Monday, July 28, 2008

Snapshot tool from David Musgrave

David Musgrave has released a basic unsupported version of a highly useful product Snapshot to setup, pre-load and migrate data to GP. I am as excited about this as I was about "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" and "The Dark Knight".

Here are the the example uses -

•  Automatic pre-loading of data into new companies. You could pre-
load tax schedules, charts of accounts, module Setup information, etc.

•  Pre-loading of data into new companies using the wizard to select the
appropriate  profile.    For  example,  you  could  supply  profiles  for
different business types.

•  Copying  specific  data  from  any  product  for  backup  or  support
purposes.  Can be used to send specified table data via email rather
than an entire company. 

•  Backing up and restoring Sales Consultant’s demonstration systems
created for demonstrating specific products.

•  Backing up and restoring specific data to return to a known state for
development SQA (Software Quality Assurance) purposes.

•  Copying data between different companies on a system.

•  Copying  data  between  different  systems,  independent  of  database
platform, account framework or sort order.

•  Corporate data archiving by copying selected data using the where
clause and then clearing those selected records from the table. 
•  Migrating data between platforms, especially for 3rd  party products
that do not have migration facilities.
•  Creating or re-creating tables, especially for 3rd  party products that do
not have installation scripts.

•  Creating  or  re-creating  the  Dexterity  automatic  stored  procedures,
especially when a Dexterity runtime update recommends recreation of
the store procedures.

•  Ensuring  access  is  granted  to  tables  and  stored  procedures,  by
requesting SnapShot to create the tables without dropping them first.

•  Obtaining a resource description report for tables and fields from any

•  Obtaining resource information as a tab delimited file for importing
into  the  data  dictionary  of  your  favorite  data  mining  or  reporting

•  Obtaining resource information as an XML file for use with any XML
compatible application.

Do check it out!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Dynamics GP is "cool"

Today must be the "being cool" day. Can you link GP to iPhone and gaming ?

Mark writes about an iPhone interface for DynamicsGP.

David Musgrave writes about a dexterity game. (Is he like the "Father of Great Plains"?)

Include his chunk file and you have a game inside GP.

Now only if Dexterity game interface looked a bit more like a sales invoice window - I could recommend it to the cute gal who makes sales transaction entries all day and gets pretty bored. She could play it without letting anybody know. Everybody deserves a break, don't they ?

Something like the now defunct workfriendly

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Excel Being Mr Smartass - Episode #599

A user trying to import a Budget into Dynamics GP kept getting an error - “The number of periods for the budget does not match the number of columns in Excel. Import will not be able to complete.”

Being pretty smart - he tried exporting out a blank template from GP and then importing it back in, and still got the error. He compared all the columns one by one and they all seemed same. He tried deleting columns, using different version of Excel ... but could not get rid of the error.

So we started researching and found that their Fiscal Periods were named - "January", February", "March" ...

On export, excel automatically converted the columns to DATE format each time. GP, however, was looking for TEXT format.

The resolution from Microsoft to fix this is -

1. In the Excel worksheet, highlight all the column headers for the periods.

2. For Office 2003: On the Format menu, click Cells.

For Office 2007: Right click on cell and select Format cell..

3. On the Number tab, click Text in the Category list.

4. Click OK.

5. If the cells are changed to numbers, re-enter the period headers to match the fiscal period setup.

I do appreciate GP support identifying the problem and offering a solution. I can understand why GP has a problem, and I can understand why 90% of the users would not figure this out themselves. This is just excel being Mr Smartass. All over again.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Conditional Logo Example from David Musgrave


David ... writes about something which we get requested for every couple of months - having different logos to show up in different companies in GP Companies. We generally end up setting a blank form for one company and short form for another and so on... We copy over the format using a text editor (which reduces the task from 20 hours to 5 minutes). However, it is still a pain ... explaining to users about this and it is a work-around.

David's solution is to use conditional fields. The one problem he points out is that "This technique works when the logos are in different locations on the page."

I'll try and look further at that.

From David's Blog (He has provided a sample download)-

"The following Report Writer example demonstrates how it is possible to show different logo images on a report based on a defined condition. 

The Report Writer was used to create a custom report which has two logos on it.  Then each logo covered with a string conditional calculated field, which has the background and foreground color set to white and the field mode of Hide When Empty.  Then the condition is added to either set the field to a character (I used period/full stop) or empty.  This causes the logo to be covered or exposed.  The second calculated field uses the reversed condition."

Friday, July 11, 2008

Microsoft Dynamics Knowledge Base Trivia

There are "roughly about 1200 articles for Microsoft Dynamics AX, 1900 for Microsoft Dynamics CRM, 2000 for Microsoft Dynamics NAV, 9500 for Microsoft Dynamics SL and 15000 for Microsoft Dynamics GP"

According to the newly published FAQ document on Partnersource.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

From Hero to ...

Lazy Thursday afternoon. I was helping a client who had a batch stuck problem. The batches couldnt be recovered from the batch recovery.

User : "Will it take long ?"

Me : "No, it shouldn't"

User : "Can you show me how to fix it, so I don't have to bother you next time around."

Me : "Hmm.... Sure......I'll install a small utility and next time you can do this yourself."

User : "Wow!"

The user seemed smart, so I downloaded and installed the automated solution for Batch Stuck in Posting. She had two stuck batches, so I ran the utility to show her how easily she could make the batches available again. I pointed out the problem in the batch that caused it to get stuck. And I explained how they could check this before posting to avoid this in the future.

She looked happy and I felt like a hero.

User : "This is so great! Thank you!"

I should have left then, but I was happy showing how easy it was. And a part of me likes to test everything. So I tried to open the second batch and got this error message

"Unhandled script exception: Index 0 of array 'VerifyBatchTotals' is out of range in script 'Batch_Lookup_ Scrolling_ Window SCROLL_FILL' . Script terminated"


Me : "Hmm ... I will need to check the server for this, Give me 10 minutes!"

User : "If it helps, it was a recurring batch"

So I went to the database and saw there was a corrupt record in SY000500. I fixed it. The error went away but so did my smooth show. It was like Roger Federer double faulting 3 times at matchpoint!

It was an old recurring batch and I saw in an old Database Backup that the entry was corrupted long time back. Running the utility made the batch available(Changes the batch status bit to 0) but caused all these other errors.

Correct Journal Entry window Performance Problems

I saw a problem recently when a user had trouble while trying to load up entry list in the Correct Journal Entry Window. I gave up after about 10 minutes. I then remembered having read about this in the newsgroups.

I checked and their is a KB article (925326 - Microsoft Dynamics GP takes a long time to display the entry list after you open the "Original Journal Entries" window) out there that fixes the issue. The article provides a small script which adds a non clustered index to the GL30000 and the GL20000 tables.

Also, this problem occurs when the back-end is SQL 2005.