The truth that most consultants won’t tell you is that the majority of technology projects fail. The reasons for these failures can vary dramatically. In order to minimizes & mitigates these varied risks, Microsoft has developed a proven methodology for Microsoft Dynamics implementations based on industry best practices.
This project management methodology is systematic & phase based as well as scalable to the size of projects. It applies to project big & small, enterprise to standard, complex to standard upgrades. Further, it encompasses all phases of any implementation. This repeatable process helps consultants better meet customer expectations by properly managing organizational change. Customer decision making is further streamlined through decision accelerators. This leads to low-risk, successful implementations.
All Microsoft Dynamics Partners are required to have staff certified in Sure Step.
If you're a business owner and frequent user of Dynamics GP, you might think, "I have a lot of data in my Dynamics GP system. I need to analyze my data, extract a new knowledge from it and make decisions based on this analysis. I want to see the KPI of my business in real time mode to drive my business better. I want to have a tool which will help me see hidden trends in my business and industry...". If you already have these thoughts, there's good news - the Business Intelligence technologies (BI) will help you.
Basically, you need to have three things:
- The data warehouse. It is a special data base which has a star-schema data model (info cubes). Also, this database is in read-only mode for users and it is optimized for reporting and multidimensional analysis.
- Extraction, loading and transformation process (ELT) which loads your data from OLTP system like Dynamics GP to your data warehouse. Generally speaking this ELT process "cleans", transforms and loads your daily operation data from Dynamics GP into your data warehouse.
- Tools to create analytical reports and KPIs based on data from your data warehouse.
There are alot of BI tools which can help you to create a whole process of these 1-2-3 steps. However, if you have ERP based on MS SQL Server (i.e. Dynamics GP - you have a simple way of studying the system and pretty powerful BI tool right out from the box! It is SQL Server Reporting Service (SSRS) which actually is the part of MS SQL Server installation.
So, let's see what SSRS can provide you:
- Simple access to your Dynamics GP database and use it as a data warehouse, you just need to write a bunch of SQL-statements and SSRS will transform on the fly the results of these queries to BI reports
- Loading and analyzing data from MS Analysis Services which is more powerful solution to build data warehouse from Microsoft
- Special tool for building in drag-n-drop mode you BI reports - Report Builder 2.0 It is free and can be downloaded from Microsoft site
- Creating beautiful graphic dash-boards with KPI's in Report Builder 2.0
- Different filters for your BI reports
- Access to your reports, dash-boards and KPIs via Web, you can see all your BI stuff just in your internet browser
- Generating your BI reports in off-line mode and sending them via e-mail on a schedule. (Do you want to see some daily reports every morning in your inbox? No problem, SSRS will do it for you. Just create your reports in Report Builder, then publish and schedule them)
- Integration with your MS Share Point portal, yes you will be able to build reports and analyze data right in your portal
- Built in export of reports to Word, Excel, PDF and TIFF-format
MS SQL Server Reporting is very simple for installation and studying. You could get BI tool and start analyze your data in Dynamics GP in two or three days. Simple, powerful and ready for use right out from the box.
We had an interesting support call the other day. One of our Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 customers was having sporadic issues with adding users to Business Portal. When trying to add new users and assign MBF roles, occasionally the wizard would not show any domains in the Windows domain drop down. Other times it would show the wrong domain(s) – this client has a number of trees in their forest, and sometimes it would work fine.
Our support team was perplexed, so we did some investigation to determine how Business Portal interacts with the Windows domain - the answer was Component Services.
Business Portal uses the “Microsoft.BusinessFramework.Identity” component to interface to AD and thus retrieve the domains and users. By setting the Identity on this component to a specific domain service account you can ensure it retrieves the proper AD info.
From the control panel on the Business Portal server, go to Administrative tools -> Component services.
Then expand Component Services -> Computers -> My Computer -> COM+ Applications and look for the Microsoft.BusinessFramework.Identity component.
Right click, then go to the identity tab and change the user ID to a domain account that can query the domain properly.
Restart the component, then restart Business Portal and re-run the wizard.
Problem solved and a happy customer.
Until next time.
Welcome! This is the first entry in a series of posts focusing on some of the basic functionality within Microsoft Dynamics GP. This entry will cover the creation, use and advantages of classes.
Stated simply, classes allow various record types, such as customers, venders, items, users, or employees to be grouped together by a certain characteristic. For example, a New York customer class could be setup to group all customers based in New York together. To create a new customer class, browse to Microsoft Dynamics GP >> Tools >> Setup >> Sales >> Customer Class.
Enter a Class ID to identify the customer class, a description, and the properties associated with the class, including payment terms, salesperson, shipping method, and so on. In this example, I am creating a NEW_YORK customer class to group all of my New York-based customers together. Click the Accounts button to open the Accounts Setup window and to assign distribution accounts. Save the class when completed.
Now when creating a new New York customer, all I need to enter is some basic name, address, and phone information, and then assign the NEW_YORK class. The properties entered for the NEW_YORK class are carried over to the customer, including the distribution accounts. If I had to enter ten New York-based customers into Dynamics GP, I’ve just saved myself a lot of time and from a lot of tedious data entry. If there are properties that default from the NEW_YORK class that do not apply to the specific customer, I can still modify the individual customer.
In the future, if a new salesperson needed to be assigned to all New York customers, I would make the change to the NEW_YORK class. Dynamics GP would then ask if I would like to roll-down the changes to the customer records. Selecting “Yes” will apply that change to every customer record the NEW_YORK class has Again, I’ve avoided a large amount of tedious data entry.
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PHP is one of the most versatile programming languages for building web applications. However, one of the problems with PHP is that there is more than one way to do the same thing. This might not sound like a problem, but PHP's ease of use is also its downfall. Because there are less restrictions on the structure of the code you write, it's much easier to write bad code. The solution to this problem is to use a framework and design pattern such as Model, View, and Controller (MVC).
There are many PHP frameworks out there. Here, at WebSan, one of the PHP frameworks we use regularly is Codeigniter. The reason is that it is well documented, small footprint, exceptional performance and has a large user community.
Here are some resources to get started with Codeigniter:
CodeIgniter From Scratch: Day 1, Nettuts.com - Getting Started With the Framework
CodeIgniter From Scratch: Day 2, Nettuts.com - Database Selecting Methods
CodeIgniter From Scratch: Day 3, Nettuts.com - Sending Emails
CodeIgniter From Scratch: Day 4, Nettuts.com - Newsletter Signup
Imagine a world where Microsoft Dynamics GP and mobile applications merged. No, this idea isn’t just in the ‘clouds’, it’s actually coming sooner than you think.
Launching as a Blackberry App for Blackberry devices, the application works with the familiar Dynamics GP platform and gives its clients the power of accessing their Dynamics accounting system while on-the-go.
The highlights of Dynamics Insight develop upon the Microsoft Dynamics GP solution with on-the-go features.
These features include:
- Ability to check for upcoming reminders
- Monitor and access your KPI’s
- View company metrics at any time.
Business has evolved since the introduction of the Internet - business is indeed faster, stronger and more efficient. Information needs to be communicated faster but most importantly, to the right people. WebSan Solutions Inc. makes it easier to do so by simplifying the solution and ‘unlocking your systems potential’.
Click here for more information on Dynamics Insight.
Tele-working or working from home is very common in today’s business world. Staff at many companies have the ability to work from anywhere. In fact, IBM has half its staff working from home, saving them valuable real estate, overhead & all that goes with having an office. As a consultant, I am constantly traveling, but I am still able to stay in touch with the office through my Blackberry. VPN’s allow many users to log into networks to access systems, emails, files, etc.
With cloud computing, the ability to work from anywhere is made even easier. Through hosted Microsoft Dynamics GP, all staff need to access their ERP is an internet connection. A CFO can easily review financial statements, in real time, from a Starbucks. Imagine living out your days on a beach in the Caribbean, still able to complete necessary tasks. With the invention of internet sticks that can plug into any USB, Operations Managers can carry a net-book or laptops with them & have the ability to complete sensitive tasks in an instant. Sales staff no longer need a reserved desk at the office. They can stay mobile, reaching more clients. Even administrative staff could work remotely should the need arise as it did for many last summer with the G8 summit shutting down the core of Toronto.
WebSan Solutions is a Microsoft Partner offering Hosted Dynamics GP
Adam MacIntosh, Senior Project Manager