Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 SP2 Web Client Scale-Out Deployment: Installing Silverlight On Clients

The Microsoft Dynamics GP web client relies on Silverlight which needs to be installed on every client. When you log into the web client, and don’t have Silverlight installed, you’ll be presented with the option to install it:

Internet Explorer - Click to install Silverlight

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Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 Web Client First Run On A Client

Over the last few posts, I’ve covered the installation of the Web Client Runtime, added the IIS role, created a self-signed certificate, installed the Web Client, ran the Configuration Wizard, and installed the GP Resource Web Cache. Now it is time to run the Web Client for the first time to ensure required components are installed on a client; I’m installing a new demo machine so I know one component won’t be installed.

Navigate to the address if the site hosting the Web Client. In the case when you have a self-signed security certificate (which I would only advise for demo or test systems) you will be presented with a warning that the site may not be safe; this is the one time I will recommend to someone that they go against the browser’s advice and click Continue to this website (like my credit card company, MBNA, who have a site with an invalid certificate, going on for six years now, and have the security team advise people to accept the invalid certificate and proceed);

Internet Explorer

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MDGP 2013 Feature of the Day: Web Client Interface

Microsoft are posting the Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 Feature of the Day series on the Inside Microsoft Dynamics GP Blog.

The eighty ninth feature they’ve announced is Web Client Interface.

The Microsoft Dynamics GP2 013 Web Client is browser based; it uses Silverlight and runs in Internet Explorer. While most of the user interface will be familiar to existing users of the application, Microsoft did enhance it to take advantage of capabilities in the browser.

The two biggest changes you will notice is the addition of Ribbons to most of the forms in the application and the consolidation of some child windows into a Window Group or tab on its parent window.

Web Client Interface

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MDGP 2013 Feature of the Day: Web Client

Microsoft are posting the Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 Feature of the Day series on the Inside Microsoft Dynamics GP Blog.

The eighty eighth feature they’ve announced is Web Client.

The Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 Web Client gives you the freedom to work from anywhere you have a PC with Internet access. You can get your work done while maintaining your busy lifestyle, do sales orders on the road, purchase orders in your hotel or general ledger adjustments over the weekend at home.

The web client also gives customers the ability to extend access to remote offices without the expense and setup of terminal services and, best of all, it does it by using the same familiar user interface so there’s no extra training required to use it.

All it requires is Internet Explorer with the Silverlight plugin. You simply point to the URL for your web client service that is provided to you by your IT staff or hosting partner and login to the system.

From that point on your using the Microsoft Dynamics GP application you already know with the same familiar windows and fields:

Web Client

This new feature is targeted at the following roles:

  • All Roles

How To Install The Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 (Beta) Web Client – How To Install The Web Client

In this post I’m ging to give a run through of the installation process of the web client itself.

To install the web client run the Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 setup utility and select Web Client from the list;

Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 setup utility

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How To Install The Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 (Beta) Web Client – Installing a Self-Signed Certificate In IIS

Now that IIS is installed, we need to create a security certificate for use with the Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 web client.

In a production environment I would use a proper signed certificate but for testing purposes, I’m going to go with a self signed certificate.

To create a self-signed certificate, open Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager, select the machine running the web site (in my case the machine is called GP2013TEST) and then double click on Server Certificates;

Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager - GP2013TEST Home

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How To Install The Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 (Beta) Web Client – Web Server Installation

To function the Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 web client requires a web server running IIS with a web site bound to an SSL certificate.

The operating system of the web server must be one of the following:

  • Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2012

Once you have installed one of the above, I chose Windows Server 2008 R2 for this install, the Web Server (IIS) role needs to be installed via Server Manager.

Open Server Manager and click the Add Roles link;

Server Manager

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How To Install The Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 (Beta) Web Client – Security Groups & Required Service Accounts

There are two security groups needed for the Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 web client and these should be created prior to starting the web client installation.

The first is the Web Client Users group, of which users who will log into the web client will need to be members. The second is the Web Management Console Users group which is the group for administrators of the Web Client.

I have created these groups in Active Directory as GPWebClientUsers and WebManagementConsoleUsers respectively.

To run Microsoft Dynamics GP Web Services, there are four service accounts which are required:

  1. GP Web Client site application pool – This is the service account which runs the application pool on the web site hosting the Microsoft Dynamics GP web client.
  2. Web Management Console application pool – This is the service account which runs the application pool on the web site hosting the Web Management Console.
  3. Session Central Service – This si the service account which runs the Session Central Service.
  4. Session Service – This is the service account which runs the Session Service on each session host machine.

For the single-server installation these accounts can be machine accounts but I would always recommend that even for this type of installation that they be limited privilege Domain user accounts which have a password that does not expire.

For a scale out, or multi-tenant configuration, these would need to be privilege limited Domain user accounts with passwords that do not expire. While these can all be the same accounts, I typically advise people to use a different account for each one (a legacy of dealing with Microsoft Dynamics CRM where it is recommended that each service is a different account).

In this single-server configuration I will be configuring four separate user accounts to use; one for each of the services.

In the next post, I’ll take a look at installing Internet Information Services (IIS).

How To Install The Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 (Beta) Web Client – Installing The Web Client Runtime

The first post in this series was a brief introduction which outlined the components within a web client deployment and the second covered the deployment options which are available. In this post I’m going to take a look at the process for installing the web client runtime.

Microsoft recommend that Microsoft Dynamics GP be installed, configured and confirmed as operating correctly before any of the components for the Microsoft Dynamics GP web client are installed.

Even if you’re using the web client you will still need at least one accessible desktop client as even though most of the administrative tasks of Microsoft Dynamics GP can be performed with the web client, some, such as creating companies, cannot.

Each of the servers which is being used as a session host must have a Microsoft Dynamics GP desktop client installation which can be connected to the Microsoft Dynamics GP databases.

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How To Install The Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 (Beta) Web Client – Deployment Options

The first post in this series was a brief introduction which outlined the components within a web client deployment which I’m going to follow up in this post with a look at the deployment options which are available.

There are three options when deploying the Microsoft Dynamics GP web client:

  1. Single machine
  2. Scale out
  3. Multi-tenant

The single machine configuration is the simplest configuration available when deploying the Microsoft Dynamics GP web client. In this configuration, the web site, Session Central Service, Session Service and the Microsoft Dynamics GP web client runtime are all installed on a single server.

A typical single configuration machine is shown in the following diagram;

Web Client Deployment Configuration - Single Machine

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