Monday, March 31, 2014

Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 Virtual Machine image from the Windows Azure Gallery

Part 2/2 - The Experience

In my previous article, Part 1 of the series, I talked about provisioning a Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 development environment from the Windows Azure gallery. If you are already an MSDN subscriber and are already taking advantage of Azure, there isn't much new to you as far as provisioning a VM from the gallery goes.

Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 VM image

One of the first things you will notice on the desktop are shortcuts to Microsoft Dexterity, Microsoft Dynamics, Visual Studio Base Image Icons, a link to the Getting Started with the Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 Developer Image, and Visual Studio 2013 Premium Edition.

I started out by loading the Getting Started help file, which contains tons of information on all the development tools installed and links to resources. I then proceeded to open Visual Studio 2013, which of course, went through the traditional and lengthy initialization process after entering my Microsoft Account information. At the end, however, I was able to validate that both the Microsoft Dynamics GP Add-In and Microsoft Dynamics GP Web Client Add-In projects were available to begin a Visual Studio Tools project if needed.

Next, I launched Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 (12.00.1482) and was quickly faced with the login window. I figured the much needed sa password could be find in the Machine Configuration section of the help file provided and sure was. However, I was also disappointed to know that this image is delivered with Microsoft SQL Server Express 2012. Nonetheless, I reminded myself this is a development environment. Unfortunately, the SQL Server Express provisioning script did not incorporate the Advanced Services tools which leaves you without SQL Server Management Studio Express.

If you need to add other Microsoft Dynamics GP components or even the SQL Server Express tools (like Management Studio), you can find the media under the C:\ConfigureDeveloperDesktop\Software folder. There's media for Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 with SP2, Microsoft SQL Server Express 2012, and Workflow for Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013.

There C:\ConfigureDeveloperDesktop folder also contains a Script folder. In this folder you can find some batch files and PowerShells scripts to deploy the web client and configure additional environment components. Be sure to follow the instructions provided in the Getting Started help file before you attempt to run any of these.

Batch Files and PowerShell scritps

NOTE: you can always add the local SQL Server Database Engine to Visual Studio and build queries using the Visual Studio editor.

To develop eConnect or Web Services for Microsoft Dynamics GP-based integrating applications, you will need to run the ConfigureGPWebServices script in the ConfigureDeveloperDesktop\Scripts folder on the desktop. This script will install and configure the eConnect for Microsoft Dynamics GP and Web Services for Microsoft Dynamics GP components as these are dependent on machine and domain information.

The script for provisioning Microsoft Dynamics GP Web Client is in the C:\ConfigureDeveloperDesktop\Scripts folder. Running the ConfigureGPWebClient script will complete the installation of the web client to the point where you need to run the Microsoft Dynamics GP Web Client Configuration Wizard to compete the configuration. The Microsoft Dynamics GP Web Client Configuration Wizard can be launched from a shortcut on the start screen. The configuration wizard will ask for connection information to the SQL Express instance and then create the databases.

The web client script will create a self-signed security certificate for configuring the web client for SSL communication. To access the web client…

1.      Launch internet explorer and type the following URL, replacing with the name you provided for the virtual machine. (https:///GP) 

2.      You will be asked for credentials to log in. Type in the name and password of the machine administrator account you were logged in with when running the ConfigureGPWebClient script.

To be frank, the Developer's VM image is well stacked and provides all the goodies you will ever need for development purposes. The most important thing to keep in mind is, this is hosted on Windows Azure and as such your disaster/recovery redundancy is unparalleled by anything you have on premise. Think about moving your demo and dev environments to the Windows Azure platform as this will probably be the replacement of the famous Hyper-V images previously delivered via PartnerSource.

Until next post!

Mariano Gomez, MVP
IntellPartners, LLC

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 Virtual Machine image from the Windows Azure Gallery

Part 1/2 - The Provisioning Process

A few days aback, the Microsoft Dynamics GP product management team announced the availability of Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 from the Windows Azure gallery. You can read more about it on the Inside Microsoft Dynamics GP blog:

Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 image available in the Azure Gallery

The image is available exclusively to MSDN subscribers, which means it's only slated for development and maybe even demo purposes. You can find more information and download some Word documents to assist with the configuration process directly from PartnerSource with the link provided below.

PartnerSource: Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 image available in the Azure Gallery

Since I am an MSDN subscriber courtesy of the Microsoft MVP Award Program, I thought I would dive into the process of provisioning a Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 virtual machine (VM) and walk through some of the things I found in the process - back in January of 2013, I explained the Windows Azure subscription process. The process may or may have not changed much since then, but if you are an MSDN subscriber, all you need to do is activate your benefits by going to the Windows Azure website.

1. Once your benefits are active, you will need to go to the Windows Azure management portal - for obvious reasons, I have obfuscated my VM and cloud services names.

Windows Azure management portal
2. Click the +NEW button on the lower left hand side of the window, then select Compute | Virtual Machine  | From Gallery to begin the provisioning process.

Virtual Machine Gallery option

3. Locate the Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 Developer image from the Dynamics gallery under the Microsoft section. To note, you can also provision a Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 R2 image as well.

Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 Developer
The excerpt from the image description is as follows:

The Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 Developer image is an offering exclusive to MSDN subscribers. The image includes a pre-configured environment for building integrations and customizations for Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013. The image includes the same software as the Visual Studio Premium 2013 gallery image. In addition, it has the Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 software components, including Microsoft Dynamics GP, Microsoft Dynamics GP SDK, Dexterity for Microsoft Dynamics GP, and Visual Studio Tools for Microsoft Dynamics GP. The image also contains configuration scripts for installing Microsoft Dynamics GP Web Client and Web Services for Microsoft Dynamics GP. Refer to the "Getting started with the Microsoft Dynamics GP Developer Image" link on the desktop for additional information. 

As a developer, you get all the goodies you can possibly dream of to dive into a development project, including Visual Studio Premium 2013. Also, once the provisioning process is complete, you can access the VM and read further instructions with a link provided on the desktop.

4. When you click the next button you will then be taken to the Virtual Machine Configuration screen, where you can enter the name and a local admin user and password for the Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 VM. You are also asked to size the VM, for which there are no clear instructions. Given the amount of software that will be running on this VM (GP, SQL Server, Visual Studio, etc.), I figure a large size (4 cores, 7 GB memory) should be good enough to start out.

Virtual Machine Configuration
5. The next step walks you through setting up the cloud service information, DSN, region, storage account information and availability set. If you are not familiar with any of these terms, please refer to the Windows Azure Documentation website. If you already have a virtual network as well, you may need to consult with your network administrator before you can continue.

Cloud Service
6. The final step will prompt for the installation of the VM Agent and the end-points you will want to create to access any service or application from the Internet. The VM Agent allows you to recover passwords and the likes in case you forget.

VM Agent and Endpoints

7. After submitting the configuration, the provisioning process begins.

Provisioning process

Tomorrow, we will explore the VM image a bit more and walk through some of the documentation available to developers.

Until next post!

Mariano Gomez, MVP
IntellPartners, LLC

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Codename DexNEXT - Part 1

Codename DexNEXT - Part 1 of 2

You have probably been hearing the term kicked around the circles for almost a year now, but codename DexNEXT represents a major milestone in the evolution of the Microsoft Dexterity development platform and the Microsoft Dynamics GP application - Microsoft Dexterity is Microsoft Dynamics GP's native development platform.

DexNEXT is fundamented on the vision that Microsoft Dynamics GP needs to consume as well as expose services to become a solid cloud offering. After all, when referencing "cloud", in reality we are referring to the various services that live in the cloud. It is generally accepted that the Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 web client is the first step in that direction.

As such, starting with Microsoft Dynamics GP 2015, and to a certain extent, Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 R2 the Microsoft Dexterity and Microsoft Dynamics GP development teams are evolving the core architecture to support services as a native component. The key requirements driving this evolution are:

- Elasticity and scalability
- Support for various form factors
- Functionality exposed via an integration layer
- Support for various localization models (international markets)
- Systems interconnectivity and interoperability with other service-based applications
- Support for platform tools
- Continuous support for the current investment (time, money, and code base).

The immediate objectives of this strategy are to:

- Develop a long term strategy centered around services
- Expose sanScript logic as a service call
- Enhance Dexterity's .NET capabilities
- Better alignment with Windows Azure

The current service architecture has been mainly focused around the use of eConnect and Web Services at the integration layer. Recently, we have seen additional work carried out around the delivery of Windows Store companion apps, with Business Analyzer being the first application of this kind. Then there's the web client, exposed via a Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) service and consumed via a browser.

Current Service Architecture

The new service-based architecture aims to change this a bit by delivering native services, derived from existing Microsoft Dynamics GP business logic.

DexNext Service Architecture 
In the above schematics, the GP Services replace the traditional eConnect and Web Services integration components, while being tightly coupled to the Microsoft Dynamics GP dictionary resources - integration are not done through database calls, but rather a unified set of RESTful service calls.

We can always speculate about the long term vision of this architecture. It is not inconceivable to believe elements such as the user interface and core application functions - the entire application - can be seen as services that can be consumed by other applications such as Windows Store companion apps and even application offered through the Windows Azure marketplace. This will also facilitate integration to other non-Windows platforms and applications.

In my next article, I will talk about some of the underlying changes Microsoft Dexterity will be undergoing in order to accommodate to expose and consume services.

Until next post!

Mariano Gomez, MVP
IntellPartners, LLC

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Microsoft Dynamics Convergence Atlanta 2014 - Day 4 and Wrap Up

Friday, March 7, 2014 - Day 4

Convergence is almost over. After a busy Day 3, I simply decided I had enough and camped out at home for most of the morning. I decided to head down to the Convention Center at around 11:00 AM to take advantage of the USD $100 store certificate to get some goodies at the Microsoft onsite store. I picked up a couple mouses, a Microsoft Dynamics carrying bag, and some apparel to go along.

The place was almost deserted with quite a bit of folks having flights out early in the morning. Convergence has come to an end.


I want to thank the Microsoft team for trusting both Mark and I with delivering the MVP section of the General Session. While a lot of time and prep work goes into making it happen, I certainly have quite a bit of appreciation for the team's effort. Also, thanks for letting me present the various breakout sessions presented. Filling in for Kelly Youells is not an easy task.

I also want to thank the GP User Group (GPUG) team for inviting me to conduct the interactive discussion sessions. I have some ideas on how we can get this promoted and will be reaching out soon to you.

Thanks to Tom Manfre, Greg Frick, and Todd Schultz for signing up for the Interactive Discussion sessions. I really have quite some fun listening to your experiences and how you are currently taking advantage of cloud and Microsoft Dynamics GP in general.

Presentation Materials

You can now download the presentation materials to my sessions here.

CSGP008 Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013: Upgrading and Deploying the fun way - click here.
CSGP014 Microsoft Dynamics GP Customization for Beginners - click here.
Visual Studio Tools Customization Sample: SOP Amounts in Words - click here.

If you missed any of my presentations, you can catch them on the Virtual Convergence website. Just use the email address you registered with to gain access to the site. I believe a combination of both the downloaded material and the Virtual Convergence presentation will make up for attendance.

If you attended any of the sessions, please fill out your evaluations. It's the only way I get invited to these things. See you all next year at Microsoft Dynamics Convergence 2015.

Until next post!

Mariano Gomez, MVP
IntellPartners, LLC

Microsoft Dynamics Convergence Atlanta 2014 - Day 3

Thursday, March 6, 2014 - Day 3

After a night of party at Rock-n-Rave on Day 2, I would be delivering 3 sessions today. While getting up was painful in the morning, my wife and I managed to get an early start and made it down to the convention center to continue with our activities.

Back at the Sydney Marcus auditorium, I caught the tail end of DDGP008 Excel, Excel, Excel: An Excel shootout (part 2 - how to do it yourself) hosted by MVPs Mark Polino and Belinda Allen and Microsoft's Jarred Hall. This session was attended by 255 people and ended with a lot of questions.

DDGP008 Excel, Excel, Excel: An Excel shootout (part 2 - how to do it yourself)
Belinda Allen, Jarred Hall, Mark Polino
The things these guys are able to do with Microsoft Office Excel are just breathtaking and stunning all at once. The team demonstrated Excel's new visualization capabilities and how just about anyone can take advantage of these with just the basic knowledge of pivot tables.

Next up was my first session of the day, a repeat, CSGP008-R2 Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013: Upgrading and deploying the fun way. By now, my comfort level was high as I would be doing the same session as the prior day. The turned out was actually very impressive, with 190 attendees, despite the previous night of parties in town.

CSGP008-R2 Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013: Upgrading the fun way @ Sydney Marcus Auditorium
My session ended with quite a bit of questions from the crowd in attendance and feedback was positive. I really would like to bring this session back next Convergence.

It was time to go meet with Jason Gumpert with MSDynamicsWorld. Jason had planned an interview with Microsoft Dynamics GP MVPs in attendance and I have to say I truly enjoyed listening to some of my peers. One of the cool things about being an MVP is the ability to observe and analyze things from a different perspective, given the amount of insight we have into the products we are so passionate about.

After the interview, I had a chance to get one last snapshot of the Microsoft Dynamics GP Support team. Pretty soon the Expo hall would be dismantled as this was the last day it would be opened.

The Microsoft Dynamics GP Support Team
I was off to deliver a 2:00 PM interactive session hosted by GPUG, IDGP003-R1 Ask Your Peers: Cloud and Web Client Technologies. It was my privilege to present this session accompanied by Tom Monfre with Batteries + Bulbs, Greg Frick with Dimensional Thinking, and Todd Schultz with the Microsoft Dynamics Academic Alliance. We had a small turn out of no more than 10 souls, but had a chance to convert this into a round table discussion where attendees made some very interesting observations about how their organizations envision deploying and using the cloud and taking advantage of Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 web client.

We had a chance to repeat our session, IDGP003-R2 Ask Your Peers: Cloud and Web Client Technologies at 5:00 PM and had a smaller turn out, but still very enjoyable and on point with the objectives.

After all the sessions were through, I met up with my wife and daughter for the concert featuring Grammy Award winning group Fun (twitter: @ournameisfun) at the Phillips Arena. Prior to attending the concert, we went out for dinner with our good friends Mike Lupro (Lupro and Associates), Zubin Gidwani (Dynamic Budgets), and Constance Quigley (Q-Factor Consulting).

Dinner was over and it was time to simply relax a bit and get our minds off the long week. Now I leave you with some pictures from the concert.

Emily Moore (Guitar) & Nate Ruess (Lead Vocalist)

Nate Ruess

Microsoft Dynamics AX MVP Joris de Gruyter and I doing a selfie at the Fun. concert
My next article will be a Day 4 and Wrap Up and will feature all the materials used at the conference. You are free to download these for your own purpose. Also, be sure to check out The Dynamics GP Blogster on Facebook for lots more pictures. Feel free to tag yourself, friends, or anyone you recognize.

Until next post!

Mariano Gomez, MVP
IntellPartners, LLC

Microsoft Dynamics Convergence Atlanta 2014 - Day 2

Wednesday, March 5, 2014 - Day 2

Convergence Day 1 brought us the product General Sessions. Day 2 of Convergence was all about the breakout sessions. Today, I would be delivering two sessions, starting with CSGP014 Microsoft Dynamics GP Customization for Beginners at 11:00 AM local time. With 150 people in attendance, I am forced to say that this was pretty good considering the session was a) geared towards customers and partners who needed an idea of how to get started with the customization tools, and b) a bit above the beginner's level.

I have to admit that the session was a bit too technical, and probably featured a bit more code demonstration than I originally wanted to show, but again, it was a technical session.

After some lunch, I had a chance to sit into MVP Mark Polino's session CSGP009-R2 Microsoft Dynamics GP: 50 tips in 50 minutes. Mark had around 300 people at the Sydney Marcus Auditorium which is where I would be delivering my presentation next. One thing to note is, Mark conducted his entire session with the Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 web client which performed beautifully and flawlessly throughout the entire thing.

Next up was my session in the same auditorium, CSGP008-R1 Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013: Upgrading and Deploying the fun way. I had roughly 270 attendees in this session. This was my first time delivering this material and I have to say it was quite fun. I think for future Convergence events I would like to do this as a live upgrade rather than a session of this type, so I guess probably a deep dive format is more adequate as those run for 1.5 hours.

Following my session it was just about time for the closing keynote. Visionary leaders Biz Stone (twitter: @biz), co-inventor and co-founder of Twitter Inc. and co-founder and CEO of Jelly, and Arianna Huffington (twitter: @ariannahuff), president and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post Media Group, took us on a journey to explore how to achieve more, deepen our connections, and create more meaningful experiences with technology.

Arianna Huffington

Arianna Huffington

Biz Stone

Q&A with Fred Studer, Arianna Huffington, Biz Stone, and 

Following the keynote session, I went back to the convention center to check up on emails and what's not and ran into Viswanathan (Viswa) Neelakantan, a team member with Microsoft India. Viswa and I had been exchanging emails and ideas for the past couple of years, but I finally had a chance to meet with him in person.

Mariano Gomez and Viswanathan Neelakantan
After catching up for a while, Viswa and I parted ways and I was off to meet up with my wife to go home, but some how got convinced to stop by the Rock-n-Rave party. It's also good to note that this year marks the 10th anniversary of Rock-n-Rave and its goal of providing some of the best entertainment to Convergence attendees, all while networking in a very party like environment.

Rock-n-Rave commemoratory banner 

Rock-n-Rave was at the Prive Nightclub in midtown and featured Blair Crimmins and the Hookers. In addition, we were treated to some scavenger hunt, casino, DJ entertainment, and the Matt Palmer duo - quite a bit to keep the crowd moving until midnight.

Wife and I left the venue at around 11:30 PM as it was time to get some rest for the next day.

Until next post!

Mariano Gomez, MVP
IntellPartners, LLC

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Microsoft Dynamics Convergence Atlanta 2014 - Day 1

Tuesday, March 4, 2014 - Day 1

Convergence Atlanta 2014 Day 1 is marked by keynotes and product General Sessions. At the keynote session and in the best of Convergence traditions, we had a chance to see the volunteering work by attendees who signed up to make the lives of the least fortunate among us a bit better.

Convergence Community Outreach

The entertainment was provided by the Spirit of Atlanta Drum and Bugle Corps nonprofit organization. The Spirit of Atlanta is been around since the mid 70s and has traveled the world delivering numerous presentations.

The Keynote session highlighted a number of Microsoft accomplishments and how the company has been delivering innovation through its various platforms and applications.

Delivering Innovation

It was time to present the Customer Excellence Awards and was good to see that Chobani and Weight Watchers were brought in a year later to talk about their implementations and the benefits they are currently getting from them.

Maureen Hurley (Chobani) and Mark Olsen  (Weight Watchers)
Wayne Morris then addressed the various Dynamics Innovation Roadmap objectives along with numerous investments in features and integration with Azure's Infrastructure as a Service and when new product updates can be expected.

Wayne Morris on Dynamics Innovation Roadmap

Kirill Tatarinov, Executive VP of Microsoft Business Solutions, then came on stage to talk about the Interconnected World and the role of Microsoft played during the Sochi Winter Olympics in Russia and the future of Microsoft in enabling and expanding interconnection.

Continuing with the Customer Excellence award, Microsoft brought on stage Lotus F1 Team's CEO Matthew Carter to talk about the importance of up to the second cost control and analytics for the team and how the Microsoft Dynamics platform has helped in measuring those costs.

Lotus F1 Team's CEO Matthew Carter being interviewed by Kirill Tatarinov
After Matthew left the stage, Microsoft demonstrated how they are using some of the tools and technologies within the organization to get immediate access to information to make decisions. Some of the scenarios involved marketing, demonstrated by Wayne Morris; sales, demonstrated by Judson Althoff, president Microsoft North America, and customer service, demonstrated by Fred Studer.

We were once reminded how real customers use Microsoft platforms and applications to run their business with the introduction of Customer Excellence Award winner New Belgium Brewery. While it was still a little early for beers, it was still good to see how diverse industries use Microsoft Dynamics products to solve very complex and challenging business requirements.

Travis Morrison and Kaitlyn Peot with New Belgium Brewery

Kirill then recognized the full list of 2014 Excellence Award winners.

Customer Excellence Award winners
Next up was Delta Airlines talking about the adoption of mobile technology in the air to maximize revenue and deliver quality customer service.

Theresa Wise, SVP & CIO and Meleia Jordan, Flight Attendant with Delta Airlines
Following the opening keynote session, it was time for the Microsoft Dynamics GP General Session, where I would be partaking with MVP Mark Polino on stage. This time, Mark and I would be presenting 14 upcoming features in Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 R2. We had quite a bit of fun and thought that at next year's Convergence we would just do the whole General Session instead.

Mark and I on stage presenting at the General Session
It was now time for lunch and you could tell that Microsoft was very conscious of the 12,000 in attendance at the event: what was once 3 years ago and area dedicated to Expo and Meals was now a single massive restaurant that could hold just about everyone there.

The Meals Hall
I have to say, I was impressed with the meals this time around. With a full stomach, I went up to room A314 to check in as a speaker at the event. It is customary to be greeted year after year by Ace Martin and Tracy Stenhjam who are always coordinating and making sure that us speakers get all the support we need in a comfortable environment. Ace and Tracy are also quick to kick us out if we are running close to our presentation time.

Ace Martin and Tracey Stenhjem
After catching up with emails and working on some final details for tomorrow's presentations, I went to the Expo Hall to see how things were progressing with the ISV community. The first day of Expo is always a bit slow to catch on, but you could sense that this would be different.

Expo Hall getting ready for the crowd
On the way out of the Expo Hall, I had a chance to catch up with the Lotus F1 Team's 2013 car. I was made aware that $30M goes into R&D for each of these vehicles and this is before they even hit the tracks.

Last Years Lotus F1 car (no engine)
Well, while today I had no sessions, it sure feels like it was time to drive home to get some rest. Just wished I could take this baby out for a ride.

Until next post!

Mariano Gomez, MVP
IntellPartners, LLC

Tuesday, March 4, 2014


March 3, 2014 - GPPC PreGAME

PreGAME is an event hosted by GP Partner Connections (GPPC) focused on the partner community and preceding the Microsoft Convergence 2014 Atlanta event.

This year, I have the fortune of having Microsoft Convergence 2014 Atlanta being hosted in my home town. I got up this morning to go to the Georgia World Congress Center (GWCC) where I would meet up with Mark Polino (twitter: @mpolino) and the Microsoft team for the General Session rehearsal. Except for the episode where I literally passed out, everything went fairly well. After my incident, I got back on stage and went on with the show. A dosage of cough medicine on an empty stomach proved to be a very bad decision to kick-off the morning.

After rehearsal and still feeling a bit weak, it was time to go grab some lunch. My good friend and customer Mike Lupro had the presence of mind to head over to Taco Mac Sports Grill, considered an institution here in Atlanta by many. A good combination of burgers and sandwiches, along with some of the best fries around always go a long way.

Gianmarco Salzano (Reporting Central), Mike Lupro, Tom Goodspeed (Olympic System), Zubin Gidwani (Dynamic Budgets)
 After lunch, we went over to the Omni Hotel at the CNN Center for the kickoff of the PreGAME sessions. First up was the PreGAME General Session with Microsoft Product Management team on "Microsoft Dynamics GP Next". It was interesting to see Pam Misialek talking about the upcoming "Stampede to Fargo", though the name will probably not stick. Please mark your calendars for the week of November 10 as this event will be comprehensive of both sales and technical presentations.

Pam Misialek on the upcoming "Stampede to Fargo" event

After Pam's presentation, we had Chad Sogge and Kevin Racer demo some of the Microsoft Dynamics GP future vision, in what's now known as Microsoft Dynamics GP Next. The NEXT platform is the next evolutionary step following a chain of platform enhancements and aims at exposing more of the Microsoft Dynamics GP application business logic in the form of REST-based and services. In order to accomplish this, the Microsoft Dexterity development platform is being enhanced at all levels, to allow for more .NET interoperability. I will expand on this in a future article.

At the end of the PreGAME General Session and on the way out, I had a chance to catch up with my friend Craig Klapman over at Mekorma, who happened to be wearing the colors of his company... ON HIS HEAD!! I have to say that for those of us who have known Craig for quite some time, we have really come to expect something new from him at each and every event.

Craig Klapman (Mekorma)
Next up, I attended fellow MVPs Mark Polino and Belinda Allen's session, "Getting Excited About Power BI". In it, Mark and Belinda demonstrated the capabilities of Power Query, Power View, Power Map, and Power Pivot, to create stunning data visualizations and analytics on the fly. The good news is all these tools are available for free from the Microsoft Power BI site. All you need is Excel 2013 or 2010 to get going.

Finally, it was time for my GPPC session, "Experience Sharing on Web Client". My session provided a series of recollections on the deployment work we've done here at IntellPartners around Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 web client, both internally and for our customers. This session was well received and had numerous follow up questions.

It was now time for the partner reception. Trying to hold a Surface steady to take a picture while standing can be a challenge, so please take these for what they are.

Partner Reception meeting

Leslie Vail, Pam Misialek (Microsoft), Mark Polino, John Louther, Belinda Allen, Gianmarco Salzano (Reporting Central)
It's time to get some rest now, so off I went to home to get some rest. My body was sore from my early incident and I had to give the General Session material one more pass just to make sure the timing was adequate.

Sorry Mark, about missing the #MVPMingle -- yes, this is a new hash tag on Twitter.

Until next post!

Mariano Gomez, MVP
IntellPartners, LLC