Thursday, October 20, 2016

Microsoft reIMAGINE 2016 - Day 3

Microsoft reIMAGINE 2016 hosted by Dynamic Communities is now over, but I did not want to let this week go by without giving you an account of my experiences at the conference, which sure brought a lot of surprises to all the partners in attendance.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Day 2 had us doing a bunch of bar hopping throughout Downtown Fargo, but I cannot minimize the amount of learning opportunities going on throughout Microsoft Campus and the Hilton Garden hotel. Today would mark the last day David and I would be presenting and it couldn't be on a better topic: Leveraging GP Power Tools. As is customary, our session was standing room only.

Leveraging GP Power Tools
Because of the nature of the audience and the type of event we were presenting at, this session was fairly technical in nature, highlighting some of the GP Power Tools capabilities geared towards system administrators and software developers alike. The key to keep in mind here is that GP Power Tools is now distributed by Mekorma, Inc. worldwide. If you currently own the Support Debugging Tool, please note that it is no longer supported by Microsoft or Winthrop Development Consultants and that you must upgrade to GP Power Tools.

Finalizing our session, David and I would quickly pack our bags, grab some box lunch, and prepare for the Microsoft Collaborative Development meeting, or Collab Dev for short. This meeting is held annually and is a private meeting where ISVs can listen in on product direction and the nuances behind efforts to improve product time to market. In return, Microsoft receives feedback on the pains being experienced by developers at large and strategies to mitigate those pains, in the form of suggestions to improve the tools used by the Dynamics GP development community.

Microsoft Collaborative Development meeting: Brian Roney listens to ISVs concerns
As the content of this meeting is under Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA), I cannot really describe the topics covered or the strategies addressed. Following the meeting, David and I decided to corner Brian Roney and Chad Sogge to ask for some improvements to the Dexterity development system. Hopefully, some of our suggestions made it to the list of new Dexterity features.

After the Collab Dev meeting, David and I returned to the Hilton Garden, where Mekorma would be hosting a partner learning session and presenting our new product, Muti-Batch Management (MMM). MMM is a really cool piece of software that allows companies to create profiles to select and build check batches, and print and post checks and EFT transactions across multiple companies. The user only needs to setup a few rules and with the click of one button, MMM will automatically execute these processes, login into every company where they need to be completed, all without user intervention.

Mekorma's Partner Session
You can find out more about MMM here.

The Mekorma partner session also presented some of the capabilities of GP Power Tools and discuss pricing and implementation approach of all our products with partners.

Angel Blum presenting Mekorma Products
As usual, all good things must come to an end. The conference was officially over and some folks would begin to leave Fargo this same afternoon, weather permitting. I had a chance to catch up and say goodbye to some of my friends in the dining area of the Hilton Garden.
Rachael Brancich

David Musgrave and John Lowther

Linda Stone

Chris Dobkins
Mekorma would host a partner dinner at HuHot Mongolian Grill. The idea at this place is that you are in control of your own meal, which is stir fried by some young cooks right in front of your eyes, on a big round flat iron cast surface which rotates slowly. As the food rotates, you move along with it, and somehow, the cook figures out which one is yours and delivers your meal right at a pick up station. You then seat yourself and have at it.

Mekorma Partner Dinner
For this partner dinner, we had 33 people in attendance and were occupying around 5 big tables. Craig Clapman, Mekorma's president had the idea to borrow David's camera to take a group picture. On the way down from the wall dividing two sections of the restaurant, he managed to fall and damage David's camera.

For those of you not familiar with David's camera, this is the second replacement he's made while in Fargo. The first replacement was precisely at the 2015 reIMAGINE where he somehow managed to wipe out all the pictures on the camera, in addition to messing up the camera itself.

David was lucky enough to be able to find an exact camera the following day at a store in Fargo. It was the LAST ONE available of its kind.

Angel Blum
Before leaving, I managed to grab a picture with Angel from Mekorma. Ain't she a sweetheart?

Until next post!

Mariano Gomez, MVP

Monday, October 3, 2016

Microsoft reIMAGINE 2016 - Day 2

Microsoft reIMAGINE 2016 hosted by Dynamic Communities is now over, but I did not want to let this week go by without giving you an account of my experiences at the conference, which sure brought a lot of surprises to all the partners in attendance.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Well Day 1, was certainly jammed packed with activities for David and I. Today however, was more of a transition day, where I would get to attend a few sessions, along with presenting one of my own.

I started out the day with Understanding Workflow and Document Attach, presented by Theresa Nistler, Senior Program Manager at Microsoft. Frankly, I neglected learning the initial versions of Workflow, but Dynamics GP 2016 certainly rocks and new and improved version of it, with easy configuration and a slick integration to the Document Attach feature, which I have implemented a few times. It was also good for me to attend this session, as I have a development project that involves integrating with Workflow, to improve some of our product capabilities here at Mekorma.

Following Theresa's session, it was time for me to go get setup to present my session, Dynamics GP Web Client Infrastructure and Troubleshooting. While I have presented web client sessions at previous conferences, as recent as Amplify, this session was totally new in its content and reach, as it was geared toward technical and consulting folks. My approach to this session was fundamentally exploring the web client architecture and infrastructure, all the while showcasing some of the tools I use to troubleshoot issues when installing and deploying the application.

Next off was some lunch with my coworkers, Lee Butenhoff and Jay Manley at Spitfire Bar &Grill, to discuss some of our most immediate project needs and deliverables. Having time with the guys in Fargo was awesome as we don't get to have these face to face exchanges that often, so to the tune of awesome ribs and fountain drinks, we went over all that we needed to accomplish after reIMAGINE.

Apparently, I had walked away from my session leaving my cell phone at the podium. Although the thought of losing once cellphone is always scary, I was pretty sure it would be delivered to the proper hands, so back at the Microsoft campus, I ran into Shanna Hensch from Dynamic Communities, who already was looking for me to turn over the phone back to me.

I made sure all was cool with my phone and to my surprise, I came across this fantastic selfie featuring the beautiful Tonya Anderson, Global Partner Engagement Manager at Dynamic Communities, who thought it would be fun to snap herself for posterity.

Tonya Anderson
At 2:45 PM, I decided to attend the session Custom Workflow Creation with Vince Guzik, Senior Software Engineer at Microsoft. Vince's presentation was a no nonsense display of how to rapidly create custom workflows with Dexterity, by using API functions created in the Dynamics GP dictionary for this purpose. A constant definition, a couple script procedure calls, and voila! A custom workflow! The real kicker is that existing Microsoft Dynamics GP workflows can be extended to include custom fields from other dictionaries, minimizing the need for from the ground up workflows.

Following the afternoon sessions, we had planned to have dinner among the Mekorma developers in attendance and go bar hopping in downtown Fargo, as part of the ISV sponsored Pub Crawl, so I went back to the hotel to change off and meet Jay and David downstairs to leave.

NOTE: Although David is not an official Mekorma employee, he works with us on special projects and we distribute his products worldwide, as part of the arrangements we have with Winthrop Development Consultants, so he's an integral part of the team.

Jay Manley, Lee Butenhoff, David Musgrave, and Mariano Gomez
Jay and Lee, being the locals, selected Rustica Eatery & Tavern in Moorhead, MN, just across the Red River from Fargo. Rustica is a great spot serving creative American fare in one room and artisan pizzas & beer in the other. The atmosphere in this place is upscale without being pretentious and the food is to die for.

On the way out to the pub crawl, David decided he needed to have a picture with Jay's Hummer H2, on the parking deck.

David Musgrave and Hummer H2
Our next stop would be downtown Fargo, just a few minutes from Rustica, where we had dinner. To note also, the keynote was taking place at the Fargo theater, but this year we decided not to attend in favor of the pub crawl. I have to admit that coming to Fargo at the beginning of Autumn is really fantastic. The weather couldn't be any better and the city is just a vibrant place.

Fargo Downtown

Fargo Theater
 Another view of the same street (Broadway N).

While the pub crawl would take us to several spots, our group decided to target Pickled Parrot sponsored by Njevity, Dempsey's Public House sponsored by Binary Stream, and Sazerac Alley sponsored by Greenshades Software. At the end of the evening, we decided to settle for Pickled Parrot - Big up to Njevity for throwing a really cool party!

Until next post!

Mariano Gomez, MVP