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Archive for January, 2013

Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 on Windows Azure: The Deployment Process

Welcome to the third installment on Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 on Windows Azure. In the previous article I showed how to provision the various VMs needed in our environment – see Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 on Windows Azure: Provisioning Process. The following is a summary of the VMs with the applications and services they will be running:


Server Name Function
ip-ads01 AD DS server
ip-sql01 Database Server
ip-gp01 GP and Session Service
ip-gpweb IIS, Web Client, WMC, and Session Central

The deployment started out with some prep work, as follows:

Active Directory Server (AD DS)

On the AD DS server, I setup a few domain user accounts and security groups that will be needed to run both Microsoft Dynamics GP’s Session Service and Session Central Service services on the GP server (ip-gp01) and the Web Client and Web Management Console application pools on IIS (ip-gpweb). In addition, I have created two security groups, GP Web Admins to add any Dynamics GP web administrative user, and GP Web Users to add any domain account that will be accessing the Microsoft Dynamics GP via the web client interface.

Active Directory Users and Computers

Microsoft Dynamics GP Server (Session Host)

With the domain accounts and groups needed out of the way, I proceeded to install Microsoft Dynamics 2013 and the Web Client Runtime on ip-gp01. The installation is straight forward as you would expect with most GP installs. If you have configured your DNS server properly the ODBC configuration done by Dynamics GP should happen without a hitch. Upon completing the initial file installation, you will run Dynamics Utilities to setup the application system database – thanks to the new named system database feature in Dynamics GP 2013, I have called this DYNGPSYS – and setup the sample company, Fabrikam.

On this server also, I will setup a self-signed certificate pointing to my public DNS for this machine, ip-gp01.cloudapp.net, which I will export and import on my local machine. Another certificate is created for the private DNS, ip-gp01.ip-forest.local to create a secure communication between the web server and the session host.

For this, I use a tool called selfssl.exe which you can download below. Selfssl is a part of the IIS Resource Kit. From the command prompt with elevated administrative rights you can run the following command:

selfssl /N:CN=ip-gp01.clouldapp.net /V:365 /P:443 /T

Once selfssl generates the certificate, you can proceed to import the certificate into the Personal root and the Trusted Root Certification Authority folder using the Certificates mmc snap-in on the ip-gp01 VM. In addition, this same certificate must be imported on the IIS VM in the Trusted Root Certification Authority folder to provide a secure path to Session Service.

IIS Web Server

Next up was prepping the web server, ip-gpweb. The first task of order is to add the Web Server  (IIS) role to this VM, carefully making sure you select ASP.NET 4.5 from the Application Development Role Services for IIS – ASP.NET 4.5 is required by the Web Client components.

ASP.NET 4.5

Following the installation of IIS, you will then proceed to create a physical folder for the web client files – I took the easy way out and setup a C:inetpubgpweb.

In addition, I imported both certificates created for ip-gp01 to the Trusted Root Certification Authority folder to provide a secure path to the session host machine.

Finally, I used the selfssl.exe utility to create a self-signed certificate for the public DNS name of my machine, ip-gpweb.cloudapp.net.

selfssl /N:CN=ip-web.cloudapp.net /V:365 /T /P:443

I use this certificate to setup the web site in IIS, which is also a pre-requisite to the web client installation process:

Website created with self-signed certificate

Web Client Installation

The Web Client installation happens in two phases since I have provisioned a web server and plan to use a separate session host machine.

The Web Server

On the IIS server, you will need to run a custom install to select only the Web Server components.

Since you are working on Azure, to expose the website, you will need to create a new end-point on port 443 for the web server using the Azure Management portal (https://manage.windowsazure.com).

The Session Host Server

A custom installation to install the Session Server will do here.

The only tricky aspect is the runtime service, which requires a certificate to configure the service for SSL. Here I chose the cert previously created on ip-gp01. Note I am using port 443, which differs from the standard port, as it is the port I used when creating the certificate with the selfssl.exe utility.

Now that all is in place, you should be able to launch Internet Explorer from any machine outside of the Azure network and access Dynamics GP.

What I learned from this exercise:

  1. Due to Azure’s tight security, the provisioned servers have just the necessary TCP and UDP ports opened. On the SQL Server VM, you will need to open ports 1433 and 80 if deploying SSRS. SQL Server will also need to be reconfigured to support Mixed Mode Authentication prior to beginning the installation of Dynamics GP.

  1. On the Dynamics GP and IIS servers, you will need to install .NET Framework 3.5 prior to running the Setup.exe application – by default, Windows Server 2012 installs .NET Framework 4.5. This could prove a bit confusing under Windows Server 2012, since during the confirmation process of adding the role, you are confronted with a warning message requesting an alternate path to the .NET Framework 3.5 installation files.
Add Roles and Features Wizard

    As it turns out, the resolution is fairly well documented in Microsoft Support KB article 2734782 – http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2734782, which calls for running the Deployment Image Servicing and Management tool (Dism) from the command line. Now, I happened to have the Windows Server 2012 installation files on a 32GB pen drive a carry around. By remoting into the GP and IIS servers with my local drives enabled I was able to point to the Sources folder on my pen drive allowing the .NET Framework 3.5 to be installed.
    Dism /online /enable-feature /featurename:NetFx3 /All /Source:(folder_name)sourcessxs /LimitAccess
     
  1. It’s easier to download the Silverlight client on your local machine and move it to your IIS VM, than attempting to install it from your IIS VM directly. As it turned out, Internet Explorer security on Azure disables scripting, so accessing any Microsoft website, ironically becomes a nightmare. You can download Silverlight from http://www.microsoft.com/silverlight/

  1. The tenant configuration file, TenantConfiguration.xml, must list (not point to, i.e., no UNC path) the paths on the session host server for each of the GP application runtime files requested. The tenant configuration file is a part of the Web Client files on the IIS VM.

There may certainly be other details that I may have forgotten to point out and other issues you may encounter along. This wasn’t an easy process and frankly required quite a bit of research and bugging people like Microsoft’s Daryl Anderson to get this right, but the effort was well worth it.

Until next post!

MG.-
Mariano Gomez, MVP
IntellPartners, LLC
http://www.IntellPartners.com/

See the original article here:
Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 on Windows Azure: The Deployment Process

January 31, 2013 · Mariano Gomez · No Comments
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Integration Manager 11 Installation Errors | azurecurve

View azurecurve’s Google+ · View azurecurve’s Summary RSS Feed · View azurecurve’s Detailed RSS Feed. Ramblings of a Dynamics GP Consultant. Skip to content. Home · azurecurve.co.uk · azurecurve.com · Browse…

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Integration Manager 11 Installation Errors | azurecurve

January 31, 2013 · Ian Grieve · No Comments
Tags: , , , , , , ,  · Posted in: Blogs I Follow Total Views: 231

Var’s who do not care about making money!!

I have a grump I need to get off my chest. I often hear VAR’s complain that business ‘is just so hard to find’ and making a living is impossible!

As an ISV I get an insight into the relationship of VAR’s and their customers. One common email conversation that I see goes like this:

EONE: Hi VAR – your customer XXXXX is due for Annual Maintenance
VAR:  It turns out customer XXXXXX will not be renewing AEP
EONE: Oh thats too bad, can you tell me why that is  – as the feedback is really important to us.
VAR: We do not know, they just said they do not use it.
EONE: Did you ask them why they made this decision?
VAR: No we did not
EONE: Did you ask them how they would perform this task now without that software?
VAR: Nope
EONE: Do you not see this as a valuable learning opportunity, or potentially a chance for you to get involved with their new process or new software?
VAR: That’s not really my job!!

How is it possible that VAR can have such a bad relationship with a customer that they have no idea what their customers are doing, what software they use and why? How do they not know why a customer has stopped using certain software? How do they sell consulting services if they do not intimately know what is happening at their customer? What is worse is that there is someone that works inside a VAR that really does not care about making money and keeping customers happy!! When I was a VAR, and if I ever was again – every single person within the organization was required to watch for opportunities with each customer. Admin staff,  Accounts Staff, consultants, project managers, account managers and Sales people were all required to always identify changes in a customers business, and opportunities to improve their business.

The term VAR (Value Added Reseller) is used for a reason.  The VAR is engaged to Add Value. If the VAR is not Adding Value then they are simply a middle man that causes extra Admin for everyone concerned.  I can live without Middle Men. 

When a VAR is unable to demonstrate an ISV’s solution on their own, and come to me to perform a demo – exactly what value is a VAR adding? The VAR should be helping to hang the entire solution together for a customer and showing them how it works. A VAR that simply says ‘go and look at SmartConnect for your CRM to GP integration’ is providing no more value than a google search!  That’s not Value Add.   A VAR that says – “I have the perfect solution for you. What you need to do is XXXXX, but the things to keep in mind are XXXXXX as it can get tricky if you do not have clearly identified business processes. Let me get my guru John in next week to show you how it hangs together and fits in with you current process. It is going to cost you $20,000 if you include the services – but the benefit is going to be massive and make you so much more efficient.”  This is a VAR that is adding Value.

I had a conversation with a friend of mine last week that is the IT manager at a company that uses Dynamics GP.  He had a consultant from a VAR come out to install eRequest (or a similar requisition management tool). eRequest was not something this VAR installed too regularly.  The consultant who is charging $200p/hr turned up for the install and proceeded to open the install guide and work his way through step by step. When he got stuck around IE security and configuration, he asked the IT manager for help. So now the IT guy was teaching the $200p/hr resource how to do the job he was being paid for!! is that Value Add?  He finished the conversation with me by saying ‘next time I will just do the installs myself’.

My message to VAR’s is to start adding value, real value. At eOne we are passionate that our software is presented by our partners brilliantly. This requires our partners to deliver top shelf demos, rapid and accurate installations, clever analysis and configuration and ongoing support.  Watch out over the next few months on details of the eOne certification programme, and associated trainings that will help put all our partners onto the top shelf of Value Adding VAR’s.

Follow this link:
Var’s who do not care about making money!!

January 31, 2013 · Martin · No Comments
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Support Debugging Tool Build 17 hotfix released

David Meego - Click for blog homepageJust before I went on leave over Christmas and New Year, I announced the release of the Support Debugging Tool Build 17.

Well, as much as I try to ensure that there are not any bugs in the code, I managed to introduce one.

So this hotfix build fixes the bug which can cause the two Support Debugging Tool buttons to appear multiple times on the Standard Toolbar.

I also fixed an issue with the SQL Profile Trace setup where it can generate SQL errors if the system has users in the SY_Users_MSTR (SY01400) table which don’t exist as SQL Logins. This situation can happen when databases are restored to a different SQL Server.

If you have a previous build (including the original build 17) installed, please just install this update over the top of the existing code, no need to uninstall first. 

 

Below is a summary of the changes made for releases 10.00.0017, 11.00.0017 and 12.00.0017, dated as Last Modified: 25-Jan-2013:

Fixes

  • Fixed repeated creation of Screenshot and Support Debugging Tool Toolbar buttons on the Standard Toolbar.
  • Fixed SQL Profile Trace setup errors when user exists in SY01400 table but does not have a SQL login.

 

Downloads

Support Debugging Tool for Microsoft Dynamics GP 10.0 Secure Link

Support Debugging Tool for Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 (v11.0) Secure Link

Support Debugging Tool for Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 (v12.0) Secure Link

NOTE: The tool is posted on PartnerSource Secure Link and so can be downloaded by partners. If you are a customer, you will need to obtain the tool through your partner. Any feedback or questions about the tool will be handled via the Microsoft Dynamics GP Community Forum.

 

Please check out the Support Debugging Tool Portal (http://aka.ms/SDT) page, your one-stop-shop for all things relating to the Support Debugging Tool.

Please post your feedback on what you think of this build and what you would like to see in the future.

Thanks to Robert Cavill for his assistance with this build. Thanks also to Kelly Youells for getting the files on PartnerSource updated.

David

See the original article here:
Support Debugging Tool Build 17 hotfix released

January 31, 2013 · David Musgrave · No Comments
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Did you know…there webcasts for Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013

Want to go deep into what’s new in Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013?  We have several webcasts that go deep into the product.  You get to choose which ones that are interesting to you!

http://www.gppartnerconnections.com/education-resources/

Pam

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Did you know…there webcasts for Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013

January 30, 2013 · Pam Misialek · No Comments
Tags:  · Posted in: Blogs I Follow Total Views: 160

1000 Downloads of Windows 8 Microsoft Dynamics Business Analyzer

You might be one of the few people in the Dynamics GP community that hasn’t downloaded the new Windows 8 app that allows you to surface SRS charts, graphs, and KPI’s that customers and partners have built for Dynamics GP.  Go to the Windows Store on Windows 8 and search for “Business Analyzer”.

 

 

Read this article:
1000 Downloads of Windows 8 Microsoft Dynamics Business Analyzer

January 30, 2013 · Errol Schoenfish · No Comments
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Management Reporter 2012 RU4 Now Available

A new version of Management Reporter 2012 is now available.

A new feature was added where now there are quick links in the report viewers making it easier to navigate.

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/dynamicscpm/archive/2013/01/28/newest-changes-in-management-reporter-2012-ru4-posted-today.aspx

Management Reporter 2012 RU3 and RU4 are both compatible with Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013.

Continue Reading:
Management Reporter 2012 RU4 Now Available

January 30, 2013 · Pam Misialek · No Comments
Tags:  · Posted in: Blogs I Follow Total Views: 307