Great Plains Dynamics | GP Programming & Integration

by : Andrew Karasev

Microsoft Great Plains ERP is wide spread in USA and Canada, as well as in English speaking countries. As we see XXI century progressing, more technical skills are becoming the norm and so to say requirements in MRP system implementation, especially for mid-size and large corporate businesses. This is why when we consider and recommend you new ERP system implementation, we have to address the technology behind architecture and related questions, such as modification, custom reporting, integration with your legacy applications. Microsoft Dynamics GP is not an exception and especially considering Microsoft direction to tight its MBS products to .Net, Sharepoint, Microsoft Office stack of products. If you are IT director in your organization, you have to do your homework in understanding your modification and integration options and then to control implementation and govern it as a complex process. Let's review the options:

1.Customization technologies. If you plan to alter GP logic, consider Microsoft Dexterity and eConnect first. Both tools allow you manipulate native GP objects: customers, vendors, GL accounts, Sales Order Processing Invoices, Purchase Order Processing documents, etc. eConnect is better exposed to generic Microsoft Visual Studio.Net C# or VB developer, however eConnect is restricted in its power in comparison to Great Plains Dexterity. Legacy modification technology is Modifier with VBA, where you deal with GP OLE server and VBA scripting, which is legacy after Microsoft introduced .Net platform

2.GP Integrations tools. As eConnect was introduced for GP 7.5 and the direction was targeted to rewrite Great Plains Integration Manager in eConnect, versus old OLE connectors - IM integration performance was increased dramatically. Current version of Great Plains is 10.0 and eConnect connectors are available to for IM for the majority of Great Plains modules, however you will have to check prior to making your commitments

3.GP Programming. Besides of Great Plains Dexterity, where you have to program on GP proprietary scripting language - Sanscript, GP is widely open for SQL Server programmer. If you are comfortable with SQL scripting, you should familiarize yourself with GP tables structures

4.Reporting. In our opinion both tools: Crystal Reports and Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services are good for GP Reporting. General philosophy recommends you to offload reporting logic into SQL Server stored procedures and views