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Parent Category: CUSTOMIZATIONS
Dynamics GP has a trunk full of features, but there will be cases when you need to customize GP for certain specific business requirements or to optimize certain processes. This post covers some great references in the Dynamics GP community related to customizations in Dynamics GP. It covers topics like – when you should customize GP and when you should avoid customizing GP. It also includes some must read best practices when you do have customizations and various options like – Extender, Macros, Modifier.
Related categories on GPWindow are INTEGRATIONS which covers eConnect, Integration Manager, Table Import and Webservices and DEVELOPMENT which includes – Dexterity, Developer Toolkit, GP SDK, Tables Information, Testing, VBA and VS Tools for GP.
Getting Started with GP Customizations?
If you are getting started with customizations check out this post by Michael D. Johnson II for Good Reasons to Customize GP. In this post Michael explains how customizations help – by giving people time to work on more value added activities, saving money and eliminating redundancy.
On the flip side you will find MVP Mariano Gomez’s article - Customizing Microsoft Dynamics GP? 5 Excuses You Will Want to Bury Once and For All! - in which he discusses customizations implemented for all the wrong reasons and makes suggestions on how to handle them. You can read David Musgrave’s thoughts about this here.
There is another wonderful post - Customizations that you do not need to do by Patrick Roth where he discusses 3 scenario’s in which you can avoid customizations - “Scenario 1: I need to be able to change the menu item names in Dynamics, Scenario 2: I need to change the Internet Information categories in the Internet Information window from what Dynamics GP uses, Scenario 3: I need to change the User Defined 1 prompt in the Customer Address Maintenance window to a specific value”. Patrick gives simple solutions.
There is a separate sub-section for Automating Distribution, for a reason. If you use customizations – you should review these articles to save you a lot of headaches. David Musgrave has written two very detailed articles - Automating Distribution of Customizations Part 1 and Automating Distribution of Customizations Part 2. David discusses various configurations for Customizations – Everything Local, Everything shared, Dictionaries Shared, Custom Dictionary Shared and finally the best option- Everything local with automatic updates and explains it in detail.
See the related funny posts here - The term "Musgravion" and Wikipedia and The famous David Musgrave.
In the Extender sub section, you will see posts related to creating Extender windows, modifying GP windows using extender with some examples and Reporting with Extender data. You can see some resourceful posts on Reporting on Extender data in GP, Adding Extender Data to SmartLists by Victoria Yudin, Transferring Extender customizations from one company database to another by Mariano Gomez. Mark has nice tip about Extender - Weekly Dynamic: Deleting Extender Window Deletes Data as Well.
There’s this one great post for Adding Extender Windows to GL Transaction Entry Lines by David Musgrave where he talks in detail about an Extender window to capture additional information for distribution lines on the General Ledger Journal Entry window and the related - VBA - Displaying Extender Data for GL Transaction Lines on the GL Inquiry window. There are some troubleshooting help articles by Vaidy - Why Extender Information does not get transferred? and Creating Detail Window in Extender - Error & Resolution, and David - Removing Extender Data when deleting Transactions or Lines
You also might want to check out David’s posts about the new features that came in Extender with GP 10 SP 4 - Extender is coming, what now for the other customization tools. See about 67 more articles related to Extender here - Extender (67 Sub-Items)
In the Macros sub section, you will see posts to create macros to do various tasks in GP, scheduling macros to complete tasks in GP and some advance macro tips by MVP's. To get started with Macros, you can see this great post by Amy Walsh on using Macros in Dynamics GP. There is a useful post by Mark Dynamics GP Macro Commands – where Mark has posted a useful command reference document by Kevin Gross. Mark also has a useful post about scheduling Macros - Weekly Review: Schedule Your Macros and one on tips for Macros Weekly Review: Advanced Macro Tips.
You can see a post - Macro to provide access to Transaction Dimension Codes to Users by Sivakumar Venkataraman(often required), some macro examples like Running a macro to automatically close GP and How to use Word Mail Merge and Macros to Import Data(My personal favorite) by David Musgrave.
In the Modifier sub section, you will find posts related to expanding GP windows functionalities by using Modifier. Mariano Gomez (MVP) delivers a 3-day Online Modifier with Visual Basic for Applications workshop that will more than get you started with Modifier. Mariano also has the must read- Best practices for labeling customized windows with Modifier and VBA in Microsoft Dynamics GP.
You can see several example posts like Hybrid - Dynamically Populating a Modifier Added List Example, Expanding the GL Transaction Entry Scrolling Window, Reading and Writing Data with ADO Example, Extending the length of a Field Example, Adding a field to a scrolling window using ADO Example and more by David Musgrave.
There are useful articles here like - Creating Drop Down Lists using Modifier with VBA and Quick Lookups with Modifier & VBA by Michael D. Johnson II.
See the modifier articles linked here - Modifier (15 Sub-Items)
Customise the Microsoft Dynamics GP Splash Screen
Even though support for a splash screen was added to Dexterity v3.00, Great Plains Dynamics v5.50 was the first version to include a splash.bmp file and Microsoft Business Solutions - Great Plains v8.00 was the last version to include a splash.bmp file. This uncompressed bitmap was displayed as a splash screen when the application was launched. A number of partners had worked out that the splash.bmp file could be customised to add a customer or partner logo, but now the splash.bmp file is not longer used.
What is not…
Automating or Customizing the Report Destination Window
I have seen this issue come up a number of times. Trying to automate processes which involve reports and wanting to automate the Report Destination window. Sometimes you can add the Report Destination to Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) and sometimes the system will not add the window to VBA. This post will explain the reason for this "weird" behavior.
One thing about "weird" behavior when it comes to computers, is that once the explanation has been discovered, it all makes perfect sense and the computer is just being logical.
The primary fact for this issue is that there are actually two…
Good Reasons to Customize GP
While customization, when not properly planned and justified, can be problematic there are good reasons to customize your system to create long-term, sustainable competitive advantage and build discipline in your organization. I will follow this up with some specific examples of customizations I have built for these reasons and others.
1. Leverage your people for more value added activities. I'm not opposed to relying on people for some things but I don't see the value in having them enter and process data that the system could process unassisted. I've seen too many Controllers that function more like glorified GL Clerks. They spend more time entering and managing data than analyzing it to make decisions. Customizing your system to automate non value added tasks and deliver high quality information could enable you to convert your high paid data entry clerks back into analysts and controllers which in turn would help you identify cost saving and revenue generating opportunities.
2. Eliminate waste and redundancy to make your company scalable. Growth companies are always dealing with too few people doing too many tasks. Everyone is overworked…
How to determine if a report or a form has been modified
How many times have you walked into a GP implementation done by a previous VAR and cannot establish what changes have been done on a report, if any? Or how many times have you come across forms and reports dictionaries with tons of objects and cannot tell by simply looking at these if they have been changed or not? Or have you made some changes to a report a few years aback and now cannot remember what these changes were? I get this question every once in a while and finally someone was keen enough to post
it on the Dynamics GP public newsgroup.Solution
Let me start by saying that ALL modified forms and reports should ALWAYS be backed up in the form of package files, and that ALL these package files should be stored in a source code control repository -- for example, Visual Source Safe -- and versioned if all possible, with notes on all changes done from version to version. However, this is not always possible, especially if the company happens to be a small company with limited technical…
Customization Status Window
This is a great window to “temporarily” disable a product while troubleshooting. When you log back into the System the Product gets loaded again.
Customizing Microsoft Dynamics GP? 5 Excuses You Will Want to Bury Once and For All!
Over the years that I have worked with Great Plains and Microsoft Dynamics GP, I have seen (and written) many customizations at customer sites. Some of those customizations are in the form of products to handle specific vertical markets or generic tools to enhance functionality. Some of those customizations are in the form of customer specific Dexterity or Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) code.
I have seen systems where there is almost more custom code that original code. And I have seen the pain that can be caused by too much customization. Pain caused by trying to…
When and Why to Customize your ERP Application
Hat tip to @RoseBusinessSol for the link via Twitter – this article on When and why you should…