June 28, 2009
Microsoft Business Solutions is on the way to popularize it's ERP systems implementation. Right now such products as Microsoft CRM and Small Business Manager (cheap version of Microsoft Great Plains, based on the same Great Plains Dexterity runtime and DYNAMICS.DIC dictionary) are targeted to self-implementation by in-house IT group. This is short article, written in question/answer/FAQ style to give IT Director/Controller balanced top level information on Microsoft Business Solutions Great Plains implementation. If you have decided on Microsoft Great Plains as main accounting and ERP system you need to know some technical details on Great Plains installation and implementation and what is going on behind the scenes. As of right now the current version is Microsoft Great Plains 8.0. Plus you probably should know about programming language of Microsoft Great Plains – Great Plains Dexterity
If you are developer who is asked: how do we customize Great Plains with its native programming language – Great Plains Dexterity – read this and you will have the clues on where to look further.
The history of the Dexterity. Great Plains Dexterity – is proprietary programming language and technology, designed back to earlier 1990th with the goal to build platform independent graphical accounting package – Great Plains Dynamics. Dexterity itself is written in C (following popular those days hope – that C will provide platform independence). You can install Dexterity from Great Plains 7.5 CD #2. Obviously it requires a lot of learning / training, but it allows your custom piece be seamlessly integrated with Great Plains interface.
1. Native Dexterity Cursors. Dexterity was designed as platform independent programming language and so if you want your code to be operable on all currently supported databases – you use Dexterity ranges and loops to manipulate the records
2. Great Plains Dexterity with SQL Stored Procs Nowadays, most of Great Plains installations are moved to SQL Server – so you can use Dexterity for custom forms drawing only and make the buttons run SQL stored procedures.
3. COM Objects calls. Beginning with version 7.0 Dexterity supports COM objects – you register them as libraries in Dexterity. Refer the manual. This technique allows you to call such nice things as web services across the internet.
4. Dexterity Forms – if you like VBA and are comfortable to do all the business logic in VBA – you can use Dexterity as new forms creator/editor. This is OK – but you have to purchase VBA/Modifier and Customization Site Enabler from MBS.
Some restrictions. Great Plains is actually integration of multiple dictionaries: DYNAMICS.DIC, ADVSECUR.DIC, EXP1493.DIC, etc. In your Dexterity customization you can deal with one dictionary – DYNAMICS.DIC. If you need cross dictionaries customization – consider using SQL Stored Procs for crossing dictionary borders and pulling data/making changes in the other dictionary..
Happy customizing! if you want us to do the job – give us a call 1-866-528-0577! email@example.com
About The Author
Andrew Karasev is Chief Technology Officer in Alba Spectrum Technologies – USA nationwide Great Plains, Microsoft CRM customization company, based in Chicago, Arizona, California, Texas, Florida, Georgia, New York, UK, Canada, Australia and having locations in multiple states and internationally (www.albaspectrum.com), he is Dexterity, SQL, C#.Net, Crystal Reports and Microsoft CRM SDK developer; firstname.lastname@example.org