My History with Infor Visual Manufacturing

This is in response to an email I got asking me about how my upgrades went and if I used new hardware.
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When we did our big upgrade to 6.3.8, we moved the database to new hardware and then did the upgrade.
We also had a consultant do the conversion because we moved from Oracle to SQL server.
The conversion went fine. I move copies of the database to my test server all the time. Moving the databases around is no problem since there is no software tied to it directly on the DB server.
I use Microsoft DFS that comes with Server 2003 R2 and beyond to create DFS shares for my visual files. That way I can move servers around and it will not ever break Visual on the desktop.
So my Visual binary files are always loaded from v:\ and the custom reports from o:\.
I also have 3 sites with a WAN, so I use thin clients at the remote sites and a terminal server here connected to my DB server with a Gigabit line. It works great. Much better than running over the wan with just the Visual client.
Even my planners at remote sites use Remote Desktop to run Visual.

Back to the install…
It much easier to do smaller upgrades, so I have done the last 2 by myself.
Like from 6.3.8 to 6.4.1 and then I went from 6.4.1 to 6.5.1.
I upgrade Visual about once a year.
Both upgrades were very simple and the database changes were done in like 15 minutes or less.
I used to use Microsoft SMS 2003 (System Management Server 2003) to push out the software to the desktops, but it was just getting out of hand, so now I run everything from a network share and it seems to be fine.
We have about 50 concurrent Visual users and about 20 barcode stations.

I hate SQLbase. I have to use it for my some of my timekeeping software.
I use Microsoft SQL server 2005 now and it comes with Reporting services free and we use it for lots of custom web based reports. I love it.
The only thing I didn't like was that I had to re-create all my 100 users when I upgraded from SQL2000 to SQL2005. This also happens when you change servers, so I did both things at the same time, so that I would only have to re-create everyone once.

Comments

Tom said…
Ed,

We use Visual 7.0, and I believe we are on SQL Server 2008. I do a lot of reports. I was interested in the reporting feature that comes with SQL Server. I'd like to ask our SysAdmin some questions about this. Can you give me some more info on it? Thanks, Tom Huntford
Ed Hammond said…
Hi Tom,
We are currently on 7.0 SP3 with SQL 2008 R2.
We plan to use v.8 as soon as it comes out with SQL 2012.
Reporting Services is a huge part of how we operate and everyone should be using it with Visual.
The best thing about it is using scheduled reports that get emailed out every morning.
Learning to write the reports is a challenge and it helps to know Visual Basic syntax. Basic reports can be created with wizards, but you will need to write some vb to go beyond the basics.
You can get by with samples from other websites while you learn. Taking a class will go a long way and I should have done that when I started. I got a book, but that only goes so far. I would be happy to share some of my reports when I get back from vacation next week.
Buddesatva said…
I have extensive experience with Visual and have done various upgrades, patching, etc. Working for a new client. They have Visual 6.3.8 running on Oracle 9i. We are aiming to get to Visual 7.1.2 and SQL 2012. My understanding is that I need to convert to SQL 2005 first, step up Visual then step up SQL. Please advise and direct toward any hints, gotchas, etc. Thanks in advance.
Ed Hammond said…
Your plans sound correct to me. Infor has good documentation about your upgrade path.

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