With the release of Microsoft Dynamics GP 2016 R2 it’s time for a series of “hands on” posts where I go through the installation of all of it’s components; the index for this series can be found here.
Over the last few posts, I have covered the installation of the web client as a scale-out deployment. After a few different Hands On… posts I have finally got the order of posts right by posting the web client installation before that of the Web Servies; this is important as there is a step of the Web Services which asks if you are using the Web Client.
If you are installing the Web Services and are using the Web Client, or plan to, then go back to this post, and it’s successors, and install the web client before proceeding with this post.
If you’re ready to install the Web Services for Microsoft Dynamics GP then launch the setup utility and, under Additional Products, click on Web Services Runtime:
Workflow 2.0 has workflow types for both purchase requisitions (PRs) and purchase orders (POs). When Workflow 2.0 first came out there was a bit of talk about how you could only use one or the other, but not both.
This is not true; you can have approval workflows enabled for both PRs and POs at the same time without having to approve at both stages.
This is done by building up a condition on a workflow step which include the PO line origin. Microsoft have a blog post which covers how to do this step-by-step. There is only one problem; the blog post is incorrect in one critical point:
The problem with the blog, is that Microsoft show the Purchase Order Line field Line Origin being set to Manual. However, Line Origin is a numeric field which does not allow a word like Manual to be entered.
But, all is not lost; you can follow Microsoft’s blog post, but check for the numeric values for Purchase Order Line.Line Origin:
- 1 = line manually entered on a purchase order
- 10 = line created from a purchase requisition.
This information has come in very handy recently for two different clients where we assisted them in creating workflows which required approval of purchase requisiitons and purchase orders where lines had not come from a purchase requisition.
We created a new Payables Transaction approval workflow for a client last week and during UAT they reported that tasks were not escalating when they went overdue.
I verified the workflow and did some testing and was able to confirm that tasks were not escalating correctly.
This was not something I had seen before so I spent a little time doing other things to divert my mind before the realisation struck that a scheduled process has to be checking for tasks to escalate. So off to SQL Server Agent I went.
Or at least tried to. The client does not have SQL Server Agent installed; rather they use an alternate third party tool (I don’t know why).
We passed details of the jobs through to them which are usually created in SQL Server Agent (Scan For Overdue Workflow Tasks For All Companies and Scan For Invalid AD Users and Expired Delegations For All Companies) so that they could create them in the third party tool.
The additional thought which occurred is that Dynamics GP is supported on Microsoft SQL Server Express which does not contain SQL Server Agent, so users on this SQL Server platform cannot use escalations in Workflow 2.0 (unless they use a third party equivalent of SQL Server Agent).
The second session was on Troubleshooting Workflow and was run by current Microsoftie, Dan Peltier. Dan’s name is one which has shown up a few times when we have logged calls so it was good to meet him.
Dan’s session was spoilt a little bit by virtual machine issues which meant he lost his pre-created examples just before the session started. He did get through everything on the agenda. I’ll be honest on this one; I know workflow well enough (having implemented workflow a few times for clients and written a book about it; which I am currently updating for Dynamics GP 2016) that I half expected not to learn anything new, and if I am honest that was the case.
That said, some of Dan’s explanations were clearer (especially around the and/or clauses of step conditions) than the ones which I have given in the past and which I had included in the first edition of my Workflow 2.0 book; I will need to roll some of these into the second edition of the Microsoft Dynamics GP Workflow 2.0 book which I am currently writing (hoping to publish by end of October.
The final session of the day I attended, was on Custom Workflow Creation. I was interested in this session, as we need to create some new Workflow Types. One which is needed, is a Workflow Type of EFT Bank.
The Vendor Change Workflow Approval is good, but does not do anything when the EFT Bank Details are changed and this is a major requirement for many of our clients in the UK.
The session showed how the new Workflow Type is created, tables updated, buttons added to windows and I took the opportunity to discuss wider requirements such as the need to update code elsewhere to respect the new Workflow Types created.
The changes for new Workflow 2.0 Types must be done in Dexterity.
There is a lot of scope for creating new Workflow Types in addition to EFT Bank Details such as SOP Transactions, Bill of Materials, and there my mind goes blank. Been in this airport too long.
The session on custom workflow creation was one of my favourites due to my interest in Workflow 2.0 (did I mention I am doing a second edition of my Workflow 2.0 book?).
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To remedy this, Terry Heley on the Dynamics GP Support and Services Blog has shared some macros, for Dynamics GP 2016, which add sample data into the Fabrikam sample data.
The new sample data focuses on a few modules:
- Advanced Human Resources
- Analytical Accounting
- Workflow for HRP
- Project Accounting Time and Expense
- PTO Manager
- Employee Self Service
Terry points out that this is a run at your own risk macro built on GP 2016, although it would probably be usable on Dynamics GP 2015 as well.
There are instruction documents with each macro as macros can crash based on the menu bar selected in user Preferences.
Also note that there is no support for these macros so no cases can be logged if issues are found.
The download link is available at the end of the post.
The first is on Working with Excel, Power BI and Dynamics and is being presented by MVP Belinda Allen:
The second is on Workflow 2.0 and is being presented by yours truly:
If you want to attend training, you will need to select one of the two available courses (unfortunately, you can’t sign up to both) when registering for reIMAGINE.
Workflow 2.0 has been enhanced to allow email notifications to be sent when a Workflow is reassigned:
Email notifications can be sent to the new approver for:
- Alternate Approval
This looks like it should be a useful addition to Workflow 2.0 although when configuring email notifications you do need to make sure people aren’t going to be swamped with emails.
As mentioned in the last post, more functionality has been added to the base Workflow 2.0 module, adding more flexibility. This second enhancement has seen the addition of new workflow conditions:
Two new options for what happens when step conditions are not met:
- Continue to next step
While it’s nice to see new features being added to Workflow 2.0, I’m not entirely sure of the use case for this addition, although it might become clear once I can get hands on with it.
My initial thought is if the condition isn’t met why would I want to continue to the next step? If I wanted that to happen then, surely, I would have had different conditions in the first place?