If you deploy Microsoft Dynamics GP or older version of Microsoft Great Plains, formerly known as Great Plains Software eEnterprise, Dynamics/Dynamics C/S+ and if you have Great Plains Dexterity inhouse modification, then your custom Dex module upgrade might be inevitable question for you, when you plan to update GP to current version
Before you jump into GP upgrade, you should get some hints on how to understand your GP Dexterity upgrade routes. In this small article, which is not technically challenging, but requires IT and potentially programming & development background, we will try to give you initial orientation.
Dexterity Customization Technology Utilized. Well, first of all – Dex was designed as DB and computer graphical platform independent IDE. Later on, when Microsoft purchased Great Plains Software, Dexterity was optimized for Microsoft SQL Server DB platform and support for other DB platforms, such as Pervasive SQL 2000/Btrieve and Ctree/Faircom was discontinued. For you this means, that first thing to look at is – are you on legacy DB platform: Pervasive or Ctree. If you are on mentioned legacy platforms, then your dex custom modules uses so-called Dexterity cursors – these may work and may not for newest version of Microsoft SQL Server 2005 – plus performance might be not optimized – reengineering is recommended to move Dex cursors logic to MS SQL Server Stored Procedures
Dex sanscript in VBA/Modifier code. This technology was used around 1998-2000, it also sometimes referred as Continuum code generation (Continuum for VB and Delphi). In the time, the advantage of this technology was the ability to switch Great Plains third party modules within your VBA scripts and then apply dex sanscript logic to third party dictionary – we remember examples when Intellisol Project Accounting and Advanced Purchase Order Processing modules were manipulated in described technology. Drawback of this technology is – inability to debug sanscript code in VBA debugger and as such – problems with version upgrade, especially when Intellisol Project Accounting was not selected by Great Plains Software to be purchased and integrated into GP set of standard modules
Customized Objects. Dex allows you to customize virtually everything in Great Plains, however the impact on upgradeability depends on the customized objects type. The first idea is to upgrade existing GP objects, such as Sales Order Processing form, for example, however if you do so, when GP releases new version – you virtually had to recustomize SOP Entry form again. Opposite to modifying existing forms, you should try to create new forms or if this is not possible and you still need custom logic to hit existing forms, consider Dexterity form trigger approach
Dexterity Reports. These are candidates to be redesigned in SQL Stored procedures or SQL views and moved to SRS (preferred) or Crystal Reports
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