Sunday, June 3, 2007

Business Portal 3.0 for Microsoft Dynamics GP Great Plains - Overview for Consultant

Web interface should, as we believe in the future replace "fat client" modules, such as GL, SOP, POP, RM, PM, and others currently written in Microsoft Dexterity (former Great Plains Dexterity). Microsoft Dynamics GP Business Portal version 3.0 maybe considered as a bit complicated in its installation, customization and deployment. All ERP applications are moving to web interface and thin client technology and this is just the matter of time, when we will enjoy worldwide secured access to our MRP functionality. In this small article we would like to stress some challenges of current BP:

• Back Office ERP restrictions. If you look at Microsoft Dynamics GP, you will realize that US Payroll and HR modules have different terminology on pay codes/time codes. Business Portal HR Management Self Service Suite has to conform to these different approaches and alter its logic accordingly (if you have US Payroll – pay codes, if you have only HR – time codes). This is only one example, we have more, but the article genre restrictions do not allow us to go deeper into the problem

• Extensions Philosophy. At this time, we believe that MBS has to accommodate BP to existing MS Dexterity based modules in GP backoffice. Good example is Requisition Management – this BP module posts its transactions to GP Purchase Order Processing (honoring commitments business logic). This is probably natural way of evolution – Project Green, later renamed into Microsoft Dynamics project could not jump ahead of ERP market and abolish all four ERP applications: Great Plains, Solomon, Axapta, Navision. Instead – what we see is more likely is evolution of mentioned ERP platforms to unified MS Office and Outlook interface, while the MRP core remains original

• Installation Battle. Business Portal deploys MS Sharepoint, eConnect, and as you probably realized it requires you to enter reg key (especially if you are MBS VAR and plan to demo Business Portal in Fabrikam to your prospects)

• Uninstall Dilemma. If you by whatever reason decided to wipe BP out and install it fresh – this is where you decide how deep cleaning up you would need. Our experience indicates the following: uninstall BP, then eConnect, Sharepoint, Sharepoint SQL or SQL Express, reboot computer and start over with BP reinstallation

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