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#GPPT Why wait till you upgrade to install GP Power Tools?

David Meego - Click for blog homepageYesterday, I received an email from a customer that I met in Reno at the GPUG Summit 2016 conference. He asked a technical question on GP Power Tools and mentioned that he had purchased the tool to be used once he had completed the upgrade to Microsoft Dynamics GP 2015.

The question I had to ask was …

  • Why wait till you upgrade to install GP Power Tools?

The reason I ask the question is fairly simple.

By running the GP Power Tools’ Database Validation feature against your system BEFORE you upgrade, you can avoid many upgrade issues before they even occur.

Database Validation can be used to validate that the system’s user and company settings match the SQL Server Logins, Databases and Database Users as well as comparing the data structures of all tables against their definitions in the Dynamics GP Product dictionaries.

Note: For more details on what checks Database Validation makes, see the first article in the links below.

You can also use Database Validation to fix SQL Logins (passwords) and Database Users when moving the system to a new server, which often happens during upgrades.

Even if not moving to a new server, it is common practice to do a test upgrade on a test server. Running Database Validation on your test environment can remove references to users and companies that are not included in the test system.

Database Validation has many features that will help you before and during the upgrade process, so why not get some help now… before you upgrade?

If you already have registered GP Power Tools, your license will be valid for all versions GP Power Tools (for Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010, GP 2013, GP 2013 R2, GP 2015 & GP 2015 R2).

For more information see:

You have no reason to wait.


PS: Database Validation is new to GP Power Tools and is not included in the Support Debugging Tool.

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Filed under: Dynamics, GP, GP Power Tools, Microsoft, Products Tagged: GP Power Tools, GPPT, Upgrade

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#GPPT Why wait till you upgrade to install GP Power Tools?

November 25, 2015 · WinthropDC · No Comments
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Inaugural Class of Credentialed Professionals Announced

David Meego - Click for blog homepageAfter Microsoft removed the requirement for Microsoft Dynamics GP and Microsoft Dynamics NAV partners to be certified and shutdown the examinations for those two products, the community decided that some sort of certifications were still needed.

To this end, the Association of Dynamics Professionals (DynamicsPro) was formed.

From the Association’s web site:

The Association of Dynamics Professionals (DynamicsPro) is an independent, not-for-profit membership organization which exists to serve the Microsoft Dynamics community by establishing competency standards and assessments, and to positively impact the Dynamics community through member-led advocacy initiatives.

At the recent reIMAGINE 2015 and GPUG Summit 2015 conferences, attendees were given the opportunity to take the examinations for Dynamics GP and Dynamics NAV (at Summit).

Joe Carroll has recently published an article with a list of the Inaugural Class of Credentialed Professionals, including yours truly. :-)

For details see Joe Caroll’s blog post below:

So, get involved and get credentialed.


PS: The certifications are open to partners and customers alike.

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Inaugural Class of Credentialed Professionals Announced

November 23, 2015 · WinthropDC · No Comments
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RoboCup Junior Australia 2015 National Championships

Wombat Fitness - Click for blog homepageWhile David was away in the USA and Mexico, I got to accompany Rohan to the RoboCup Junior Australia 2015 National Championships on 26th and 27th September 2015. You may know from past blogs that robotics has been a bit of a hobby for David and our sons. This year, being in the National Competition meant travelling to Gawler, South Australia.

Aaron, who has been successful in the Rescue competition is now too old to compete. He has been mentoring the younger students and would have been very useful to have with us, but we have an ageing puppy dog who was already pining for the master of the house, so Aaron got the job of house and dog sitting while Rohan and I flew to Adelaide with the other competitors and parents from All Saints’ College.

In all we were 4 teams; 10 students, 11 parents and several siblings and 1 school staff member. (Cat herding now seems simple in comparison.)

Open Dance: Pickle Jar Productions (Josh, Megan, Noah, Sarith and Rohan) with Priscilla the Gorilla

Secondary Rescue: Team Sonic (Jay, Liam and Mason)

Open Rescue: BEN (Pragash) & Vindaloo (Disura)

The competition venue was about a 40 min drive out of Adelaide (the state capital city) and accommodation for such a large group was scarce, so we ended up staying at Tanunda Discovery Holiday Park in the Barossa Valley, an area you may well know for its excellent wines.  Tanunda is a lovely, historic little village, still about 40 mins from Gawler, but without the city traffic. This was fine with me as I got the added task of driving the bus (a surprisingly speedy Hyundai iMax van) handed on to me thanks to David’s past efforts as chauffer extraordinaire.

I have to confess here, that despite being given strict instructions from David to follow all the teams and competitions, I am a Mum first and foremost, so I may have spent the vast majority of my time watching the Open Dance Competition, where Rohan’s team was competing.

I did watch some of the Secondary and Open Rescue competition and it is amazing to see the work and development that has gone into all the rescue robots.  Since we started this journey some 7 years ago, the standard of competition has improved incredibly.  From very unreliable, line-following robots that could navigate some simple obstacles to locate a “victim” (soft-drink can), this year I witnessed very sophisticated robots meet the challenges of ramps, speed bumps, sloping terrain and more.  In the finals of the Open Rescue the students’ robots had to autonomously navigate the course to the “chemical spill” and identify and rescue (in a controlled manner) multiple “victims” without falling off raised tiles. The following photos and video (apologies for the adjudicator’s legs) may explain that better:

Course1Example Course 1

Course2Example Course 2

RoboCup Junior Australia 2015 Open Rescue National Championships – BEN (direct link)


When you think that the competitors are mostly 12 – 16 year old school children, it gives me a lot of hope for our future. 

Teams had travelled from Korea and Croatia sent their National Team to compete in the Australian National competition.  The All Saints’ teams did well, but “Michael” from Box Hill High School (Victoria) won Secondary Rescue and “Marshmallow” from St George Christian College (New South Wales) took out the Open Rescue Competition.

Meanwhile, in the Open Dance Competition the stress levels were high.  This was Rohan’s last year of competing and the pressure was on the rest of his (younger) team mates to bring home the bacon.  You can look at the photos and watch the video but they will never truly convey the hours and hours of work that has gone into all the competition entries.  Without wanting to sound like I am bragging too much you need to know that the 5 kids in Pickle Jar Productions:

  • Selected and mixed the music
  • Built and painted the backdrop
  • Wired and soldered the LED lighting that runs along the backdrop
  • Choreographed Pricilla’s movements, the truck movements and their dance.
  • Built Pricilla, the truck and the spinning big top
  • Programmed Pricilla, the truck and the spinning big top
  • Made Pricilla’s feet, hands and face by painting latex over clay moulds that they also made
  • And probably a whole lot more that I have missed

Remember that once the “go” button is pressed the performance is totally autonomous without any input or interaction from the team.

Here is the video of Priscilla the Gorilla and the Pickle Jar Productions finals performance:

RoboCup Junior Australia 2015 Open Dance National Championships – Pickle JAR Productions – Finals (direct link)


Robocup Junior Australia – 4 controllers, 16 motors and one very cool monkey!


At the end of the day, when scores from the performances and interviews were tallied, Pickle Jar Productions came second, pipped at the post by the other West Australian team, The NX-Twins EVolv3 (Melville Senior High School). This reversed the results from the WA finals where Pickle Jar won and the NX-Twins came second. All I’m saying is that it must have been close.

PickleJar1Pricilla gets some love before for the big day

PickleJar2Pickle Jar Productions relieved it’s all over

After the competition was over the All Saints’ Teams and the NX-Twins with Mum and Dad enjoyed a rather noisy dinner together at a local tavern in Tanunda. We had a day to relax and see some sights before boarding the plane home.  We chose to visit the local hill lookout and sculpture park and the Adelaide Zoo.  Yes, and we managed to sneak in one (just one!) winery.

For the previous posts on the RoboCup robotics competition see:

This is the final year that our boys will be competing in the RoboCup Junior Australia competition as they are finishing or have finished secondary school. David will continue to be involved as a mentor to the All Saints College Robotics Club.

Till next time.


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Filed under: Robotics, Wombat Fitness Tagged: Fun, General, News, Wombat Fitness

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RoboCup Junior Australia 2015 National Championships

November 16, 2015 · wombatfitness · No Comments
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Friday Funny: What is the Angle for X?

David Meego - Click for blog homepageHere is another mathematical puzzle for you.

This was recently asked in a Year 12 Further Maths exam in Victoria, Australia.

It was a multiple choice question, so I thought I would have a poll to see how well you can answer the question.

The question is:

A 50 cent coin has 12 sides of equal length. Two 50 cent coins are balanced next to each other on a table so they meet along one edge.

What is the Angle for X?

What is the Angle for X?

Take Our Poll



PS: What is a 12 sided polygon called? (Answer in the comments).

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Friday Funny: What is the Angle for X?

November 13, 2015 · WinthropDC · No Comments
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#GPUGSummit 2015 – Wrap Up

David Meego - Click for blog homepageGPUGSummit_Logo

That brings GPUG Summit 2015 to a close. The end of a great conference, a great trip and great first year for Winthrop Development Consultants.

As is usual for me I did not get to attend many sessions other than the ones I was presenting or involved in, but was able to meet with many people in the community.

Here are the presentation materials from the seven sessions I co-presented:

Below are the posts from this blog:

Here is a great article from fellow GPUG All Star, Steve Erbach:

Here a cool video from the Enterprise Software Podcast team:


Hope to see you next year in Tampa, Florida on the 11th to 14th October 2016 for GPUG Summit 2016.


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November 11, 2015 · WinthropDC · No Comments
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#GPUGSummit 2015 – Getting Home

David Meego - Click for blog homepageGPUGSummit_Logo

Sleep!! Yay, I was able to sleep in until I woke up, no alarms, no commitments.

The conference was over and all my friends had already left or would be leaving soon. I was leaving on Sunday afternoon and so had some time to kill before I would travel back. Catching up on sleep was one of the priorities to help me hit the ground running once I got home.

It was about midday before I surfaced and caught a bus back down to the Meadowood Mall to do a bit more shopping. While the Australian Dollar is currently weaker against the US Dollar, some of the clothing items are just so much cheaper that I am still ahead.

On the way back to the hotel, I took a photo to show some of the detail on how the Peppermill was decorated to look like a Roman Palace.

The fountain outside the front of the Peppermill

Once back at the hotel, I was very sad and spent the day in my room working on some blog posts and also on some coding that I had been putting off while at the conference. Just to give you an idea of how sad, I had the TV showing undercover boss and ordered a club sandwich from room service.

On Sunday, I slept in again, but could not stay in the room and checked out at about 11am. I then went down to a quiet, smoke free section of the hotel where I could find a table and chair and power outlet. I then sat down and did some more coding to my products. Then it was time to get my bag out of storage and catch the shuttle to the airport. I took one final photo of the Peppermill.

The Peppermill drop off zone with two limos waiting

At Reno airport I checked in for the 3 flights back to Perth. My bag was overweight at 60lbs (the limit is 50lbs, whatever that is!). I had expected that my bag would be over and knew that I was allowed two bags, so I had packed some of my clothes inside a secondary bag. I offered to split the bags, but said that I would prefer not to as the secondary bag was not as robust.

It turned out that the staff at the counter had been working for US Airways and had only transitioned to American Airlines the day before and were still learning all the new systems and rules. They were very polite, but spent about twenty minutes on the phone obtaining the official word from head office before it was decided that I should split my bags. It was good that I had allowed plenty of time at the airport.

Anyhow, when it is time to board, I get into the queue and hear the person in front of me being given seat 16D…. the seat number on my boarding pass. I made a comment and was told that I had been shifted to 2D!! Nice. I know that the first flight from Reno to Los Angeles is only short, but getting upgraded was a pleasant surprise.

Business Class seats are so much more spacious

Once at Los Angeles, I was able to transfer to the international terminal and get through security fairly quickly and the flight to Brisbane went very quickly. I actually slept a lot more than when I flew to the USA. I had used points to request an upgrade to premium economy, Jennifer said I deserved a more comfortable flight home after my month away.

Arriving in Brisbane took an interesting turn as the passport control and customs took a lot longer than usual. It turned out a couple of other flights had arrived earlier than scheduled and so the number of passengers to be processed was much higher than expected.

Note: We arrive in Brisbane, Australia rather than Sydney, Australia as the aircraft don’t have enough fuel to get to Sydney due to the prevailing headwinds coming back to Australia.

Once I was finally cleared through, I went to check in at the domestic transfer desk to be told that there was no longer time to make my flight if I checked in there. They needed at least one hour to get the bags transferred across. The staff member said, grab your bags and get to the domestic terminal as fast as you can.

I went to grab a taxi, but just then the transfer bus arrived so I jumped onto that and after what felt like an age later (probably wasn’t) arrived at the Domestic terminal. I ran inside and told the first Qantas staff member I could find that my flight to Perth would be boarding very soon and that my bags were checked through and just needed a bag drop. She took me to a counter with a senior staff member and even though the sign says that 30 minutes is the cut-off, he let me do the bag drop with about 25 minutes to spare. The staff then rushed me to the front of the security check point and I went through and arrived at the gate as they were starting to board.

After that excitement, I am pleased to say that I made it to Perth without further incident AND both of my bags made as well. Good job Qantas.

Jennifer had come through the security checkpoint and was waiting for me at the gate. After picking up the bags and a short drive, I was finally home and the trip was over.


PS: Except for the writing up the blog articles which took another 2 weeks!!

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#GPUGSummit 2015 – Getting Home

November 10, 2015 · WinthropDC · No Comments
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#GPUGSummit – Getting There – Part 2 of 2

David Meego - Click for blog homepageGPUGSummit_Logo

Day two of the Road Trip had us heading out from our overnight stop in Chico, California and finishing the drive to Reno, Nevada.

Below is the map of the route for the second day:


Now, I know that Australia has some funny place names, but it seems that the United States has its share too. During the drive we passed the turn off for a town called Rough and Ready in Nevada County (which is still in California).

Rough and Ready Highway

We decided to pull off the highway in a town called Grass Valley so we could find some lunch. We ended up at the Holbrooke Hotel, where we had a very nice meal. I really appreciated that the waitress made a special effort to ensure that there were no flavour enhancers in the food. She also helped identify that Ranch Dressing (both bottled and packet mix versions) usually contains one or more flavour enhancers*. Shame as I like the taste, but can not longer risk eating it.

The Holbrooke Hotel in Grass Valley

Before we left Grass Valley, Craig decided he wanted to get a coffee for the road and dropped in to a small corner store called Cousin Jack Pasties.

Cousin Jack Pasties, Grass Valley, California

This small shop is not remarkable, what is remarkable is what we found on the shelf in the store. I did not expect to find Vegemite in a small store a small town in the remote northern California.

Vegemite and Marmite – Australian and English yeast extract spreads

Once we were back on the road we were treated to some great scenery again.

Driving through the pine trees

Another fantastic view over the wilderness

We are getting closer now, Reno is on the road signs

Wide straight roads – a nice change from yesterday

Still driving through the mountains

Crossing the state border into Nevada

Arriving in Reno, Nevada

Finally, we came over a crest and Reno, Nevada appeared in the distance. With a little bit of help from GPS on the phone we arrived at the Peppermill Resort Spa Casino on South Virginia Street where I would be staying for the conference.

Approaching the Peppermill Resort

The two day road trip was over and I had survived. Thanks Craig. :)

Now to get ready for GPUG Summit 2015.


* Common Flavour Enhancers which can cause headaches, nausea, irritable bowel, asthma attacks and more include:

  • 621 – Mono Sodium Glutamate (MSG),
  • 627 – Disodium Guanylate,
  • 631 – Disodium Inosinate,
  • 635 – Disodium Ribonucleotide

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#GPUGSummit – Getting There – Part 2 of 2

October 30, 2015 · WinthropDC · No Comments
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