Supporting Dynamics GP, Great Plains and GPA for DOS versions

Published: 05th April 2011
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If you feel that others Microsoft Dynamics resellers are not willing to talk to you due to the fact that you are on outdated Corporate ERP version, the help is available. In fact, some GP partners specialize in old version support, customization, reporting, upgrade and migration. Let’s review some details:



1. Great Plains on Pervasive SQL 2000/Btrieve or Ctree. Here you might be on one of the following versions: 7.5, 7.0, 6.0, 5.5, 5.0, 4.0, 3.2 and earlier. Typical support issues: Location Translation (when you move your Dynamics DB folder to the new server), unlocking the user (delete Activity files in System folder), unlocking batch in posting limbo (SY00500 table, use Pervasive SQL 2000 ODBC Driver, connect to the table via MS Access as the linked table and change batch status field to zero); Crystal Report design (use Btrieve/pervasive ODBC driver to connect your report to the database, table structure in Tools -> Resource Description -> Tables). Other popular support scenarios: Dexterity customization additional programming (be sure that you have Dynamics.dic or Export.dic with Dex Sanscript codes, note that Dynamics.dic found in your client application folder has all the codes stripped out – if needed contact your original Dexterity programmer). Sometimes we are also facing the questions about Intellisol Advanced Purchase Order Processing (Great Plains Software introduced its own POP and migration tool was available for versions 6.0, 7.0 and 7.5 from Intellisol to POP) and Project Accounting (GPS acquired Match Data Project Accounting and adopted its source code as Great Plains Project Accounting module). We also see some orphan customers internationally, especially in such countries as Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Germany, France (here it is no longer available, consider migration to AX or another ERP system, available in your country, maybe SAP Business One). There are numerous questions about upgrade cost – we recognize that it is substantial, plus consulting services need to be budgeted (your historical version update should have several steps, and test upgrade is recommended)



2. Dexterity Custom Modules Upgrade. If you have custom module, you cannot just upgrade – its code should be reviewed and modified accordingly to become complaint to the new version. In some cases Dexterity upgrade cost is show stopper for the general upgrade project



3. Great Plains Accounting for DOS, Windows and Macintosh. This small and mid-size business Corporate ERP application was popular in earlier 1990th. It might be surprising to expect that some of the customers are still on DOS Accounting platform. But, yes, it is still popular. Some of the reasons might be business downsizing and freezing in its low profile. Sometimes GPA for DOS is kept for potential future audit. Typical support issues: Corrupt file repair (export data and reimport it as the first recommendation, if this doesn’t help call your consultant); moving Great Plains to new server (be sure that you are deploying it on 32 bit version, as it is not compatible with Windows 64 bit). Other popular topics are associated with ODBC connection to GPA database (consider Pervasive SQL 2000 ODBC driver, there are recommendations and instructions in GPA ODBC manual on how to connect Crystal Report to the database and how to create required DDF files)



4. Microsoft Small Business Financials 9.0, 8.0, 7.5, 7.0. This product line was terminated and existing customers were given the opportunity to migrate to Dynamics GP Business Ready Business Essentials (economical version of Business Ready versus Advanced Management – which might be recommended for large businesses)



5. FRx Older Versions Support. FRx version 6.7 is compatible with Dynamics GP 2010 (32 bit platform for user workstation is supported officially by MBS, but we found that in most scenarios 64 bit Windows 7 with FRx client works fine), 10.0, 9.0, 8.0. If you are on earlier version of Great Plains – you might have FRx 6.5 and earlier. FRx itself is pretty neutral to the DB platform and it is not a big challenge for consulting company to support legacy FRx version (we recommend you to check if your consulting contractor has certified FRx consultants in staff). If you are upgrading to version 2010/11.0, please consider migration from FRx to Dynamics ERP Management Reporter (migration wizard is available and does wonderful job, plus MMR is naturally available on Windows 7/Vista/XP 64 bit)



6. Integration Manager old version support. Historical IM versions were based on OLE Server methodology, where Great Plains user interface is required to be running (IM integration simply puts it into background mode and utilizes for data validation via pressing its buttons and filling out editable fields). Support is not challenging for consulting firm, as IM interface is pretty much the same for Dynamics GP 2010 (current version, as we are writing these lines in April 2011)



7. Sure Step 2010. We recommend you to consider this Dynamics Project Management methodology and guidance tool. Check out if your VAR is Sure Step certified. Consider also installing Sure Step on your corporate SharePoint portal



8. Old Great Plains Dynamics Versions Support in Brazil. In this country we were engaged by Microsoft Business Solutions to localized this ERP for Brazilian market (translate to Brazilian Portuguese and adopt tax code). This was back to 2004. Unfortunately Microsoft changed its mind later on in 2005 and recommended Navision, and even later on in 2006 it approved Dynamics AX as its Corporate ERP offering. We still support small cluster of Brazilian customers (especially where they are part of the multinational corporation and GP is deployed in USA as Corporate ERP)



9. Great Plains Dynamics Legacy Version support in Poland. Small cluster of customers is still out there in Poland and Lithuania. Typical support issues are associated with translating GP forms to Polish and Lithuanian as well as helping create new company DB in SQL Server (appropriate collation is required to adopt Lithuanian or Polish characters)



10. Great Plains Support in South Africa. Here we see higher number of Intellisol APOP and Project Accounting historical versions still in production



11. Switching to another Corporate ERP or Small Business Accounting platform. Business scenarios are very diversified and if you need help with your GPA for DOS or Great Plains Select Btrieve data export to be migrated to something like SAP Business One, Oracle Financials, Peach Tree, Quick Books, MYOB – this is doable



12. eCommerce or Warehouse Management (with extensive barcoding) on the old version. Let us use this tribune as an opportunity to discourage your from launching such major integration projects on the legacy version. You might have huge hurdles and obstacles down the road, due to the support and programming resources limitation. We rather recommend you to upgrade to the current version 2010/11.0 – upgrade cost should be a fraction, comparing to the WMS and eCOmmerce modules programming and implementation



13. Great Plains in Mexico, Ecuador, Honduras, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Nicaragua. In these countries GP is often associated with RMS (Retail Management System). We offer the module which imports RMS transactions to SOP Invoices and Returns. In Mexico we also see large number of customers on historical version 7.5 and 6.0



14. If you feel that your concerns are not addressed or your question is not answered, please feel free to contact our office. Support domestically in the USA, Canada, Mexico and internationally. This option is possible via Web Sessions, Skype or Phone conferences and direct visits onsite (in the case of the large scale project). Our consulting team speaks English, Chinese, Portuguese, Spanish, Russian, Filipino. Feel free to call us 1-866-304-3265, 1-269-605-4904, or email help@efaru.com





Andrew Karasev is Great Plains Certified Master, MVP, help@efaru.com 1-866-304-3265, 1-269-605-4904. He is also the initiator of eFaru project http://www.efaru.com and founder of Alba Spectrum information space

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