Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Microsoft Dynamics GP 2016 RTM

Microsoft Dynamics GP 2016 has reached the Release to Manufacturing (RTM) stage.

A little primer on Software Release Lifecycle: The term "release to manufacturing", known still as "going gold", is a term used when a software product is ready to be delivered or provided to customers. At this stage most if not all .NET assemblies and components are digitally signed, allowing the customers to feel confident about the integrity and authenticity of the software they are purchasing. A copy of the RTM build known as the "gold master" or GM is sent for mass duplication - nowadays, the majority of software products are downloaded from software distribution servers, but you still get the occasional vendor that ships DVD media. RTM precedes general availability (GA), when the product is released to the public.

Dynamics GP's GA is still scheduled for Sunday, May 1, 2016, at which point, customers and partners will be able to download from CustomerSource and ParterSource, respectively.

If you want to learn more about the enhancements and features in Microsoft Dynamics GP 2016, please come to GPUG Amplify in Anaheim, California. There's still plenty of time to complete your registration. Also, keep up with the Features of the day Series. I have summarized these by week for you, as follows:

Microsoft Dynamics GP 2016 Feauture of the Day Series - Week 1

Microsoft Dynamics GP 2016 Feauture of the Day Series - Week 2


You can find other articles on the web on Microsoft Dynamics GP 2016 RTM, at:

Inside Microsoft Dynamics GP
Dynamics GP 2016 Feature of the Day: Release to Manufacturing (RTM)

Until next post!

MG.-
Mariano Gomez, MVP

Microsoft Dynamics GP 2016 Feauture of the Day Series - Week 5

Week 5 was a "slow" week, but still very packed with good information. Dynamics GP gains a new licensing user type called a Named Self-Server User which allows for tighter integration into application security. Now you have your choice of creating a consolidated deposit for all cash receipts in a batch or posting each cash receipt as an individual deposit entry. Finally, you can get a lot more granular with attachments flow and editing in Doc Attach which should serve more companies through out the ecosystem.

Monday, April 18, 2016
GP 2016 Feature of the Day: Named Self Serve User
Tuesday, April 19, 2016
Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Until next post!

MG.-
Mariano Gomez, MVP

Microsoft Dynamics GP 2016 Feauture of the Day Series - Week 4

Falling a little behind on these, but I wanted to make sure I get with the program and fill you in with week 4's features.

Week 4 targetted enhancements in SmartList and SmartList Designer, Workflow, and Analytical Accounting security. In particular, it's very cool that you can start out a new SmartLists Designer smart list from a favorite - certainly a time saver.

Monday, April 11, 2016
Dynamics GP 2016 Feature of the Day: Analytical Accounting User Access Settings
Monday, April 11, 2016
Dynamics GP 2016 Feature of the Day: Export/Import in SmartList Designer
Tuesday, April 12, 2016
Dynamics GP 2016 Feature of the Day: SmartLists from Favorites
Friday, April 15, 2016
GP 2016 Feature of the Day: Workflow Condition Management
Friday, April 15, 2016
GP 2016 Feature of the Day: Workflow Reassignment Notification

Until next post!

MG.-
Mariano Gomez, MVP

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Getting Started with Microsoft Project "Madeira" - Part 1

Curiosity is definitely something in my DNA and with all the buzz surrounding Microsoft Project "Madeira", I thought I would take some time to walk you through getting started.

"Madeira", besides being a Portuguese archipielago in the North Atlantic ocean, happens to be an Microsoft's first attempt at a true Azure-based SaaS ERP built on the Dynamics NAV platform - for more information, read MVP Aleksandar Totovic - Project Madeira - Preview article.

Project "Madeira" is still in preview mode so you can try it out for free if you are already a Microsoft Office 365 or Azure subscriber, by going to http://madeira.microsoft.com/. As is customary with most Microsoft product landing pages, you get quite the enticing visual that just makes you want to click on that Try the preview button.

Project "Madeira" landing page

After clicking on the Try the preview button, you are taken to a Sign up page where you are asked for your organizational account credentials, be that the one you use to access Office 365 or Microsoft Azure.

Preview Sign Up page

Your credentials are first looked up to make sure you are already a subscriber to previous Microsoft services (Office 365, Azure). If you are you can continue with the sign in process. Assuming you are not, I am not sure what options you will be presented with, so you can chime in the comments section of this article to let me know how the process continued for you.

NOTE TO SELF: turn off Windows notifications prior to capturing screenshots.

Sign In page
Here's where things get a little "weird". After clicking the Sign In option in the previous page, the site goes through a series of validations, asking to confirm your credentials at least 3 times more that I counted. For an instance, I thought it was something related to my browser (Microsoft Edge), but turned out not to be.

Finally, I was presented with a Start page.

Start Page

Clicking on Start, took me to the Sign in page once again -- didn't I agree to sign in previously? Of course, by clicking Start you are agreeing to Microsoft's Terms and Conditions which you probably did not read anyways.

Office Online Validation page

Once I selected my account to sign in, Project "Madeira" began preparing my company's workspace and completing some setup tasks.

Project "Madeira" prep page
When the setup was completed, I was presented with a big blue screen with white letters letting me know I was in Project "Madeira"... not sure why this is necessary, but I went along with it all.

Project "Madeira" wait page

Finally, I arrived at the Welcome page. After clicking on the Get Started button, I was taken through a mini tour of where things are and what some of the navigation options are.

Project "Madeira" Welcome page - Get Started

Once all the little popups indicating where things were had gone from the screen, I was left with this beautiful desktop. Now to tell you the truth, I felt right at home with this as the layout, while based on Dynamics NAV, feels very close to that of Dynamics GP's web client.

Cronus US - Sample Company

All in all, the sign up process was pretty straight forward and predictable -- except for some of the multiple credential validation windows I had to click through. I guess, there's always room for improvement. I also have to give Microsoft credit for the uber clean user interface. If you are familiar with Dynamics GP's web client or Microsoft CRM, this should be fairly simple to navigate.

Tomorrow, I will continue with some of the functional aspects of the application by looking at the navigation bar and where to find each module and some of the traditional functions you would come to expect from an ERP application.

For other takes on Project "Madeira" check these resources out:

MVP Mark Polino - Microsoft's Project "Madeira"
MVP Aleksandar Totovic - Project Madeira - Preview
ERP Software Blog - The first 21 things we know about Microsoft Project "Madeira"

Until next post!

MG.-
Mariano Gomez, MVP

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Microsoft Dexterity does not check in resources "all the way" into source control repository

Just recently, we migrated to Visual Studio Team Services from Visual SourceSafe and Team Foundation Server. Our migration went very smooth, with only a couple issues to report -- you can read more about these in the 2-part series here and here.

During our testing phase, prior to the migration, we ran into an issue where resources were being checked out of the VSTS repository, but did not seem to check back into the repository all the way, requiring the developer to go to Visual Studio Source Control Explorer to complete the check in. We attributed this to a simple environmental issue as the developer also had been having other issues with his machine in general. He had already committed to reformat his machine so no further thought went into this. Also, it is probably a good time to mention that no one else was experiencing this problem so off we went into the sunset.

Fast forward a couple weeks. After completing the migration and back working on our daily development activities, the same developer reported having the same issue once more, this is, he would check out a resource from the repository, make changes to that resource, and check the resource back into the repository. However, the resource would not check all the way in, requiring to complete the check in with Visual Studio.

The next immediate step was to compare the source control settings between a working and the non-working environment. A working environment had the following settings:


Dexterity Source Control Options

Root Directory: C:\Projects\Features\Deadbolt\
Project Name: ABCD

The non-working environment had the following settings:

Dexterity Source Control Options

Root Directory: C:\Projects\Features\
Project Name: Deadbolt\ABCD

In comparing the two, it was obvious the project name in the non-working environment was preceded by the folder on the disk where the project could be located. Dexterity never barked at this during the setup, so our developer assumed it was Ok to leave it as shown above. Since resources were checking out fine and he could work, he never thought much of the setting.

Once his settings were changed to match that of all working environments, things were good again - check-in worked as expected!

In retrospect, the Apply button should validate these settings, so we will attribute this to a bug in Dexterity. Perhaps is non-consequential, but certainly a headache if you are in a pinch.

Until next post!

MG.-
Mariano Gomez, MVP

Monday, April 11, 2016

Microsoft Dynamics GP 2016 Feauture of the Day Series - Week 3

Last week's Feature of the Day series dive into the world of exports from Excel, payroll, purchase order processing, and budgeting, presenting key enhancements to SmartLists, the handling of prepayments in purchasing, and enhancements to old foes like paycodes lookup in payroll.

Monday, April 4, 2016
Dynamics GP 2016 Feature of the Day: Excel Export as Numbers

Monday, April 4, 2016
Dynamics GP 2016 Feature of the Day: Inactive Pay Codes Lookup


Thursday, April 7, 2016

Until next post!

MG.-
Mariano Gomez, MVP

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Microsoft Dexterity crashes when checking resource version information and status from repository with Visual Studio Team Services - Part 2

Yesterday, in Part 1 of the series, I provided sufficient enough background on the migration and configuration process we followed to get our Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS) source control repository environment up and running. You can read all about it here.

Today, I will focus on the two issues we ran into, which prompted us to open a couple support cases with Microsoft.

Version Information Crash

Typically, and under normal circumstances, you should be able to click on the version information button and obtain the changeset version history of a particular resource in the repository. In our case, clicking on this option would crash Dexterity.

Resource Version Information
Digging a bit into the issue, we realized that all changeset versions causing Dexterity to crash seemed to have values above 9,999 -- we looked at this through Visual Studio as Dexterity was, well, crashing.

Apparently, during the migration to VSTS, changesets get new version information, although our changeset dates remained intact. This would make sense as the migration from TFS 2012 to TFS 2013 did the same. Our assumption here is simply that Dexterity's version information was never designed to handle changeset values above 9,999 and that would explain why it's crashing.


Repository Status Crash

Another issue we found is, whenever a developer checks a resource out of the repository and attempts to inquiry the status of that resource in the repository, Dexterity crashes also. The following shows a resource checked out from the repository:

Checked out resource

Again, under normal circumstances you should be able to click on the project repository node for the dictionary being worked on and check the status of that resource to determine who has it currently checked out, as shown below:

Resource lock status in repository 

Digging into this issue, we also realized that the Project resource pane displays the changeset version information for the checked out resource. We suspect that since the changeset version value is above 9,999 Dexterity crashes, which makes this issue directly related to the above.

Once more, note that these observations are our own. While Microsoft has been able to recreate the issue, they have not confirmed our suspicions on what's causing the issue. As soon as we obtain some more information, I will be publishing the findings and where to obtain the fix for this problem.

As a workaround and until a fix is issued, you can use Visual Studio's Source Control Explorer to check for version information on a particular resource. Right-click on the resource and select View History.

Visual Studio Source Control Explorer

Until next post!

MG.-
Mariano Gomez, MVP

Monday, April 4, 2016

Microsoft Dexterity crashes when checking resource version information and status from repository with Visual Studio Team Services - Part 1

This is the first of two articles in which I will highlight a couple issues we ran into with Dexterity, after our migration from Visual SourceSafe (VSS) and Team Foundation Server (TFS) to  Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS). While my initial intent was to simply dive into the issues at hand, I figured I wouldn't be succesful in getting the message out without a full background in which I would explain the migration process both the Visual Studio and Dexterity configurations required to work with VSTS.

The Migration

Ahhh, the brave new world!

Just recently I worked with my team to migrate our source code repository from VSS and TFS to VSTS. Our main goal was to make our code accessible 24/7/365 from anywhere in the world by standardizing access for all of our developers and providing a unique, consistent experience. After all, accessing code in two different repository systems is not precisely an ideal situation. We also wanted to consolidate source control servers and streamline our IT infrastructure.

VSTS is a collection of Microsoft online services for development teams to share code, track work, and ship software -- for any language. The majority of our code happens to be Microsoft Dexterity code, although we carry a good amount of Visual Studio code. The added advantage is we could use our Microsoft Organizational Account -- the same one used with Office 365 and Microsoft Azure -- to access the online source control repository, which meant less administrative work for our IT personnel.

To perform the migration to VSTS, we first had to move all our source code repository to TFS. To move to TFS, we downloaded and used the Visual SourceSafe Upgrade Tool for Team Foundation Server which allowed us to consolidate all our code in one single place and make sure we accounted for everything prior to the big push to VSTS. Once we had all our code inventory in place, we then used the same tool to move the repository to VSTS.

Surprisingly, this was a pretty straight forward process and we were able to come out on the other side with just a couple of incosequential warnings.

The Configuration

In order to connect to our online repository, we first register the VSTS service with Visual Studio. After all, Microsoft Dexterity leverages the Visual Studio libraries to facilitate this process.

Add Team Foundation Server (Team | Connect to Team Foundation Server)

Once the connection to the online repository is in place, a workspace must then be setup to allow for local caching of resources in the repository -- Visual Studio also uses this to allow developers to work offline from the repository.

Visual Studio Workspaces
After creating the workspace, the next step called for downloading the content of the repository or specific project onto the local cache folder, using the Get Latest version option in the Source Control Explorer pane in Visual Studio -- this is probably the only thing different when compared to VSS.

Source Control Explorer
The rest of the setup happens in Dexterity, where it is necessary to edit the source control settings to point to the online repository. Dexterity 12 (12.00.0323.00), Dexterity 14 (all builds), and Dexterity 16 (all builds) have native support for a Team Foundation Server provider -- I guess, it is worth mentioning that the Dexterity Source Code Control Service (DSCCS) has been deprecated in favor of the much more robust providers.

Source Control Options in Dexterity
As customary with Dexterity, it is then necessary to update the source code control state for the resources, if this is an existing dictionary or update the dictionary with the content of the repository in the project, if this is a new dictionary.

At this stage everything seemed to work as expected. We completed some tests checking out, editing, and checking in resources and life was good up to this point.

Tomorrow I will talk about the issues that we encountered and the main reason for this series of articles.

Until next post!

MG.-
Mariano Gomez, MVP

Microsoft Dynamics GP 2016 Feauture of the Day Series - Week 2

Just wow! All the new features coming out in GP 2016 are fantastic! Last week brought a new list of cool features ranging from a new All-in-One viewer Inventory, to full integration of Project Accounting with Requisitions and document attach, to support for pay runs with credit cards. Below is a link to all the published articles over at Inside Microsoft Dynamics GP


Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Dynamics GP Feature of the Day: All-In-One Document Viewer Inventory


Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Wednesday, March 30, 2016


Until next post!

MG.-
Mariano Gomez, MVP

Monday, March 28, 2016

Microsoft Dynamics GP 2016 Feauture of the Day Series - Week 1

A busy schedule or perhaps constant movement from one client site to another may have prevented a lot of you from noticing the release of the new Microsoft Dynamics GP 2016 Feature of the Day series.

As customary, my good friend Pam Misialek (twitter: @PamMisialek) has began publishing insights into the soon to be released Microsoft Dynamics GP 2016. Here is a summary of the articles published last week:

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Microsoft Dynamics GP 2016 Feature of the Day: Web Client


Friday, March 25, 2016

Friday, March 25, 2016

Friday, March 25, 2016

Please stay tune for my summary articles compiling all these features in one place. I will be expanding on some of them soon.

Until next post!

MG.-
Mariano Gomez, MVP