Hands On With the GP Power Tools – System Module: Setup Backup and Restore

● Ian Grieve ●  ● 0 Comments   ● 

Winthrop DCThis post is part of the Hands On With the GP Power Tools (GPPT) – System Module series in which I am taking a hands on look at the various tools offered by GPPT.

The Setup Backup and Restore (GP Power Tools area page >> Routines >> Setup Backup and Restore) window can be used to make, or restore, a complete backup of the GPPT settings:

Setup Backup and Restore

This window should be used with care, as a restore will completely replace the setup with that in the xml file being restored.

There is some overlap between this and the Configuration Export/Import, but this one will do a complete export and import, whereas the Configuration Export/Import allows for a far more granular approach.

This tool, is intended to allow for full backups of the settings to be made on the system you’re working ion and restored if required; the other, is intended to be used for transferring settings between systems.

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Hands On With the GP Power Tools – System Module: Administrator Password Setup

● Ian Grieve ●  ● 0 Comments   ● 

Winthrop DCThis post is part of the Hands On With the GP Power Tools (GPPT) – System Module series in which I am taking a hands on look at the various tools offered by GPPT.

The Administrator Password Setup (GP Power Tools area page >> Setup >> Administrator Password Setup) window allows a different password than the standard Microsoft Dynamics GP System Password to be required when trying to access a GPPT Advanced Mode window:

Administrator Password Setup

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Hands On With the GP Power Tools – System Module: Configuration Export/Import

● Ian Grieve ●  ● 0 Comments   ● 

Winthrop DCThis post is part of the Hands On With the GP Power Tools (GPPT) – System Module series in which I am taking a hands on look at the varioues tools offered by GPPT.

The Configuration Export/Import (GP Power Tools area page >> Transactions >> Configuration Export/Import) window allows settings to be exported from once implementation of Microsoft Dynamics GP and imported into another:

Configuration Export/Import

The checkboxes are disabled when there is no configuration for that section which can be exported.

The ability to export and import settings is a good one; it allows you to create a default configuration which can then be transferred to a different system, or to transfer settings from a test system to a live one.

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Hands On With the GP Power Tools – System Module: Send Email

● Ian Grieve ●  ● 0 Comments   ● 

Winthrop DCThis post is part of the Hands On With the GP Power Tools (GPPT) – System Module series in which I am taking a hands on look at the varioues tools offered by GPPT.

A couple of posts ago in this series, I covered the configuration of Email Settings. The main use of these is in the ScreenShot tool which is useful for users to send error reports including screenshots to their support team.

However, there is also functionality which allows an email to be sent directly from within Microsoft Dynamics GP. To send an email, open the Send Email window (GP Power Tools area page >> Transactions >> Send Email):

Send Email

The To, Subject and Body fields will default from the Email Settings window.

Attachments can be added to the email as well as a body of text entered.

This tool is useful when working on a server and there is no email client or available as it allows information to be sent or attached to the email.

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Hands On With the GP Power Tools – System Module: ScreenShot

● Ian Grieve ●  ● 0 Comments   ● 

Winthrop DCThis post is part of the Hands On With the GP Power Tools (GPPT) – System Module series in which I am taking a hands on look at the varioues tools offered by GPPT.

ScreenShot is a tool which can capture screenshots of all the open windows in the application as well as a System Status report and then either email or save the files. Screenshot creates reduced color bitmaps (4 bits per pixel, 16 colors) to ensure that the size of the email is kept to a minimum. It can capture all open windows regardless of whether they are overlaid by other windows.

Included on the email, is a System Status report which contains information about the system including registration information, current login information, environmental information (such as operating system, database and ODBC versions), product information (including all version and build numbers) and a list of the attached screenshots.

The current downside of this report, is that the database information includes information on every database in the system. For the majority of users, this won;t be a problem, but I do have a few clients with a lot of databases. One of whom has well over 100 companies; this umber of companies takes some time to retrieve all of the required information.

I recently flagged this with Davied Musgrave of Winthrop DC, and he is looking at adding an option in a future version which will allow only information for the company the user is logged into to be included. One of the nice things about Winthrop DC, is how open they are to including new or enhancing functionality based on feedback.

The ScreenShot tool is a very useful one for user to be able to send issues to their support team or partner; the system report can be invaluable in reproducing the error as it can show exactly which products are installed and when you deal with dozens of clients it can sometimes be difficult to keep track.

This functionality is available from four places:

  1. Microsoft Dynamics GP menu >> Capture Screenshots
  2. GP Power Tools menu >> Transactions >> Capture Screenshots
  3. Capture Screenshots button on the Standard toolbar
  4. Tools menu on every window

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Hands On With the GP Power Tools – System Module: Configure Email Settings

● Ian Grieve ●  ● 1 Comment   ● 

Winthrop DCThis post is part of the Hands On With the GP Power Tools (GPPT) – System Module series in which I am taking a hands on look at the varioues tools offered by GPPT.

There is functionality in GPPT which allows screenshots to be taken and emailed to the administrator. However, before this is used, there are some email settings which need to be configured. To configure the email settings, open the Email Settings window (GP Power Tools area page >> Setup >> Email Settings).

Email Settings

In the Administrator Email field, enter the email address which should receive the emails.

Default settings can be defined for the subject and body of the emails. I have entered the text Issue Report in the Default Subject. If a default body is required, click the Edit Bidy text button.

A signature can be added to the email by clicking the Edit Signature button.

Email Server Settings are required fields; these are details of the SMTP server which will send the emails. Depending on which Email Mode is selected, different fields will be enabled.

Once you are finished, click the OK button

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Hands On With the GP Power Tools – System Module: Using Manual Logging Mode

● Ian Grieve ●  ● 0 Comments   ● 

Winthrop DCThis post is part of the Hands On With the GP Power Tools (GPPT) – System Module series in which I am taking a hands on look at the varioues tools offered by GPPT.

All of the logging modes I covered in the overview are activated by default when Manual Logging Mode is switched on, and this can be done with very few clicks. The Logging Settings window (GP Power Tools area page >> Setup >> Logging Settings).

To switch on Manual Logging Mode, open the GP Power Tools Logging Control window from one of the three access points:

  1. Microsoft Dynamics GP menu >> Tools >> GP Power Tools Logging Control
  2. GP Power Tools area page >> Transactions >> GP Power Tools Logging Control
  3. GP Power Tools Logging Control button on the standard toolbar

Click the Turn on Manual Logging Mode button:

GP Power Tools Logging Control

The same button is used to switch off Manual Logging Mode.

Each time Manual Logging Mode is activated, the log files contain the user, company, date and time so no log files are overwritten. The log files are created in the GPPT data folder which is selected during the installation of the GP Power Tools.

  • DEXSQL_{Date}_{Time}.LOG contains the SQL Logging results.
  • Trace_{User}_{Company}_{Date}_{Time}_{Mode}.trc contains the SQL Profile Tracing results.
  • Script_{User}_{Company}_{Date}_{Time}.log contains the Dexterity Script Logging results.
  • Profile_{User}_{Company}_{Date}_{Time}.txt contains the Dexterity Script Profiling results.
  • Macro_{User}_{Company}_{Date}_{Time}.mac contains the Macro Recording results.

{User} will be substituted with the current User ID and {Company} will be substituted with the current Company ID code (InterCompany ID).
{Date}_{Time} will contain the date and time at which the logging was started in the format YYYYMMDD_HHMMSS.
{Mode} will be replaced with a letters A to E depending on the SQL Profile Trace mode used.

Due to the overhead on the processing when the Manual Logging Mode is switched on, it is recommended to minimise the time logging is enabled and also to minimise the amount of information which is captured in the logs. This can be done by getting the user to perform all actions until just before the point at which the issue arises and then enable logging and perform the final actions. Once these actions have been performed and the error produced, switch off the logging.

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Hands On With the GP Power Tools – System Module: Enable Capture Macro Recording

● Ian Grieve ●  ● 0 Comments   ● 

Winthrop DCThis post is part of the Hands On With the GP Power Tools (GPPT) – System Module series in which I am taking a hands on look at the varioues tools offered by GPPT.

In the overview of Manual Logging, Macro Recording was mentioned. This records, as a macro, all of the actions of the user in the application. This is very useful when it comes to reproducing the steps taken by the user.

However, Macro recording is not enabled in GPPT by default, although it is very simple to enable it.

Open the Logging Settings window (GP Power Tools area page >> Setup >> Logging Settings) and mark the Capture Macro Recording checkbox (ringed in red):

Logging Settings

Click the OK button to save the changes and close the Logging Settings window.

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Hands On With the GP Power Tools – System Module: Configuring SQL Profile Tracing With Recommended Settings

● Ian Grieve ●  ● 0 Comments   ● 

Winthrop DCThis post is part of the Hands On With the GP Power Tools (GPPT) – System Module series in which I am taking a hands on look at the varioues tools offered by GPPT.

In the last post, I gave an overview of the Manual Logging Mode and mentioned that the SQL Profile Tracing tool needs to be configured before it can be used.

There are recommend settings for the SQL Profile Tracing, which are configured as follows in this post.

The first step is to create a folder on a local drive of the SQL Server to store the traces as they are being produced:

Windows Explorer

I have created a folder called Dynamics Central and then a sub folder called SQL Profile Tracing as there are other files which will be shared with users.

Continue reading → Hands On With the GP Power Tools – System Module: Configuring SQL Profile Tracing With Recommended Settings

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Hands On With the GP Power Tools – System Module: Manual Logging Mode Overview

● Ian Grieve ●  ● 2 Comments   ● 

Winthrop DCThis post is part of the Hands On With the GP Power Tools (GPPT) – System Module series in which I am taking a hands on look at the various tools offered by GPPT.

The first tool is the Manual Logging Mode. This tool allows easy enabling of several types of logging:

  1. SQL Logging – SQL Logging tracks all communication between the Microsoft Dynamics GP client and the SQL Server. The default file in which the SQL communication is stored is named DEXSQL.LOG.

    When enabled, SQL Logging is on a workstation basis. On a standalone PC, this logging is easy to use and interpret, but on a terminal or Citrix server, all instances of a running client will be recorded, which can make debugging a specific issue for a single user much harder.

    Other methods of communicating with the SQL Server, such as ADO (ActiveX Data Objects) which is used by Visual basic for Applications (VBA), are not logged.

  2. SQL Profile Tracing – SQL Profile Tracing can be used to log all activity at the SQL Server, including commands from inside Stored Procedures. The default file in which the SQL Profile Trace is stored is named Trace.trc.

    SQL Profile Tracing will capture all activity at the SQL Server for the current user in the system database (typically called DYNAMICS) and the current company database; this means that, unlike SQL Logging, SQL Profile Tracing will record all communication with the SQL Server, including ADO as used by VBA.

    SQL Profile Tracing is not enabled by default, but needs to be configured first; in the next post, I will cover the configuration using recommended settings.

  3. Dexterity Script Logging – Dexterity Script Logging tracks all Dexterity event script, procedure and function calls, including the script hierarchy. The default file in which the script log is stored is named Script.log.
  4. Dexterity Script Profiling – Dexterity Script Profiling tracks the number of calls to each event script, procedure and function and how much time the calls have taken. It also tracks all table activity initiated by Dexterity and the time taken. The default file in which the script profile is stored is named Profile.txt.

  5. Macro Recording – Macro Recording captures all activity performed by the user in the application. this activity is stored in a file called Macro.mac which can be opened in Notepad, which allows for analysis of the users actions and is useful in showing steps which the user didn’t relay when reporting the problem.

    Macro recording will only work foe a single user; in a shared client environment, such as on a terminal or Citrix server, this means the first instance launched.

    Macro recording is only available in the desktop client.

The logging is not provided by GPPT, but is standard functionality which GPPT allows to be easily enabled; without GPPT, enabling them involves several Dex.ini switches.

UPDATE: Winthrop DC have reminded me that the SQL Profile Tracing is functionality provided by GPPT; it is the other four types of logging are standard.

Logging is a functionality which should be used sparingly, as there is a processing “overhead” which can cause speed issues; logging should only be used when investigating a specific issue.

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