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Microsoft Dexterity Source Code Programming

Microsoft Dynamics GP 9.0, former Microsoft Great Plains, MS Dexterity customization options – overview for programmer, software developer, IT director and ERP consultant

Since its introduction as C-Shell computer platform (MAC & Windows) and DB independent programming language and development environment, Great Plains Dexterity covered very long and probably bumpy way together with the whole ERP and IT industry.  When C programming language was a believed panacea to provide application cross-platform expansion, nobody could envision such future toys as web thin client (HTML and JavaScript programming with Java EJB and .NET database connectors), XML (providing simple cross-platform interoperability) and especially XML web services (enabling remote users to get info from virtually any server).  When Great Plains Software was acquired by Microsoft – the new owner as we guess had no plans to play-up such Dexterity old-good “strong points” as C Shell and cross-platform potential, and as many expected Microsoft Business Solutions “froze” new “Source Code Partner” re-enrollment.  In 2005 Microsoft BS re-opened the program (however the price of the new enrollment and annual fee is king of high for small and mid-size VAR).  The unofficial opinions were – Microsoft Project Green or currently Microsoft Dynamics project is a technological challenge and it will not happen overnight, so Dexterity is still out there and partners, who help MBS develop verticals for Microsoft Dynamics GP are still welcomed.

  • Sanscript.  Microsoft Dexterity scripting language is so-called Sanscript, cursor driven DB access language, plus it has script and triggers.  With version 7.0 Dexterity support such nice things as COM objects, web services, etc.
  • DYNAMICS.DIC. This dictionary has all the logic of GP core modules.  When you install MS Dynamics GP 9.0, 8.0, 7.5, 7.0, 6.0 and older versions DYNAMICS.DIC comes with scripts stripped out.  If you are enrolled into Dex source code program you have access to DYNAMICS.DIC with all the scripts in place.  This enables you to look up procedures and functions calls examples, the sequence of events, etc – very good help in your custom programming, which is based on the imitation.
  • Dexterity Programmers Pool.  Well, good point – when Microsoft purchased GPS, Navision, Axapta, etc. – it launched the plan to unify its MRP applications on the .Net and MS SQL Server base.  This decision resulted in new Dex programmers training slow down.  This slow down was even worth, considering the economic conditions of early XXI century, when a lot of IT and programmer positions were eliminated and programmers were laid off.  However, opposite process of programming outsourcing and offshore development leaded to the Dexterity source code programming centers renaissance in Philippines and India.  Manila was a real stronghold, where such new programming dragons as Alba Spectrum and opened their development offices
  • Future.  When Microsoft Dynamics (AX, GP, SL, NAV, CRM) will be unified product, Dexterity will probably be replaced with eConnect and Web Services interfaces – Microsoft Visual Studio programmers will be probably positioned to develop industrial-strength third party modules for Microsoft Dynamics.  At this moment some experts expect Axapta/Microsoft Dynamics AX will play more role in final Dynamics, especially on the international arena – Brazil, Europe, China, India, Latin America.  Dexterity really doesn’t support Unicode and Microsoft had to probe first Navision and later on Axapta to become its international ERP
  • Some Nice Dex Source Code Programming Features.  Automatic Posting.  You can use Source code to enable batch posting without operator intervention.  This will require one additional user license – this computer will play the role of posting server.  Chinese language support – bypassing Unicode lacking – you can write Chinese in special popup and force it into Dex screens – special utility is required
  • Microsoft Dexterity Customization upgrade.  When MBS decided to concentrate on .Net and Project Green – the Dex custom code upgrade became more straight forward and simple, however it is still good idea to deploy professional Dexterity developer on MBS Dexterity customization partner
  • Dexterity Nation-wide support. Considering the fact of market diminishing and programmers concentration in the centralized programming hubs (Chicago, Houston) with connections to outsourcing centralized call centers (Brazil, Philippines) – it is good idea to deploy phone and skype support technicians plus outsourcing the customization upgrade.  As in the case of Axapta – it is very easy to outsource Dex upgrade – you need to provide remote desktop connection or even zip and upload DYNAMICS and company databases together with your Dexterity customization dictionary to your Dexterity upgrade partner

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Andrew Karasev is Chief Technology Officer at Alba Spectrum Technologies ( ) - Microsoft Business Solutions Great Plains, Navision, Axapta, MS CRM, Oracle Financials and IBM Lotus Domino Partner, serving corporate customers in the following industries: Aerospace & Defense, Medical & Healthcare, Distribution & Logistics, Hospitality, Banking & Finance, Wholesale & Retail, Chemicals, Oil & Gas, Placement & Recruiting, Advertising & Publishing, Textile, Pharmaceutical, Non-Profit, Beverages, Conglomerates, Apparels, Durables, Manufacturing and having locations in multiple states and internationally.

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