Monday, November 25, 2013

Dynamics GP Dashboard template for Office 365 now available

Microsoft has just made available the Dashboard template that can be used to create a new SharePoint Online subsite in Office 365. Previously, creating a sharepoint site involved a few manual steps. By importing the template which Microsoft has provided, you can create a subsite from the template very quickly.

Check out the details at -

To use the SharePoint template you need Microsoft Office 365 E3 plan or E3 trial plan.


Microsoft Surface 2 Review – and Tips

I bought a Surface 2 as an impulse purchase last week, knowing fully well that I might regret not buying the more beefier Surface 2 Pro. Lighter than the Pro, and only allowing apps to be installed from the windows store, the RT version of Surface just seemed limited. However, here is how I justified the Surface 2 RT over the Surface 2 Pro -

  • Its lighter (680 gm)
  • Longer Battery Life (around 10 hours)
  • I already have a laptop for the beefier work.
  • Cheaper (AU$ 527 for 32 GB version vs. AU $1016 for the Pro 2 64 GB). In addition, there was a discount on the tablet at the conference I was attending.

In addition, I could do the following easily -

  • Connect to Azure Virtual Machines
  • Use full version of Microsoft Office (actually almost full, as it doesn't support VBA, but that wasn’t important for me).

One week later, I am not regretting getting the Surface 2 at all. In fact, I have been pleasantly surprised multiple times. It started with the two freebies

  • One year of Skype Unlimited World subscription : Living in Australia, and making a lot of calls to US, I always bought this anyway. I used to pay $45 every quarter for unlimited calls to US – so that was immediately a saving of $180 for me.
  • 2 years of 200 GB free with SkyDrive : This means $200 of free storage for two years. After that I will have to either pay or download and dump it else where.  I currently have a Dropbox subscription, but its $199.20 per year. Skydrive is almost half the cost, so there is a big chance I’ll probably just end up using Skydrive storage.

I almost missed these two – till Sharepoint MVP Sezai Komur pointed them out to me.

Multiple Windows Stacking -

I was meanwhile, already loving the ability to stack multiple windows side by side so easily. So I could have skype open for instant messages and read my email at the same time. If two windows were not enough – Scott Hanselman by changing the resolution, showed how you could stack 3 windows. Its 1080p, so this does work pretty well.


Screenshot (1) 

Remote Desktop

This was again extremely easy out of the box, and with the great support of running GP on Azure – I am really looking forward to this. Again Scott Hanselman has a great set of tips on making this experience optimal - Using a Surface 2 (RT/ARM) to get actual work done + Remote Desktop + Visual Studio + Azure.

Business Analyzer App

This app was the reason I bought my first tablet a few years back. It’s been updated quite a few times and I think with the lightweight surface – I’ll be using this even more.



One of the big issues I had with the first version of the surface was the inability to keep it on my lap and work. Microsoft’s listened and added a Dual-position Kickstand. This really helps keep it stable when you can’t grab a table.


I think with the second refresh of the Surface, Microsoft really has a strong competitor to the iPads and the android tablets.  The iOS app store still has a much greater selection of apps, but for a majority of my work which is in Microsoft Office, Surface is now my go-to device. The native Remote Desktop support helps as well. I’ll still be gifting my grandma an iPad, but for most working people – Surface is going to be my recommendation.

UPDATE : Leon Tribe also has a great review on the Surface 2 - Review: Surface 2 32G (Why I Am Shocked How Good It Is)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Business Analyzer New Release is out in the App Store

Readers of this blog might remember that I have been a fan of the beautiful business analyzer application for Dynamics GP for a long time. In fact it has been almost 2 years since I posted my video on a windows touch table - Dynamics GP Business Analyzer on a Windows Touch Tablet.

Meanwhile, the product has received a lot of updates, and its a great fit for Windows touch tablets. A new release came out over the weekend, and if you have not yet tested this application – not is a great time. Ian Grieve has great instructions if you need help installing this app - Installing Business Analyzer R5 From The Windows 8 App Store