Monday, February 23, 2009

Developing for Dynamics GP weekly summary


Over the past weeks I have neglected publishing the Developing for Dynamics GP weekly summary you have come to rely on for a breakdown of some of the coolest articles around the blogosphere, but this obeys a bit to a bit of breakdown in my own health -- late nights writing are not helping the case either :-). So lets get to work:

First, my personal story...

My dear friend, David Musgrave has been very hard at work on the topic of translating Dexterity applications, delivering some nice articles on the subject and showing how Microsoft Dexterity can help you in the process. This is a topic that brings a lot of good memories of my early days with the Dynamics GP system and Dexterity. As many of you know, I am the original architect and developer of the Microsoft Dynamics GP Spanish release and back in 1996 the tools were available, but the details on the translation process were very sketchy. The "does" and "dont's" were pretty much built on the fly and based on experiences already accumulated by the Polish and German IAPs development teams at the time -- Back in the days, the former Great Plains Software operated with International Alliance Parners (IAPs) which did not share much information among themselves and were geographically dispersed making the knowledge transfer process even less efficient.

While I had the opportunity to work hand to hand with Tom Irsfeld, former project manager with the then Great Plains Software International Team, and Dave Gaboury, former Engineer on the Dexterity platform development team, and two of the best in the business, getting the first release of the Spanish version to run trouble-free took almost 8 months of hard and continuous work. I must mention that the translation team put together for this project consisted of 25 people. Our mistake at the time was not to hire individuals with an accounting background to assist with the process of translating all the strings and message resources.

The above leads me to this... Translating Dynamics GP may prove to be one of the most extensive (and expensive) undertakes. It's a project that involves decoding some of the idiosyncrasies of your specific region or country, knowing the accounting terminology -- those widely accepted anyways, and adding localizations specific to the country or region, such as taxation issues, disbursement, and credit issues, etc. However, at the end of the journey, it's a very rewarding and career advancing opportunity.

So, what's on?

Dexterity: Designed for Translation - David exposes some of the Dexterity platform design principles that make the magic of translation possible -- all without modifying your application after it's built. Click here to read more.

Writing Translatable Dexterity Code - These are the basics, also known as "Software Engineering 101". These are some of the top considerations when designing Dexterity applications that will make it outside the US. Click here to read more.

Writing Multi-lingual Dexterity Code - Come and learn the "does" and "don'ts" of writing a world class Dexterity solution. If you are a developer writing add-ons for Microsoft Dynamics GP and you are planning on expanding your market to overseas, this article is for you. Click here to read more.

Translating Dexterity Code - In reality, you translate the strings and messages you seen on screens and on reports, along with the application messages displayed by warning dialogs. Nonetheless, this is the bulk of the work and you may require a team of translators working with application developers to work within the language and development constraints. Click here to read more.

How to Horizontally Flip the Windows - Believe it or not, at one time there was an Arabic version of GP. I do remember my friend David Gaboury working on this in Fargo when I first visited in October of 1996. As you know Arabic is read and written from left to write and there was functionality built into Dexterity to address this. Click here to read more. Also, check my article on Displaying Hijri dates.

Dexterity and Double Byte Languages - Dexterity has many capabilities, but double-byte support is certainly not one of them. The primary issue? Design. It was never written to address double-byte sets. Click here to read more.

Other topics that made it to the blog

MVPs presenting at Convergence - If you heading down to the Crescent City in March, please be sure to stop over to check out fellow MVPs Mark Polino and Leslie Vail sessions. Click here for more details.

Tools sessions at Convergence - Are you a developer in the looks for more information about Modifier with VBA, Web Services, or eConnect? Do you ever wonder how to chose the right tool for your Dynamics GP development project? Then you need to check into these sessions for more information.

Time for a change! - Developing for Dynamics GP is sporting a new look, please stop over and let the team know if you like the new presentation of the blog.

Until next post!

MG.-
Mariano Gomez, MVP
Maximum Global Business, LLC
http://www.maximumglobalbusiness.com/

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