splitting up the previous application that was too large and performed too many tasks, this tool simplifies the post application to streamline enhancements and fixes in the future.
If you’re upgrading from A9.3 you’ll get all of these new features, but if you’re updating from an even older version, just think of all the new functionality you’ll have access to by upgrading to A9.4. You could have the features from A9.3, A9.2, and more at your fingertips, along with these latest offerings.
Direct Data Migration
While we’re all fans of World, it may make sense for your organization to migrate to JD Edwards EnterpriseOne in the future. Upgrading World to A9.4 is a great choice in that case, as A9.4 has a direct data migration to EnterpriseOne. That way, when the time is right, you’ll be poised for a more seamless migration.
Follow JD Edwards Best Practice
As a best practice, JDE recommends that customers maintain their environment and stay current. The best way to do this is to upgrade to A9.4, where JDE is releasing updates as they are needed.
No matter the version, a JD Edwards upgrade is always a challenge. Our clients often look for outside help, and we’re happy to lend a hand in the upgrade process. Contact our experienced team for help planning or executing your next upgrade.