Thursday, March 3, 2011

Microsoft Dynamics GP Technical Conference 2011 - Day 2 Presentation

Following the opening session and our Support Debugging Tool presentation on Day 1, it was now time to present our Introduction to Microsoft Dynamics GP Customization Tools session. There was a certain anxiety in the air, as this is the first time David and I would build code, live!

The presentation began on time and on track with David taking the lead on the Dexterity and Modifier with Visual Basic for Applications portion of the session. However, we had a number of questions from the audience and things started to extend out a bit. 
Getting ready for the presentation
While David did his best to catch up, it was already apparent that the Visual Studio Tools portion, which I would be presenting, would run short. While presenting the VST session, it was necessary to cut short on the explanation of the customization itself, and skimp a bit on the build process of the VST project itself. This created a bit of confusion with the attendees.

Upon finalizing our presentation, we took a 1 hour and so break to relax a bit and get some food. However, on the way out of our session, we were informed by Babs Coler that a new "recap" session was being added by partners request to review all the presentations: Support Debugging Tool, Upgrading your Customizations (which would be presented by Patrick Roth and David Musgrave), and Introduction to Customization Tools sessions. This was a good news for David and I, as it meant our sessions were very well received. Despite being tired and dragging, we were certainly delighted to present once again.

Next up was David and Patrick Roth. Their session, Upgrading your Customizations, ran from 1:00 PM CST to 2:15 PM CST.  This session was filled with tons of tips on upgrading user interface customizations and data integration projects written in Dexterity, Modifier with VBA, Visual Studio Tools, and eConnect and Web Services, respectively.

David Musgrave and Patrick Roth presenting Upgrading your Customizations
The guys did a phenomenal job, which included demos of all the upgrade tools. Once again, we had another 2 hours of R&R time. I personally spent this time drafting some of this post content and zoned out for a bit.

The "recap" session, ran from 4:00 PM CST to 5:15 PM CST and counted with a good audience, despite being the last session on the schedule. We changed the format a bit and turned it into a Q&A session, featuring Dexterity, Visual Studio Tools, and Support Debugging Tool content. We really enjoyed interacting in a more informal setting with the partners attending the session.

The session concluded, and it was time for the Expo and round table topics, now a tradition at the Technical Conference.

Dexterity Team round table
 I met up with Kim Peterson from GPUG and Andrew Snook from FastPath to exchange a few words on the Conference and the upcoming DayOne at Microsoft Dynamics Convergence Atlanta 2011. It was also an opportunity to catch up with my friend Alice Newsam, Software Development Engineer in Test with Microsoft and a regular contributor over at Developing for Dynamics GP.

David championed the Tim Tam Slam event with a few brave partners interested in testing their abilities to absorb hot chocolate through a very delicate chocolate wafer - Tim Tam - that, when nibbled on both ends, acts like a straw.

It was time to catch the bus ride (6:45 PM CST) back to the hotel.

Back at the Ramada Plaza hotel, we walked ourselves back to the bar and sat in our favorite office location. This time, everyone agreed it was time to have a bit more than H2O and/or sodas. The 2 days had been a brutal one for everyone in attendance -- I have been in Fargo since past Saturday, making it 5 days in total, so the strain is even more. Nonetheless, Tim Tam Slam was again the challenge of the evening.

It's been a long week indeed. However, the chance to meet other partners and understand what's going on with their business and how they are addressing the new challenges has been the most enlighting and gratifying experience. Also, I am always thankful for the reception that our sessions have had with the partners in attendance and I hope to see you all at Microsoft Dynamics Convergence Atlanta in April.

The Conference ends tomorrow, and I will be attending the closing session. After this I will be catching my 1:05 PM CST flight out of Hector International en route to Atlanta, through Minneapolis/St. Paul's.

Until next post!

Mariano Gomez, MVP
IntellPartners, LLC

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