Great Plains Features | MS Excel & MS Access

By: Andrew Karasev

Microsoft Dynamics GP is successor of former Great Plains Dynamics and eEnterprise, current GP version is 10.0.? Since the time when GP became exclusively available on MS SQL Server DB platform only (since version 8.0), reporting tools for Great Plains gained new one: Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services or SRS.? This tool, essentially coming often free with the purchase of MS SQL Server license turned to become very efficient competitor to such traditional generic reports design tool as Crystal Reports.? Let's review reporting tools in brief, following the rules of small article genre:

1.?????? SRS.? The nicety of this tool, coming with Microsoft SQL Server 2005 or 2000 is native web interface.? You should be familiar with Microsoft Visual Studio to design SRS reports.? However as it is the case with its rival - Crystal Reports, if you are facing the requirements to design really powerful and flexible report, you should consider first creating the SQL stored procedure or view, which will serve as report query foundation

2.?????? Crystal Reports.? We expect that article reader audience has experienced reports designers, who are typically familiar and comfortable with Crystal Reports.? CR designer is a bit more natural and intuitive in comparison to Visual Studio interface (as in the case of SRS).? One of the drawbacks for CR is the requirement to purchase separate Crystal licenses

3.?????? MS Access.? This tool is typically found in use, when you are dealing with legacy reports for older GP version and you are facing the requirements to upgrade them, meaning keep them as they are and have them just still work for new Great Plains version.? You as MS Access programmer should be familiar with VBA scripting, ODBC connection and some SQL selection statements

4.?????? Excel.? Microsoft Excel also supports VBA modifications, and in this sense it is similar to mentioned above MS Access.? In Excel you can also pursue Data Mining and Data Warehousing with GP database - Pivot Tables

5.?????? Report Writer.? This tool you deploy when you modify existing GP reports: SOP blank invoice form is the most popular.? Modified reports are immediately available for GP users - they are stored in shared or local Report.dic file

6.?????? Dex custom reports.? They would be similar to RW, described above, however in Dexterity you virtually have no limits on what you can do with Great Plains alternative business logic.? With one caution - Dexterity developers are not easy to find on the job market, however you can hire GP ISV partner to help you with Dex coding

7.?????? FRx.? This tool does financial reporting: P&L, Balance Sheet, Cash Flow, plus consolidated reporting (Reporting Tree allows you to choose companies or account segments for consolidation)

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