Dynamics GP Maintenance and Typical Support Issues

Sep 10 07:25 2010 Andrew Karasev Print This Article

Current version Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010/11.0 as well as previous one – version 10.0 and even 9.0 are very reliable and do not require special routines, besides normal SQL maintenance plans.  You, as IT director or networking engineer, should be sure that at least you have all your Great Plains databases are backed up regularly and you could be able to restore then when disaster happens

If you are making your first steps with Microsoft SQL Server 2008,Guest Posting 2005, 2000, we recommend you to try to restore lesson company (TWO database) up to specific moment of time.  Let’s review internal Dynamics GP maintenance utilities and MS SQL Server routines, related to the topic:
1. Microsoft SQL Server maintenance plans.  In order to fire them automatically as scheduled tasks, you need to have MS SQL Server Agent running (this is Windows Service and it is also available for managing from MS SQL Server Management Studio, earlier versions of MS SQL Server had different name for current Management Studio – SQL Enterprise Manager).  If you Dynamics GP DB sizes are reasonably small, or within several gigabytes, and you are on Windows 2008, 2003 Server, where your hard drive carries over several hundred gigabytes (or if you like HD space resources to be really huge, then you probably already own the HD with 1.5 terabytes) – then the only important is Backup job (HD with high capacity will tolerate some DB fragmentation and there is no real need to do DB check and rebuild, where fragmenting is eliminated).  However if you are on more expensive SCASI hard drives raid, we recommend you to include all suggested SQL maintenance steps to be included into the maintenance job and be executed (backup daily or every hour, other jobs weekly or monthly).  As quick recovery plan in the case of the need to recover yesterday data, and something which was archived on the backup tapes, we recommend you to do SQL Backup (directly via SQL Server Agent), combined with Arcserve, Seagate or other type of Industry strength backup application, doing backup on the tapes with SQL Connector (tapes are typically rotated, when weekly backup is stored several months and monthly backup is stored a year or longer)
2. Native Dynamics GP Maintenance Tools.  With current versions, and all the versions on Microsoft SQL Server (Great Plains became available on MS SQL Server platform exclusively since version 8.0, but earlier versions 7.5, 7.0, 6.0, 5.5, 5.0, 4.0 were also available on MS SQL Server as well as on Pervasive SQL 2000/Btrieve and Ctree), the only important one is Check Links.  This utility looks into every record in the table and tries to validate its business logic (in the sense of finding all the required records in related tables, associated with the record in source table).  If counterpart record is missing, it might be recreated by Check Links (we say “might” due to the fact, that check links is trying to be similar to business processes in Dynamics GP metadata database Dynamics, but Check Links is not exposed to such high volume of beta testing activity as Great Plains user workstation interface).  Clear data obviously does its job, but you need to understand what it really does, as it will wipe out all the records from your table (or tables cluster).  Rebuild routine is not applicable to MS SQL Server platform, but it does the job of Shrinking and Rebuilding Pervasive SQL 2000/Btrieve or Ctree/Faircom DB files (version 7.5 and earlier)
3. Tools->Maintenance->SQL.  This is something worth to mention.  It might be relatively rare event, but SQL Stored procedures might become corrupt (HD failure, viruses, SQL DBA experiments, or Service pack downgrades).  When something like that happens, you may need to drop and recreate Auto Procedure (these procedures are associated with Great Plains Dexterity architecture and are created automatically by Dexterity Utilities, they must exist as Microsoft Dexterity uses its own table primary keys and constrains, above MS SQL Server keys and framework)
4. Dynamics GP Support Issues.  The most frequent are batch recovery (when Dynamics GP user initiated batch posting and decided to relax: check stock market status, see Youtube movies, download viruses and malware, or simply power outage happened – we strongly recommend you – when you need to post the batch in Dynamics GP, this process requires extensive communication between your Great Plains SQL Server and user workstation, please let this process to finish, and do not deploy your computer for other activity).  Other popular ones are associated with FRx Sysdata directory and corrupt catalogue, Report Writer modified reports security (it was made more straight forward for end Dynamics GP user in version 10.0, but it was a way more complex to understand its theory for Great Plains consultants).  Earlier versions of Great Plains Select, eEnterprise and Dynamics were famous with stuck user problem, where you as GP system administrator had to kick out user session
5. Great Plains Accounting for DOS, Windows and Mac maintenance plans.  Here IT support is typically related to generic computer wisdom.  Great Plains Accounting typically resides in GPS folder (C: drive on Novell, WindowsNT, Windows 2003 servers or Windows XP or Vista workstation, when you are in single user mode) – be sure you have reliable tape backup for that folder.  Also if you are a bit depressed, being restricted to your GPA hosting in Windows NT, Novell or old Mac PowerPC Server (where your hard drive might be too small), please consider the fact, that Great Plains Accounting could be moved to Windows 2003, 2005, or 2008 server (including Microsoft Small Business Server edition), assuming that you are on 32 bit version of Windows.  There are also various GPA maintenance and data recovery utilities and tools – outside of the scope for this small publication
6. Great Plains on Pervasive SQL Server or Ctree.  Versions under consideration are 7.5, 7.0, 6.0, 5.5, 5.0, 4.0, 3.2 and initial, probably no longer in production.  Our favorite method and data repair tool is Microsoft Access (part of Microsoft Office).  MS Access has linked table mechanism, where you can use ODBC connection to Pervasive/Btrieve or Ctree tables (be sure to install Pervasive or Ctree ODBC driver from legacy version of Great Plains CD)
7. Worldwide and International Dynamics GP support.  Please, feel free to share your Dynamics GP implementation or support case with us.  We are especially geared to help you with Dynamics GP implementation in such countries, as Honduras, Mexico, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama, Columbia, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, Bolivia, Venezuela, Canada (including French speaking Quebec), Turks and Caicos, Bahamas, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland

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Andrew Karasev
Andrew Karasev

Andrew Karasev, http://www.albaspectrum.com  Great Plains Dynamics GP and eEnterprise Certified Master, Microsoft MVP and consultant with 10 years and plus experience and expertise.  Alba Spectrum, 1-866-528-0577, help@albaspectrum.com.  If you are thinking to implement Dynamics GP in challenging environment, we recommend you to give us a call.  Our information portal is Pegas Planet http://www.pegasplanet.com 

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