Our Favourite Add-ons from the recent ISC Software Webinar

ISC Software SolutionsIn our most recent webinar, on Our Favourite Add-ons, we took a look at six of the add-ons which are preferred solutions from our senior consultants. They all meet a requirement which numerous clients have given to us at different times. Usually, there are several plugins which offer similar functionality which would meet these requirements, but these six add-ons are the ones which we recommend time after time. If you want to catch up on, or any other, webinar, you can do so here.

Before I give a brief overview of each of the add-ons, a quick introduction. Microsoft Dynamics GP is a full-featured ERP system with many modules, but one of the original founding design decisions was to support the enhancement by way of third party add-on modules, which closely integrate into the software and in many cases are indistinguishable from the core module. These add-ons are available from many, many vendors around the world (although many of them are located near the birth-place of the software in Fargo, North Dakota).

Each consultant will usually have a list of go-to add-ons which they’ve recommended to a number of clients, and this list is derived from these lists from each of the consultants (there was a lot of overlap between us). This is not to say that there are not other great, competing, add-ons; there are but we had to limit the list to six in order to cover them in a thirty minute webinar.

SmartList Builder

Smartist Builder is the add-on with which I have the most and longest experience. Created by eOne Solutions, it allows for the creation of new SmartList objects to meet needs not covered by the out-of-the-box SmartList objects; this often covers reports such as vendors with email and EFT details or Payables Distributions. It also supports the creation of SmartList objects using SQL views such as Budgets By Month or Sales By Customer By Fiscal Year.

While you can also do this using the SmartList Designer, which comes as a standard part of Microsoft Dynamics GP, SmartList Builder is much more flexible and easy to use and has a lot more functionality; I have a blog from May 2019 covering the differnces between SmartList Builder and SmartList Designer.

I have previously blogged about implementing SmartList Builder.

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Using Node Builder to Create New Node: Conclusion

eOne SolutionsThis post is part of the series on Using Node Builder to Create New Node; in particular I m creating a node to add EFT Bank information when adding a creditor.

In this series, I’ve gone through the steps to create a simple node to add EFT Bank details when using SmartConnect to insert a vendor. Node Builder allowed us to create the node without writing any code.

Node Builder is the least polished of the eOne products; in fact, based on how good SmartList Builder and SmartConnect are, I was very surprised at the lack of polish.

The alternative to using Node Bulder is to write your own eConnect stored procedures. Microsoft has posted some example code of how to do this. In addition, Tim Wappat has also posted about this.

If I was creating the node, I’d be tempted to just write my own (as I have done in the past), but when working with a client I would show them Node Builder and explain the pros and cons (including limitations such as not integrating with SmartConnect any more).

Using Node Builder to Create New Node: Add SmartConnect Node

eOne SolutionsThis post is part of the series on Using Node Builder to Create New Node; in particular I m creating a node to add EFT Bank information when adding a creditor.

Once the GP Resource Cache refreshed, the new node will be available in SmartConnect.

To use the node, launch SmartConnect and on the action pane, under GP Connector, click Node Maintenance:

SmartConnect action pane

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Using Node Builder to Create New Node: Update SmartConnect GP Resource Cache

eOne SolutionsThis post is part of the series on Using Node Builder to Create New Node; in particular I m creating a node to add EFT Bank information when adding a creditor.

With the node created, we need to make it available for use in SmartConnect before we can actually use it.

This is done by refreshing the SmartConnect GP Resource Cache. Do this by launching Microsoft Dynamics GP and selecting GP Resource Cache from the (Microsoft Dynamics GP » Tools » SmartConnect » GP Resource Cache) menu:

GP Resource Cache menu

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Using Node Builder to Create New Node: Create Node

eOne SolutionsThis post is part of the series on Using Node Builder to Create New Node; in particular I m creating a node to add EFT Bank information when adding a creditor.

To create new node, launch Node Builder from the Windows Start menu.

It will start showing a blank screen. In the General Options pane enter the following:

  • Node ID which is all caps with no spaces
  • Node Description
  • Default Company
  • eConnect Procedure Name which will default in, but can be changed (you can;t change the prefix from E1_
  • Create SmartConnect Node which must be left unmarked
Node Builder 2011: Create new VENRODEFT Node
exclamation 

The Create SmartConnect Node must be left unmarked, even if you want to create a node in SmartConnect. This did work in the past, but development of SmartConnect has continued whle that of Node Builder has stalled.

You will have problems if you mark this box!

In the right pane, select the companies in which the node should be made available.

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Using Node Builder to Create New Node: Introduction

eOne SolutionsA few weeks ago I did a series on Implementing Node Builder; in this new series I am going to cover creating a new node for adding EFT Bank information with a creditor.

If you’re reading this on azurecurve, the series index, below, will automatically update; if you’re reading a syndicated post, then you’ll need to check back on the original post.

Using Node Builder to Create New Node
Create Node
Update SmartConnect GP Resource Cache
Add SmartConnect Node
Conclusion

Implementing Node Builder: Conclusion

eOne SolutionsThis post is part of the series on Implementing Node Builder; Node Builder is a product which allows additional eConnect nodes to be easily created for use with SmartConnect.

I was somewhat surprised that the most recent version available was the 2011 version; I think this shows that Node Builder is not a very popular product, but I am slightly surprised by this as SmartConnect seems to be a popular choice for integrations. I have manually written eConnect stored procedures for new nodes and Node Builder is an easier and quicker way of creating the nodes.

I assume though that people are generally either creating the stored procedures manually or are doing direct updates to the database. If this is the case, then it would seem that the people mainly using SmartConnect are more technical users.

It does not need to be this way and, for a lot of the SmartConnect projects I’ve had a hand in delivering, it hasn’t been this way as we have installed and configured SmartConnect and then trained users on creating and maintaining integrations.

Node Builder compliments this approach by allowing non-technical users to create new nodes as required rather than needing a SQL develop with experience of Microsoft Dynamics GP and eConnect.

I’ll do a series in a few weeks on using Node Builder to create a node for use with SmartConnect.

Implementing Node Builder: Connection Issue

eOne SolutionsThis post is part of the series on Implementing Node Builder; in particular I m creating a node to add EFT Bank information when adding a creditor.

The first time I installed Node Builder I received an error when trying to log in:

Connection failed

Connection Failed

A connection error occurred while trying to connect o the Node Builder database. Check the server settings to ensure Node Builder is pointing to the correct server.

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Implementing Node Builder: Registration

eOne SolutionsThis post is part of the series on Implementing Node Builder; Node Builder is a product which allows additional eConnect nodes to be easily created for use with SmartConnect.

With Node Builder installed we can now launch and register it. Node Builder will be available via the Windows Start menu. When launched, you will be prompted to enter the SQL Server and a user account to connect with; this is making a connection to the SQL Server so you will either need to use the sa account or another SQL account (which is not a Dynamics GP user).

Connection Information

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Implementing Node Builder: Installation

eOne SolutionsThis post is part of the series on Implementing Node Builder; Node Builder is a product which allows additional eConnect nodes to be easily created for use with SmartConnect.

With Node Builder downloaded, we can now start the implementation. The download is a zip file containing NodeBuilder.exe. Extract and run this file.

On the Welcome step, click Next:

eOne Node Builder Setup: Welcome to the eOne Node Builder Setup Wizard

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