"Universal_upgrade.sql failed" error when attempting to update Cort Payroll


If you are using SQL Server 2008, you may get the following error message when you attempt to upgrade the version of CORT Payroll application: "Universal_upgrade.sql failed due to the following exception "CONCAT" is not a recognized built-in function name."



This error is caused by an incompatibility in the TSQL server engine, the SQL Server 2008 version does not support the CONCAT function.

Due to the Microsoft SQL Server Lifecycle, this database engine is no longer supported since 08/09/2019. It is recommended that you upgrade to a newer version of the engine. If your IT policies prevent you from upgrading to a newer engine, please follow the following workaround steps: 


1. Replace the Universal_upgrade file.

  • Navigate to the directory where the current version of the Universal_upgrade.sql file is stored. It can be found in <installation directory>:\CORT\Payroll
  • Keep the existing file as a backup, by renaming it to something like Universal_upgrade_backup.sql, in case the file needs to be restored.
  • Download the attached Universal_upgrade.sql file which is compatible with SQL Server 2008 and paste it into this folder. 
    • This script is for Cort Payroll version 2020.October, and the change to the script was to replace CONCAT for a '+' to join a string. For instance, the change was from CONCAT('U0',...) to 'U0' + ...

2. Update the Control/Tax Database Tables: 

  • In the same Payroll folder, click on UpdateControlTables.exe:

  • In the SQL Server Name box, type the name of your database server. In the System Admin Login box, type your Microsoft SQL Server's system administrator login (e.g. SA). In the Password box, type the system administrator's password. Click on the GetDB button.
  • The DB Name drop-down menu will show the available databases. Choose the actual CORT database.
  • Click on Upgrade Database:

  • The installation will prompt with a confirmation message:

3. Syncing Citrix Environment: If you are using a Citrix environment, you will also need to refresh the Servers in your Citrix environment in order for the changes to take effect.

  • Open Citrix Studio and click on the Search menu: 
  • Navigate to the Server OS Machines Tab, and click on Refresh under the Actions Pane on the right:
  • Navigate to the Sessions Tab and click on Refresh under the Actions Pane on the right:





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