Friday, July 27, 2018

Missing Dexterity Shared Components cause Word Templates processing to hang

Working recently on an issue, I ran into a situation where I would get the following template processing error attempting to print a SOP Invoice - if you look at the bottom status bar, next to the user ID, you will see a Template Processing accompanied by a yellow warning triangle.


Upon inspecting the Template Processing status, I ran into the following Exception Detail message:

The following error occurred while processing this report:
One or more templates could not be processed. View the exception log for more details.


Since the error was referencing a template, I figured I would go back and check to make sure I could edit the template, which was based on the original SOP Blank Invoice Form Template. Upon attempting to modify the template, I received an error:

File Not Found:"C:\Users\\AppData\Local\Temp\SOP Blank Invoice Form Template.docx".




After attempting to print the template, and after all the subsequent tell-tell sign errors, I attempted to exit Dynamics GP and got the following warning:

Processes are currently being run that cannot be deleted. These processes must be run to completion before you exit.



At this point, I went through the checklist:

  • Microsoft Dynamics GP Add-In for Microsoft Word is installed - Check!
  • Microsoft Office 32 bit is installed - Check!
  • Open XML SDK 2.0 for Microsoft Office is installed - Check!

One thing I noticed was, when I opened Word, the Microsoft Dynamics GP fields object would not appear on Microsoft Word's ribbon. This was a sign that something was not right, considering I had the GP Add-In for Microsoft Word installed.

I ran a repair on Microsoft Dynamics GP and this did not solve the problem either. Upon further inspection, I noticed I was missing the Dexterity Shared Components 16.0 (64-bit). In my system, I run several versions of Microsoft Dynamics GP and I had Dexterity Shared Components for all but the Microsoft Dynamics GP 2016 version I was trying to print the invoice from. 

Once Dexterity Shared Components was installed, I went ahead and gave it a try once more and everything worked as expected.

Until next post,

MG.-
Mariano Gomez, MVP

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central: the perfect complement for Microsoft Dynamics GP users

Microsoft Dynamics GP users rejoice!

If you were a part of the long list of users, partners, and ISVs scared by some imaginary deadline set (by Microsoft) for you to migrate from Dynamics GP and onto Dynamics 365 Business Central, it's now my pleasure to separate fact from fiction in this era of, well, fake news - at least in the Dynamics space.

Microsoft has recently published the October '18 Business Applications Release Notes, a 239 page document describing all the upcoming features and functionality to be included with Dynamics 365 for Sales, Service, Marketing, Finance and Operations, Talent, Retail, and Social Engagement; the Power platform (Power BI, PowerApps, Microsoft Flow, Common Data Services), and Dynamics 365 Business Central.

The words "Dynamics GP" appear 7 times in this document (including the table of content) and span from pages 117 through 133, explaining what is an imminent reality: Dynamics GP is now part of the Business Central plan, although folks at Microsoft will tell you, "it always was!" 😂.

To explain this, I must start from a simple premise: your will be able to use your existing on-premises solution of Dynamics GP to connect to the cloud through Business Central.

Microsoft further consider this to be the "convergence point for Dynamics SMB products" as going forward, GP (along with NAV, and SL) is considered a customer of Business Central, in the cloud or on-premise. Now, the choice words can be confusing and can even a bit overwhelming, but the explanation is rather straight forward. Microsoft Dynamics GP customers will have access to all the built-in capabilities of Business Central -- its Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) based analytical capabilities, its Power BI powered visualizations and reporting capabilities, the ability to create powerful mobile applications and sophisticated worflows with PowerApps and Flow; and uncompromising data access and storage via Common Data Services, all without giving up their investment in Microsoft Dynamics GP.

In turn, Microsoft will continue to invest and provide key updates to Dynamics GP as it has been done for the past 25 years.

The Intelligent Edge

The intelligent edge bridges the digital and real world -- enabling you to deliver a seamless experience and compute capabilities wherever your data exists -- in the cloud or offline, as defined by Microsoft on their Intelligent Edge page. What does this have to do with Dynamics GP? In Microsoft's view, GP is now considered an edge "device".

Intelligent Edge
(Source: Business Applications Release Notes - October '18)

In order to accomplish such feat, GP customers will connect to an instance of intelligent cloud via Business Central, deciding what companies to replicate in the process. In turn, you will get back actionable analysis and content, right inside your Microsoft Dynamics GP application area pages - similar to the Business Analyzer or Power BI experience today, I would assume.

Now, think of this for a second... long gone are the days were you spend hours on end building analytical reports and gathering insight on your data, because you will have at your disposition a powerful AI and ML based decision engine working for you 24/7/365. Also, you will have the infrastructure of the cloud doing this without you ever having to update it. And what about custom insights into your data? You can create those too! What about taking your data with you on your mobile device? That's also there for you with PowerApps and Flow.

And let's be honest here, for a second. IF and when you are ready to move to the cloud, this will be an easier proposition as most of your data will already be replicated. Need ALL your data? There are specialized partners on AppSource waiting to earn your business. Heck, even the folks over at eOne Solutions are on board with SmartConnect, a tool you already know and love.

But also, let's look at the other side of that coin. You've spent your life building the perfect solution for your business in Microsoft Dynamics GP. You have invested thousands of hours, tens of thousands of dollars in consulting, and you have the perfect combination of third party ISV applications you know you are NOT going to get on Business Central. In addition, you simply love the passion guys and gals like Mark Polino, Belinda Allen, David Musgrave, Leslie Vail, Jen Kuntz, Shawn Dorward, Victoria Yudin, and I display at conferences, showing you how to make the most of your investment. You also know that Dynamics GP is a proven and mature solution that simply delivers. Simple: DON'T MOVE! Continue to use Dynamics GP with the insights provided by Business Central and you will still be golden.

A final note: if you look carefully at the info-graphic above, synchronization of your data is unidirectional (from on-prem to cloud). This means that, although you can  enter data in Business Central, you will need integration mechanisms to get that data back into your on-premise solution.

Until next post,

MG.-
Mariano Gomez, MVP

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Microsoft Dynamics GP July Hotfix packed with some long awaited features

If you missed it, the Microsoft Dynamics GP Development team has delivered the July Hotfix for versions 2015, 2016, and 2018. What has me really excited are a number of features that were included in this release - I will skip the bug fixes as those are always welcome - as follow:

Support for TWAIN drivers
Why is this important? TWAIN is an API and a communications protocol that regulates communication between software applications and digital imaging devices, such as image scanners and digital cameras. As it turned out, this is EXACTLY what the Document Attach feature needed to overcome some reported compatibility issues with certain scanning devices - Dynamics GP only provided support for Windows Image Acquisition (WIA) protocol.

For additional information on TWAIN, click here.

Applies to GP 2016 and GP 2018.

Web Client support for Non-US regional date settings
For users with a regional setting date format other than MMDDYYYY, web client will now display the proper date format in transaction entry screens. Before, with the regional date settings changed, you could see the correct date in the upper right hand corner of the web client overall ribbon, but not on transaction screens.

Applies to GP 2018, only.

Support for Web Client Organizational Accounts with Workflow.
One of the biggest complaints from users was the lack of support for Azure AD accounts with Workflow over web client. If I had to pinpoint the biggest drawback to web client adoption, this is probably it.



Now, with the hotfix, you can setup your organizational accounts for workflow for the originator, approver, and manager roles in Microsoft Dynamics GP Workflow, as shown by Lucas Miller.

Applies to GP 2018, only.

In conclusion, to take advantage of these new features, consider upgrading to the latest release of Microsoft Dynamics GP (GP 2018). If you are already working with a hosting partner like Njevity or RoseASP, be sure to ask about these new features. If you are hosting your own Microsoft Dynamics GP on-premise or in the cloud, consider applying the hotfix as soon as possible to take advantage of the new features.

Users of Microsoft Dynamics GP 2015 receive some fixed assets updates, along with some W2, W3, and ACA 1094 fixes for HR/Payroll.

Mainstream Support for Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 ended on April 10, 2018 which means that users on this release no longer receive tax, hotfixes, and year-end updates.  Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 is currently on Extended Support until April 11, 2023.

Until next post,

MG.-
Mariano Gomez, MVP