Microsoft Dynamics GP Modifications  OverviewMicrosoft Dynamics GP Modifications Overview

Microsoft Dynamics GP Modification, Customization, Custom development, Reporting and Scripting overview.

Microsoft Great Plains or Microsoft Dynamics GP currently version 9.0 has variety of customization tools. General directions for so-called Project Green or Microsoft Dynamics project expose more Microsoft Dynamics GP business logic to be modified in .Net by Visual Studio developer in C# or VB. eConnect, originally created for Microsoft Great Plains eCommerce developers will be expanding the number of Microsoft Dynamics GP object in its scope, plus web services will allow to resolve eConnect objects for .Net developer. When we are talking about modifications, we think about light custom pieces, when older tools, such as Microsoft Dexterity or Modifier with VBA (this one seems to be in phasing out mode, so you need to make your judging prior to coding), Report Writer (reports with light possible Dexterity modifications) and new tools such as Extender. Let's come through the tools one-by-one...

? Microsoft Dexterity. This tool can help you with small adjustments as well as will huge customizations for Microsoft Great Plains. Dexterity however requires programmer with some experience, because it is unique for Great Plains and not wide spread on the market as Visual Basic, for example. Dexterity customization is usually done for DYNAMICS.DIC dictionary in Sanscript scripting language, you modify existing Dex forms (such as SOP Entry, making it alternate form) or create new Dexterity forms (preferred over modifying existing), then you extract your custom piece from DYNAMICS.DIC and distribute in the form of so-called ?chink? file (*.CNK). The problems of using inexperienced programmer (who could learn as she/he goes) are multiple restrictions or rules, such as inability to change existing tables ? you create new table instead, upgrade issues with existing customized forms, conception of Dex triggers, combining of dex and SQL Procedures logics, Dexterity source code availability and programming, etc.

? Modifier with VBA. This tool is probably legacy now, because it is going out of the scenes with the advance of Microsoft .Net and VB.Net as the successor of old Visual Basics (which subset is VBA or Visual Basic for Applicatons). The idea is simple ? Modifier uses Dexterity tool (user friendly restricted version of dex) to create so-called modified forms, where you can take off some fields, add new, change the name of existing, etc. Then you attach VBA scripts to the fields, especially new ones and so modify the logic of the form. Your customization is stored in DYNAMICS.VBA or custom dictionary with VBA extension. Again as we said above ? you should think about longevity of your customization and its future.

? Developer Toolkit. We suggest you to discover this tool on your own and enjoy. Please be sure, however ? if you are MBS VAR and plan your modification as the product for the market ? you should think about Dexterity, if you plan to extend fat client, or maybe eConnect directly ? if you are thinking about modifications to Business Portal

? Extender. Make your own discovery. We respect new tools and the efforts of MBS to design user or functional-consultant friendly modification tools, you should be ready to some restrictions, and they are understandable for the first versions of the module

? ReportWriter modifications. In Great Plains Report Writer you can modify such important reports as SOP Invoice Long form, placing logo on it, to be the first idea. The technology of ReportWriter is Dexterity and you can use it intuitively or even add Dex finctions with rw_ prefics to be enabled in ReportWriter customization

Give us a call 1-866-528-0577 or if you need additional information or directions.

by Andrew Karasev
References and Bibliography

Andrew Karasev is technical consultant at Alba Spectrum Technologies ( ), serving clients in Illinois, California, Texas, New York, Florida, Louisiana, Georgia, New Jersey, Washington, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona, Nevada, and having locations in Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Argentina, Germany, Mexico

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