Great Plains v. 10.0 : Great Plains Office & Vista

By: Andrew Karasev

If you have just implemented Microsoft Great Plains 10.0, you probably got it as something coming naturally with the ERP product. For users, who are familiar and using Great Plains since earlier versions, such as 6.0, 7.0, 7.5, 8.0 and even 9.0 - change in user interface is visible and probably significant. If you are using newest version of Microsoft Office 2007 or Vista OS - then you can recognize GP interface similarities, when for old version user learning curve is expected. Let's take a look at some examples:

1.Forward & Backward buttons. Look at Home, Financial, Purchasing, Sales series on the left side of the navigation pane - if you click on one of those then Backward button will become available to go back. These are Vista and MS Office 2007 features and looks like Microsoft is deploying similar design in Microsoft Dynamics family of MRP products

2.No Toolbar, only drop down menus. Old good days Great Plains had concept of Toolbar, which was just below menu line. Versions 10,0 and 9.0 do not have it anymore and you will use drop down menu instead

3.Challenge for GP Dexterity programmer. If you are Microsoft Dexterity programmer, this might mean nightmare for you to imitate GP 10.0 graphical interface, however you always have the alternative to appeal to old GP interface without modern graphic to give your GP users workable custom logic. You should also imagine how much work was done by Microsoft Business Solutions Dexterity Development and GP new version creation team to make these changes happen

4.Microsoft Outlook plug-in. It might be something raising questions - why do we need Outlook to be incorporated in GP interface directly as we could have it with our Workstations? Seriously, we expect real work around to be considered when you deploy Citrix server or servers farm, where MS Office plug-in is probably not overly desirable

5.GP Reporting. If you are using old-good-days SOP blank invoice form to print our your sales invoices, you can relax and feel comfortable as RerpotWriter Dex reports are still and so far and maybe longer there and available. Besides Report Writer, you should get the trend that custom reports might be created in Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services or SRS module

6.Upgrading to GP 10.0 or currently latest version as of January 2008. If you are on GP 8.0 or 9.0, you should apply GP 10.0 Service Pack 1, released in mid-November 2007, prior to launching Great Plains Utilities to do upgrade work

7.GP 10.0 new security model. Security was redesigned from scratch in 10.0 and it is not compatible with earlier versions, including 9.0. If you plan to upgrade GP from earlier versions you should consider security rights reimplementation, and as temporary solution you could rely on security migration procedure. Known issue here - you should eliminate spaces from the location of GP 10.0 workstation directory

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