Wednesday, March 30, 2011

New Article on MSDynamicsWorld: "The Future of Microsoft Dynamics GP - 5 Cool Technologies"

"Understanding the Microsoft products that will drive Dynamics GP forward"

My new article is up over at MSDynamicsWorld.com. This time I take a look at The Future of Microsoft Dynamics GP: 5 Cool Technologies You Should Watch For (and Learn) in the Coming Years, based on my past experiences and learnings at the Microsoft Dynamics GP Technical Conference 2011 in Fargo, North Dakota - see my article Microsoft Dynamics GP Technical Conference 2011 Wrap Up. In this article I explore Microsoft Lync, Microsoft Silverlight, Microsoft Visual Studio Lightswitch, cloud computing, and even Microsoft Dexterity.

If you have experience with any of these technologies it would be very cool to know your thoughts and how they have helped your work.

Until next post!

MG.-
Mariano Gomez, MVP
IntellPartners, LLC
http://www.IntellPartners.com/

New Article on MSDynamicsWorld: MVP Mark Polino on "Integration Frustrations"

"Significant gaps remain as eConnect and Integration Manager stagnate"

MVP Mark Polino
If you are familiar with MVP Mark Polino you will know that he has always had a love-hate relationship with Microsoft Dynamics GP integration tools - see Mark Polino's Integration Manager Rant.

This time Mark vents out his frustrations (again!) with Integration Manager and eConnect over at MSDynamicsWorld in his new article Integration Frustration: Why Microsoft Dynamics GP Integration Tools Need a Kickstart. If you have your own comments, complaints, or if you are enamored with the tools and think Mark is simply overreacting, please read Mark's article and add your comments.

Until next post!

MG.-
Mariano Gomez, MVP
IntellPartners, LLC
http://www.IntellPartners.com/

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Customizations for the View Indented Bill (bmViewIndentedBillInquiry) window failing for GP 2010

In the past days I had been helping a Microsoft partner and good friend of mine in migrating some Modifier with VBA customizations from Microsoft Dynamics GP version 9.0 to version 2010.  In doing so, we came across an issue with one of the modified objects that needed to be converted: the Inventory module's View Indented Bill window.

View Indented Bill window - Original
The customization in question added a field to the View Indented Bill window to retrieve the quantity available for a given component item on a bill, as shown below:

View Indented Bill window - Modified
The rest of the customization included adding some VBA code to retrieve the quantity available for the component across all sites by using some simple ADO code. So far, good!

The error came into play when we attempted to print the Indented Bill Report, by clicking on the print button on the window.

Unhandled script exception error
After selecting the report type on the destination on the Report Destination window and clicking Ok to generate the actual report, Microsoft Dynamics GP was complaining about an Unhandled script exception an its inability to find script PrintTraverseCallback of form "[Not Found]".

As every good developer would know, troubleshooting this issue meant:

a) Testing that the error did not happen with the original form. Checked!
b) Testing that modifying the form did not corrupt the forms dictionary file, FORMS.DIC. Not Checked!
c) Testing that adding VBA code did not introduce the error, Not Checked!

In cases b) and c) even after rebuilding the forms dictionary and removing the VBA code, the error still occurred, but for case a) the system printed the report without presenting the Unhandled script exception error.

So being the, ehem!, well connected guy I am, I decided to call my good friend [Name excluded to protect the innocent] over at Microsoft. A test was performed to modify the same window and grant security to the modified version of the window, then run the report. The results were the same - Unhandled script exception. Now I could confirm that this was in effect a bug.

The bug also causes the BM Bill of Materials report would also not print the indented bill as expected.

BM Bill of Materials printed from original View Indented Bill window
Now, here is the report printed from the modified window.


BM Bill of Materials printed from the modified View Indented Bill window
Consequently, a problem report has been written up for this to be addressed in the near future - hopefully quick enough for the affected client.

Until next post!

MG.-
Mariano Gomez, MVP
IntellPartners, LLC
http://www.IntellPartners.com/

Monday, March 28, 2011

Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 R2 "Feature of the day" roundup

Over at Inside Microsoft Dynamics GP, Errol Schoenfish took on two new features of the upcoming Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 R2, letting you know why the enhancement is so darn cool and what you can expect to see when you get to it. So, with no further due, here is the roundup of features and enhancements covered by Errol this past week:

Feature of the Day: Business Portal external lists
Feature of the Day: List View performance enhancements

It's time to start familiarizing yourself with these features and enhancements. The next wave of Microsoft Dynamics GP products will bring a new spotlight to middle-market ERP products. Go catch the wave!

Until next post!

MG.-
Mariano Gomez, MVP
IntellPartners, LLC
http://www.IntellPartners.com/

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Introducing Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 R2 with Business Analyzer

Some articles do not need to extend beyond a few words. Here's a look at the new Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 R2 with a customer navigation list and Business Analyzer displaying information for those customers. Take a look at Inside Microsoft Dynamics GP for more information on List View enhancements.

Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 R2 with Business Analyzer

Sign of the good things to come.

Until next post!

MG.-
Mariano Gomez, MVP
IntellPartners, LLC
http://www.intellpartners.com/

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Opening a Microsoft Dynamics GP Extender window conditionally

Today I came across an interesting request on the Microsoft Dynamics GP Partner Online Technical Community - here on referred to as the Partner forum. The partner wanted to know if it was possible to open an Extender window based on a specific Sales Transaction Entry document type being selected. In particular, the partner wanted to have the Extender window open only when the document type was an invoice.

Sales Transaction Entry window - Invoice
The first thing that comes to mind for most hardcore technical resources is to write some VBA or Visual Studio Tools code to do this. While not impossible, recurring to this type of customization to achieve the partner's request, quickly becomes cumbersome and inflexible as a solution if more and more conditions are needed throughout the application or even the window.

However Extender has a little known feature called Window Groups.

A window group is made up of one or more windows. The windows that can be added to a Window Group are Windows, Detail Windows, Notes and Inquiries. Conditions can be added to each window to specify when each window will be opened.

Let's see how this request would then be implemented in Extender:

First, we will need to setup the Extender window and associate the key fields that will be used against the Sales Transaction Entry window. As it stands, this is a very standard procedure. The following example shows two fields added to the Extender window needed:

Extender Window - Additional Invoice Information
Once the window is in place, we can proceed to create the Window Group and setup the condition as shown below:

Extender Window Group - condition for SOP Type = Invoice (4)
Note that in the Windows section we chose the previously created Extender Window. Next, in the Conditions section, we created a condition for SOP Type = 4 (Invoice). Now, in my books, that's what you call simplicity!

Until next post!

MG.-
Mariano Gomez, MVP
IntellPartners, LLC
http://www.IntellPartners.com/

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 R2 "Feature of the day" roundup

Over at Inside Microsoft Dynamics GP, Pam Misialek and Errol Schoenfish continue their look into the upcoming Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 R2 features. This week shows improvements in the emailing capabilities deparment, the addition of the Word Template Generator, and some Dexterity enhancements:

Feature of the Day: Script Editor Names window enhancement
Feature of the Day: Word Template Generator
Feature of the Day: Ability to Email Reports
Feature of the Day: Ability to Create Email Messages
Feature of the Day: Substitute Fields for Email
Feature of the Day: Ability to Copy Email Messages

It's time to start familiarizing yourself with these features and enhancements. The next wave of Microsoft Dynamics GP products will bring a new spotlight to middle-market ERP products. Go catch the wave!

Until next post!

MG.-
Mariano Gomez, MVP
IntellPartners, LLC
http://www.IntellPartners.com/

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Dynamics GP Blogster in Buenos Aires, Argentina

The Dynamics GP Blogster will be visiting Buenos Aires, Argentina from the 17th to the 19th of March on a business assignment, but for those of you who would like to exchange business cards and ideas please don't hesitate to reach me at the Marriott Plaza Hotel.


I will be available in the afternoons after 6:30 PM and as time permits. For those of you who decide to tag along for dinner or otherwise, table topics are fairly open or if you are a prospective customers considering Dynamics GP and would like some insight, please feel free to drop by. Please email me in advance using the link on the right so I can keep a headcount.

Until next post!

MG.-
Mariano Gomez, MVP
IntellPartners, LLC
http://www.IntellPartners.com/

Friday, March 11, 2011

Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 R2 "Feature of the day" roundup

Over at Inside Microsoft Dynamics GP, Pam Misialek has been posting feature after feature of the upcoming Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 R2, letting you know why the enhancement is so darn cool and what you can expect to see when you get to it. So, with no further due, here is the roundup of features and enhancements covered by Pam over this week:

Feature of the Day: Business Intelligence Refresh
Feature of the Day: Drilldown from SQL Server Reporting Services Reports
Feature of the Day: New SQL Reporting Services Reports
Feature of the Day: Report Builder Integration
Feature of the Day: Report Builder Integration (Export)
Feature of the Day: SOP Return Word Templates
Feature of the Day: TFS Source Control Provider

It's time to start familiarizing yourself with these features and enhancements. The next wave of Microsoft Dynamics GP products will bring a new spotlight to middle-market ERP products. Go catch the wave!

Until next post!

MG.-
Mariano Gomez, MVP
IntellPartners, LLC
http://www.IntellPartners.com/

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Corporate Performance Management Roadmap

For those of you who were wondering what's happening with Corporate Performance Management and Management Reporter, and the overall product roadmap, you would like to know that CPM has not gone unnoticed by Microsoft and plays a vital role in the overall Dynamics ERP direction.

Corporate Performance Management Roadmap
Some highlights of this direction include integration with AX, SL, and NAV to be delivered by the 2H of CY2011. If you have overseas operations and are in need for consolidated financials, you will also be glad to know that Management Reporter will be supporting currency translation from within Microsoft Dynamics GP. This is a shift from what FRx currently does with the FRx Currency Translator, which is built within FRx.

Management Reporter will also gain the ability to drill back into Dynamics GP -- clap here! -- a la FRx, with the added bonus of richer report viewing - translation: really cool looking reports! - and perhaps the most impressive of it all, integration to Intant Messenger and the ability to add comments to the reports themselves.

Perhaps, even more telling is Microsoft's effort to move away from the cumbersome Forecaster (though, it will continue to be supported for some time) into a more strategic and operational budgeting tool. This will be something to watch for in the coming year and beyond.

Until next post!

MG.-
Mariano Gomez, MVP
IntellPartners, LLC
http://www.IntellPartners.com/

Monday, March 7, 2011

Microsoft Dynamics GP Technical Conference 2011 Wrap Up


I usually wait for David to return to Australia to do this post and link back to his, but our schedules were very different this year, so when he catches up with everything I will be adding links to his posts.

This year's Microsoft Dynamics GP Technical Conference 2011 was very different from the one I attended in 2009. What made it different you may ask (if you did not attend of course)? The fact that we got full demos of the upcoming Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 R2 and code name GP "12" made a difference, the fact that we were able to preview the web client for Microsoft Dynamics GP made a big difference, the fact that we saw a renewed commitment from Microsoft to deliver a butt kicking product made ALL the difference in the world.

Bottom line, this Conference was the last straw being drawn by many partners in attendance to see if things would take a turn for the best, product wise. I can certainly say, partners got what they came for and more...lot's more!

If you did not get a chance to catch up with the Conference, please click on the links below to take you to a different day of the Conference and the experiences of that day.

Pre-Conference Day 1: Getting here
Pre-Conference Day 2: Fine tuning presentations
Pre-Conference Day 3: Tech Check
Microsoft Dynamics GP Technical Conference 2011 begins today
Microsoft Dynamics GP Technical Conference 2011: Day 1 Opening Session
Microsoft Dynamics GP Technical Conference 2011: Day 1 Presentation
Microsoft Dynamics GP Technical Conference 2011: Day 2 Presentation
Microsoft Dynamics GP Technical Conference 2011: Closing Session
Microsoft Dynamics GP Technical Conference 2011: Trip back home
Microsoft Dynamics GP Technical Conference 2011: Sessions Materials

Also, don't miss the in between posts on the product roadmap and features list.

The Evolution of the Microsoft Dynamics GP roadmap
Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 R2 Features List

What would be the world without social media...get a look into the Conference, catch some pictures of some really funny moments and see if you recognize some of the people that attended.

The Dynamics GP Blogster Facebook

Catch David's perspectives and experiences at the Conference over at Developing for Dynamics GP.

Microsoft Dynamics GP Technical Conference 2011: Getting there
Microsoft Dynamics GP Technical Conference 2011: Day -3
Microsoft Dynamics GP Technical Conference 2011: Day -2
Microsoft Dynamics GP Technical Conference 2011: Day -1
Microsoft Dynamics GP Technical Conference 2011: Day 1 Morning
Microsoft Dynamics GP Technical Conference 2011: Day 1 Afternoon
Microsoft Dynamics GP Technical Conference 2011: Day 2
Microsoft Dynamics GP Technical Conference 2011: Day 2 cont.
Microsoft Dynamics GP Technical Conference 2011: Day 3
Microsoft Dynamics GP Technical Conference 2011: Day 3 cont. (David goes wild...and back to school!)
Microsoft Dynamics GP Technical Conference 2011: Post Conference
Microsoft Dynamics GP Technical Conference 2011: Getting Home
Microsoft Dynamics GP Technical Confernece 2011: Wrap Up

Also, all session materials are available for download on PartnerSource

Microsoft Dynamics GP Technical Conference 2011 Resources


You can download the materials from the sessions presented by David and I here at The Dynamics GP Blogster:


MSDGPTechConference2011.zip (All materials for all sessions)


Development_Troubleshooting_with_the_Support_Debugging_Tool.zip


Introduction_to_Microsoft_Dynamics_GP_Customization_Tools.zip


Please come back to this post for updates on the links and remember: David and I will be at the next Microsoft Dynamics Convergence Atlanta 2011. Please register now and catch our sessions there, which will involve a DayOne with GPUG, a deep dive session, and a breakout session.

Until next post!

MG.-
Mariano Gomez, MVP
IntellPartners, LLC
http://www.IntellPartners.com/


Edits:
03/07/2011 - Added link to David's "Post Conference" article
03/08/2011 - Added link to David's "Getting Home" article
03/10/2011 - Added link to David's "Wrap Up" article

Friday, March 4, 2011

Microsoft Dynamics GP Technical Conference 2011 Sessions Materials


We hope you enjoyed the sessions this year and as promised, here are the materials for our presentations at the Microsoft Dynamics GP Technical Conference 2011.

MSDGPTechConference2011.zip


Here is the summary of each presentation session for added convenience:

Development Troubleshooting with the Support Debugging Tool
Presenters: David Musgrave and Mariano Gomez, MVP

Following the success of this session at Convergence Atlanta 2010, David Musgrave and Mariano Gomez return to the Microsoft Dynamics GP Technical Conference with a number of advanced features included in the now popular Support Debugging Tool. Learn how to debug and trace your customizations, build temporary fixes, and troubleshoot development issues and problems with dictionaries. Discover some of the tricks used by the Microsoft Developer Support team. Presenters will demonstrate real life scenarios and work through their resolutions.

Topics:

- Manual Logging Mode
- Advanced Debugger Mode
- Dictionary Control
- Scripting and Triggers
- SQL Execute and Runtime Execute features
- Exporting and Importing fixes

Introduction to Microsoft Dynamics GP Customization Tools
Presenters: David Musgrave and Mariano Gomez, MVP

New to Microsoft Dynamics GP? Welcome to this jam packed session where Microsoft’s David Musgrave and MVP Mariano Gomez will walk you through the different customization tools available to address your next project. If you have plans for a Microsoft Dynamics GP customization, but you don’t know where to start and are skeptical about future upgrade issues, then this session is for you. Gain some introductory knowledge of Modifier and Report Writer with Visual Basic for Applications, Dexterity and Visual Studio Tools with two of the leading Community experts, who will contrast the tools and help you sort through the complicated terminology, to bring you a clear picture of the choices available for your next project.

Topics:

- Where to start?
- Modifier and Report Writer with Visual Basic for Applications
- Dexterity
- Visual Studio Tools
- Resources

The material will also be available for download from the Learning Resources page on the blog.

Until next post!

MG.-
Mariano Gomez, MVP
IntellPartners, LLC
http://www.IntellPartners.com/

Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 R2 Features List

If you have been keeping tabs on the Microsoft Dynamics GP Technical Conference 2011 blog articles coming out of Fargo on both Developing for Dynamics GP (see David's article Day 1 Morning) and this site (see my article Day 1 Opening Session), you may have caught glimpses of Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 R2 pillars and features list. I wanted to make sure you had a clear view of these two images and start to cheer for the new features that will be delivered in the next iteration of the product.

People, Process, Ecosystem - the 3 pillars for Microsoft Dynamics 2010 R2

The feature list also looks very promising for customers, partners, and developers alike. Some of the features that quickly jump out of the picture below are:

Reporting
  • Additional analytical SSRS reports (more KPIs and metrics for example)
  • Ability to group Excel reports
  • Multi-company Excel reports
  • Bulk deployment of Excel reports
  • More multi-company reports in general
  • Map-based reports
  • Business Analyzer and addition of Business Analyzer tasks to Office Communicator
Customization
  • Add UC to Extender windows
  • Ability to copy lists between Extender objects
  • Add drill-down capabilties to Extender windows
  • Add GP forms to Extender windows
And much, much more!

Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 Features List
I would like to get your thoughts on your favorite upcoming Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 R2 features over at The Dynamics GP Blogster Facebook. In your comments, please include what region you are in, what specific feature or features call your attention, and how you see this feature making your job easier. Also, if you don't see something you think should be in the list, please be sure to add that as a comment too.

Also, please make sure you visit Inside Microsoft Dynamics GP to catch Pam's Feature of the day entry. Pam will be reviewing each of the features above. Also, leave her a comment on what you see and read as she is directly involved with Product Management.

Finally, it is good to point out at this time, that the majority of features being incorporated in Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 R2 are ideas obtain via Microsoft Connect. Please visit the site to enter your product suggestions.

Until next post!

MG.-
Mariano Gomez, MVP
IntellPartners, LLC
http://www.IntellPartners.com/

Microsoft Dynamics GP Technical Conference 2011 - Trip back home

After the goodbye-hugs at the Closing Session, I hitched a ride with Beat Bucher to the airport, as the Ramada decided at last minute to mess up my shuttle booking. The cab took us to the hotel, where I picked up my luggage and off we went to the airport. Beat and I went to the cafeteria, grabbed a cup of joe each, and talked about the latest world developments.

An hour before Beat's flight we decided it was time to go through security as lines were quickly getting long. We were greeted by some very nice TSA agents with whom we spent time talking about the different [crazy!] seasons in Fargo and Montreal -- Beat's from Montreal.

Once our carry-on was inspected, TSA agents had a particular interest in Beat's carry-on suitcase. As it turned out, my friend was trying to smuggle an apple juice box unsuccessfully out of the country :-). The juice box was confiscated and off we went to gate 1 from where both of our flights would depart.

Fargodome
Once in the air, I managed to capture this nice pic of the Fargodome, home of some of the best matches between archrivals UND and NDSU.

My flight arrived at Concourse G at the Lindbergh Terminal in Minneapolis. This was not all that bad considering my outbound flight to Atlanta was leaving at Concourse F. Nonetheless, MSP's terminals are not to be taken lightly, as there's considerable distance between each of their concourses. So, off I went to gate F9.

Nice display at gate G12 on the way to F9

Upon arriving at F9, I was able to catch a break and sit for a bit. The flight, as it is usually the case with Delta flights, was oversold and completely booked. However, and to my surprise, the cleared passengers list was taken care of by the gate personnel pretty quick, so boarding began on time - did not get an upgrade for this leg of the trip.

View from my seat in the aircraft to the tarmac

Once seated onboard the aircraft, after watching a tourtous boarding process for the non-Sky Priority passengers, and ready to depart, the captain announced that we had a "maintenance issue" and would be departing in 30 more minutes.

Well, at least this made me feel like David and I weren't the only one having problems this week. You can read David's post on his computer issues here. You can follow up on the issues I experienced here.

The "maintenance issue" translated into a defective toillet in the bathroom, which was frankly replaced very shortly after the captain made the announcement. It looks like the maintenance crew had their game face on. The captain returned and made the announcement that we would be leaving immediately and would still reach our destination ontime.

After a very exciting and draining week, that's all I needed to know.

Tomorrow, don't miss the Technical Conference materials on Support Debugging Tool and Introduction to Microsoft Dynamics GP Customization Tools on my blog. These will be made available for download.

Until next post!

MG.-
Mariano Gomez, MVP
IntellPartners, LLC
http://www.IntellPartners.com/

Microsoft Dynamics GP Technical Conference 2011 - Closing session

It's hard to believe that this is the last day of the Microsoft Dynamics GP Technical Conference 2011, in the very hospitable Fargo, North Dakota. After a late night putting together the Day 2 post and the Microsoft Dynamics GP roadmap post, and having a bit of fun with partners and ISVs at the bar in the Ramada's lobby, it was now time to pack and get ready to go home.

At the Ramada's bar last night - David drinking 2011 vintage H2O on the rocks and me, well...
However, the closing session would have a couple of surprises, including, but not limited to, 2 fire alarms! The situation was quickly managed in an orderly fashion by the Fantastic 3 (the Conference organizing team). Hat tips go out to Babs, Lanelle, and Naomi for such an awesome, hiccup-free event.

Note: I still believe Babs pulled the fire alarm cord to get all the poor tired souls in attendance up on their feet again :-)

The Conference organization team - From left to right, Babs Coler (Microsoft), Lanelle Vasichek (Spider and Company), Mariano Gomez, Naomi Wavers (Spider and Company)
The triggerting of the fire alarms was possibly due to an issue with the local grid (earlier at the Ramada, lights flickered for a bit) which overloaded a few circuits on Campus. The local fire department quickly inspected the building and gave their clearance to return to the affected facilities, so we returned to the Dakota conference room where the closing session was going to be delivered.

With the closing session now running 1 hour behind schedule, I was only able to attend the Sponsors Shootout session - briefly anyways.

As with anything in life, the Conference must come to and end: it was time to say goodbye once more to my friends David and Leslie who will be leaving town in the next couple days.

David Musgrave, Leslie Vail, Beat Bucher, Mariano Gomez - Goodbye!
Just know that your Dynamic Duo will be back as presenters at Microsoft Dynamics Convergence Atlanta 2011, so register go and register now.

Until next post!

MG.-
Mariano Gomez, MVP
IntellPartners, LLC
http://www.IntellPartners.com/

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Evolution of the Microsoft Dynamics GP Roadmap

I wanted to take the opportunity to show how the Microsoft Dynamics GP roadmap has evolved over the past 2 years, contrasting each slide that has been released at different stages. Clearly, Microsoft is going in the right direction and, while there's a lot more work to be done, the future looks very promising.



Attendees at Convergence New Orleans 2009 saw a roadmap contemplating up to the release of the then code name "11 FP". You can still expect to see a Service Pack 2 for Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 coming soon.

Roadmap as of March 2009 (Convergence New Orleans)
 At the Microsoft Dynamics GP Technical Conference 2009, the roadmap had been updated to incorporate code name GP "14". However, code name GP "11 FP" had been dropped as part of the picture, all the while maintaining code name GP "12" and code name GP "14" as part of the future plans.

Roadmap as of November 2009 (Technical Conference 2009)
Now, at the Microsoft Dynamics GP Technical Conference 2011, and with GP 10 SP4 (and SP5) out of sight, you could see a slight change on the roadmap with the incorporation of GP 2010 R2 and the overall objectives for this release. Also, note that some futures that were anticipated to be in code name GP "12" have now been rolled into GP 2010 R2.

Roadmap as of March 2011 (Technical Conference 2011)

It is clear that heavy investment in the product continues to be a priority for Microsoft and this trend is not expected to decrease at least for the next 5 years. Of course, if you feel otherwise, please take your comments to The Dynamics GP Blogster Facebook feed.

Until next post!

MG.-
Mariano Gomez, MVP
IntellPartners, LLC
http://www.IntellPartners.com/

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!

MG.-
Mariano Gomez, MVP
IntellPartners, LLC
http://www.IntellPartners.com/