Whether you’re a customer or a partner of eOne Solutions, you may be wondering how moving from SmartConnect 2018 (or an earlier version) to SmartConnect 21 will benefit you and why the move is imperative.

In this article, we’ll go over the reasons why you should upgrade, what SmartConnect 21 offers that earlier versions didn’t, and how to prepare for the move. With the support lifecycle for SmartConnect 2018 ending soon, we want you to be informed as soon as possible about the move to SmartConnect 21.

This article is intended for anyone who already has an installed version of SmartConnect and has existing maps and integrations that need to be upgraded. If you’re implementing a new process and haven’t downloaded SmartConnect prior to this, you can simply download the newest version and get started.

Why do you need to upgrade?

SmartConnect 21 is eOne Solutions’ most substantial release since 2010.

The biggest reason you need to upgrade from SmartConnect 2018 or any earlier versions is because product updates and bug fixes will be stopping for those versions in December 2022. In only a few, short months, you won’t be able to carry out those necessary fixes and enjoy new features. Only SmartConnect 21 and upcoming versions will continue being updated.

While this may be frustrating to some users, we promise that it’s a decision that will benefit you and every other partner and customer in the short and long run.

Why did we decide to do this?

One of the many reasons we made this decision to only update SmartConnect 21 and later versions is because we want to concentrate our efforts and deliver the absolute best product to our customers.

Another reason is the differences in how the back ends of older versions operate. The structure of SmartConnect has changed from what we had between 2013 and 2018.

In the 2021 version, we sync the SQL and the code to our ongoing development with smartconnect.com, the hosted online solution. SmartConnect 21 and every version going forward will allow us and our developers to work on both the on-premise product and smartconnect.com simultaneously and sync any new features. That dual service aspect is a key piece to the SmartConnect solution.

SmartConnect 21 new features

With myriad new features installed and more to be added in the future, SmartConnect 21 has included some major changes since the 2018 version.

Deploy on-prem, cloud, or both
With SmartConnect 21, you can deploy SmartConnect using the on-premise product, access SmartConnect iPaaS (integration platform as a service) on the cloud, or do both. Cloud, on-premise & hybrid integration is available in both.

Same code set as smartconnect.com
SmartConnect 21 is the first release to feature the same code set as our online smartconnect.com product. This enables us to sync all updated features and bug fixes together and ensures both deployments are backed up fully with support and are always up to date. This will also bring over features to the on-prem product that were previously only included in the online version.

By providing synced updates to both the website and on-prem products, the process will be seamless for both us as a company performing updates and you as a customer going about your everyday tasks. This increases efficiency and ensures fewer steps are needed on our end and yours.

A new way to log in
As you’re in the process of purchasing a SaaS (software as a service) or a subscription license, the first user will now be asked to provide an email and to create a password that will be associated with the SmartConnect account. This should be performed by the person who is performing the  SmartConnect installation. This requirement is needed because of the shared code on the back end of SmartConnect 21 and all later versions.

New user interface
To make it easier for every customer, we updated the user interface and made it more streamlined to improve the user experience. Along with simplifying the menus, we also organized the main sections of the UI to make it easier to navigate the product and build integrations.

New supported connections
We added support for numerous connection instances for the same type of system, including support for multiple Dynamics NAV, GP, BC, CRM, Salesforce, etc. connections within the on-prem SmartConnect product. This means you can now run multiple different instances of the same system and connect to all of them from one SmartConnect instance/install.

More flexible data sources
To make things more flexible, data sources have been separated from integrations. In other words, data sources are created before an integration, and now more than one integration can use the same source definition. This greatly improves maintenance efficiency for larger solutions.

Improved integrations
Now you can split the destination of your integration maps across totally different instances of a connection.

Preparing for moving from SmartConnect 2018 to SmartConnect 21

To help you prepare for the move, let’s walk through the basic, first processes of this upgrade.

If you’re on an earlier version of SmartConnect, here is a checklist of what you should do prior to running the upgrade to SmartConnect 21 and after you download and install it.

  • Find out which version of SmartConnect you’re currently running. If you’re running a version earlier than SmartConnect 2018, you will need to upgrade to the 2018 version before moving to the 2021 version.
  • If you already have SmartConnect 2018, it has to be at least version or later to be compatible with the upgrade process for SmartConnect 21.
  • Uninstall the previous SmartConnect application, download and install the 2021 version, and begin running it.
  • Each customer will need to generate a new customer ID on the eOne site. Log in to eonesolutions.com to create your customer ID and your first user. This is different from the past ID you used to authenticate and get your license key. If you’re going to the website and want keys to SmartConnect 21, our sales team can help if you have any struggles.
  • Each user will need to use their email and password to log in. This is different from the past active directory. All customers will essentially have to be remapped for this upgrade process.

After you complete the preparation process and have the new version downloaded, you can start going through your connections, clean up any unused integrations, and go through tests and variables.

For a step-by-step guide and to learn more about the next steps needed for the upgrade path for existing customers, look out for the next article in this series (coming soon!).

SmartConnect 21 is now available for download from our eOne website. If you’re ready to move from the 2018 version or earlier of SmartConnect to SC 21, give us a call at eOne Solutions today with any questions. Give us a call at (888) 319-3663 or email us at sales@eonesolutions.com.