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Microsoft Dynamics GP Coding: Dexterity, eConnect, VBA, SQL

Dynamics GP Corporate ERP application is open for modifications and custom programming via various SDK and development tools.  In order to orient yourself in Great Plains custom programming and tool selection you have to make your homework - Dynamics GP is mid-market ERP application and its business logic is quite complex.

You do not really want unnecessary experiments, which could potentially (or even likely) lead to data integrity compromise and even corruption.  This small article is intended as orientation session:
1. Microsoft Dexterity.  Sometimes we hear opinions that eConnect should be prioritized as the programming tool of choice over Great Plains Dexterity.  In our opinion, at this time April 2010 for Dynamics GP version 11.0 eConnect is replicating Dexterity logic and is to some extent restricted, comparing to Dexterity itself.  Dex is EDI and programming shell, specially designed and introduced for Great Plains Dynamics back in earlier 1990th (it is coded in C programming language to provide computer Operating System and Graphical platform independence, as it was believed in 1990th).  Dexterity is very powerful, but it is sort of semi proprietary and not very friendly (at least it requires several years of Dexterity new programmer learning curve) for generic programmers.  Additional complexity to Dex programming entry point - you may need to have access to Dynamics GP Dexterity Source Code (which is only available for limited number of Dynamics GP Source Code Partners).  Dexterity is all-mighty in modifying GP user interface, especially when you need seamless integration with Great Plains security realm
2. Dynamics GP eConnect.  This Software Development Kit is more friendly to generic Microsoft Visual Studio C# or VB programmer with some experience with XML and SQL scripting.  eConnect is recommended tool for real time eCommerce integration to Microsoft Dynamics GP.  We recommend you to upgrade to Dynamics GP 11.0, 10.0 or at least 9.0, prior to investing into eConnect programming (as we believe that you would like to deploy SDK which is at its maturity point).  eConnect has code samples in C# and VB - this is why we recommend it for the programmer experienced in those languages
3. VBA with Modifier.  This is a bit outdated technology, however it still does the job, when you are looking for simple GP interface modifications and comfortable with VBA scripting (remember - in pre .Net years you had nice options to automate MS Excel or Access with VBA scripting - the same option is available to Great Plains Dynamics)
4. SQL direct statements.  We only recommend this method for pulling records from Dynamics GP for reporting: Cristal Reports, MS SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS).  We positively discourage you from pushing data to Great Plains company tables (instead consider Dynamics GP Integration Manager or eConnect programming, where GP business logic is validated and you are blocked from data compromising)
5. How to get help?  Please, call us: 1-866-528-0577Free Web Content, 1-630-961-5918 or email us

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Andrew Karasev, Alba Spectrum 1-866-528-0577,  Informational portal  Andrew is Dynamics GP Certified Master and specializes in challenging customizations, data conversions, integrations, reporting

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