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Microsoft Dexterity: upgrading custom logic for Dynamics GP

Great Plains Software Dexterity platform was designed in earlier 1990th to be a foundation for Great Plains Dynamics and Dynamics S/C+.  Dex was built on the principles of operating system “independence” (C programming language was in time believed to provide shell recompilation, including graphical components) and database platform independence

When Microsoft acquired Great Plains Software and formed ERP subdivision, Microsoft Business Solutions, these principles lost their initial focus, as you can suppose, Microsoft turned Great Plains to get advantages of Microsoft Windows OS source code and MS SQL Server as Microsoft database.  Every action or decision obviously has pluses and minuses.  Dex lost platform independence, but it gained the potential to increase its performance.  Let’s take a look at these potentials closer:

  1. SQL Aggregation as performance boost.  In Dexterity we see Dex native cursors, these constructions allow you to abstract Dexterity sanscript code from low level DB query, but we know that cursors are similar to for statement in procedural programming languages (C, C++, C#, VB, Fortran, etc.).  When the fate of GP database was determined, and Microsoft SQL Server was chosen to be the platform for the future, Dexterity programmers were encouraged to use select statement and call SQL stored procedures from Dexterity code.  You can argue, that this option was available in the past, however if you think about GP ISV partners, they had to balance SQL and non-SQL Server platforms, such as Pervasive SQL and Ctree and supporting multiple platforms were easier in native Dexterity cursors.  If you are Dexterity developer and you work for the company, deploying Great Plains as ERP, please feel free to review your Dex modifications and switch Dex cursors to SQL stored procedures
  2. eConnect horizons.  eConnect was specially designed for e-commerce application developers, allowing them to create, delete and modify GP master records and work transactions.  Initially these options were only available to Dexterity programmer, and with eConnect MS Visual Studio.Net developers got some control over GP logic.  If you have legacy Dexterity custom dictionary, please think about eConnect first as an option to upgrade your custom logic and port it into eConnect application.  Dex has advantages of being seamlessly integrated with GP user interface and security model, however eConnect enables web applications to have some GP business logic
  3. COM Objects and Web Services.  In 1990th Dynamics had just a few compromises from OS independence principle – VBA would be one of theses.  With acquisition by Microsoft, Dexterity gained new MS and Windows features: COM objects supportFree Web Content, for example (Great Plains Dexterity 7.0 and later versions)

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Andrew Karasev, Alba Spectrum Group: http://www.albaspectrum.com help@albaspectrum.com 1-866-528-0577, 1-630-961-5918, serving Microsoft Dynamics GP Great Plains customers in USA/Canada nationwide.  Local service is available in Houston, TX: Richmond, Sugar Land, Katy, Rosenberg, Missouri City, Pearland, Friendswood, Meadows, Mission Bend, Jersey Village; Chicago, IL: Naperville, Aurora, Bolingbrook, Romeoville, Joliet, Wheaton, Lisle, Downers Grove, Schaumburg, Elk Grove, Lombard, Woodridge, Darien, Westmont, Batavia, St. Charles, Elgin, Crystal Lake.  Service is also available in Houston and Dallas metros, plus internationally in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Oceania and UK.  USA nationwide we serve all the states via remote support: CA, NY, WA, PA, FL, IN, MI, MA, MN, GA, AZ, WI, AL, HA, CO, NV, NM, NC, SC, LA 



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