Implementing Node Builder: What is Node Builder?

eOne SolutionsThis post is part of the series on Implementing Node Builder.

Node Builder is a complimentary product to the SmartConnect integration tool (which I blogged about a few months ago); SmartConnect works by providing an integration layer on top of eConnect which allows non-developers to create integrations for Microsoft Dynamics GP; Node Builder allows these same non-developers to create additional eConnect nodes which can be used in SmartConnect.

An eConnect node is a specific stored procedure that knows how to populate a table or set of tables within Microsoft Dynamics GP. A node also contains all of the Microsoft Dynamics GP business rules and validation which are applied if you were to update those tables through the Dynamics GP user interface.

Node Builder is an easy to use interface that is a lot like SmartList Builder; it allows you to choose the tables you want to populate and then choose the fields which will be available to be populated with the node. Node Builder lets you define your own rules about data validation; for example, you could check that an inventory item exists before you create a specific in transit inventory transfer.

The Node Builder Overview gives more details on the capabilities.

Implementing Node Builder: Series Index

eOne SolutionsEarlier this year I did a series of posts on the SmartConnect integration solution from eOne Solutions; I then followed up with a post on creating a simple General Journal integration.

In this series of posts I am going to take a look at the Node Builder product which allows you to easily create additional nodes for integration.

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Implementing SmartList Builder: Review

eOne SolutionsThis post is part of the series on Implementing SmartList Builder from eOne Solutions.

Of all of the ISV products I have used with Microsoft Dynamics GP, SmartList Builder is the one I have worked with the longest, and is the one I like the most (looking back I’m surprised it’s taken me this long to do a series like this).

It is easy to use, flexible and far better at creating new SmartLists than the in-built SmartList Designer product which Micro created when they passed SmartList Builder back to eOne Solutions.

If you like SmartLists, then I would encourage you to take a look at SmartList Builder; it does take a somewhat technical user to create and maintain SmartLists through it, but they are easy to create and much more flexible than those possible through SmartList Designer. The hardest job is sometimes discovering how the data hangs together.

There are resources such as the GP Tables section of Victoria Yudin’s website or my azurecurve|Microsoft Dynamics GP Table Reference which you can use to find the tables you need.

Implementing SmartList Builder: Security

eOne SolutionsThis post is part of the series on Implementing SmartList Builder from eOne Solutions.

The final element to readying SmartList Builder for use is to configure security so that users without the POWERUSER* role can access it. While this step isn’t absolutely necessary, I would encourage people not to over use the POWERUSER* role.

A better approach would be to create a Super User role instead. Both this role and standard user roles will need to have access to the SmartList Builder windows granting.

This is easy to do, as SmartList Builder ships with some default security tasks and a role:

Security Role Setup

Assign this role to the relevant user or assign the tasks to existing roles and user will, next time they login, be able to access the SmartList Builder window.

Implementing SmartList Builder: Register

eOne SolutionsThis post is part of the series on Implementing SmartList Builder from eOne Solutions.

If you’re testing SmartList Builder, you can use it in the Famrikam Sample company without entering a registration key. However, yo use it on a normal company, even a test one, you will need to input the key.

To do this, log into Microsoft Dynamics GP as a user with the POWERUSER* role and open the SmartList Builder Register window (Administration area page » Setup » SmartList Builder » Register SmartList Builder) and enter the key in the Registration Key field:

SmartList Builder Register

Click Save to sdave the key and close the window.

Implementing SmartList Builder: Download and Install

eOne SolutionsThis post is part of the series on Implementing SmartList Builder from eOne Solutions.

SmartList Builder is downloaded direct from the eOne Solutions website as a zip file.

Download SmartList Builder

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Implementing SmartList Builder: SmartList Builder vs. SmartList Designer

eOne SolutionsThis post is part of the series on Implementing SmartList Builder from eOne Solutions.

As mentioned in the last post SmartList Builder was directly sold by Microsoft under a licensing agreement for many years until, with the launch of Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 SP2, the product was released back to the original ISV; a Fargo based ISV called eOne SOlutions.

I understand this was because the new top person in charge of Microsoft Dynamics GP did not like licensing products from the ISVs and release quite a few back to the original developer. However, this left a gap in Microsoft Dynamics GP in that users could no longer create new SmartLists. And so, SmartList Designer was created.

In theory it fulfils the same job as SmartList Builder; you can create new SmartLists by joining tables together or by linking in a SQL view. When it was first released, I took a look at it as an alternative to SmartList Builder on the basis it was free as opposed to needing to buy SmartList Builder.

However, in every area, it is an inferior product. It is not as functional and it is not as easy to use.

Continue reading “Implementing SmartList Builder: SmartList Builder vs. SmartList Designer”

Implementing SmartList Builder: What is SmartList Builder?

eOne SolutionsThis post is part of the series on Implementing SmartList Builder from eOne Solutions.

Before launching into the installation of SmartList Builder, I thought it might be worthwhile to do a post on what it is. All users of Microsoft Dynamics GP will be familiar with SmartList; this is the flexible reporting tool which allows you to generate a report showing a list of master records or transactions. Each series has a set of SmartLists available by default, with predefined favourites where search criteria or columns are supplied already configured.

SmartList favourites can be customised and new ones created quite easily, but new SmartLists themselves cannot be created. To create a new SmareList, you need a tool such as SmartList Builder or, in more recent years, SmartList Designer. In this series, I am focussing on SmartList Builder as this is an additional product available from an ISV for Microsoft Dynamics GP.

Back in 2003 when I started working with Microsoft Dynamics GP, SmartList Builder was available direct from Microsoft. SmartList Builder was originally developed by eOne Solutions and then licensed by Microsoft; in the run up to the release of Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 SP2, the licensing deal for SmartList Builder was ended and maintenance of the product reverted back to eOne Solutions.

SmartList Builder the product, includes four utilities:

  1. SmartList Builder – SmartList Builder allows you to create both brand new SmartLists or modify existing SmartList. You can link up to 32 tables together. Tables can be standard GP tables, any of the Third Party (ISV) tables, any SQL table, SQL views or SQL Scripts, other SmartLists or Extender resources.
  2. Excel Report Builder – Excel Report Builder generates an Excel Spreadsheet with a live connection back to GP or any other data you include. This means you have live refreshable reports, anytime you need them. You can give all your data from GP to anyone in the organization via Excel – without buying new, full-user licenses of Dynamics GP.
  3. Drill Down Builder – Drill Down Builder completes the functionality of Excel Report Builder by letting you drill from your spreadsheet back into that same record within Dynamics GP. Where Microsoft hard codes a drill down – eOne makes it completely configurable to allow you to drill down to any screen or SmartList in Dynamics GP. This is an essential part of bringing the most common business tools together. Working in GP and Excel all day – it only makes sense to auto-switch between one and the other.
  4. Navigation List Builder – Navigation List Builder allows you to publish your SmartList into the Navigation List user interface.

The standard installation of the SmartList Builder product, gets you all four of the above utilities.

Implementing SmartList Builder: Series Index

eOne SolutionsI’ve posted series on a few different ISV addons for Microsoft Dynamics GP over the last few years, but, somewhat ironically I guess, have not posted all that much about the addin I’ve used the most over the years.

That addin is SmartList Builder from eOne Solutions.

SmartList Builder allows you to create both brand new SmartLists or modify existing SmartList. You can link up to 32 tables together. Tables can be standard GP tables, any of the Third Party (ISV) tables, any SQL table, SQL views or SQL Scripts, other SmartLists or Extender resources.

This series is going to cover the implementation of SmartList Builder; I’ll take a look at report builder in a future series.

Implementing SmartList Builder
What is SmartList Builder?
SmartList Builder vs. SmartList Designer
Register
Security
Review

Create SmartConnect Journal – Standard Map: Conclusion

eOne SolutionsThis post is part of a series on creating a Journal – Standard integration using SmartConnect from eOne Solutions; I recently posted a series on Implementing SmartConnect.

Over the last few posts in this series, I have shown how to create a simple General Journal integration.

The process is slightly more involved than creating a similar integration, but the huge advantage is being able to schedule the integration to automatically run and select all files from a folder.

With Integration Manager, to allow multiple people to use the same integration you had to point it at a shared drive letter which all users had in common (and often not all did, due to being in different locations).

In addition, SmartConnect can also process the Excel spreadsheet directly, without requiring the user to save the active page down as a CSV; something which Excel really doesn’t want you to do.

The other main benefit of SmartConnect is that if there is an eConnect node available, it can integrate that type of record into Microsoft Dynamics GP, whereas Integration Manager could only use the ones available via the standard or eConnect adapters.

eOne Solutions also have a product called Node Builder which allows additional eConnect nodes to easily be created without the need for a developer. I’ll be taking a look at NodeBuilder in a future series.