8/12/2011

ISV participation in Microsoft Dynamics Community

For those who doesn’t know what an ISV is, ISV stands for Independent Software Vendor that makes and sells software products which is added to platforms. Dynamics GP ISVs’ develop and sell extended applications to existing functionality of Dynamics GP or build industry verticals on Dynamics GP. In this article, I focus on the level of Dynamics GP ISVs’participation in Dynamics community and why it is required.

Let me go back to a couple of my implementation experiences. Way back, I implemented Dynamics GP Financials for a client which is a large money exchange house. Their primary requirement to have Dynamics GP in house is to conduct an efficient automated bank reconciliation besides other core requirements which are not required for this example. I found the various bank reconciliation solutions offered by the standard Dynamics GP out of the box doesn’t fit well to this client as the client records the bank entries at the General ledger only. So I needed the functionality that can reconcile GL with bank statement and the ability to import even complex bank statements like the SWIFT statements. The implementation budget doesn’t support to have us build an application for this and it is time consuming too. I found one product from Nolan Computers after rigorous and tireless search which exactly does this. we could procure this product at a very reasonable cost and the client is happy. What did we understand in the whole example?  An Implementation that could have been a disappointment for the client or that could have been an expensive affair for the client was totally avoided by utilizing a readily available ISV solution. Similar is the case when a Property Management requirement for a real estate giant was handled successfully by making use of Binary Stream Property Management solution.

Can You believe there are thousands of ISV made solutions available exclusively for Dynamics GP but not known to many? In earlier days, these solutions were listed in Microsoft Solution Finder later replaced by Microsoft PinPoint. One can go this site and quickly search for applications specific to the product and get several solutions that can be readily fit to your requirement.

Identifying the right solution is the primary responsibility of the Implementation partner by conducting appropriate testing and reviews, suggesting the client with the cost benefits through a comparison chart of development Vs. these third party products. So what factors govern a third party ISV to be a right solution? I’d look at the solution compatibility levels followed by the ISV credibility first in terms of the number of years they are into this market to justify their dedication and more number of customer references. Secondly, I’d look at the cost advantage by comparing similar solutions of different ISVs’ versus an in house development. Thirdly, I’d look at the recurring costs in terms of Enhancements and other support related costs.

Now, the question of the ISV responsibility comes in . What do we do if we innovate or develop something? We try to market the solution to the best of our abilities in order to let everyone know about it in the first place. Once an ISV develops and gets their product certified by Microsoft, It becomes it’s sole responsibility to actively market the product by an effective marketing strategy. Part of an effective marketing strategy is to identify your target audience. In Microsoft Dynamics, Where else can the target audience be other than the one stop shop of Microsoft Dynamics Community? I ask the ISVs’, Are you making use of this wonderful Microsoft Dynamics Community and if Yes, then to what extent? Are you making use of several hundred blogs dedicated to Microsoft Dynamics  seeking to write product reviews by first providing them with your demo solution? Are you making use of those hundreds of Social Media communities like LinkedIn to populate your products for discussion and debate? This exercise is not just meant to market your product for maximizing gains through fast sell but in order to create the desired cognizance in Microsoft Dynamics Community that a solution like this exists first of all. I’m not here to judge the participation levels individually but in general, I wonder to what extent? May be I’m ignorant on this so some one can very much enlighten me if I’m wrong.

In effect, When I as a partner or as a client is looking for a solution specific to my need of the hour and I could easily find that solution in the community library. Today, Information flow is so diversified that one article posted on one site travels to hundreds of other sites, thanks to Social Media.

Bottom line is that there is an urge for the Dynamics ISV’s to improvise their levels of participation in Dynamics Community and become more closer to the community thereby helping the community find suitable solutions so that they can in turn avoid reengineering costs for a solution that is already developed elsewhere.

8/11/2011

Integration Manager hangs in GP2010–IV Resolved

This is the last post in this series of Integration Manager error in GP 2010 that started occurring since last week. The culprit was the Microsoft Connect gadget that caused this issue. It seems the slide causing this issue has been removed yesterday and the connect service has been restored which was having issues earlier.

For more information, Visit Mariano’s blog who has provided the first hand information about the error.

Integration Manager for Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 hangs when running an integration - Follow up

Multicurrency Support in Project Accounting

Multicurrency is one important area and understanding it’s treatment in Project Accounting module of Dynamics GP is essential for a successful PA Implementation.

  1. Multicurrency is assigned in Billing currency ID in PA
  2. Originating currency is assigned for the contract first for it to be assigned to all projects under the contract. Later, the same currency is rolled on to projects.
  3. Currency for the contract and the currency for any or all of the projects under the contract cannot be different. Example: If Currency for Contract A is USD, Currency for Project A1 under contract A cannot be assigned to CAD and instead uses USD.
  4. Change orders are not supported by Multicurrency. In other words, change order tracking will be disabled if an originating currency other than functional currency is used in Contract as well as Project.
  5. Profit Types of Billing Rate and None are the only profit types that can be used on Multicurrency billing projects in PA Budgets.
  6. Multicurrency can be used with Time & Materials projects that use When Performed or When Billed accounting methods and Fixed price projects only. However, as mentioned in Point 5 above, cost categories with profit types Billing rate and None shall be used and other profit types are outside the support.
  7. Cost Plus projects are not supported by Multicurrency projects.
  8. Purchases/Material Transaction Type in Cost Categories with Inventory Items marked cannot be used on Multicurrency Projects. So, In effect, If we have a T&M Project with Billing rate profit type but has Inventory materials to be estimated and consumed for a project, the multicurrency cannot be used.
  9. Fee amounts can be entered in Multicurrency only if the Fee Amount is used as a calculation method. In other words, % Baseline cost or % of Baseline revenues cannot used.
  10. Billing shall be processed only in Billing currency ID and it cannot be even billed in functional currency if Multicurrency is used. Example: Billing currency ID is AUD. Functional Currency is USD. A Bill cannot be generated in USD but should be in AUD only.
  11. If functional currency is assigned to Billing currency ID, however, the billing can be generated in both functional currency or any other currency.
  12. Exchange rates can vary between Actual cost transactions and Billing. So, If actual cost is posted as AUD10000 @ 1.20 currency factor in functional currency USD, the total cost is $12000. At the time of billing, if the exchange rate is @ 1.50, the total cost becomes $15000. Difference of $3000 is posted to Unbilled Revenue and Unbilled AR accounts.
  13. Actual Cost transactions can be posted in any currency irrespective of the currency assigned for the project. For example, If AUD is assigned as Billing currency and Functional currency is USD, then I can use AUD, USD or even CAD.
  14. The Project status also affects how the Multicurrency is treated in PA. If the project status is Estimate, then the PA Baseline Exchange rate is used and if the project status is Open, then PA Forecast Exchange Rate is used. This rate can be assigned by accessing these windows by clicking little arrow next to Billing currency ID in PA Maintenance window. Based on the Project status, the window displayed would either be of Baseline or Forecast.
  15. The billing amount would not change if the exchange rate changes instead the difference will be adjusted in functional amount thereby passing the risk to project budgeted costs.

8/10/2011

Integration Manager hangs in GP 2010: III

Well. Someone looking at the title of the post can sense how important this topic seems to be. This is the third post in a row on the same topic. In fact this became a hot topic on community. It is worth to mention here that I’m receiving significant traffic from Google and Bing search specific to this error for the past 2 days. In the other two posts, I have covered generic troubleshooting segments for the error.

Some latest information is pouring into the community about this error that this behavior is due to a Microsoft .Net framework  update. IM is now designated as Hot topic by Microsoft which started occurring early last week. Complete information is available on this hot topic following the link here

Integration Manager for Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 is Unresponsive at the Beginning or End of an Integration 

The above link requires customer source login.

More information is available on Mariano Gomez Blog link here. Thanks to Mariano for providing this information.

Read the other two series of articles about this error, Click below

8/09/2011

Partner Point: A proactive approach MUST

Here we are talking about Dynamics GP in specific, but this is applicable to other products as well. Our job doesn’t end with just installing and deploying the solution out there. In fact, Our job as the most trusted partner would just start from there. We cannot expect the customers to constantly follow up on the latest software updates rolling down for their use because they expect they are in safe hands just like how You’d relax once you hand over your tax documents to your CPA. Microsoft on its part tries to send E-mail updates to the customers but how many of them would pay attention to these updates unless the partner approach them on a rather personalized basis explaining the benefits.

I’ll illustrate the above with an example. We know Analytical Accounting has some critical updates pending in earlier versions of GP and these were made available in GP 10 SP4. As a partner, It becomes our obligation to take this update to the customers, whether they take your advice or not is different. It happens such that when the customer reports an issue on the AA only when the partner suggests them to update the application to SP4. As trusted partner to Microsoft and the customer, We act as a bridge between the former and latter and this comes with a great responsibility.

It also becomes our responsibility to test the service packs or feature packs before deploying or suggesting the customer to upgrade the same. In some instances, We get requests from the customers asking us to upgrade to a specific service pack which is when it becomes important to help them understand the pros and cons of the upgrade rather than doing a blind upgrade.

Several Implementations have gone for a toss not for a poor implementation or a weak partner but lack of proper after implementation (sales) support the customers. In my Implementation experience, I observe the end users in some implementations who are expected to pay utmost seriousness in the training sessions during implementation phase fail to do that due to their other daily routines and they realize the importance of this exercise after the system goes live. Again, As an implementer, It is my job to ensure the end users are properly trained to use the application but still there will be gaps that are unavoidable which can only be filled up with an efficient and disciplined after implementation support.

If we change our subject more specific to GP2010, there is a need to evaluate how far and what approaches are adopted by the partners to create a full fledged awareness among their customers on the end benefits that arise out of this upgrade. Shall we do some webcasts or Shall we send some E-mail campaigns circulating what’s new presentations and documents, thanks to Microsoft for their quality of the ready to use campaigns or shall we conduct some workshops with the customers, these are the strategies that we need to put on table. Here comes the necessity to align the business goals with Customer satisfaction.

Specific to GP2010, Partners need to educate the customers about the application benefits that accrue to them by utilizing functionalities like SQL Server Reporting services, Business Analyzer, Dynamics GP Workflows, Analysis Cubes and Pivot table reports, Extender, Navigation List Builder, Word Templates, Drill Down Builder, Office Integration so on because most of these cool features are largely under utilized. If there are customers with regulatory compliance norms, they’d love to utilize Electronic signatures workflows which aren’t available as a feature in earlier versions. Just doing an upgrade without rolling these features would make the customer wonder why am I doing this?

We’re glad to have lots and lots of resources spread across Microsoft Dynamics community and Partner source that make the life easier even for a start up partner to gear up to the ultimate objective of winning the customer satisfaction.

8/08/2011

Integration Manager crashes - II

This article is a continuation of another article Integration Manager crashes published in July. I observed that the Integration Manager is hanging specially in GP2010 even in normal GP client. The behavior is such that after running an integration, the Dynamics GP screen fails to open up and dynamics.exe continue to be seen as active under processes in Windows Task Manager. Killing this process serves no good.

Possible Resolutions

1. I cannot be specific on the resolution as I have not personally experienced the error so far.

2. When we upgrade GP2010, GP2010 is installed as a separate instance and GP10 instance continue to exist and so is the case with Integration Manager for GP10.

3. In some cases, this IM instance is left installed and the same instance will be used to run the integrations on GP2010. This can lead to errors. Always ensure latest IM is installed with the required service packs.

4. It is recommended to uninstall GP10 and old IM instances from the computer completely before installing GP2010 and IM 11.

5. Another common error that we commit is to ignore converting(upgrading) the IM database from old database. Whenever we install a fresh instance of IM, it is required that the database is converted if the same integrations are required in the new one. To convert the database, Go to Tools >> Convert Database. Click Select Database and select the source database (old) and click Convert. Do not forget to copy the old database from old IM instance to this new instance before doing this exercise.

6. Do a Repair on the IM.

Update: (09-AUG-11)

Waqas has posted nice resolution to some of the Integration Manager errors that were encountered at the client machine for GP2010.

“The destination could not be initialized due to the following problem: ActiveX component can't create object”

“The destination could not be initialized due to the following problem:  Cannot create Active X Component.  Cannon create Active X Component”

“The RPC Server is unavailable “

Resolution can be adopted from his blog directly here.

http://waqasb.blogspot.com/2011/08/dynamics-gp-2010-integration-manager-11.html

Join Me on Google +

google_plusGoogle + is yet another tool for collaboration and an innovative platform in Social networking space. I liked the idea behind Google + though I disliked both Google Buzz and Google Wave. Having said that, Google + has a long way to go and it is still a just born but growing faster. I created a comparison chart of Google + and Facebook with my knowledge and understanding on both tools. it is for you to review and let me know if you find any mistakes in the chart or any additions. For those who aren’t aware of what Google + is all about, this comparison chart can be a starter as almost everyone knows how Facebook works.

Comparison Chart of Facebook and Google +

SNo Facebook Google +
1 Lists Circles
2 Friends Friends
3 Facebook Chat Google Talk
4 Facebook Video Chat Google Video Talk
5 List based Video Calls (groups) Hangout with Circles or specific Invitees
6 Assigning Lists to friends little complex Drag & Drop
7 Facebook Wall Stream
8 Privacy of Posts little complex to assign to specific lists very easy to select
9 Apps Integration – Strong Not Much
10 Sharing Options – Too Many Very Limited
11 Auto Post to Twitter or Vice Versa – Easy with existing Apps Not Yet Available but A workaround is available
12 Facebook pages No Pages
13 Facebook Groups No Groups though Google Groups exist but yet to be integrated to Google +
14 Facebook E-Mail Gmail
15 Facebook Notifications Google + Notifications
16 Facebook Photos Picasa Albums Integrated with Google +
17 Facebook Apps for Mobile Google + official App for Android
18 Upload and Share Videos Upload and Share Videos

Remember that Google+ is still in Beta stage so the above comparison will change over time.

Among all, I liked the Hangout feature in Google + that I feel can be effectively utilized for business collaboration. How I’m using it professionally besides personal use. In Google + I created various circles like Family, Friends, Colleagues so on. Apart from these personalized circles, I created circle called Dynamics GP where I intend to add all my Dynamics GP community contacts in one space so that I can share GP related updates with the community.

Here is the invitation to join me on Google +. If You wish to sign up for Google +, You can just follow this link.

Google + Invite

For regular Microsoft Dynamics updates, Follow @DynamicsBlogger on Twitter.

See You on Google +.

How to Un-Receive Items in GP2010: Video Tutorial

I’ve written an article titled Purchase Returns Treatment Enhancements in GP 2010 that describes several scenarios of making purchase returns in Dynamics GP2010. This article is further strengthened by adding a video tutorial on one of the scenarios explained in the article. I’ve just started creating videos so don’t expect much out of it as I’m still learning but enjoying this new found hobby.

Watch the Video here below (For better quality view in 720p HD)

Un-Receive Items in GP2010

8/06/2011

Edit PO Status Enhancement in GP2010

In my earlier article I discussed the Purchase Returns Treatment Enhancements in GP 2010. In line with this article, I’m showing another enhancement to Edit Purchase orders window. Compare the screens for yourself with the changes

In GP 10

Edit PO1

In GP2010

Edit PO2

In GP2010, Quantity replaced field is added which wasn’t available in GP10. The Quantity replaced field works in conjunction with the Returns Transaction Entry marked with Replace Returned Goods option.

Purchase Returns Treatment Enhancements in GP 2010

In GP2010, there are a couple of enhancements made to Returns Transaction processing in Purchase order processing module. These enhancements are

1. Option to mark Replace returned goods
2. Option to mark Invoice expected for returned goods.

Returns

Let us see how these options would affect the order processing.

Options

When to use

Results

Replace Returned Goods and Invoice Expected for Returned Goods

1. When you want to replace the returned goods, using the original purchase order.
2. When you have yet to process the invoice for the original goods. When you want to process an invoice for all of the original quantity of goods received (even though you have returned some of them).

1.Returned goods are replaced. The same purchase order is used for the replaced goods.
2.
You can process the invoice for all of the original goods, including the goods that will be replaced.

Replace Returned Goods

1. When you want to replace the returned goods, using the original purchase order.
2. When you do not expect to receive an invoice for the goods you’re returning, or when you do not expect the invoice to match the original quantity of goods.

1. Returned items are
replaced.
2. The same purchase order is
used for the replaced
items.

Invoice Expected for Returned Goods

1. When you do not want to replace the returned goods. For example, when you expect a refund or a credit.
2. When you want to close the purchase order when the invoice is processed.

1. The credit or refund occurs
separately from the
original invoice.
2. When you process the
invoice, the purchase order
is automatically closed.

Neither option is marked

1. When you do not want to replace the returned goods. For example, when you expect a refund or a credit.
2. When you have already processed the invoice, or when you do not expect to receive an invoice from the vendor.

The credit or refund occurs
separately from the
original invoice.

Example:

Scenario – 1

1. A PO is created for 10 widgets of Item A. PO status is Released.

2. 10 Widgets are received for Item A. Shipment is posted for the 10 widgets with number RCT-0001. PO status is Received.

3. The 10 widgets are found to be defective and agreed by the vendor to replace the items on Original PO itself. A Return Transaction Entry is entered and the option Replace Returned goods is marked. The return is posted. PO Status becomes released.

4. Items are replaced and a shipment entry is posted with RCT-0002. PO Status becomes received.
5. The invoice is received from the vendor for 10 widgets. Invoice is matched against Shipment in Enter/Match invoices entry. The shipment RCT-0002 is matched against the Invoice. PO Status becomes closed.

Scenario – 2

1. A PO is created for 10 widgets of Item A. PO status is Released.

2. 10 Widgets are received for Item A. Shipment is posted for the 10 widgets with number RCT-0001. PO status is Received.

3. All 10 widgets are found to be defective and agreed by the vendor to replace the items on Original PO itself but agrees for a refund on the original Invoice for original goods . A Return Transaction Entry is entered with the options Replace Returned goods and Invoice expected for  returned goods  are marked together. The return is posted. PO Status becomes released.

4. Items are replaced and a shipment entry is posted with RCT-0002. PO Status becomes received.

5. The invoice is received from the vendor for 10 widgets. Invoice is matched against Shipment in Enter/Match invoices entry. The shipment RCT-0001 and RCT-0002 are matched against the Invoice.  PO Status becomes closed.

6. Pass a refund  for the original 10 widgets.

Scenario -3

1. A PO is created for 10 widgets of Item A. PO status is Released.

2. 10 Widgets are received for Item A. Shipment is posted for the 10 widgets with number RCT-0001. PO status is Received.

3. All 10 widgets are found to be defective but vendor agrees to give a refund for the Invoice. A Return Transaction Entry is entered with the option Invoice expected for returned goods marked. The return is posted. PO Status stays received.

4. The invoice is received from the vendor for 10 widgets. Invoice is matched against Shipment in Enter/Match invoices entry. The shipment RCT-0001 is matched against the Invoice. PO Status becomes closed.

5. Pass a refund for the original 10 widgets.

Scenario –4

1. A PO is created for 10 widgets of Item A. PO status is Released.

2. 10 Widgets are received for Item A. Shipment is posted for the 10 widgets with number RCT-0001. PO status is Received.

3. All 10 widgets are found to be defective and agreed not to replace any items nor invoice for the original items. Neither options are marked. A Return Transaction Entry is posted. PO status becomes closed.

Note: Remember that the above scenarios are not exclusive but inclusive in nature suggesting that there can be several possibilities of how the returns are treated in Dynamics GP and only some scenarios are discussed.

8/05/2011

Social Media Influence on Microsoft Dynamics

Microsoft Dynamics Community is doing its best to show its strong presence in Social media. In this article, I restrict my research to the usage of Twitter. When I say Microsoft Dynamics Community, it stands for the whole community of users, partners, official dynamics community and so on and not just the official Dynamics community.

I did a small research to find out how many tweets contain the mention of Microsoft Dynamics in particular. Here is the total count of Tweets containing specific keywords related to Microsoft Dynamics.

                                   Timeline Microsoft Dynamics Dynamics GP Dynamics AX Dynamics CRM #MSDYNGP #MSDYNAX #MSDYNCRM #CRM2011

Past 7 Days

1,220

283

726

745

145

126

258

214

Past 30 Days

4,727

1,059

2,271

3,177

434

465

1,397

989

All time

32,000

7,356

10,000

22,000

1,195

1,374

6,843

4,476

Note that there might be duplicates and several combinations might exist such that different keywords might be used in the same tweet so the number will not be that accurate except to show us a trend. Please note that the data is collected from available sources on net and hence may be accurate or not accurate.

When we compare the above figures to any benchmark the figures are so low which reveals the fact that the social media influence on Microsoft Dynamics product is low.

In a world where there is a solid penetration into Social media ignoring these trends will only be a mistake for any corporate indicating that we have some lessons to be learned here. Having said that, I must appreciate the social media drive initiated by the official Microsoft Dynamics Community (#MSDYNCOMM) playing a vital role in the Social Media through variety of sources like You Tube Video Channel, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and so on.

We live in a world where we have stiff but healthy competition between partners of the same product family but must not ignore the brand as a whole that positioning Microsoft Dynamics as a brand against other industry products is vital. Attaining customer satisfaction through enhancing the product functionality and meeting the customer needs on one hand will help the positioning of brand while on the other hand, positioning brand in marketplace through various campaigns like social media marketing is a MUST.

There are a lot of official and unofficial Microsoft Dynamics social media channels at your disposal but not effectively utilized by the community yet. We must ensure these channels are utilized to the maximum levels to extend the reach, increase demand and become much closer to your customers.

There are some official hash tags recommended for twitter usage. Tagging with uniformity and one language ensures the message reaches everyone following the Microsoft Dynamics thereby providing maximum reach for your messages.

  • #MSDYNCRM – Microsoft Dynamics CRM
  • #CRM2011 – Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011
  • #MSDYNERP – Microsoft Dynamics ERP
  • #MSDYNAX and #AX2012 – Microsoft Dynamics AX and Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012
  • #MSDYNSL – Microsoft Dynamics SL
  • #MSDYNNAV – Microsoft Dynamics NAV
  • #MSDYNGP – Microsoft Dynamics GP
  • #MSDYNCOMM – Microsoft Dynamics Community
  • #CONV11 – Microsoft Dynamics Convergence 2011

I will try to cover the available resources in other social media networking sites like Facebook, You tube so on in other articles.

Don’t forget to follow @dynamicsblogger on Twitter if you haven’t yet.

8/04/2011

Microsoft Dynamics Knowledgebase is no more a private Affair?

Yes. You read it correct. Those articles that were hidden behind the Microsoft Dynamics Partner source or Customer source SSL security wall have broken the wall it seems, thanks to Microsoft Support center. However, It is not 100% yet but there are significant numbers available on Microsoft public support. There are still lot of KB resources inside this great wall of Microsoft Windows Live secure access. It looks like this initiative is part of a  broad Microsoft Dynamics product strategy that is aiming at providing the customers with more free resources of information thereby creating a renewed confidence in the products that already exist with many but to increase it further.

It was a long debate in Dynamics community as to why the articles should be locked inside the Partner source or customer source while the other Microsoft support articles are available in public domain. I think this initiative was first started by Microsoft Dynamics AX team which was later taken by other products team, Dynamics CRM then followed by Dynamics GP.

However, We still need to access the Partner source or customer source for downloading any SQL Scripts or download product related updates.

Few Examples of Articles available on Microsoft Support which was earlier on Partner source

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2525132

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/852064

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/851522

So How do we go and search for these articles on Microsoft support.

1. Go to Support.Microsoft.com

2. You’ll see a Bing search option above the site at extreme right

Bing

3. Enter the Keyword and make sure to tick only search Microsoft support

Bing1

4. See the articles applicable to you.

How to Remove Analytical Accounting from Dynamics GP

Someone was asking me recently how to remove Analytical accounting completely from Dynamics GP 10 or 2010 for all companies. Here comes the detailed mechanism to do that.

1. Go to Add/Remove Programs

2. Select Microsoft Dynamics GP 10.0 (or Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010) from the list of programs and click change

3. Click Add/Remove Features

4. You’ll see Analytical Accounting is marked in select features window. Click Do not Install feature in AA Click Next and click finish.

5. Download the following scripts from Partner source or Customer source

    1. SQL Script 1
    2. SQL Script 2

6. Run the above scripts in SQL Server Management Studio against DYNAMICS database.

7. Run the following statement against DYNAMICS Database in SQL Server Management Studio

Delete DB_Upgrade where PRODID='3180' 
Delete DU000020 where PRODID='3180’


IMPORTANT: Please take backups of both databases and application folders prior to the uninstall process. 

8/03/2011

Management Reporter Migration: My Take

When I had the first look at the management reporter, I’m quite impressed with its clean interface. I still remember when I wanted to install this piece of application on my Lenovo T410 ThinkPad, I was at home. I thought it is another windows executable straight installation. I was wrong and quickly realized it requires an active domain presence to even install it unlike other Microsoft applications which strictly ask for domain, but still allow us to install on a computer enabled with domain not necessarily asking us to be connected to the network. One such example is Dynamics AX.

Not necessarily all customers working on Dynamics GP own a domain network as they feel comfortable with a workgroup environment. Neither Dynamics GP nor the traditional FRx software forced them to upgrade the network to a domain till date and both of them proudly tell the customer to feed them with a domain and happy with wherever they are dumped. Thanks to their simplicity and modesty.

However, FRx, showed its discomfort with the 64-bit servers and insisted on it being installed on 32-bit servers. This drawback has become a selling point for Management Reporter and to proudly say that this piece supports 64-bit server thus becoming a great alternative to FRx at least on infrastructure side of it.

On one hand, MR brought lots of advantages like the 64-bit support and on the other hand, It also came up with a disadvantage, minor but critical that a domain network is MUST for it to work upon.

Thanks to my VPN connectivity, I could even connect to MR when I go out of office but what about those customers without these tools in place?

Which is why I feel some customers are still weighing their options to migrate to this masterpiece.

How to Install GP2010 R2 VPC on Windows 7

This article contains the detailed steps to install GP2010 R2 VPC on Windows 7. Please do note that the GP2010 R2 VPC is available to partners exclusively for download on partnersource.

I. Download GP2010 R2 VPC Images

1. Download GP2010 R2 RTM Technical demonstration toolkit from partnersource following the link below. (This is the final 32-bit VPC for Dynamics GP and future VPC will be on 64-bit Hyper-V Images) Don’t worry. I’ll cover how to install the 64-bit VPC on Windows 7 with an alternate to Hyper-V as and when released. As I wrote this article, I noticed that I’ve downloaded and configured GP2010 R2 Core plus Beta VPC. Below link is for GP2010 R2 RTM image download. I don’t think anything would have changed in installation and configuration of the same. Please let me know if you have problems configuring the VPC with below instructions to update the same here.

Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 R2 RTM Technical Demonstration Toolkit

2. Unzip the contents to your local drive or external hard drive.

II. Download Windows XP mode

windows XP mode

1. Make sure your Windows 7 is a genuine copy as the XP mode download checks this as a prerequisite.

2. Select your edition of Windows 7 and language.

3. Click to download Windows XP mode for Windows 7. Link to download page is provided here.

Download Windows XP Mode

4. Install the Windows XP mode and restart the computer.

III. Download Windows Virtual PC

1. Download Windows Virtual PC from the download Windows XP mode page provided above

2. Install Windows Virtual PC.

3. Before installing Windows Virtual PC, Make sure Virtualization is enabled in your system otherwise it will give you an error.To rectify this issue, Enable the virtualization in BIOS.

IV. Configure GP2010 R2 DC (Domain Controller)

1. Start the Windows Virtual PC

2. Click Create New Virtual Machine as shown below

VPC_1

3. Provide Name and Location where the VPC for DC is located

image

4. Assign RAM mark to use networking connections. Minimum RAM is enough for DC as we don’t work on this much. I assigned 512MB RAM.

image

5. Do not Enable Undo hard Disks if you wish to save your settings within VPC otherwise settings will be lost every time you restart the VPC. Click Create to create your first VPC.

image

6. Right click the VPC just created. Go to Settings. In Hard Disk 1, Make sure the VHD File is pointing to the path that you have saved the GP2010 R2 DC VPC image. Extension of the file will be .vhd.

image

7. Click OK

V. Configure GP2010 R2 Application VPC

1. After configuring GP2010 R2 DC, It is time to configure GP2010 R2 Application image. Remember that the Domain controller and Application server have to be configured separately and the domain controller has to be kept running while working on the Application server in order to have the SharePoint applications like Business Portal, Workflows and Management Reporter running.

2.  Follow same steps 1-7 above utilized for configuring the DC except for below

    • Assign Name differently like GP2010 R2 in step 3.
    • Assign more RAM like 2GB for this VPC as this consumes more resources

Important: It is mandatory that you configure Domain controller VPC and Application VPC separately. Once configured, First Start the DC and you can leave it in log off mode but it should be running. Next, Start the Application VPC.

Once the Application server is logged into, Log in to Business Portal, Management Reporter applications to check the applications opening up properly otherwise you have to look at the IP settings for both DC and Application as they are configured with static values.

Dynamics GP Online services DLL Error

Quite recently I installed Encumbrance Management module through Add/Remove Programs menu in Dynamics GP 2010 R2 DVD. The installation was simple and fine. I ran utilities and logged into to Dynamics GP using sa. It logs me in successfully however parallel to the login process, the error below is surfaced.

online services error


Microsoft.Dynamics.GP.Online services.dll: The type initializer for Microsoft.Dexterity.Applications.root threw an exception.InnerException: parameter name ProductID.


Resolution

I did a Repair on Dynamics GP 2010 R2. I logged back. The error didn’t' surface again. The cause of the error is unknown though I know it is due to Dynamics GP online services.

Inventory HITB Smart list download: Update

I updated the Historical Inventory Trial Balance Smart list Builder report to version 1.1. In this version, the following changes are made to the earlier version 1.0.

  1. Added Excel Report Builder Report in addition to SLB Report. So, You can easily explore the results in Excel directly instead of exporting to excel every time.
  2. Added GL Balance as a calculated field which is a Net Balance field of Debit and Credit amounts on GL side of the report so as to easily compare against Extended cost field on Inventory side
  3. Added Account Description field to the Inventory and Inventory offset accounts.
  4. In Excel Report Builder for GP 10, we can arrange the fields using columns option so I have arranged the fields in Excel report but for smart list, I suggest to arrange fields globally by going to smart list options in System setup. This is not an issue in GP 11 though as we have options in GP 11 for the same.
  5. Separate Report is provided for Dynamics GP 11. See below

Download the Update files below

  1. For Dynamics GP 10: Version 1.1 Download
  2. For Dynamics GP 2010: Version 1.0 Download

Version Change History

  1. HITB V1.0 – Published on 06-FEB-11 (For Dynamics GP 10)
  2. HITB V1.1 – Published on 03-AUG-11 (For Dynamics GP 10)
  3. HITB 2010 V1.0 – Published on 03-AUG-11 (For Dynamics GP 2010)