Great Plains Development | Dexterity. VBA & Modifier

By: Andrew Karasev

Microsoft Dynamics GP programming and software development is typical as GP ERP system itself is for wide variety of businesses: manufacturing, shipping & receiving, warehouse management & logistics, project organization, non-profit to name few popular.? Great Plains has large number of horizontal and vertical solutions, often referred as third party modules or add-ons, however in some scenarios to tune standard logic or develop small in-house modification to GP is more feasible.? To give you a flavor of what GP customization is, let's review tools and scenarios:

1.?????? GP Dexterity modifications.? Dexterity is the architecture of Great Plains Dynamics today and also at the time when Dynamics was just born - earlier 1990th.? Dex has its own programming or scripting language - Sanscript and it has Integrated Development Environment, where Dex programmer do their software coding job.? Dex customizations were very popular since the introduction of Great Plains and they are equally popular nowadays.? Dex mods are seamlessly integrated into GP user workstation and security realm.? If you are Microsoft Visual Studio C# or VB .Net programmer, then you should review eConnect and its customization options, as we assume that learning curve to get Dex programming skills might be too long and less desirable

2.?????? eConnect.? At the SQL Server side, eConnect is in essence the collection of encrypted stored procedures, in one or another way imitating original Dexterity logic.? This technology allows GP integration to be designed and called from eCommerce application, for example: creating master records (customer, vendor, project, GL account, etc.) and so-called work transactions (SOP invoice, POP receipt, Payroll transaction for instance)

3.?????? SQL stored procedures.? This approach was typically extending Dexterity in the past, prior to eConnect introduction.? When eConnect was introduced around 2004, then SQL programmer was encouraged to call eConnect stored procedures versus developing new ones from scratch.? However there are a lot of areas where direct SQL coding is feasible, especially if it is very simple integration, or where eConnect logic is not available (yet).

4.?????? VBA and Modifier.? This is traditional tool, related to OLE technology days and still popular and powerful today.? It works like that - you add new buttons or fields to existing GP screens with Modifier and then you append VBA scripts often with ADO logic to access GP tables to add business logic to new object

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