Great Plains Customization Overview or How to Modify Dynamics Gp

By: Andrew Karasev

Microsoft Dynamics GP should be considered as ERP technical platform, which is open for software developers through such technologies as SQL Stored Procedures, Microsoft Dexterity, Extender, VBA scripting and Modifier, SRS, Crystal Reports, GP Integration Manager, MS Visual Studio SDK, eConnect, GP Report Writer to name the most popular. If you are programmer, who just got the project to alter or extend GP business logic, you need to review and compare modification instruments to select the best fit. Let's review popular customizations:
1.eCommerce integration. Here you should consider eConnect if you need real time integration and Great Plains Integration Manager, if you are OK with scheduled or overnight data synchronization. eConnect requires C# or VB.Net programming skills, while IM requires VBA scripting if you need to intervene into standard integration logic

2.EDI integration. Here you have two scenarios: exporting from GP and importing to GP. If you are just exporting Purchase Orders and placing EDI inventory replenishment PO to your EDI nationwide vendor, then consider SQL stored procedure approach. Stored Procedure is capable to create EDI header, lines, trailing end and export this in typically fixed length EDI text file

3.GP user interface modifications. Here you need to review Dexterity, Modifier and Extender. We do not really recommend you to dive on your own into Dexterity realm, you should rather subcontract dex customization. Modifier allows you quickly alter GP screens and modify business logic with VBA scripts

4.Reporting. Here you are free to select either one: SRS (or Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services), Crystal Reports, Report Writer, or FRx (this one only if dealing with pure financial reports: Balance Sheet, Profit & Loss, Cash Flow)

5.Data Conversions. It is not really a customization, rather initial data massage and move from legacy MRP to Great Plains. You should consider GP Integration Manager to do final data import, however data massage you do in such popular tools as MS Excel or Microsoft Access

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