Microsoft Great Plains Customization Recovery & Upgrade for Large Corporation

At the end of XX century, in the late 1990th Great Plains Software eEnterprise was recognized as one of the leader on the midsize to large corporate ERP market. Due to the nature of eEnterprise architecture - it is Great Plains Dexterity based application and Dexterity imposes some specific to the database access and table structure ? eEnterprise was subject to relatively inexpensive customization. During the recession time a lot of former Great Plains Software and then Microsoft Business Solutions partners either went out of business or merged with Auditing firms and their Great Plains clients saw this instability and simply stopped annual enhancement program payments and become so-called orphan clients. Today, in 2005 ? it is time to upgrade from eEnterprise 6.0 to Microsoft Great Plains Professional 8.0. If you have major customization for eEnterprise ? you need to understand your options before you find your new Microsoft Business Solutions VAR of record. In this small article we will describe you the main steps and options to upgrade Dexterity customization:

? DYNAMICS.DIC with the source code. This is where your customization script should be originated from. The nature of Dexterity makes the developer to produce so-called Dexterity chunk from this DYNAMICS.DIC with the source code, in the chunk itself the code is stripped off. You should have this dictionary, if you don't ? contact your old VAR and see if somebody could give it t you. If you can not find the source code, then customization should be understood and recoded ? yes ? how sad it might sound.

? VBA / Modifier code. Alternative to Dexterity customization could be light (or heavy) VBA scripting. Modifier allows you to place new button on the Great Plains screens and address new and existing fields in the VBA code. VBA scripts are located in DYNAMICS.VBA dictionary. This dictionary should be present on each workstation, using the modification. Usually this code is not encrypted and programmer could analyze and upgrade the code. Modified forms could be also upgraded. Sometimes we see heavy VBA coding, using element of Continuum, where it switched Dexterity dictionaries and then uses inline Dexterity sacscript scripting. These customizations, probably considered as very high-skills programming in the past should be redone.

? Stored Procedures. In eEnterprise, beginning with version 5.0 Dexterity cursors were recommended to rewrite in the form of stored procedures, and so offload Dexterity logic into MS SQL Server scripting. Usually you need Dexterity programmer to take a look at your Company or Dynamics databases and tell you which stored procedures are deployed by Dexterity customization. And you are lucky if they are not encrypted.

? Other custom elements. You may have ReportWriter reports: SOP Long Invoice Form, for example. These is a list of upgradeable and no-upgradeable, the last ones should be redone.

Good luck with customization upgrade and if you have issues or concerns ? we are here to help! If you want us to do the job - give us a call 866-528-0577 or 630-961-5918! [email protected]

Andrew is Great Plains specialist in Alba Spectrum Technologies ( http://www.albaspectrum.com ) ? Microsoft Great Plains, Navision, Microsoft CRM Partner, serving clients in California, Minnesota, Illinois, Washington, Florida, Arizona, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, Canada, UK, Australia, Brazil, Germany, Russia

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