Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Dynamics GP Blogster Best Articles of 2013

Well, this year was quite the year in the Microsoft Dynamics GP world! Everything from partner readiness training events for Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 Web Client around the US., to Convergence in New Orleans from which I happened to walk away with a severe case of pinkeye (side note: what was it with that city? I heard of more than 100 people attending the Conference walking away ill with anything ranging from stomach flues, to fever, to pinkeye, to...well you get the point), to the actual launch of Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 and the web client, to the Microsoft Dynamics GP Technical Airlift in Fargo, ND, to the GPUG Summit in Tampa, to the MVP Global Summit in Seattle which counted for the first time with Microsoft Dynamics GP content. Who could also forget the release of the Business Analyzer Windows Store app and the marathon of features released with Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 SP2, forcing my dear friend Pam Misialek to write another set of Feature of the Day articles.

Wow! Just going through it all makes me tired since I attended all, but the Tech Airlift. Not to mention, I delivered Web Client training to partners in South America on behalf of Microsoft which took me to Chile and Venezuela and put on a 6-city Dexterity training roadshow on behalf of my company, IntellPartners.

By the time you read this article, I will have written a collective 71 articles for this year (I know, right! What a slacker, considering last year I ended with 101 articles), posted over 5000 replies to forums, accumulated over 30 virtual badges of some sort, and participated in over 30 projects with customers and partners.

However, what I always seem to come back to is you! You the reader is really what keeps me going. You come to this site from all corners of this world. Some of you I have met in person at the very same events I mentioned above. Some of you are my clients, some of you are partners looking for answers. Some of you simply find this site by accident through an unrelated search and somehow you manage to come back for some strange reason, but hey, I am not complaining! To all of you a big THANK YOU! So without further dues, here are the articles you liked the most this year (in no particular order):

1. Microsoft Dynamics GP on Windows Azure. Who knew so many of you were interested in Azure hosting. In this article I went through the process of provisioning all the way to installing Microsoft Dynamics GP web client in a Windows Azure environment - not without the snags. I have to say I learned a lot in the process and may be revisiting this very same topic next year.

2. Microsoft Dynamics Convergence 2013 New Orleans. This Convergence was the biggest yet with tons of product launches and customers success stories. It was also special for me as I participated for the first time in the Microsoft Dynamics GP General Session event.

3. Unable to Access Snap-In Config Data Store. Tell you what... So many people wrote me to thank me for a solution to this problem. HTTP Activation, will never forget that... ever!

4. Troubleshooting the Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 Web Client. After Convergence, everyone came back pumped up wanting to tackle Web Client, if only to test drive it. However, it wasn't without it's difficulties, so this was the reason to write this series.

5. How to Reset Business Analyzer Settings. Playing with BA certainly forced a lot of you to think about how to reset the app settings as opposed to install and uninstall each time. Thank goodness we found an answer together.

6. SmartList Designer. With the launch of GP 2013 SP2 came SmartList Designer which had a lot of you SmartList Builder fans freaking out. I think it's clear by now that SmartList Builder rules the world of build your own, but you cannot negate the fact that SmartList needed a little face lift and that Designer is a nice addition to it.

7. Rendering WinForms in Microsoft Dynamics GP Web Client. GP 2013 SP2 also had some nice surprises for developers, like the ability to render your WinForms in the Web Client. This certainly alleviated some of the heartaches suffered by many ISVs after the first announcements went out in 2012 that WC would not support form-based VST customizations.

8. GPUG Summit 2013. It seems that most of you enjoy my traveling experiences around conferences. Interestingly enough, I get more visitors to my blog when I relate inside conference experiences than when I do articles on other topics. The GPUG event wasn't any different, especially knowing that it was in the beautiful city of Tampa.

9. How to display parent company information on SOP documents. Not sure if you liked this one because you were having an issue or because it was done using the Support Debugging Tool. Whatever your reasons, you expressed liking the elegance of the solution. All fine by me ;-)

10. Microsoft MVP Global Summit 2013. The MVP Summit drew your attention just as much as any other conference I had blogged about. Frankly, it was a unique experience which I hope I can get back to in the upcoming 2014. Also love the fact that it was moved to nice time of the year (as in less cold!).

Not sure what 2014 writing will look like. However, quite a bit of events are coming to this site: Microsoft Dynamics Convergence 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia (register now); GPUG Summit 2014 in St. Louis, Missouri. The bottom line, I can't wait to fill you in with my experiences and hopefully some insight into product development (within what I can disclose).

So let's get ready for 2014 and keep up the readership!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas from my Family to Yours!

Well, I'm writing this article thinking about all the things that happened in my life throughout this year and I have to say, some events have been extremely good, others, well, not so good. However, whatever curve balls life throws at you makes you appreciate it a bit more for what it is. In the end, I have my family around, people who cares about us, and a good following out there that makes The Dynamics GP Blogster one of the top resources in the Microsoft Dynamics GP community. My wife Marina Dzyura Gomez and our children cannot thank you enough for your support and your readership.

Marina Dzyura Gomez and Mariano Gomez

So whether you celebrate Christmas or not, or you simply observe a time of peace and quiet, or you simply have to keep working like me, I wanted to take this opportunity to wish you a Merry Christmas and wish upon you and yours the true meaning of peace of this special time of the year.

One of my favorite old time artists is Perry Como. I leave you with what I believe is the best interpretation of The Christmas Song.



Until next post!

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

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Web Client Wednesday - The Lingo

Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 web client introduces new terms beyond your traditional "Launch File" and "Settings File", and though these two terms still exist, the list has just got a bit longer. Most of the terms in this list identify web client architecture components. Other terms simply identify technology stack elements. However, familiarity with all these terms, components, and their relationships is a must if you are a technical/implementation consultant or IT director looking to understand what is going to take to deploy the environment.

Active Directory Certificate Services
Certificate Authority
Certificate Store
Dynamic Form Rendering
Fiddler Trace
GPWeb
HTTP Activation
HTTPS Binding
Last Heatbeat
Multi-tenancy
Named System Database
NETSH
Potential Sessions Remaining
Rendering Engine
Runtime Service
Security Token
Self-Signed Certificate
Session Central Service
Session Host
Session Management Proxy Service
Session Monitor
Session Service
Silverlight
Silverlight App
Silverlight Canvas
Silverlight Certificates
Silverlight Snap-In
SSL Certificate
Tenant Discovery Service
Tenant Management Proxy Service
Tenant Management Service
TrustedApp msi
Web Client Diagnostics
Web Client Runtime
Web Management Console
Wildcard Certificate
WCF Endpoint
WCF Service

Here's a list of resources that deal with all these terms and what they mean:

Dynamics GP 2013 Web Client Infrastructure Overview, Aaron Donat @ Developing for Dynamics GP
Microsoft Dynamics GP Web Client and Silverlight Security Requirements, Aaron Donat @ Developing for Dynamics GP
Active Directory Certificate Services, TechNet
What is Windows Communication Foundation?, MSDN
Dynamic Form Rendering, Mariano Gomez @ The Dynamics GP Blogster
Fiddler Web Debugging Proxy, Eric Lawrence
What is SSL Certificates?, GlobalSign (GMO Internet Group)
Using the Named System Database Feature for Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013, Aaron Donat @ Developing for Dynamics GP
Silverlight, Microsoft
How to Setup SSL on IIS?, Microsoft
Troubleshooting the Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 Web Client - Part 7, Mariano Gomez @ The Dynamics GP Blogster

Hope you find this information useful.

Until next post!

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

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Visual Studio Tools for Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 and Microsoft Visual Studio 2013

A few weeks aback I talked about Updating your Visual Studio Tools for web client development environment and soon after I started receiving numerous emails from developers wanting to know if they could leverage the current Visual Studio Tools 2013 SP2 (VST) templates with Visual Studio 2013.  As of yet, Microsoft has not released Microsoft Dynamics GP Add-In and Microsoft Dynamics GP Web Client Add-In templates for Visual Studio 2013, but with the help of my good friend Michael Hammond, Sr. Engineering Lead at Microsoft I have instructions on how to move the current Visual Studio 2012 templates to Visual Studio 2013

1. Locate the current VST templates folders under your Microsoft Visual Studio 2012 program files folder. These can usually be found as follows:

Visual C# templates folders
C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 11.0\Common7\IDE\ProjectTemplates\CSharp\Dynamics GP
C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 11.0\Common7\IDE\ItemTemplates\CSharp\1033

*The latter folder contains the zip file items associated with the project's Add | New Item.. action in Visual Studio, giving access to Microsoft Dynamics GP Form and Microsoft Dynamics GP Silverlight Window.

Visual Basic templates folders
C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 11.0\Common7\IDE\ProjectTemplates\VisualBasic\Dynamics GP
C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 11.0\Common7\IDE\ItemTemplates\VisualBasic\1033

*The latter folder contains the zip file items associated with the project's Add | New Item.. action in Visual Studio, giving access to Microsoft Dynamics GP Form and Microsoft Dynamics GP Silverlight Window.

2. Copy and paste the Dynamics GP folder from under the above folders to their corresponding Microsoft Visual Studio 2013 program files folder. These are consequently found at:

Visual C# templates folder
C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 12.0\Common7\IDE\ProjectTemplates\CSharp
C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 12.0\Common7\IDE\ItemTemplates\CSharp\1033

Visual Basic templates folder
C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 12.0\Common7\IDE\ProjectTemplates\VisualBasic
C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 12.0\Common7\IDE\ItemTemplates\VisualBasic\1033

3. Configure Microsoft Visual Studio 2013 to recognize the templates. Start a Command Prompt as an administrator and change directories to C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 12.0\Common7\IDE. Once in the directory, you can type the following command to setup the Visual Studio 2013 environment:

Command Prompt

The setup process should take no more than a couple minutes. Once you finish, you can launch Visual Studio 2013 and click to create a project using the Dynamics GP templates installed.

Visual Studio 2013 with Dynamics GP templates
Now, the beauty of all this is I can focus on my Windows Store applications without losing track of my Dynamics GP apps - the beauty of having everything under one roof.

Until next post!

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

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Web Client Wednesday: Microsoft Dynamics GP on Azure


Back in February of this year, I did a full walk-through of Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 deployment on Windows Azure. I realized that one of the things that make it hard for partners and customers to determine whether to use the Windows Azure platform for hosting their Microsoft Dynamics GP solution is the scattered information regarding (application) features that are supported on the platform. In fact, did you know that even if you are not running Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013, you can still take advantage of Windows Azure to host other versions of Microsoft Dynamics GP? You can always run the desktop client with Remote Desktop Services (RDS) to accomplish this.

So, the objective of this article is to go over the Microsoft Dynamics GP components that are supported on the Windows Azure platform, which can be categorized into features that are Fully Supported and features requiring RDS licensing.

Full Support

These are features that are internet facing (accessed via a browser) from the Windows Azure platform, without requiring much interaction with the desktop client.

  • Web Client
  • Web Services
  • Business Portal
  • Workflow (limited Dynamics GP desktop client use)
  • Management Reporter Web Viewer feature
  • Tenant Services
  • SQL Server Reporting Services Reports

RDS Licensing

These are features that you will access via a remote desktop connection and is no different than your traditional Terminal Services or Citrix experience.

  • Microsoft Dynamics GP desktop client
  • eConnect (determined by consuming application)
  • Integration Manager
  • Management Reporter Report Designer and Viewer
  • Excel Reports
  • Analysis Cubes

As you can tell, Windows Azure presents a great opportunity for those of you trying to leverage a world class data center. In addition, Azure allows connectivity to your LAN via its virtual network infrastructure. You can try it out free for 30 days by visiting http://www.windowsazure.com. All you need is a Microsoft Account (formerly Windows Live ID) to get started.

If you need a walk-through, please feel free to add your comment to this post with information on how to reach you.

For more info on RDS licensing, take a look at RDS Solution for Dynamics GP on Azure over at Inside Microsoft Dynamics GP.

Until next post!

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