The fourth session was a short one, just before lunch. It was Deploying PowerGP by NvevityTo Go. In the session, Chris Dobkins showed the web portal they have created which allows Dynamics GP tenants to be deployed in 5 minutes. He showed that it did only take this long, by asking for someone in the audience to give him a company name which he then used to deploy the tenant and logged into it.
It was very impressive and sets a high bar for anyone looking to compete. The web portal they have is very slick and easy to use.
Very impressive work from John Lowther and others.
Looking at the 30 minute presentation/demo Chris did , Dynamics GP as a SaaS offering from partners looks eminently possible. There will be a huge amount of complexity behind the scenes making it all work correctly, but it is doable and gives the full functionality of an enterprise scale ERP.
The third session I attended was Web Client Troubleshooting by Mariano Gomez. I attended this session for two reasons; firstly, it was Mariano; and secondly, I was looking for more tips on troubleshooting the web client.
Much of what he covered was stuff I already knew from my work with the web client, but there were a handful of utilities he covered, with which I was not familiar. For me, this made the session more than worth while and the areas he covered which I do know, it is always good to have your thinking reaffirmed.
To install the Web Resource Cache start the setup utility from the download media and, under the Additional Products header click on GP Web Resource Cache:
Not having to install SilverLight on each PC or laptop which will run the web client is a definite plus; likewise it being cross platform and supported on Chrome, Safari and Firefox is another plus.
The HTML5 web client is also, in my opinion, quicker than the old SilverLight one.
However, there is one large negative which escaped me when doing initial testing and which Belinda Allen pointed out, although not on her blog, you can only have one open at a time; when you open a window the area pages are disabled, preventing you from opening another:
You can still drill down to other windows so you can for example drill from the Account Summary Inquiry to the Detailed Summary Inquiry or from Vendor Maintenance to Country Code Maintenance:
When you do open one window from a drill down the original window is then disabled. To toggle between them you need to use the Search for a Form or Report window:
This situation has created a bit of an outcry at Microsoft asking that they do further work to allow multiple window to be open at the same time. There is a post on the Microsoft Connect site where you can vote on this issue and impress upon Microsoft the importance that a resolution is found for this issue. You can vote here.
One of the main issues with the approach Microsoft have taken is that some ISV products rely on having more than one window open at the same time; another is it can seriously interrupt your workflow by being restricted to one window. Imagine, you’re half-way through creating a new vendor card when a customer rings up with an invoice query; you’d need to close the Vendor Maintenance window to open the Transactions by Debtor one.
With the web client installed and configured, it is now time to log in for the first time. With previous versions of the web client, this meant installing SilverLight, but the new web client is HTML5 based.
When you navigate to the GP app on the web server there is no apparent difference between the Microsoft Dynamics GP 2016 web client and the previous version; in both cases you need to login using your Domain Account:
The second of the wizards which pops up after the web client has been installed is the Web Components Help.
On the Welcome step click on Install to begin the installation:
Once the installation of the web client is complete, two wizards will be started. The first of these is the Microsoft Dynamics GP Web Components Configuration Wizard.
On the Welcome step click on Next:
To install the web client, launch the setup utility from the downloaded installation media. Under Additional Products click on Web Client:
As I am working on a small number of servers in my demo environment (a Domain Controller, a SQL Server and a Web Client Server) I will be doing a single-machine deployment with the sessions central and session host services on a single machine.
To do this I have the Microsoft Dynamics GP desktop client installed on the Web Client: this is the only machine with a client installed.
To do this, I need to add the Web Client Runtime feature to the installation of the desktop client. To do this open the Programs and Features applet in Control Panel, select Microsoft Dynamics GP 2016 and click the Change button:.
One of the major new features in Microsoft Dynamics GP 2016 R1 is the HTML5 web client; this replaces the Silverlight web client released in Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 R2. One of the enhancements to the web client is the ability to search for a window or report:
The main features of web client search are:
- Ability to search for a window or report within the GP web client
- Shows a list of all open windows and reports based on search criteria
- Shows a list of all windows and reports and the navigation based on search criteria
- Ability to close all open windows at once.
This is going to be a little like the Where’s that window? function on Jivtesh Singh’s GPWindow site, but will also allow you to search for reports as well. This should prove especially useful to new users of Microsoft Dynamics GP, although with Microsoft’s record for problems with non-US English I will want to see it working with the UK English language packed version of GP before I give it a ringing endorsement.