Hands On With MDGP 2018 RTM New Features: DocAttach Security Setup

Microsoft Dynamics GPMicrosoft Dynamics GP 2018 RTM has now been released and I have been taking a Hands On look at the installation and configuration of the new version.

I am now going to take a hands on look at the new and enhanced features introduced in Microsoft Dynamics GP. Rather than do this as a continuation of the Hands On series I wrote in December, as originally intended, I am going to split it out into a separate hands On With the features post. The series index is for this new features series, can be found here.

I am going to do this feature of the day a little out of order. The third Feature of the Day post from Microsoft was Doc Attach Security Setup for Attachments on (In|En)quiry windows.

Two new fields have been added to the Document Attachment Setup window (Administration area page >> Setup >> Company >> Document Attachment Setup):

Document Attachment Setup

I said in the Feature of the Day Post on this feature, that I couldn’t really see a use case for the additional security. In the, almost, three months since, I still haven’t come up with a scenario where I think the security is useful.

For those clients using DocAttach, they want users to be able to attach documents to any record; there is no requirements for security around the enquiry windows, and certainly not to the extent of requiring a password.

For setup purposes, there is another checkbox which will need to be marked when enabling the feature, but little more impact, so it’s not like the security is onerous.

Click to show/hide the Hands On With MDGP 2018 RTM New Features Series Index

Hands On With MDGP 2018 RTM New Features: DocAttach Available on More Windows

Microsoft Dynamics GPMicrosoft Dynamics GP 2018 RTM has now been released and I have been taking a Hands On look at the installation and configuration of the new version.

I am now going to take a hands on look at the new and enhanced features introduced in Microsoft Dynamics GP. Rather than do this as a continuation of the Hands On series I wrote in December, as originally intended, I am going to split it out into a separate hands On With the features post. The series index is for this new features series, can be found here.

The first of the features announced by Microsoft was the introduction of DocAttach on more windows: the DocAttach button on the action pane makes the function more accessible to users. The windows updated for this are:

  • General Ledger Transaction Entry
  • Receivables Transaction Entry
  • Asset General Information
  • Employee Entry
  • I-9 Form (Payroll)
  • Journal Entry Enquiry
  • Payables Transaction Entry Zoom
  • Receivables Transaction Entry Zoom

I quite like the DocAttach function in Microsoft Dynamics GP, although I am careful to be clear with clients and prospects that is is document attachment and not document management.

While it’s good to see DocAttach getting wider exposure across Microsoft Dynamics GP on the action panes, it’s especially nice to see Fixed Asset Management getting some DocAttach improvements as many of my clients have images of their assets to store:

Fixed Asset General

Click to show/hide the Hands On With MDGP 2018 RTM New Features Series Index

Hands On With MDGP 2018 RTM New Features: Series Index

Microsoft Dynamics GPMicrosoft Dynamics GP 2018 RTM has now been released and I have been taking a Hands On look at the installation and configuration of the new version.

I am now going to take a hands on look at the new and enhanced features introduced in Microsoft Dynamics GP. Rather than do this as a continuation of the Hands On series I have been working on, as originally intended, I am going to split it out into this separate Hands On With the new features series.

The series index is below, and will automatically update as each post goes live.

Hands On With MDGP 2018 RTM New Features
DocAttach Available on More Windows
DocAttach Security Setup
New DocAttachs Available Via Inquiry Windows
New Workflows
Workflow Additional Fields
New Workflow Functionality - Reminder Emails
New Workflow Functionality - Copy Workflow Steps
New Workflow Functionality - Reporting for Workflow
Rename Payment Run Windows

Problems Logging into Microsoft Dynamics GP as sa After Password Change

Microsoft Dynamics GPI’ve been working with a client recently on an upgrade to Microsoft Dynamics GP 2018 and all has gone well overall. However, they had a security project running at the same time, where they were changing the passwords for a number of accounts including the SQL Srver sa account.

Unfortunately, the password length they were setting was 20 characters,. They supplied the new password to me, but I found I couldn’t log in. When I then tried to copy and paste the password into the field, nothing happened (which is what clued me into the issue).

The cause of this login issue, is that the Password field on the Users Master (SY01400) table has a maximum Keyable Length of 15 characters, and this restriction is enforced on all user ids entered on the login window.

So for me to complete the final steps of the upgrade, the password for the sa account was changed to a 15 character one; after the upgrade was complete, the password was again changed to a longer one and then the account disabled.

Best practice is to use the sa account to administer only SQL Server and to use either a named user account in Dynamics GP or to use the DYNSA account. I am encouraging all clients to ensure this is the case.

There is a wide range of ways you can better secure your system. One way of working through these is to engage with your partner and another is to purchase the Microsoft Dynamics GP Security and Audit Field Manual: Dynamics GP 2016 book by MVP Mark Polino and Andy Snook. This book is for the 2016 version of Dynamics GP, but still fully applies to Microsoft Dynamics GP 2018 (as well as earlier versions).

Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 Nearing End of Mainstream Support

Microsoft Dynamics GPMicrosoft Dynamics GP 2013 was released back on 12th March 2013; mainstream support is available for versions of Dynamics GP for approximately five years from the release date. Therefore mainstream support for Dynamics GP 2013 ends on 10th April 2018, after which it will go into extended support.

My recommendation to clients is to try to remain on a mainstream supported version of the product so that you can still receive hot fixes to major issues (or for US or Canadian users receive payroll updates).

With the frequency of releases of Dynamics GP, an upgrade every five years is going to mean an upgrade between five versions which is quite a jump (that’s going forward; for a while recently new versions were twice a year); I generally advise clients to upgrade every 2-3 versions to minimise the length of time an upgrade will take and how many intermediate versions need to be upgraded through (we have one client who does the ideal and upgrades once per year, but they largely do their own upgrades with only a small amount of input from myself).

Upgrading often means you have most of the bug fixes and regularly get access to the new functionality.

You can see the launch dates as well as the mainstream and extended support dates on the Microsoft Product Lifecycle page.

My recommendation is, if you are on Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013, and haven’t already started planning your upgrade, to start now.

Microsoft Dynamics GP January 2018 Hotfix Now Available

Microsoft Dynamics GPTerry Heley announced the availability of the January 2018 Hotfix for Microsoft Dynamics GP the other day on the Dynamics GP Support and Services Blog. This hotfix is available for the following version of Microsoft Dynamics GP;

  • 2013 – this will be the last hotfix for GP 2013, so you should really start planning your upgrade to a supported version.
  • 2015
  • 2016
  • 2018

While you don’t need to install every hotfix for Microsoft Dynamics GP, I would always recommend reviewing the fix list to determine if you need to upgrade.

I am not listing all of the fixes here, just the ones which seem important or relevant to my clients:

  • These fixes are for 2018 only:
    • You may experience slow performance when you click Inquiry>>Purchasing>>Transaction By Document.
    • You are unable to make changes to copied workflow steps when created using the Copy Workflow Step feature.
  • These fixes are for both 2016 and 2018:
    • PM Payables Transaction Workflow A get/change operation on table ‘PM_Transcation_WORK’ failed.
    • Upgrade error CO00104 set BusObjKey = replace(BusObjKey,’0\PM\Payables Transaction History’,’0\PM\Payables Transaction’) where BusObjKey.
    • When two users simultaneously submit a document into a workflow with multiple approvers at the same time, one of the workflows will either go to the workflow manager or only be assigned to a portion of the approvers (this is an issue I logged with Microsoft which was causing issues for a couple of clients, so nice to see the fix available).
    • You may notice duplicate payments with simultaneous use of the payables select checks window, warning was added to the user.
    • You are unable to add new columns to existing Analytical Accounting SmartLists in Dynamics GP 2016 R2 or later & columns with special characters result in “excel found unreadable content” error when list is exported to excel.
    • Posting a GL reversing entry to a historical year with P&L account, where it reverses in the new year has incorrect SEQNUMBR in the GL20000 and incorrect ACTINDX in AAG30001 on reversing ‘GJ’ entry and 0% in AAG3000.

For the full fix list, check Terry’s blog post

Analytical Accounting Microsoft Dynamics GP 2018 Upgrade Error

Microsoft Dynamics GPOver the last couple of weeks we have been on a bit of an upgrade splurge with clients; a number of them are doing test upgrades to Microsoft Dynamics GP 2018 from a variety of versions. One client is upgrading from Microsoft Dynamics GP 2016 RTM to 2018 RTM; according to the Upgrading Microsoft Dynamics GP hot topic, Microsoft Dynamics GP 2016 can be upgraded from version 16.00.0439 or later; however, when Analytical Accounting is installed, this is not correct.

To upgrade the client, we upgraded them to the last hotfix for Microsoft Dynamics GP 2016 (KB4056559 which is version 16.00.0641) and then to 2018; however, GP Utilities for 2018 errored saying that it could not upgrade Analytical Accounting from that version. Fortunately, we did not have to go back to a backup and redo the upgrade, as, while AA in installed, this particular client does not use the module.

I used the scripts to remove the tables and other database objects and was then able to run the 2018 GP Utilities to do the database upgrade without further issue.

I have previously upgraded a test system from 2016 to 2018 without issue; this was from KB3194397 (version 16.00.0558). We do have a small number of other clients with AA installed, so we now know what version of GP 2016 to upgrade them from to avoid this issue.

Scripts to Remove Analytical Accounting

Microsoft Dynamics GPBack in February 2017, I posted about a Microsoft Knowledge Base article on removing Analytical Accounting (AA) from Microsoft Dynamics GP. At the time, the KB article was unavailable, but the download links still worked (if you knew what they are).

I was contacted by someone recently asking if I had a copy of the scripts as the download links no longer work (the KB article itself is available).

This was unusual timing as I had just been onsite with a client where we encountered issues upgrading their system from 2016 RTM to 2018 RTM. In that case, the solution was to remove AA from the system as they had the module used, but never implemented it.

To remove AA, I dipped into my script library for the AA removal scripts from KB915903. After being alerted at the scripts were no longer available, I thought it might be useful to others to post them here.

The scripts are available from the following links:

  1. KB915903_AA_Remove_AACompete_DYNAMICS_10 – this script needs to be run against the system database (typically called DYNAMICS.
  2. KB915903_10 – this script should be run against all of the company databases.
  3. KB915903_DYNAMICS_Remove_DB_Upgrade_10 – this script is run against the system database.

All of the What’s New Documents For MDGP In One Place

Microsoft Dynamics GPBelinda Allen has recently done a blog post with download links for all of the What’s New documents from Great Plains 6 through to Microsoft Dynamics GP 2018.

It’s fair easier to find the What’s New document you want from Belinda’s page than it is searching through Partner/Customer Source.

Microsoft Dynamics GP User? Then Review Your Security

Microsoft Dynamics GPIn recent times we have taken over a few clients from other partners and one common theme we are running into is poor security practices. For a lot of these new clients, we find that a lot of people know the sa password, the vast majority know the System Password and all users have the POWERUSER* role assigned.

All of these are bad:

  1. sa is the SQL Server system administrator account and should only be used for the initial implementation of Dynamics GP, when Dynamics GP is moved between servers, or when configuring some ISV products.

    When Dynamics GP is implemented, an account called DYNSA is created; this is the Dynamics System Administrator account which is intended for use by the people/team administering Microsoft Dynamics GP.

    However, most of the admin is actually creating or maintaining users and this can be done with any user account, once it has been configured with the relevant permissions.

  2. The System Password should only be known to those people who have a need to know it. It protects access to some windows in the system which can cause problems if used incorrectly.
  3. POWERUSER* is a role which gives access to all windows in Microsoft Dynamics GP; combined with users knowing the System Password can be a recipe for disaster. New security roles should be created and assigned to users which give them access to the windows they need.

Even when users have security roles rather than POWERUSER*, I still recommend clients review the access rights to ensure that people have access they need; this is true for all users. I recommend everyone review their security every year or two to ensure that the changing needs of the business are being met.

We do a fair bit of work for clients assisting them in reviewing the security, but not everyone has a partner they can work with on this type of project. And not everyone has the budget for a full-scale security review with their partner.

One other option, to involving your partner, is to pick up a copy of the Microsoft Dynamics GP Security and Audit Field Manual: Dynamics GP 2016 book by MVP Mark Polino and Andy Snook. This book is for the 2016 version of Dynamics GP, but still fully applies to Microsoft Dynamics GP 2018 (as well as earlier versions).