Archive for December, 2007

Fear Not. It’s Only Great Plains 10.0

Microsoft Dynamics GP. That’s what they call it now. The name’s slightly different, but most of the underlying functionality is the same; if not improved. So why are business users reluctant to embrace the new version? I suspect it’s because of a few new features that make the product look different and an escalation in technology.

New Feature: Action Panes add another way to view and act upon data in Great Plains. In the developer’s own words, “a graphical, RoleTailored command bar—inspired by the Ribbon in the 2007 Microsoft Office system. Action Pane allows Microsoft Dynamics GP users to perform actions on multiple records on list pages, enabling users to preview and filter data—without the need to open multiple windows.”

New Feature: Area Pages put all the transaction, card, inquiry, and report screens in one place. This is one of my favorites. Now you can view and select all the screens of your target series without having to fumble through the menu system.

New Feature: Workflow functionality was added; but probably not in the way many had expected. Microsoft decided to use existing workflow functionality in it’s SharePoint Server product and extend it to Great Plains. So Dynamics GP 10 comes with six “out-of-the-box” workflow mechanisms tied to existing screens, e.g. Sales Transaction Entry, Purchase Order Entry, Payables Batch Entry. In order to take advantage of this functionality one needs to license and deploy Microsoft SharePoint Server (MOSS) – Enterprise Edition. So this functionality is not for the casual GP installation. But if an organization is committed to implementing automated workflow processes into their operation, this is a very good step to take, because the workflow functionality can be tailored and expanded as required. Plus MOSS includes a robust intranet portal, content management functionality, and enterprise search, that would be a big benefit to many organizations.

Really I have not discovered or heard of a decent reason for not embracing Dynamics GP 10, solely on its differences from previous versions. Any user familiar with previous versions, will quickly adapt to version 10, and find at least one thing they like better; probably more.

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