Great Plains Dynamics GP Customization and Programming Tools

Microsoft Dynamics GP ERP, or earlier Great Plains Software Dynamics and eEnteprise have wide range of modification, software development, integration, EDI, reporting tools. However, please take into consideration the fact, that GP is mid-market accounting, ERP and MRP platform, meaning that its business logics and processes might be too complex for newcomers with natural good intention to help her or his company to deliver and implement tailor business logic in a few days or weeks. For example, traditional GP customization tool – Great Plains Dexterity requires programmer to be certified and have several years of heavy Dex programming experience in order to spec out Microsoft Great Plains custom modules in competitive ERP consulting environment. Having said that, we will try to build this article from the simple to the complex:

1. eConnect. Yes, this tool is the simplest to start professional software development and programming, especially if you are thinking about integrating add-ons. eConnect is easy to understand for C # or VB .Net developer, who is familiar with SQL stored procedures. MS SQL scripting is recommended, but not required, it is good for letting you in to eConnect architecture, as at the lowest layer of eConnect platform you will see SQL encrypted stored procedures. eConnect is especially helpful if you are an ecommerce programmer, who are sending customers and invoices to GP Sales Order Processing Module.

2. Great Plains Integration Manager. For version GP 10.0 IM has new connector, based on eConnect, and if you are familiar with VBA, you can extend IM integration with such programming constructions, as data translation, pre-post integration, document scripts, allowing you to add or replace data , provided for integration.

3. VBA / Modifier. This tools is a way to consider if your company still deploys Great Plains Dynamics of older versions: 6.0, 7.0, 7.5, 8.0. For newer versions VBA, as being pre Microsoft .Net legacy scripting programming language, is sort of deemphasized. If you are comfortable as a computer programmer with old Microsoft Visual Basic, VBA (or Visual Basic for Applications) should be understandable for you right away, as VBA is in essence subset of VB. VBA works together with GP Modifier, Modifier allows you to add existing fields to the modification dictionary (Dynamics.VBA), where you can append scripts to new or existing fields. If you need access to GP tables, use ADO mechanism.

4. Microsoft Dexterity. We already mentioned this EDI and programming tool above. Dex in our opinion requires approved programmer to be engaged in the project, including end coding. GP Dexterity is proprietary programming language (Sanscript), and it is tightly integrated and interlaced with GP tables, forms, triggers, windows and procedures, so you can not expect newly trained programmer will help experienced Dex developer to leverage programming and add value.