With the recent release of CRM 2013 Update Rollup 2 aka UR 2, I thought this might be a good time to share what I’ve learned over the years from my experience and the experience of others regarding the deployment of Update Rollups to production.
Here are a few guiding principles that should help to ensure a more smooth rollout of Update Rollups.
Sometimes there can be unexpected issues related to the UR that could break something that is working. Yes, it does sometimes happen even when the most rigorous regression testing is applied. Following the tips below should help to ensure you do not experience an unexpected issue.
Read, um read & read one more time. Update Rollups include fixes to issues. Also, listen to the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Podcast that the Premier Field Engineer team does for each UR. If you are not experiencing issues that are addressed, it is ok to skip a UR or two. Keep in mind, sometimes there are hidden gems in the UR, like performance enhancements, so take your time when reading through the list and making your decision.
Turn off automatic updates to the CRM servers. You’ll want to devise a methodical and tested approach to applying updates to servers. A methodical approach should include always applying the Update Rollup to a development environment first and ensure end users have fully tested the UR prior to deploying to production. I recommend creating a test plan that includes a list of test scripts that users are required to run on the test environment. You should have a ‘base’ list of test scripts to work from and update the list based on the information you glean from the UR. Add scripts that will test the components referenced in the UR.
Understand that Client side update rollups will automatically be delivered through the Windows Update Service in a week or two after the UR release data. Therefore, be sure to include tests to the Outlook Client in your scenario. If you do happen to run across a breaking issue, you can temporarily turn off Windows Updates to the client machines until the issue is addressed.
Taking some time up front to apply a methodical approach to testing Update Rollups could save you some time and frustration if or when something unexpected happens. You can work with a cross functional team made up of IT and CRM end users to create your testing process to included test scripts. Once you’ve done a couple of these, it will become quite easy.
Be sure to check out the CRM 2013 UR 2 Podcast