How do you keep track of your changes/customizations to Epicor?

I have been acting as the Epicor admin for my company for a few years and was recently asked to start recording any changes I make like ud fields, customizations or BPMs.

Does anyone already do this? What software do you use and how specific are you with the details?

Hi Yelena,

Our method isn’t too elegant, but it’s worked for multiple developers in system. We have a list of SCRs held in Excel sheet and available read-only for all users in system. All users must submit an SCR form, approved by a manager to request system changes (e.g., dashboard requests, report request, customization requests, bulk data audits/change requests, etc). Developer makes notes on SCR form and saves it in submitted SCRs folder. Users may look at Excel list to see status of their SCR.

Then we have Excel workbooks, one for UDtable field assignments and then one for Non UD table field assignments. All mapping is noted and developer initials and dates each field used. This ensures we do not crush eachother’s use of a field. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to have SCRs listed here too, but we haven’t done it to date.

Finally, at the beginning of each customization, we comment code to note with a revision designation, i.e., *******Rev1 NH 3/13/2018 SCR218: provided UD field for Freight Cost. ********etc.
Also, in crystal reports we have a comments field in Formulas to note changes, date, initials, SCR.
Also, our BPMs are given group names that are based on SCR and brief description. e.g. SCR398-EnsureSODatesComplete.

I am sure there are more elegant methods. However, this has worked fairly well to leave a nice trail of breadcrumbs for developers. We also get financial audits that address our use of system change control annually and our method has proved acceptable.

Nancy

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Dear Nancy,

We use something similar, and we’re getting more thorough as we move through the 10.1 uplift. With BAQ data pulls we can get XXXdef, Menu, Dashboard, BAQ Reports, report styles, quick search, etc and we have them in tabs of a spreadsheet. We have a diligent person who regularly reviews changes and enters each one, along with embellished comments, into a shared-drive spreadsheet and it has a designated maintenance person. What isn’t easy to document with any assistance from technology is our use of UD fields, so here it’s even more important to record the information when the customization is first installed.

Almost forgot. With careful manipulation of your menu records, you can reveal which of your many customizations are actually hung in a menu, and in so doing you can unearth outdated ones.

HTH

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It doesn’t include the UD fields but there’s a Unique Business Component Tracker since 10.1. that shows BAQs, BPMs, Report Styles, Menu, items, etc. Not sure if it’s a SaaS-only thing though.

Solutions are a good way to keep most customizations too…

Mark W.

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We run E10.1.600.8 using on site servers. This feature is not available to us but it looks really good. Is there any way to get it?

Rick Stannard

IT Project Manager

860-599-6203

860-405-4430

Not sure Rick. @aidacra will have to tell us if you have to move to the Cloud to get it or not…

Mark W.

Horribly named but if you use Solution Workbench with solutions as your change management system you can look at all installed changes:
image

Just don’t delete anything but it will show all changes.
Safe Harbor
We are looking to change that to View with an optional Delete UI Pattern but no roadmap for that ease of use to reduce confusion.

With the new SQL Script Solution abilities in 10.2, you can do a lot of things now in SW.

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We didn’t use Solutions but that’s a good reason to I suppose.

SW doesn't have a good history - well known. The plumbing under it though has gone through a major rewrite starting in 10.1.600 and in each release more changed. More to do but it's a completely revamped engine underneath.

Some subsystems leveraged have not changed -
e.g. SW is just an orchestration engine that vectors work to a modules UpdateExt or a custom handler like BPM. Those subsystems need some increased functionality like better error detection and messages.

That and the SW UX needs some care and feeding but there is a lot of work that continues to improve SW as a critical component to handling changes. The latest CSF module will be installed with SW for example. Dog fooding more and more is improving it. Now if we can tackle the ease of use I’ll be happy.

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SW has come a long way, we were able to export/import our SSRS RDD & Styles. The other BPMs, BAQ/Dashboards, were not done that way when we pulled them from our Pilot/Test DBs.

We were just in the habit of direct import the BAQs in BAQ Designer and such.

Vote for Configurators and associated Configurator Lookup Tables to be added to the SW. :+1:

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@Bart I use Solution Workbench for tracking, however usually development is done in a Test or Dev environment and I build the Solution Package in SW but when I import the package into the Live environment it installs everything fine but it doesn’t import the SW data so I end up recreating the SW records, anyway this could be added so that SW would end up showing everything that was installed or manually created?
I don’t mind recreating the SW in the Live as I use it as a confirmation against Test/Dev that everything made it.
Or maybe I’m missing something or doing something wrong?

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If you have an Epicor Project Control Centre SharePoint site (which I think each customer has) you can log customisations there.

You could leverage the ERP Analyzer to start with a very detailed and accurate baseline of what exists within your database.

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Here is a dashboard by Doug Kros at Epicor which was posted publicly. It lists pretty much everything you would need. I’m using it on 10.1.500.11


System Customizations Tracker by Doug Kros, SE at Epicor.dbd (1.2 MB)

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We use a system similar to the Excel spreadsheets mentioned, but in the cloud-based SmartSheet tool. In addition to the data in the spreadsheet where we list the names of UD fields, BPMs, BAQs, etc. SmartSheet allows files to be attached to each line, so solution documents, screenshots, or even an exported customization can be attached. It has built in commenting, update requests, and even an online form tool for new submissions. Accessibility is much improved over Excel or SharePoint, since it’s cloud-based, simple and you can control who can edit vs. just view a sheet. It’s nothing fancy, but has been a real life-saver.

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It depends on which data you are discussing. If you are discussing ‘seed data’ for the apps modules - that’s still manual unfortunately. We do support vanilla SQL scripts now in 10.2 though:
image

This allows you to leverage any data tools you have to ‘diff’ dbs and packages them as a sql insert script. ( I personally like Redgate but any should be fine). Review in help @ Solution Workbench > Detail > Database Scripts

Bumping an old topic but THANK YOU @markb_wi and @dkros for this post. I just imported it into my 10.2.100.33 that inherited from many cooks in the kitchen. I’m a bit overwhelmed by the sheer volume of stuff it turned up, but at least I know what’s there. Works beautifully.

I have been using a modified version for the last few months and it is a wonderful asset! Such feature should have been part of Epicor vanilla! … i will look at the Epicor suggestion page if anyone has added this feature…to vote on!! if not will add it!

Pierre

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Ben woyons donc, I didn’t even think of that