Great Plains Programming Tools: Dex, Econnect, Sql, .net

By: Andrew Karasev

New name for Great Plains is Microsoft Dynamics GP, current version 10.0 as of summer 2008.? In order to be prepared to customize Dynamics GP you should familiarize yourself as software programmer with development tools and their features.? In this small article we would like to give you highlights on Dexterity, eConnect, SQL stored procedures and .Net programming

1.?????? Great Plains Dexterity, now it is referred as Microsoft Dexterity.? This tool is in essence the foundation of Great Plains as GP Dynamics was initially designed as computer and database platform independent ERP application.? In Dex you have to take a course in Sanscript programming as well as get reasonable experience customizing in Dexterity so-called alternate GP forms and windows.? Common scenario in Dex when you take clean Dynamics.dic file and add scripts, forms, windows, procedures, triggers and other resources there.? Please review such files as Dex.ini, Dynamics.set

2.?????? eConnect.? If you are integrating eCommerce website or planning to enhance GP via Microsoft Visual Studio programming, then you should invest your time in eConnect research.? This tool has set of encrypted SQL stored procedures at the end of the way, which imitate GP Dexterity logic and allow you to create, modify or delete GP master records, such as customer, vendor, employee, GL account, contract, project, plus so-called work transactions: SOP invoice, POP purchase order, GL transaction, inventory transfer or adjustment to give you several examples

3.?????? SQL scripting.? If you are considering yourself as SQL guru or very experienced DBA, then you can experiment with SQL views (which do not do any harm as they only select records) and stored procedures.? We would like to discourage you from overestimating such an option.? Please, know that eConnect in fact already has most of the procedures you would probably plan to reprogram; and second - eConnect was created by Microsoft Business Solutions programmers team, where they incurred multiple thousands of development hours.

4.?????? GP Reports.? Sometimes reporting is also classified as programming and modification.? Please review the following tools: Great Plains Report Writer, Crystal Reports, Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services or SRS. MS Excel and MS Access.? If you need custom reports to be called from GP security realm, then you might need to try Dexterity custom reports

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