Hands On With the GP Power Tools: Navigating the GP Power Tools

Winthrop DCWith GP Power Tools (GPPT) installed and configured, it is now available for use.

Before starting to cover the functionality of GPPT, I thought it might be useful to give a quick oversight of where GPPT is accessible.

Firstly, from an Administrators point of view. Generally administrators will require access to all of the functionality of GPPT. While traditional drop down menus can be used to navigate, they are not the most user friendly method:

Microsoft Dynamics GP Transaction menu

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Hands On With the GP Power Tools: Initialising the GP Power Tools

Winthrop DCIn the last post, I installed GP Power Tools (GPPT); in this post I am going to initialise it in on one client machine (the initialisation will be global on all installations).

The initialisation process requires elevated privileges on SQL Server as the settings are stored centrally in the GP database and GPPT creates its own tables. So to complete the initialisation we need to log in as the sa account, or preferably another account which has been given eleveted privileges:

Welcome to Microsoft Dynamics GP

Once you have logged into a company, GPPT will deploy all of the database objects and create some default settings. These settings include some Security Tasks and Roles. The roles which will be created are:

  • GP POWER TOOLS USER grants access to Standard Mode features.
  • GP POWER TOOLS ADMIN grants access to all areas of GPPT.
  • GP POWER TOOLS PASSWORD grants access to maintain the GPPT System Password.
  • GP POWER TOOLS SERVICES is created only in Microsoft Dynamics GP 2015 and later.

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Hands On With the GP Power Tools: Installing the GP Power Tools

Winthrop DCWith a licence for GP Power Tools we can now download it. Versions are available for Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010, 2013, 2015 and 2016 so make sure you select the correct version.

Once you’ve downloaded the installer, you need to install GP Power Tools on every machine with the Microsoft Dynamics GP client installed.

Do this, by running the installer and clicking Next on the Welcome step:

GP Power Tools: Welcome

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Hands On With the GP Power Tools: Licencing

Winthrop DCIn the last post, I covered the tools available in the GP Power Tools. In this post, I’m going to take a quick look at the licencing.

Versions of GP Power Tools are available for Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010, 2013, 2015 and 2016, but the licencing is version independent so you don’t need to worry when upgrading. All you need to do is download and install the correct version.

A licence for GP Power Tools is valid for one year and must be renewed annually; failure to renew will result in the product stopping working. Reminders of expiry will be given in advance as a reminder to renew, but there is also a grace period after expiry. Once purchased, GP Power Tools will install the keys automatically using a web service.

When you want to purchase a licence for GP Power Tools, head to either the Order Now or Get a Quote page. In the Order Software Licenses select from the threee GP Power Tools sets of tools you require. As covered in the last post, there are three modules available:

  1. Administrator Tools
  2. Developer Tools
  3. Database Tools

For testing purposes, GP Power Tools can be installed on an implementation of Microsoft Dynamics GP which only has the sample company deployed; any other company being added does require a licence, but you can request a 30 day trial.

Trials are also available for modules which you have not bought. For example, if you have previously bought the Administrator Tools, you could get a trial licence for the Database Tools.

If you’re a partner and want to do some testing, learning or internal training on the GP Power Tools prior to recommending it to clients, NFR (Not For Resale) keys are available from Mekorma.

Once you have confirmation your order has been placed, you’re ready to download and install GP Power Tools.

Hands On With the GP Power Tools: Available Tools

Winthrop DCBefore I move onto the features of the GP Power Tools, there will be a small number of posts, starting with this one, introducing the GP Power Tools and on the installation process.

GP Power Tools is sold as three modules which can be bought separately, with some standard features available when any module is registered. The three modules and their features are:

  1. Administrator Tools
  2. Developer Tools
  3. Database Tools

Essential system features that come with the first module you register:

  1. Capture and email 5 system logs in “One-Click”.
  2. Capture and email a full system status report and screenshots of all open windows in “One-Click”.
  3. Send emails from inside Dynamics GP even with no email client installed.
  4. Change Dex.ini and registry settings from inside GP, including making GP work well on high res monitors.

The key features of the Administrator Tools are:

  1. Avoid data entry errors! Company based colour schemes provide an immediate visual cue to which company is being used.
  2. Gain full administrative and audit control of your security system, including Deny-Based Security.
  3. Roll out Dex.ini setting changes to all workstations.
  4. Simplify troubleshooting by disabling third party products and customisation (including Visual Studio Addins and VBA).
  5. Users can customise window positions and sizes based on the how they use the system.

The key features of the Developer Tools are:

  1. Create, execute and publish scripts from inside Dynamics GP, using  Dexterity, Transact-SQL, Visual C# and Visual Basic.Net.
  2. Create triggers to schedule events, customise Dynamics GP, and debug issues by automatically capturing logs.
  3. Build custom Report Writer functions or custom Service Based Architecture (SBA) service procedures.
  4. Request parameters from users for scripts without needing any additional programming.
  5. Group triggers, scripts and parameter lists together into development projects for easy maintenance and exporting.

The key features of the Database Tools are:

  • Synchronise and repair Dynamics GP Companies and Users with SQL Server Databases, Logins and Database Users.
  • Update Logins and passwords after moving to a new SQL Server or when creating test environments.
  • Clean up system tables and validate database integrity and table structures before upgrading to minimise upgrade issues.
  • Export and import selected data from multiple tables using XML for quick transfer of small amounts of data between systems or for backups.
  • The tools contain two types of features; Standard Mode and Advanced Mode:

    1. Standard Mode features can be used safely by all users.
    2. Advanced Mode features require system administrator or database owner (dbo) privileges and require expertise in Dexterity, Visual C#, Visual Basic.Net and/or SQL Server administration.

    Hands On With the GP Power Tools: Series Index

    Winthrop DCAll of my Hands On With posts so far have been with Microsoft Dynamics GP itself, but I am now branching out and going hands on with the GP Power Tools by Winthrop Development Consultants.

    GP Power Tools for Microsoft Dynamics GP is a Dexterity, Visual C# and Visual Basic.Net based integrated product for Microsoft Dynamics GP which contains a collection of utilities and tools to make the tasks of administering, supporting and developing Microsoft Dynamics GP easier and faster and is based on the product previously known as the Support Debugging Tool for Microsoft Dynamics GP.

    GP Power Tools is distributed by Mekorma.

    This series will open with the installation and basic configuration of the GP Power Tools and I will then move on to posts covering the features of the three sections into which the GP Power Tools is separated into:

    1. Administrator Tools
    2. Developer Tools
    3. Database Tools

    Each of these sections will have its own series index, with this post being the series index for these sub-series.

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