Thursday, April 13, 2017

#FabrikamDay: the holiday that wasn't

Yesterday was ceremoniously an unofficial holiday. That's right! The date did not show up on any local or international calendar, it wasn't part of any federal or state registry. Frankly, the world did another spin on its axis without skipping a beat and life for billions of people on this planet went on without a hitch - OK, I'm not trivializing what's going on around some problem spots in the world, but I digress. Not so for a few hundred in the Microsoft Dynamics GP community of customers, partners, and independent software vendors (ISVs). We celebrated our own 'holiday' of sorts: #FabrikamDay.

Breaking it all down

To understand what Fabrikam Day is, you first have to ask yourself, "What is Fabrikam?". Fabrikam (and more precisely, Fabrikam, Inc. or Fabrikam, Ltd, formerly The World Online) is the sample company used for demos, development, and testing in Microsoft Dynamics GP. The sample company provides sample data for all core and extended modules, including Field Services, Manufacturing, Project Accounting, and Human Resources/Payroll.

NOTE: Other Microsoft products use the sample company name Fabrikam for demo purposes. Click to obtain a list of fictional Microsoft companies.

For the longest time, the sample company transactions data was based on an April 12, 2017 fictitious date. Each time you log into Microsoft Dynamics GP and select the sample company, by default, you obtain the following warning dialog:

In the early 2000's a first change was done to convert the sample company data to a fictitious date of April 12, 2007. When 2007 came along, the date was forwarded once more 10 years ahead. If you are a veteran in the channel, I'm sure many of you thought, like I did, that you would probably be doing something differently when 2017 came around. At the time, it seemed so far removed from anyone's imagination. You can read more details and technicalities behind the sample company date in this very detailed article by my friend and fellow MVP, David Musgrave.

#FabrikamDay is today or is it? 

Where did the idea of a #FabrikamDay came from?

Back at GPUG Amplify 2016 in Anaheim, CA a group of us (Pam Misialek, Bob McAdam, Chris Dobkins, Amber Bell) started toying around with the idea of putting together an event around April 12, 2017 to commemorate the advent of the sample date. Back then, the original intent was to have a one day celebration costume party close or around one of the major events this year. Given the logistical challenges (and possible cost) the idea never took off.

Fast forward to the beginning of March, 2017 and Amber Bell with Training Dynamo releases the first blog post titled Fabrikam Day in which she describes the sample company date and how has Fabrikam helped her over the years to train her customers.

In mid-march, GPUG Amplify featured a number of "Fabrikam-themed" badges for attendees name tags, hoping to draw attention of the upcoming date.

GPUG Amplify badges for name tag
By the latter part of March, 2017, Chris Dobkins and Melissa Sandrovich over at Njevity picked up where Amplify left off and were just determined to not let the date go by without doing something. Chris and Melissa posted their first #FabrikamDay picture requesting the community to follow up with pictures of their own.

Chris Dobkins and Melissa Sandrovich at Coors Field in Denver, Colorado
Ever since this first picture by Chris and Melissa, the community began responding slowly but surely to the request. According to we had just about 479 original tweets and 924 retweets that included the #FabrikamDay, with about 1.7M impressions and reaching over 300 thousand people.

It was now April 12, 2017 (yesterday). The day started with a barrage of tweets allusive to #FabrikamDay and ended with a 4:00 PM EDT online meeting hosted by Pam Misialek, Product Marketing manager at Microsoft which did a quick run down memory lane showing some of the nostalgia and accomplishments over the years. At 4:12 PM EDT we did a "ball dropping" of sorts with a countdown to welcome #FabrikamDay. Those of us in attendance listened to stories, saw old time videos, and played a little trivia game to gauge our knowledge of Microsoft Dynamics GP history.

To say I have attended a few events over the years would be quite an understatement, but #FabrikamDay reminded me of the importance of community and the heart and passion to improve the lives of customers and partners. I hope to continue working for this community and do my part to make it stronger. You do the same!

Now, some posts from around the globe:

David Musgrave (Winthrop Development Consultants) 
#FabrikamDay How to quickly update the sample data to 2027
#FabrikamDay is today or is it?

Amber Bell (Training Dynamo)
- Fabrikam Day

Chris Dobkins (Njevitytogo)
Attention Dynamics GP Customers and Partners: We Need Your Help to celebrate Fabrikam Day!

Mark Polino (DynamicAccounting)
- Happy #FabrikamDay

Rhonda Sutliff (Rockton Software)
- Happy Fabrikam Day!

Until next post,

Mariano Gomez, MVP

1 comment:

Beat BUCHER said...

it was so funny, because yesterday afternoon (2017-04-12), someone pinged me over a PM social channel and was all in panic because one of their customer couldn't enter any date in the future .. 1st I thought of an April fool's joke, but it turned out not to be the case, and then I thought about Fabrikam Day and it's implicantion with it, but it was something more down to earth :-)..
When trying to open a new project in GP, the system would mockup and tell the date is invalid, but I asked the person to check the FY setup in the tables, and it turned out that they were trying to create a project into a future date with no FY setup in SY040100.
Sometimes having someone with a fresh eye looking into things helps a lot, rather than pulling hairs over an error message :-)
Happy Fabrikam Day !