Archive for February, 2010

Great Plains Integration Requirements

Welcome to my first Rose Business Solutions blog post. For my first series of postings, I thought I would cover a topic near and dear to every developer working with Great Plains: Integration.

Software is now an integral part to operating a business, and many companies are tracking information in multiple systems, each with its own purpose. Much of this information has a dollar amount associated to it, which means it should probably end up in the ERP system.

There are many tools to choose from when implementing an integration; each has its own set of strengths and weaknesses. Ultimately, the solution choice is made based on the project budget, but what are some of the other factors that impact our choice of tool, and ultimately solution?

The answer: Requirements.

Over the course of implementing several integrations, I have compiled a list of requirement topics that are evaluated whenever an integration project arises:

1) Logistics: How exactly will the information get from point A to point B?
2) Security: Who has access to the integration? How sensitive is the information being transferred?
3) Tool Availability: Does a tool exist to help perform the integration, or are we starting from scratch?
4) Division of Labor: What are we responsible for? What is the client responsible for? What are third parties responsible for?
5) Automation: User driven, scheduled (how often) or real time?
6) Integration Points: What types of transactions are we integrating?
7) Integration Process: Where does the process begin? What happens with the data in GP before feedback? When does the process end?
8) GP Module Complexity: Are we integrating to the GL? Simple…Or are we integrating to Project Accounting? Not as simple…
9) Integration Volume: How much data will be transferred?
10) Field Mapping and Translation Logic: How many fields are mapped between systems? How difficult is the system translation?

Whew…I better stop before this gets too wordy. There are probably other factors to consider when deciding on an integration tool, but I think this list of ten is a good start. In my next few articles, I plan on drilling in on some of the tools and discussion some of the common mistakes. Until then, take care!

“Though we have heard of stupid haste in war, cleverness has never been seen associated with long delays.” – Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Account Rollup Inquiry

The Account Rollup Inquiry screen in Dynamics GP allows you to summarize information from several accounts, and display information of several types, including: Actual, Budget, Prior Years, Other Currency, and Calculated.

Here is the summary level inquiry:

AR1

Here is the first drill down on the actual number that shows the accounts included in the rollup summary:

AR2

I created a short video to show this functionality.

Cash Flow Forecast

This is a screen in Dynamics GP that I suspect gets little use.  But it really can be quite useful because it gives you a time sequenced view of your payables and receivables, and allows you to drill down to see the detail records.

This is the basic screen:

Cashflow1

If you click one of the days, it will bring up the Cash Flow Explorer that will allow you to see the details:

CashFlow2

The set up is very easy, and allows you to create several “profiles” so you can take different views of the information in your system.

I created a short video to show this functionality.

Requisition Management

Requisition Management is an easy to deploy and easy to use system that allows you to automate parts of your purchase requisition process, and integrates directly to GP.  Requisition Management is included in the Advanced Management version of GP.  It does require the deployment of Business Portal.

The set up is fairly straight forward, requiring the following configurations:

  • Company defaults
  • Approval hierarchy and approval limits
  • Business Portal role assignment to users

I created a short video to walk through part of this process.

Requisition Management is also fairly easy to use and integrates directly with GP, creating PO’s for approved requisitions.

The process is essentially this:

  • Create a requisition, and submit for approval
  • Approve the requisition, and submit to purchaser
  • Final review and approval, and automatically create PO in GP

I created another short video to show this process in action.

There are generally two shortcomings I come across when determining a good fit for Requisition Management:

  1. For any given requisition creator, there is only one available approval routing.  The system cannot be configured to automatically route a requisition to different approval paths depending on what is being requested, e.g. a laptop computer request would not be routed differently than a trade show attendance request.  This can be somewhat mitigated by allowing requisition creators to select who will approve their requests, but then this defeats a common control that organizations look for when considering a requisition system.
  2. A requisition with multiple lines has to be approved, rejected, or deleted in total.  There is no ability to manage these processes on an individual line basis.

But with that said, if an organization is wishing to replace a manual requisition process, Requisition Management is a good first step.

Combining budgets in Dynamics GP 11.0

Following the superb example of Steve Chapman I decided to discuss some new features of Dynamics GP 2010 by video.

Click here if you would like a demo of how to combine budgets in GP 2010 beta version.
Make sure you veiw the video by the highest quality 720p (HD).
I’m taking requests. Let me know if there is anything you’d like a demo on and I’d be happy to publish it on youtube.com.

My favorite blog entries

After posting my last blog which was an updatePicture of an older post on  top technical support issues I cited that the article was a very popular blog but it wasn’t one of my favorites to write. After seeing Mariano’s Best blogs of 2009 I started thinking about my favorite blog entries over the past couple of years.

Below are a few of my favorites:

I’ll hopefully add to this list as time goes on.

Dynamics GP Top Technical Support issues

Writers comments: This is an updated version of Picturea post I did back in February 2009. This has continually been one of the most popular articles on our humble blog since I wrote it. I wouldn’t consider it one of  my favorite blogs but quite a few people seem to have found it useful.

****

I was asked what issues I deal with the most often. I’m sure there are many others but these are the first ones that come to mind along with the resolutions below.

Here’s my Top support issues list in no particular order:

  1. Batch stuck in posting, receiving, etc. status
  2. Where do I find the table that holds a particular set of data?
  3. My sub-module doesn’t tie to the GL
  4. How do I set up a new fiscal year?
  5. I can’t login to Dynamics – Unknown dictionary error
  6. How do I import budgets?
  7. Dynamics won’t let me post
  8. I have a metrics error on my homepage
  9. How do I move Dynamics to a new server?
  10. After closing the GL I realized I have incorrectly listed a BS account as a P & L account, now there is not beginning balance. (or vice versa)
  11. How do I adjust then print 1099’s?
  12. When trying to access sales transaction entry I get the error "Your previous transaction-level posting session has not finished processing".
  13. Inventory shows it is allocated when it’s not
  14. I don’t have beginning balances in my balance sheet accounts for the new year
  15. After applying a SP my reports will not print and GP crashes

Resolutions:

  1. Doug Pitcher blog post – http://www.rosebizinc.com/gpblog/2009/01/stuck-batches-in-dynamics-gp.html. Dave Musgrave comment gives script that works well.
  2. Blog post by MBS employee Dave Musgrave. http://blogs.msdn.com/developingfordynamicsgp/archive/2008/10/05/finding-table-and-field-information-in-microsoft-dynamics-gp.aspx
  3. See Steve Chapman post-http://www.rosebizinc.com/gpblog/2008/02/reconcile-to-gl-easily.html
  4. See Doug Pitcher blog Post- http://www.rosebizinc.com/gpblog/2009/07/setup-new-fiscal-year-in-dynamics-gp.html
  5. Usually permissions error when network ID doesn’t have access to reports.dic file. Find path in Tools>>setup>>system>>edit launch file>>enter system password>>Highlight dynamics GP, look to see where Reports line is pointing to. Open a browser and try to path to this location. Need
  6. Cards>>financial>>budgets. Use import wizard by choosing New>>using budget wizard for Excel.
  7. Print edit list of batch (printer icon at top right hand corner of batch window). This will tell you why you can’t post
  8. Tech doc: 918313. Install Office Web Components link, question and answer #21.
  9. Doug Pitcher blog: http://www.rosebizinc.com/gpblog/2008/08/moving-sql-to-new-server.html
  10. Tech doc #864913
  11. Doug Pitcher blog: http://www.rosebizinc.com/gpblog/2010/01/1099-for-dynamics-gp.html or http://www.rosebizinc.com/gpblog/2009/01/dynamics-gp-1099-printing-for-90-and.html
  12. Tech doc #852623. Run scripts to release captured user.
  13. Run inventory reconcile at Tools>>utilities>>inventory>>reconcile. Everyone needs to be out of GP (well sop, pop, inv or any module that touches inventory)
  14. You need to close out the year in GP. If you are not ready to do this and need a BS follow directions found here: http://www.rosebizinc.com/gpblog/2009/02/no-beginning-balances-in-frx-balance.html
  15. Recreate the reports.dic file. See blog post – http://www.rosebizinc.com/gpblog/2010/02/recreating-reportsdic-in-dynamics-gp.html

I’d be interested in seeing your most common lists of frequently tackled issues in GP. Any issues come to your mind other than the ones above?

Recreating reports.dic in Dynamics GP

Can I come up for air yet? Talk Pictureabout a busy month. January is always crazy but for some reason it seems this past month has been extra intense. Now that Year end closes are coming less frequent and 1099′s, W-2′s etc. should be about done maybe I’ll be able to call in sick a time or two and head up to The Big.

One common issue I’ve seen rear it’s ugly head is not being able to print reports after applying a SP or Year End update. GP will either crash before the report is done or will error out and not give you a report. Is it me or has SP’s and Year End Updates continually gotten more difficult over the years? I don’t even waste time with trying to update the Reports.dic file anymore. I go simply to recreating. Here is the process:

Method 1

  1. Make a backup of reports.dic
  2. Go to Microsoft Dynamics GP>>tools>>customize>>customization maintenance
  3. Highlight all reports and choose export. Export this out to a package file
  4. Have everyone get out of GP
  5. Delete the reports.dic file
  6. Log into GP again and go to GP>>tools>>customize>>customization maintenance
  7. Choose import and select the package file created in step 3

Method 2

  1. Make a backup of reports.dic
  2. Delete reports.dic (or rename reports.dic path to reports2.dic in dynamics.set if you don’t want to kick everyone out of GP)
  3. Log into GP and go to Microsoft Dynamics GP>>tools>>customize>>report writer
  4. Choose Import on the right hand side of the reports menu
  5. Browse out to the copy of the reports.dic file created in step 1
  6. Insert each report (makes you do it one by one)
  7. Choose import
  8. If you created a reports2.dic file in step 2 rename the file back to reports.dic

Method 2 allows you to recreate without having everyone get out of GP. However, you most likely will have to get everyone out to rename the file back to reports.dic in step 8 of method 2.

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