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By Andrew Karasev
Microsoft Great Plains version 9.0 or new name of the Microsoft Business Solutions former ‘Project Green’ -Microsoft Dynamics: Microsoft Dynamics GP (Great Plains). The new version has a lot of new technological changes – especially we need to mention eConnect to become a key player. Formerly Microsoft Dynamics GP/Microsoft Great Plains or Great Plains Software Dynamics/eEnterprise staked on Great Plains Dexterity IDE and framework to leverage graphical and db platform ‘independence’. Now Microsoft BS is shifting the principles to all its ERP products merging future: Microsoft Dynamics should absorb the best from Axapta, Great Plains, Navision, Solomon and MS CRM to form future Microsoft Dynamics ERP.
— Microsoft SQL Server 2000 vs. 2005. Microsoft SQL Server 2005 has new security module and Microsoft Dynamics GP 9.0 considers upgrade path on MS SQL Server 2000. This means and doesn’t mean at the same time that it has to be on MS SQL Server 2000. In our opinion – Microsoft will issue service pack to bring Dynamics GP to SQL Server 2005. However we hear this question from existing customers in December 2005.
— Great Plains Dexterity. In July 2005 Microsoft Business Solutions announced Dexterity Source Code Partner program reopening – now new and existing MBS partner can reenroll into this program. It is obviously subjective to answer for the third party – but we think that it is the indication of the fact that Microsoft will give Microsoft Dexterity another 5 years to stay.
— Visual Studio.Net. Now being C# or VB developer you can customize Great Plains Screen, however please do not be too optimistic and do not overestimate the new tools / VS libraries. If you work for GP ISV – you should still be considering Microsoft Dexterity and its source code as a tool of choice.
— Integration with Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Former integration for MS CRM 1.2 / GP 7.5 & 8.0 was BizTalk product. Now integration is under the way to be rewritten to become eConect oriented. This is the process and we expect service packs approach to realize the move. However you should expect that Microsoft CRM will become the CRM of choice for majority if not for all of the Microsoft MRP products.
— eCommerce. More and more clients are deploying Microsoft Dynamics GP for e-Commerce web development. eConnect was specially designed for this purpose, however do not overcount on eConnect. We saw situations when eCommerce developer needed in porting and Sales Order Processing (SOP) allocation stored procedure – eConnect is limited here. You should deploy stored procedures, populating SOP30200 (SOP Header) and SOP30300 (SOP Details) tables.
— Business Portal. This is the place where Microsoft can do cross product links and queries. In the case of Microsoft Dynamics GP – you can expect the logic of former Dexterity screens to be transferred to Business Portal: Purchase Order Processing & Requisitioning, Employee Self-Service, reporting, etc.
— Competition. Microsoft has Microsoft Dynamics GP, AX (for upper mid-market), NAV (Navision – very successful market presence in Europe, Brazil, UK, especially in light manufacturing segment), SL (Solomon – project accounting and project organization automation scenarios), SAP has SAP Business One product line for small and mid-size businesses with all-in-one licensing model. Oracle has Oracle E-Business Suite with its light version.
About the Author: Andrew Karasev is Chief Technology Officer at Alba Spectrum Technologies (
) – Microsoft Business Solutions Great Plains, Navision, Axapta MS CRM, Oracle Financials and IBM Lotus Domino Partner