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Dynamics GP Software Developer Notes: Great Plains Customizations

Great Plains Microsoft Dynamics GP Guru series.  GP customizations tools review and FAQ, international support and programming, ecommerce, retail barcode scanning, Great Plains international localization, user interface extensions, Dexterity custom add-ons

Microsoft Dynamics GP is reasonably open for various custom integrations and user interface extension projects through several programming and software development tools: Great Plains Dexterity, eConnect, Extender, Integration Manager with VBA scripting, Modifier with VBA, plus you can always do program ecommerce web extensions and integrations via SQL Stored Procedures or eConnect with generic C# or VB.Net web programming project.  This small publication is a review of these tools and options in the bullet style format:


1.       Dexterity.  This tools is original architecture foundation, it was designed in earlier 1990th as the shell for Great Plains Dynamics. Dexterity has its own scripting language, which is in fact compiled - Sanscript.  Dexterity programming allows you to control and alter every existing GP object, plus you can do all sort of custom add-ons.  If you do not have Dex programming experience, you might be discouraged by its complexity, however there are Dynamics GP customization project, where you have to code in Dexterity, especially when you have to call GP native logic, meaning calling such processes as Batch Posting from your custom module.  Consider outsourcing Dex programming routines to Dynamics GP ISV Partners, who maintains Dexterity Software Development Factory


2.       eConnect SDK.  In your MS Visual Studio C#, VB or another programming language project you can include eConnect libraries and quickly learn on eConnect code snippets how to program various GP objects: Customer, Vendor, Item, Address, Sales Invoice, Customer Payment, etc.  Initially eConnect was introduced for ecommerce developers, however for Dynamics GP 10.0 and to some extent 9.0 eConnect covers most of the business logic (except Posting and working with Posted and Historical data).  We recommend you to try eConnect programming on your own if you are MS Visual Studio Programmer and work for the company where you plan Dynamics GP integrations, especially for eCommerce.  We are kind of resisting to recommend you eConnect if you on Dynamics GP 8.0 or 7.5, in our opinion it is more efficient to upgrade to Dynamics GP 10.0 and then deploy eConnect programming for current GP version


3.       Modifier with VBA scripts.  GP Modifier allows you to change existing GP window layout (rename the field, change its position) plus add new fields and attach custom VBA scripts to them.  We recommend this tool for simple modifications, and for heavy customizations consider Dexterity, Extender or eConnect


4.       Dynamics GP Integration Manager Custom integrations.  IM is user friendly integrations tool, however if you are VBA or Microsoft Office programmer, it should be easy for you to further advance integration logic by Before Integration, Before Document Commit and other event driven scripts


5.       SQL Scripting in Dynamics GP.  Theoretically, most of the scripting is already done in eConnect, as this SDK is duplicating Dexterity code in SQL encrypted stored procedures.  However if you think that eConnect learning curve is too long and you would like just to glance and GP tables structure and begin SQL scripting - then please install Dynamics GP SDK from CD #2 or look at the tables and forms descriptions: Dynamics GP->Tools->Resource Descriptions->Tables


6.       Extender.  This Dynamics GP modification tool is friendly for non technical Great Plains Consultant.  Extender itself is written as the Dexterity application or add-on.  If you think that Dynamics GP native Extender is too restricted, consider calling to Extender Dynamics GP ISV in Australia to get Enterprise version


7.       Dynamics GP Barcoding Custom Add-Ons.  Barcode Scanning in Retail, Warehouse Management and Supply Chain Management should be first analyze on the subject where is integration point or in which Dynamics GP Window you would like to program this integration.  Plus you should also consider Barcode inventory Items Labels printing and Barcode new item algorithm


8.       Great Plains earlier versions customization support.  If you are on Great Plains Dynamics or eEnteprise 7.5. 7.0, 6.0 or Great Plains 5.5, 5.0, 4.0, 3.2, 3.0 then you should consider GP Dexterity customizations, plus VBA with Modifier or Integration Manager.  For old Great Plains versions you might have such old ISV as Intellisol Advanced Purchase Order Processing and Project Accounting, where you would have to consider migration to Dynamics GP Purchase Order Processing.  For Great Plains Accounting for DOS, Windows or Mac customization options were more limited and now these archaic ERP and MRP applications are no longer supported


9.       Dynamics GP Customizations Support Internationally.  Here you should consider ERP localization in the senses of local tax code compliance and adoption of local country language.  Dynamics GP is distributed in USA, Canada, including French Quebec version, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Oceania (Palau, Fiji, Tonga, and other island countries), South Africa, Southern and South East Asia, where English is official business language.  It is also localize in Spanish Speaking Latin America and Caribbean countries.  If you are located in different country, please consider possibility of Dexterity strings translation from English into your native language


10.   Alba Spectrum Dynamics GP ISV products.  At this time, August 2009, we are offering Dynamics GP Posting Server or Autopost, Order Connector, GP Integration with Microsoft RMS


11.   For additional help, please call us 1-866-528-0577, skype albaspectrum.  We specialize in Dynamics GP Customizations, Reporting, eConnect Programming, EDI, Integrations, International Support in Russian, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese.  Plus we are comfortable to help you with Great Plains Integrations with PHP, Java, Linux, Oracle, MySQL, MS Access, Excel.  We also support SAP Business One SDK, Workbench customizations and integrations

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Andrew Karasev, Alba Spectrum, 1-866-528-0577,  Serving ERP and MRP community since 1994, local service in Chicago, Houston, San Diego, Atlanta. Information portal: We serve you USA and Canada nationwide from our Dynamics GP call center: California, Illinois, New York, Florida, Minnesota, New Jersey, North and South Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, Ontario, Quebec, Washington, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Arizona, Montana, Oregon, New York, New England. International clients welcome from Australia, New Zealand, Oceania, South Africa, UK, Brazil, Caribbean, Central America

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