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Dynamics GP Integration in Version 2010 Some Known Issues and Fixes

Version 2010 was released in Spring of 2010 and it was demonstrated in Convergence 2010 in Atlanta in April of the same year.

There were substantial improvements, especially in Email functionality.  Now you can email Invoices and Purchase Orders directly from user interface without third party add-ons.  We also like relatively large selection of Word Templates (as alternative to old-good-day Report Writer modified report: SOP Blank Form, for example).  Microsoft Management Reporter is by its demonstration more flexible comparing to traditional FRx.  All these features formed pretty good impression and numerous customers were added in 2010 and earlier 2011 ERP implementation seasons.  However old traditional Dexterity logic was broken in initial release of 2010 and even remained not fixed in Service Pack 1.  Let’s take a look at Integration Manager OLE connectors:

1. Advanced ODBC Data Source.  Unlike traditional CPA style application consultants, we are pioneering with deploying IM in quasi real time ecommerce shopping cart data feeding, parsing human friendly reports (coming as text files from something old, UNIX for example).  There are two popular drivers in that scenario.  First one would be basing your IM Data Source on MS SQL Server native driver and reading SQL custom view.  Second method is Advanced ODBC Data Source, based on text file driver.  In this scenario you can weed out such non-structural lines, as page number, report header, etc.  Plus if document lines are actually located in the table row and should be split – you can separate them by introducing Union construction in Query SQL statement.  All these were cool features and were very reliable in the past (there are known issues with Microsoft Text Driver, but we long time figured out the work around).  The sad news was the fact that Advanced ODBC data source linking was broken and the integration itself was losing the majority of records from child query.  Imagine if you are integrating SOP Invoices as images of ecommerce shopping carts – the document header is created, but lines are lost (Inventory Items) partially (with very high percentage).  We usually do not recommend new version upgrade until at least the first service pack is released.  And even in SP1 the issue was not resolved.  Hot Fix was released in late March of 2011

2. Windows 2008 64 bit and SQL Server 2008 with new SSIS.  Well, we typically recommend new trends and it is natural that 64 bit Windows is faster and SQL Server should be given the advantage of 64 bit computations.  However it is now a problem (we are using this technology ten years or more) to use such popular constructions as Linked Server, Openrowset.  If you would like such trivial in the past thing as importing Text file (without wizard, where SSIS is deployed) automatically from your custom programmed SQL trigger or stored procedure – it doesn’t work out of the box, we spent hours reading internet posts from programmers in the same situation and then decided to forget about it and move on to SSIS (which is nice tool, but at this time it looks like black box when integration is created and packaged – in contrast to its predecessor DTS or Data Transformation Services)

3. Integration Manager and eConnect.  It is definitely good news that more connectors are now available, based on eConnect technology.  If you are not familiar – eConnect is coded in encrypted SQL Stored procedures to replicate GP business logic (in creating, modifying or deleting master records and work documents), originally programmed in Great Plains Dexterity.  Based on direct SQL call, eConnect based integration should be considered as a way faster and it likely is.  If your historical integrations, currently deployed in production environment on the old version 10.0, 9.0, 8.0, you should expect some homework and technical paper reading.  The reason is simple – Microsoft changes envelop for eConnect install on your Server or Windows workstation.  With version 8.0 it was using SQL Login and Password (connecting from IM via SQL Driver).  Version 10.0 changed this way to COM+ object.  And release 2010 is deploying .Net assemblies

4. Creating ODBC connection to Dynamics GP and Advanced ODBC data source.  This is at that time trivia, but we still see customer IT people confuse.  Both GP user workstation and IM still rely on old 32 bit ODBC driver.  You cannot open it directly in Control Panel.  What you have to do is open Windows folder on your C drive, expand SysWOW64 subfolder and locate odbcad32.exe executable, where your old 32 bit ODBC control panel is

5. For additional information, please feel free to call us  1-866-528-0577  or  1-630-961-5918       (this number works for international customers) or email us help@albaspectrum.com We serve you USA/Canada nationwide via remote support (web sessions and phone/Skype conferences). Local service is available in Western Michigan, Chicagoland, Southern California (LA, Orange County, San Diego)Free Reprint Articles, Houston area of the state of Texas

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Andrew Karasev, http://www.albaspectrum.com/ Great Plains Dynamics GP and eEnterprise Certified Master, Microsoft MVP and consultant with 10 years and plus experience and expertise. Alba Spectrum,    1-866-528-0577, help@albaspectrum.com If you are thinking to implement Dynamics GP in challenging environment, we recommend you to give us a call



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