Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Word Templates rendering report in Internet Explorer

I have been working on a Word Templates case for the past 2 weeks and just got to the bottom of the problem, hence I felt the need to pause and blog about it.

Background

A client of mine reported a couple weeks aback that they had created a template version of their purchase order and each time the purchasing staff attempted to print a purchase order, the output would automatically generate in Internet Explorer instead of Microsoft Word. As the title of this article suggests, the client is using Word Templates to generate a nice looking PO for their vendors.

HTML POP Purchase Order Blank Form


However, and to make matters more interesting, when they printed a standard sales invoice, SOP Blank Invoice Form, these would generate just fine in Microsoft Word.

Troubleshooting

In troubleshooting this process, we went through all the formal setup and steps to create a template in Microsoft Dynamics GP, with the added benefit that the client's purchase order form was not a modified report. I also outruled the Word Add-On for Microsoft Dynamics GP being an issue, since the sales invoices were being created just fine.

I made sure the client was not accidentally selecting HTML as the default output. As previously mentioned, when the purchase order was printed, it would automatically go to Internet Explorer. We also selected a File output and the Microsoft Word file would automatically get an html extension following the docx; for example, POP Purchase Order Blank Form.docx.html.

Printing Purchase Order Document
When printing the purchase order, one thing stood out in the printing process... the Report Type drop-down list would automatically default to Standard -- not to Template as would be expected -- and the client would have to manually select Template before clicking Ok to print. Not so, when printing sales invoices.

We also checked the REPORTS.DIC dictionary file, by accessing Report Writer, to ensure the purchase order report was not modified. Effectively, this was not the case. Puzzled by this situation, I called my good friend Rob Wagner over at Microsoft and explained what was going on. In formulating an approach to address the issue, Rob added a key to the Dex.ini - more on this tomorrow - that would allow him to debug what was happening when the template was generated.

To Rob's surprise, adding the Dex.ini key had no effect nor did it produce the debug file he was expecting. Then, the magical question came up... "Does you client have any third party products or add-ons installed that affect the POP module?" and the answer... "Yes, Project Accounting". This is when it all became clear to both of us where this was going.

As it turned out, the client is also using Project Accounting. However, the user entering the POs has no access to the Purchase Order Entry alternate window - hence was seeing the standard Microsoft Dynamics GP Purchase Order Entry window. However, according to security settings, the user had access to the alternate POP Purchase Order Blank Form report.

Access to alternate version of POP Purchase Order Blank Form

When the user prints the PO from the standard Purchase Order Entry window, GP would attempt to print the Project Accounting alternate purchase order report, but could not find a corresponding template.

Rob proceeded to explain that this behavior was by design. In essence, when a template cannot be found for an alternate version of an original Microsoft Dynamics GP report, the Dexterity code behind the Word Template functionality, will automatically render the report to HTML. Since html files are usually tied to Internet Explorer, this would cause that application to launch automatically.

The first tell-tell sign of a problem as described above lies in the Report Destination window defaulting the Report Type drop-down list to Standard, even though a template "exists" for the report being printed. In reality, the template you are seeing in Report Template Maintenance is the core Microsoft Dynamics GP report template and not the template for the alternate dictionary, in this case Project Accounting.

Solution

If using a third party product or add-on that contains an alternate versions of a core Microsoft Dynamics GP report, you will need to ensure that the template that is created corresponds to that dictionary or remove security to the alternate report.



However, and as luck would have it, I could not create a new template based on the existing POP Purchase Order Blank Form in the Microsoft Dynamics GP dictionary, because the two reports use a slighly different data set - the PA alternate report uses additional fields and tables not used by the standard report - but that's a tale for another time. In the mean time, I hope you find this article useful.

Until next post!

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

Friday, January 27, 2012

Management Reporter 2012

Management Reporter 2012 Release Themes
Most of you know me to be a fairly technical guy, so it must be quite an event when I get excited about a financial reporting product. My excitement stems from a couple of things I saw in an MVP Product Group Interaction session yesterday with the Dynamics Corporate Performance Management team:

  • Management Reporter 2012 is simply THE BEST darn financial reporting product produced to date by Microsoft. This release revolves around 4 core themes: Interactive Report Viewing, Deeper Dynamics ERP Integration, Report Collaboration, and Design Flexibility. I highlighted a few of the capabilities in my March 8, 2011 Corporate Performance Management Roadmap article.

  • Among the things I can say for now, and from a technical perspective, this release removes its dependency on Internet Information Services (IIS), allowing it to run in native mode. If you are familiar with SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services, you can now begin to imagine how this will improve Management Reporter's reports delivering capabilities and efficiency.

Honestly, I wish I could just spill it all out right now... but that would make for a lot of angry folks over at Microsoft, but you don't have to wait on me. The Dynamics Corporate Performance Management team over at Microsoft already began releasing information about specific features in Management Reporter 2012, and the following are links to what they have posted so far:


From what I have seen so far, the Comments feature will make a lot of accounting folks happy, but the ability to distribute reports to multiple locations at once will certainly make a lot of IT folks happy. From me to you... there's not one reason, at least in my mind, why you need to continue your love affair with FRx. The new Management Reporter 2012 blows off the FRx 6.7 hat off by a long shot.

Until next post!

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

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

New Article on MSDynamicsWorld: Where Do the Microsoft Dynamics GP Experts Turn for Answers?


My new article is out over at MSDynamicsWorld! It's been a long time coming, but finally, and per the insistence of Jason Gumpert, I was able to get to it - Jason has his ways for sure :-)

This time around my article, Where Do the Microsoft Dynamics GP Experts Turn for Answers? A Preamble to GPUG DayONE, looks the Microsoft Dynamics GP application's dependency on the overall Microsoft technology stack and guides you on how you can find answers to the growing number of questions arising from this interdependence. In truth, the article serves as an invitation to come see David Musgrave and I talking about this subject at the next GPUG DayONE opening event for Microsoft Dynamics Convergence 2012 in Houston, TX - see Microsoft Dynamics Convergence 2012 sessions now published.

As the saying goes: be there or be square!

Until next post!

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

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Microsoft Dynamics Convergence 2012 sessions now published


Ok, they have been published for a few days now. However, I wanted to bring your attention to the sessions that David Musgrave and I will be presenting. This time we will present a GPUG DayONE breakout session, UBGP18 - Where do the Experts Turn for Answers, running Sunday, March 18, 2012 from 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM.

We will also have the distinct opportunity to present 2 Support Debugging Tool sessions - twice! That's it, you will have the opportunity to see each of our sessions in a repeat in case you get to miss any the first time around. I still don't have the details on the exact dates and times our sessions will be running yet, but will publish as soon as they become available. For now, here's what we have:

CSGP19

CSGP23

I am really excited about our new sessions showing some really cool advanced Support Debugging Tool sessions. This is an advanced level session, with lots of cool stuff from the new Build 16. You won't be disappointed!

Until next post!

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

Friday, January 20, 2012

1099 reports: the devil is in the details

It's certainly that time of the year and if you haven't sent out those 1099's you are running out of time. I was working on a case recently at one of my clients who was having all sort of issues printing 1099 reports. Apparently, reconciling their calendar year wasn't helping the issue either. It did not really matter what they tried - short of manually adjusting the 1099 amounts for each vendor - nothing seemed to make the correct numbers print on the report.

We reviewed all 10,000 vendor cards to make sure they had the proper 1099 type and box number selected - we caught a few mishaps here too.

After inspecting a few of the problem reports (and vendors), we narrowed down the issue to a number of payable invoices not having the proper 1099 amount and box type associated to the transactions. So to fix this issue, I wrote a few scripts which I hope you find useful.

Fix1099.sql
-- Created by Mariano Gomez, MVP
-- This code is licensed under the Creative Commons 
-- Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Generic license.

-- Update the 1099 amount, type, and box number on open payable records
UPDATE a SET a.TEN99AMNT = a.DOCAMNT
 , a.TEN99TYPE = b.TEN99TYPE
 , a.TEN99BOXNUMBER = b.TEN99BOXNUMBER
FROM PM20000 a INNER JOIN PM00200 b ON (a.VENDORID = b.VENDORID) 
WHERE (b.TEN99TYPE <> 1) AND (a.DOCTYPE IN (1, 4, 5));

-- Update the 1099 amount, type, and box number on history payable records
UPDATE a SET a.TEN99AMNT = a.DOCAMNT
 , a.TEN99TYPE = b.TEN99TYPE
 , a.TEN99BOXNUMBER = b.TEN99BOXNUMBER
FROM PM30200 a INNER JOIN PM00200 b ON (a.VENDORID = b.VENDORID)
WHERE (b.TEN99TYPE <> 1) AND (a.DOCTYPE IN (1, 4, 5));

-- Update the 1099 amount, type, and box number on history apply records
UPDATE a SET a.TEN99AMNT = a.APPLDAMT
 , a.DEFTEN99TYPE = b.TEN99TYPE
 , a.DEFTEN99BOXNUMBER = b.TEN99BOXNUMBER
FROM PM30300 a INNER JOIN PM00200 b ON (a.VENDORID = b.VENDORID)
WHERE (b.TEN99TYPE <> 1) AND (a.APTODCTY IN (1, 4, 5));


Once the scripts are executed against the company database, you can then proceed to reconcile the 1099 amounts for the current calendar year - Microsoft Dynamics GP | Tools | Utilities | Purchasing | Reconcile. Note that the update is restricted to invoices (1), returns (4), and credit memos (5) document types.

Once we went through all of the above (including making sure the vendor cards were accurate), the reports printed fine, with the correct amounts, and in the correct boxes.

A few things to remember:

1. Execute all of the above procedures in a test environment, prior to executing in production. To create a test company from your production company follow the steps outlined in Microsoft Support KB article 871973.

2. The above steps and scripts specifically solved the issues with my client environment. You may have specifics within your environment that may prevent these scripts from being effective - I can't think of anything, but then again, test!

3. See the disclaimers on the right frame of this blog.

Until next post!

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

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Support Debugging Tool on Twitter!

As you know by now - hopefully you do - Build 16 of the Support Debugging Tool (SDT) has been officially released - see Support Debugging Tool Build 16 released over at Developing for Dynamics GP for release notes and new features.

However, you may have noticed I have not posted anything about it (don't worry, I am still friends with Musgrave). The reason for the absence of posts on the new SDT build obays to a few reasons:

1. I am going to release a series of video blogs showing the new features on The Dynamics GP Blogster YouTube channel, and as you can imagine, these things take time.

2. I have been thinking of some creative ways to continue to push the SDT to the Microsoft Dynamics GP community as a whole, not just Build 16.

As it relates to the second reason/excuse/goal, and given the adoption of social media throughout the Microsoft Dynamics GP community - check out Social Media for Microsoft Dynamics Partners eBook by MVP Mark Polino and Jon Rivers (twitter: @jon_rivers) if you still don't get the social media drift - I thought it was now time for the Support Debugging Tool to have it's own Twitter hash tag. So please welcome #MSDYNGPSDT.



If you have any questions, comments, or want to relay any experiences with the Support Debugging Tool on Twitter, please use the #MSDYNGPSDT hash tag. Also, don't miss some really cool upcoming news about the tool, which will be available via Twitter.

Disclaimer: I am not allowed to say anything yet, otherwise I will be unfriended by Musgrave on Facebook and that's worse than him not talking to me in real life.

For more resources on the Support Debugging Tool visit the Support Debugging Tool Portal (http://aka.ms/SDT) over at Developing for Dynamics GP.

Until next post!

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

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Management Reporter: Server Error in Application "MANAGEMENT REPORTER"

Just recently, I fielded a question on an issue that was happening with a Management Reporter installation. The partner reported getting the following error (shown in the picture) when attempting to open the Management Reporter URL address: Server Error in Application "MANAGEMENT REPORTER".


The error also indicated an HTTP Error 403.14 - Forbidden. The Web server is configured to not list the contents of this directory. Typically, when you attempt to navigate to the server URL hosting Management Reporter, at the default port 4712, you can expect to receive a blank page. A blank page simply means that all Management Reporter application services are running just fine.

Scrolling through the error page, the following additional information reveals that a default document is not configured for the requested URL, and directory browsing is not enabled on the server.


In doing some research, I came across Microsoft Support KB article 942062 which explains the issue being related to Directory Browsing and Default Document not being enabled on IIS. The article provide the steps to resolve both.

With the increased reliance on the Microsoft application stack, a lot of errors that on the surface may appear to be Dynamics GP or Management Reporter related, are simply the reflection of a problem with the stack's configuration. When troubleshooting these initial problems it's always recommended to look at the Event Viewer and do some extra research in the Microsoft Support database.

Until next post!

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

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Another reason to attend Microsoft Dynamics Convergence 2012... Daughtry!


If you are a fan of good rock music, then here's another reason for you to attend Microsoft Dynamics Convergence 2012 in Houston, Texas... Daughtry will be live at the Convergence Reception.

Daughtry - from left to right: Robin Diaz (Drums), Josh Steely (Guitar), Chris Daughtry, Josh Paul (Bass), and Brian Craddock (Guitar)

Daughtry is an American rock band formed and fronted by American Idol Season 5 finalist Chris Daughtry in 2006. Their self-titled debut album was released in 2006. The disc reached number one for two non-consecutive weeks on the Billboard Top 200, sold more than four million copies and was named the number one selling album of 2007 by Billboard. Their album is also the fastest-selling debut rock album in Soundscan history. The first single from the album, "It's Not Over", was the eighth most played song across all formats on U.S. radio in 2007, and their second single from the album, "Home", was the tenth most played song in the U.S. of 2007. The band's second album, Leave This Town, was released in July 2009. The first single, "No Surprise," was released on May 5. "No Surprise" was written by Chris Daughtry with Chad Kroeger and Eric Dill. The band's third studio album, Break the Spell was released in November 2011.

On a personal note, I had a chance to see Daughtry opening for Bon Jovi at the Phillips Arena in Atlanta in Spring of 2008 and I have to say, these guys are superb artists and entertainers.

What are you waiting for? Register for Convergence now and don't miss the fun! Also, make sure you brush up on your Daughtry lyrics.

And now I leave you with one of my favorite Daughtry songs, "Over You" - and a question that's been lingering in my mind... how did this guy not win American Idol Season 5?


Until next post!

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

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Microsoft Dynamics GP Technical Conference 2012 dates announced!


It's official! The Microsoft Dynamics GP Technical Conference 2012 will be held in Fargo, ND from September 12 -14. As you know,  I have been a speaker and presenter at the previous Tech 2011 and Tech 2009 and, while not official yet, I will be looking to present at the this year's Technical Conference as well. The announcement came earlier today via Pam Misialek over at the Inside Microsoft Dynamics GP blog.

Disclaimer: The banner above is not an official Microsoft Tech Conference 2012 banner and was rendered based on the current Fargo Developer Conference site banner

Until next post!

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

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Microsoft Dynamics GP Add-In for Microsoft Word not enabling despite several attempts to install

Just recently, I ran into a situation with the Microsoft Dynamics GP Add-In for Microsoft Word where, after following all the installation steps and on-screen prompts, I could not get the Microsoft Dynamics GP Templates section to show up under the Developer's ribbon in Microsoft Word 2010.

Microsoft Dynamics GP Add-In for Microsoft Word properly registered in Microsoft Word


Microsoft Dynamics GP Add-In for Microsoft Word not registered in Microsoft Word

The customer was also running a 32-bit version of Microsoft Office, clearly indicating that the issue was not related to the version of the Office product being ran - Word Templates are still not fully compatible with 64-bit Office platforms.

A first troubleshooting step under these circumstances is to make sure that the Microsoft Dynamics GP Add-In for Microsoft Word is enabled under the COM Add-Ins window in Microsoft Word. You can access the COM Add-Ins window by clicking on the button of the same name on the Developer's ribbon - please refer to the first picture above.

COM Add-Ins window
When I highlighted the Microsoft Dynamics GP Add-in for Microsoft Word component, the Load Behavior indicated Not Loaded. A runtime error occurred during the loading of the COM Add-in. While this was not a good thing, it was also a good thing, since it provided me with a key piece of information: the add-in was effectively installed, just not loading/enabling for some reason. This brought the attempts to reinstall and repair to a halt which was a good thing.

So now, I needed to figure out why the add-in wasn't loading. I figured in this case it would be appropriate to fire up my good old friend Process Monitor (ProcMon) to get a glimpse into what was going on.

After (a good 2 hours!) running some traces by attaching ProcMon to the WINWORD.EXE process, I noticed that each time I launched Microsoft Word, it would try to find the Microsoft.Office.Tools.Word.dll assembly when attempting to register the the GP add-in for Word. That was the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel! In doing some additional research, that assembly is an integral part of the Microsoft Visual Studio Tools for Office (VSTO) Runtime. The version for Office 2010 is VSTO 4.0.

You can download VSTO 4.0 from the Microsoft Download Center.

For more information on VSTO 4.0 click here.

Hopefully this saves you a lot of frustrations.

Until next post!

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

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Management Reporter - The operation could not be completed due to failure on the server

What would be the New Year without a little drama?

I don't often write about Management Reporter, however, we just went live at a client site this past Tuesday, with everything working just as expected - by us and the client. However, just a few days working with their new environment, the client decided to run some of the financial reports we'd created with Management Reporter. Upon attempting to generate the report, the client received the following error:


Attempting to outrule any permissions issue, I ran the report with the SQL Server system admin (sa) account and got the same error.

Since the error was not descriptive enough, I turned to the Windows Applications Event Viewer and immediately spotted 3 entries. The first entry clearly stated the problem:

"Length of LOB data (678233) to be replicated exceeds configured maximum 65536. The statement has been terminated"



Because the exception was generated by a SQL client component, I could definitely rule out an issue with Management Reporter.

The second entry shows the service model fault exception messaging component that trapped the error and relied it to the Management Reporter component.

Application Event Viewer - 2nd Entry

The third entry showed the Management Reporter component that was directly affected by the cascading errors.



The original error message in the Event Viewer pointed to the length of the LOB data used for replication. This prompted me to think back for a bit and I realized that the hosting provider for my clients infrastructure and data had configured transactional replication in the past days based on the instructions provided in Microsoft Support article 926490.

Hence, it was not a surprise to me the error was referencing an issue with replication. In doing some extra search, I came across a SQL Server setting in the Advanced tab that allows you to set the Max Text Replication Size. By changing this value to -1, SQL Server would acknowledge no limit to the size of any character, XML, or image data type that could be replicated with a single insert or update operation.


The good thing also was, after setting the value, I did not have to restart the SQL Server service which made the client pretty happy as well. We re-ran the MR report and problem was gone!

Until next post!

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

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Why you need to attend Microsoft Dynamics Convergence


Microsoft Dynamics Convergence blog team member, Alexa Hoekstra invited me in past weeks to write an article on why you need to attend the event. The article is finally up on the Community website. I must say, I was very excited to write this piece as it includes pictures reflecting my experiences from past Convergence events, in hopes of providing some context to my article.

Read the article here.

Personally, I believe it turned out to be a good piece!

NOTE: you know you have written a good article when fellow MVP Mark Polino decides to add his own spin to it - read Mark's stub here.

Until next post!

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

Congratulations to Victoria Yudin!

I didn't want to let the opportunity pass by to send shout outs to Victoria Yudin for achieving a record 8 consecutive years as a Microsoft Dynamics GP MVP. Please continue to support Victoria's work in the community by acquiring a copy of her Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 Implementation book.

A personal dream of mine is to see Victoria presenting at Convergence... maybe I should start a poll asking you, the reader, if you would like to see her present at this event.

Until next post!

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


Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone!

Back from much needed vacations, I had some time to reflect back on the body of work done in 2011 in the Microsoft Dynamics GP community. The truth is, it was very hectic, with the Tech Conference 2011 in Fargo, Convergence 2011 Atlanta, Decisions Spring and Fall editions, and the GPUG Summit in Las Vegas, not to mention 158 articles on this blog along with the comments I received (plus 365000 hits!), thousands of Partner Technical Forum posts, my new YouTube channel, and much, much more.

As you can imagine, that kind of effort is represented and supported by hundreds and hundreds of hours, which are very hard to carve out with a full-time job and family activities. However, it makes it all the more rewarding.

Starting anew in 2012 makes me think about how difficult it will be to surpass what I did last year, but as I always say, I love a challenge when I see one! I'm already booked for Convergence 2012 Houston, Decisions Spring 2012, GPUG Summit 2012 Seattle, and Decisions Fall 2012, and as you can imagine, preparation is already on the way for these events... and really, I want to finish my book. I know, this is a missing item on my community resume.

Anyways, it's time to start working on all these goals, so let's see how I fare this time around next year.

Until next post!

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