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Microsoft Dynamics GP Reporting – overview for developer

Microsoft Dynamics or former Microsoft Business Solutions products line, including Microsoft Dynamics GP – Great Plains, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Microsoft Dynamics AX – Axapta, Microsoft Dynamics NAV – Navision – is now on the way to move to .Net platform, this will mean that for the development community we should pay more and more attention to Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services and probably deemphasize Crystal Reports/Crystal Enterprise

At the same time Microsoft Business Solutions reopened Great Plains Source Code program for MBS partner channel, this signals to us that we need to rehabilitate old Great Plains/Microsoft Dexterity based tools: ReportWriter, Microsoft Dexterity itself to customize Microsoft Dynamics GP so-called “fat” client.  Please read below “balanced” and “reasonably conservative” Microsoft Great Plains / Microsoft Dynamics GP 9.0 report design overview:

Let’s first look at the advantages of using ReportWriter:

  • Seamless integration with Great Plains forms – the most typical scenario – you modify SOP_Long_Invoice_Form or SOP_Blank_Invoice_From and then print your invoices with modified form – usually with your logo and changed formats and positions of the fields
  • Parameters Entry Forms.  Each existing report (Reports section) has associated parameters entry form. 


  • No Cross-Modules links.  You can not associate report with the tables from non-related modules.  For example you can not have Sales Order Processing (SOP) and Purchase Order Processing data on the same report (you actually can – but you need Dexterity programmer help)
  • Custom Reports.  You do not have parameters entry interface for your custom reports, but you could use restrictions to restrict the selection.  Custom reports could be used to export data from Great Plains in text (and then Excel format)

Advanced ReportWriter programming

  • Rw_ functions in Great Plains Dexterity.  When you need cross-modules data on the same report (Bill of Lading, which you could produce on the base of Picking List) you need to move the report you want to customize into your custom DYNAMICS.DIC and fill the gaps with RW_ functions – these are allowed to be placed on the report with parameters

If ReportWriter doesn’t do the job:

  • Crystal Reports.  Current version 8.0 and 8.5 (July 2005) are MS SQL Server based, where Crystal Report could work at will and produce all the desired links – we recommend you to base Crystal Report on SQL Stored Procedure or SQL View.  You call Crystal Report engine via Modifier/VBA – you need Customization Site Enabler license.  If you are on Great Plains Standard version: 7.5, or Great Plains Dynamics/eEnterprise 7.0, 6.0, 5.5 or 5.0 Btrieve/Pervasive SQL/Ctree – you need to install Pervasive SQL driver (or Faircomm driver for Ctree)

Please do not hesitate to call us: 1-866-528-0577, 1-630-961-5918, Europe: +44 20 8123 2580, +45 36 96 55 20, Mexico: 52-55-535-04027, or skype: albaspectrum

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Andrew Karasev is technical consultant at Alba Spectrum Technologies ( ), serving CA, IL, TX, FL, AZ, CO, NY, GA, NV, WA, LA, Germany, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Oceania, Brazil, Portugal, Spain, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Venezuela, Peru

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