SQL Administrator Skills Required to Support Microsoft Great Plains

Microsoft Great Plains is becoming more and more popular and we see new purchases among midsize and large corporations, where, in our opinion, Microsoft SQL Server DB administrator position is a must. If you are database administrator and you are part of the decision making team, purchasing Microsoft Business Solutions Great Plains for your corporation, we would like to set your expectation on the level of SQL knowledge, skills and experience needed to support Microsoft Great Plains in-house

? Data querying. Microsoft Great Plains has decent ReportWriter, which allows users to create and modify existing reports, however the recommended tool, and you will soon understand that if you need really challenging reports (Sales Commissions, Bill of Lading, Sales Order Status with Purchasing info, Regional Sales, etc.) ? you need to deploy Crystal Reports or Crystal Enterprise. Crystal Report itself is usually based on the view or stored procedure. So ? you should expect to be familiar with Great Plains tables architecture and be capable to create select statement with multiple joins and unions

? Data Repair. You should be ready to save GP table prior to data repair: select * into SOP10100_Copy from SOP10100 and then use update statement to fix incorrect values. If you need to load SOP10100 back from the backup table ? first drop DEX_ROW_ID column and then use: insert into SOP10100 select * from SOP10100_Copy.

? Backup and Restore. Great Plains has DYNAMICS database which stores system info, such as users, security, companies, etc. and each company has its own database. You should be able to restore mostly company databases from the backup. This seems to be trivial routine.

? Technical Support. When you have issues with posting or need help from Microsoft Business Solutions Technical Support, you place case through customer source and you should expect the technician provide you with SQL scripts to fix your data.

? Some Useful Scripts. You need to be able to delete locked user: delete activity where userid='TOM', also very popular is batch recovery script, you need to unlock the batch in SY00500 table: Posting Definition Master

? Do not expect. Replications (except probably snapshot) ? it adds GUID column and then Great Plains Dexterity runtime can not upgrade the modified tables. Referential Integrity is not used, Varchar or NVarchar are not used ? the reason is ? Dexterity architecture, which was initially designed with database independence in mind. Logins and access management ? Great Plains uses its own security, which is translated into SQL logins with encrypted password.

? Moving Great Plains on the new SQL Server. It is often confusing for the DB Admin. Besides physical move through backups or detach/attach DB you need special scripts to transfer GP security and users logins, these scripts are available through MBS tech support or feel free to call you MBS partner.

? Advanced Techniques. If you need to notify your GP users on the specific event in GP ? such as invoice was paid, you can deploy SQL emailing: xp_send_mail. This procedure could be called in the trigger for the apply payments table.

? Data Integration. XML inbound and outbound streams for the integration stored procedures is becoming defacto standard. Also you should be familiar with heterogeneous SQL queries: OPENROWSET and linked server conceptions.

Happy implementing! You can always appeal to us to help you with your system. Give as a call 1-630-961-5918 or 1-866-528-0577, [email protected]

Andrew Karasev is Chief Technology Officer in Alba Spectrum Technologies ( http://www.albaspectrum.com ), Microsoft Business Solutions Great Plains, Microsoft CRM, Navision, Microsoft RMS, Microsoft Business Portal customization company, serving clients in Chicago, Boston, New York, Miami, Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle, Minneapolis, Phoenix, Toronto, Montreal, Brazil, Mexico, UK, Australia, Canada, UK, Europe, Russia an having small offices in multiple states and internationally.

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