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Upgrade OpenERP the Mad Scientist way

If you happen not to know OpenERP, its one of the best opensource ERP solutions. There is also OpenBravo, but why I settled to concentrate on deploying OpenERP is because its simpler and quicker to fix errors as compared to OpenBravo.

I have installed the 5.0.6 version on a number of clients and overtime we have had to fix some bugs the mad scientist way.
What I mean by mad scientist way, we don’t document changes, we don’t use any version control, and we leave the fixes at the client. But this hasn’t gone really well over time, as the number of bugs in accounting and currency issues have increasingly crippled up as its being used more.

The solution to this was to Upgrade to the latest version 5.0.14 where majority of the issues have been fixed. This is where the nightmare starts. We don’t keep track of changes/fixes  made to the different modules, though we have an idea of which modules we might have changed overtime. But since we have a couple clients, different fixes have been made to these clients and no track of which changes. This meant a manual upgrade using some kind of file comparison tool.

Two choices of manual upgrade, move new changes to old or old changes to new. Of course move new changes to old was not a workable solution. Old changes to new became preference.

Here are the steps followed:-

1. Backup the databases

2. Backup the server folder

3. Uninstall the OpenERP server

4. Install the new version of OpenERP and after stop the OpenERP service

5. Use a comparison tool to move changes from the Old addons folder to the new one.
I use beyond compare for file and folder comparisons. This step probably will take more time around 30-40minutes tops to merge python and report files that were customized. Move existing modules in the old that don’t exist in the new addons folder.

6. Upgrade the database.
For linux, start the openerp server with the –update=all parameter.
For windows, as an administrator open the command prompt (cmd).  Change to the openerp  server directory and start the server with openerp-server.exe –update=all to update the modules.
This process will take a short while (1-2minutes max) and the database won’t be accessible by the client

7. After the database upgrade  you can start poking around your old modules you moved to the new to make sure that they where working. I had some  that where not working, reports screwed up, but majority where simple fixes.
Finally, your up and running the latest version. This has taught me a major lesson, document all changes/fixes you make yourself to applications and also keep track of them in the source control. Now next thing I will be setting up my old local svn server to keep track of the changes I make to OpenERP and also changes I will be merging from the subsequent releases.

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