Web Client Wednesday – User Interface Differences

How I get dragged into these things is beyond me, but MVP Mark Polino has convinced me that we need to make sure we dedicate a post every Wednesday to the Web Client and frankly, it did not take an arm twist to get me to bite.

Take a look at Mark’s first post where he details how the installation Repair feature saves you from a full re-installation or redeployment.


To kick off this series, I will talk about something I was asked about during my web client training session at GPUG Summit 2013 Tampa: what are the main differences between the desktop and web client user interfaces? This topics has been covered in bits and pieces here and there, but I will try to round them out all in a single post.

At a general level, the first notable change is the replacement of the traditional menu navigation available in the desktop client for the use of navigation bars and lists. But then again, Microsoft introduced navigation lists since version 9.0, so by now you should be a pro using this application feature.

Login

Desktop Client – Login

Web Client – Login

The first thing to note is, the desktop client does allow you to remember the user and password. Not so under the web client.

Menus

Desktop Client Menus

Web Client Menus

The desktop client will continue to display the traditional menu bar as a navigation option. The web client does not display the menu bar and replaces this feature for the navigation lists. The web client incorporates a Sign Out hyperlink to gracefully exit the application. Closing the web page is not recommended as it will strand a user within the system. However, if you close the web page by accident, you can always connect to the same session.

In both cases, the desktop and the web clients allow you to customize the page.

Home Navigation Bar

Desktop Client – Home
Web Client – Home

The Home navigation bar changes from the desktop client to the web client. The desktop client features the User Preferences window and the Shortcuts, Report Shortcuts, Startup, and User Classes folders, which are not available under web client. If you are currently using shortcuts under the desktop client, it is recommended you add these as Quick Links on your home page.


User Preferences

Desktop client – User Preferences

Web Client – User Preferences

The traditional user preferences for required fields are displayed on the desktop client – bold, red, italic, etc. – but not so on the web client. I suspect this is something the Microsoft Dynamics GP development team will work on, but as of SP2 this feature was not present on the web client. To this effect, if you are using the Support Debugging Tool, company color coding is also not available under the web client.

Status Bar


Desktop Client – Status bar

Web Client – Status bar

The web client status bar incorporates the status of the connection, access to the online help, and status of the Silverlight trust to the local resources (printers, folders, etc.) when the certificates are not present on the local computer’s certificate store; in addition to the system date, company, and user information displayed traditionally under the desktop client.

Window Navigation


Desktop Client – Window Navigation



Web Client – Window Navigation

Perhaps, one of the areas where changes will be rather apparent is at the individual window navigation. The web client implements a ribbon, which displays and replaces a number of traditional elements common to the desktop client. For example, on the SOP Entry window, the buttons at the bottom of the window are implemented under a Go To drop-down button on the ribbon. Since menus are not available in Web Client, these desktop only options become a part of the window ribbon in web client. Other elements such as windows displayed by expansion buttons and other form windows become navigational tabs under the web client.

However, the all too familiar browse buttons remain in place at the bottom of both the desktop client and the web client windows.

SmartLists Access


Desktop Client – Smartlist Access                                                          Web Client – Smartlist Access

Since the traditional menu options are not available under the web client, SmartLists must be accessed under the corresponding SmartList Favorites for each navigation bar option. For example, all SmartLists under the sales series, must be accessed from the Sales navigation bar by choosing the SmartList Favorites option for that series. Here’s where naming your SmartLists accordingly becomes really handy once they are listed in the list.

Now, I know these may not be all the differences at hand between the two user interfaces, but if I missed any, please feel free to add your comments to this article.

Until next post!

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

View the original here:
Web Client Wednesday – User Interface Differences

October 30, 2013 · Mariano Gomez · No Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,  · Posted in: Blogs I Follow Total Views: 326

Is The Grass Greener?


After spending a week down in Tampa at the GP User Group, I came away with two very distinct thoughts. 

1.       Tampa has much better weather than Fargo. 
2.       I am always amazed about the passion of GP customer’s – and how much they love their systems and are always eagerly wanting to learn more about getting the most out of their GP ERP investment. GP users love how configurable GP is and that they can really tailor it to their businesses. 

On the down side – I also spoke to resellers, and read press releases about partners who are starting to pick up and sell other ERP products to complement their GP offering. I have no issue with this at all on the surface, as all businesses need to do what is best for their owners, customers and staff. In fact eOne will be also be looking to expand our product base outside of the pure Microsoft arena. 

I do want to ask the question – is the grass really greener on the other side? GP is still a really good ERP product. I am yet to find anything in the cumulonimbus world that comes close to matching it for functionality, flexibility or even cost of ownership (for what it offers).  
Sure you can go for less functionality for a low monthly price – but how is that going to meet the specific needs of your business? Online solutions by nature have to provide a cookie cutter approach to ERP which comes cheap – but rarely comes clever.The technology that makes it work in the cloud is clever, but the business functionality seems to provide the same approach for all types of business.
I recently spoke to a reseller that is investigating a cloud ERP. The functional consultant loved it because it just did what it did, and was easy to understand. The technical consultant hated it, as he could not make it ‘do anything’ clever. What VAR’s have been doing brilliantly in the GP space for a long time is delivering ‘clever’ solutions that make a real difference in a customer’s business. This ensures happy customers who are happy to pay for the systems and functions that make their business better. 
Now if you are a ‘boring’ partner that still sells GP the way we did 15 years ago, (basically out of the box), then yes you should go to an alternate solution. If you are passionate about being clever and making a real difference – then get deeper into GP and all that it offers by itself and through the ISV community.  
GP is a great tool, the Web client is getting better rapidly, there are many awesome implementers and fantastic add-on’s that make it fit your business better. The team in Fargo are still doing their very best to improve and enhance GP – they are passionate as always.  I sense that Microsoft is starting to realize how good GP really is as well – and are starting to throw some more money and resources GP’s way. 
So before investing heavily on new ERP products – I urge all VAR’s to look at their GP business and decide if they have invested heavily enough in it first. Imagine if you threw $200K in investment into your GP team.  A couple of areas to explore:

1.      Training Up New and Young Consultants in GP: These are the guys wanting to work hard and get ahead by coming up with great ideas and new ways of doing things. 

2.       Presales:

a.   PLEASE invest in presales. Why do you lose a GP deal – it is usually because your presales stinks (now I am being frank). You would never let a sales guy start consulting – but so many people are happy to have a consultant do the presales. That is just silly.Consultants are good trainers – terrible demonstrators.
b.    Give your presales guy a chance and time to investigate new ideas and new products. He or she should be the most creative member of your team – hanging together awesome solutions.
c.    Challenge your presales guy daily.  “Was that your best possible demo?”, “What did you do to make sure we beat Sage, NetSuite, etc”. If they do not have an answer then you need someone new.
d.   If you want help in this space – contact me (martin.olsen@eonesolutions.com). 

3.       ISV’s: Embrace them and love them. Pick the ones that support your expertise, train your people and really go hard and sell plenty of that solution. There are $’s to be made. 

4.       Keep Existing Customers: Letting a customer disappear is criminal. I hear every day “They are not using GP anymore…but we do not know where they went”.WOW. Know your customers, stay close and keep them onboard. Invest money into keeping these customers.
 
5.       Ask Microsoft for Help: Go on. Call and keep calling. Don’t let them hide. Prove that if they help you, you can sell more product for them. They will listen (eventually). 

So let me know how you go. Rather than voting with your feet, see if you can make all the good things that you have, work in your favor.  

More:
Is The Grass Greener?

October 30, 2013 · Martin · No Comments
Tags: , , , , , , ,  · Posted in: Blogs I Follow Total Views: 332

All About Listbox, Button Drop Lists, and Drop Down Lists

Patrick Roth - Click for blog homepageIt seems like a trivial subject for our dedicated readers but we had a new customer who is just learning Dexterity and he was having trouble recently trying to select items out of a ListBox.  And just today the issue came up about Drop Down Lists (DDL) and getting the value selected using VBA in a different case.  So this seemed like a good time to put this together.

One thing to note is that while I refer to ListBox here in the example, the same rules apply to a Button Drop List (BDL), Drop Down List (DDL), or ListBox (LB).

So in this case, the customer had 2 listbox controls.

On the left one, he would fill the list with his items from wherever the data comes from.

The intended functionality is that the user would select one and push the button which would remove it from the left Listbox and insert it into the right Listbox to be processed at some point.

 

In my example, the “Fill LB button” adds 5 items in reverse order to ListBox0 but since the listbox is marked as “Sorted” in the static items they show in Sorted order.  I added the items for this in reverse order so you can see that the actual “fill” order doesn’t matter.
 

Fill Button Code Example

I’ll add items E-A in reverse order to a sorted listbox on my window. If you go to the Static items and open it,
you’ll see the Sorted Checkbox is marked by default

clear ‘(L) LeftListBox,'(L) RightListBox';

add item “E”,1 to ‘(L) LeftListBox';
add item “D”,2 to ‘(L) LeftListBox';
add item “C”,3 to ‘(L) LeftListBox';
add item “B”,4 to ‘(L) LeftListBox';
add item “A”,5 to ‘(L) LeftListBox';

redraw ‘(L) LeftListBox';

 

At the end of the code, I redraw the listbox with the redraw statement.  Otherwise the data would remain in the order I added it even with the Sorted checkbox marked.

The reason for this is because if Dexterity would redraw the list after every add/remove, it would impact performance on large lists automatically redrawing every time.  And so it is left for the developer to redraw the list manually when they are finished operating on the listbox.

Also notice after the letter I added, there is a number – 1,2,3,4,5.  This is the “item data” that is associated to the visible item in the ListBox and isn’t displayed to the end user.  It is not the “position” of the data in the listbox – it is just extra data associated with the line.  I chose to use a different number than the position in the list to make it interesting.

Why would we use the item data?  Isn’t position good enough?  Or the letter “B”, “C” etc?

We would use the item data if we have a list of items but couldn’t count on any specific item being in any specific position.  We could perhaps use the name of the item on the selected line, but then you run into the possibility of translation issues whereas the item data (the long integer) shouldn’t ever be changed and would be the same regardless of the position of the item.

A good example of this is the SOP Entry Actions Button.  We fill the actions according to the document & business logic for that document.  Because there could be different items in the list in different positions, we instead use the item data of the Button Drop List (BDL) as the “action” ignoring the position of the selected item or the label used in the UI.

 
In the screenshot above, we see the results of me selecting an item on the Listbox of the left and hitting the >> button to move it to the right Listbox.
 
 

Code Example for the >> Button

local long LBSelectedVal;

local long item_data;

local string sName;

Get the row of the selected item, this is a 1 based list in Dexterity unlike C#
LBSelectedVal = ‘(L) LeftListBox';

if nothing selected, give an error and stop.
if LBSelectedVal = 0 then
   warning “Select an item!”;
   abort script; 
end if;

get the data of the row
item_data = itemdata(‘(L) LeftListBox’,'(L) LeftListBox’);

and the name of the item
sName = itemname(‘(L) LeftListBox’,'(L) LeftListBox’);

now remove the selected row
delete item LBSelectedVal from field ‘(L) LeftListBox';

and add it to the 2nd LB along with the item_data
add item sName, item_data to ‘(L) RightListBox';

make sure that the items in the 2nd listbox draw correctly.  Comment out if we want to leave
the items in the order selected
redraw ‘(L) Listbox1′;

 

 
It is important to note that Dexterity is the only tool to able to do all of this natively.

From a VBA or VSTools perspective, all we know is the position of the item selected.  So in the first screenshot, we see I have “B” selected which is the 2nd item in the list.

From either vba or vstools, that is the only thing I can get from the list.

So given the following GP VBA code when the 2nd item in the listbox is selected (as the first screenshot shows)

VBA Code Example

Dim I as integer

I = ListBox0
Msgbox str(i)

 

The Message Box would show the value “2”.

The syntax of the above using C# in VSTools code would be slightly different but would also return “2”.

From VBA or VSTools we cannot:

  • Add items to a listbox
  • Remove items from a listbox
  • Change items in a listbox
  • Get the “item data” for an item in a listbox
  • Get the name of an item in a listbox

In other words, we can’t do much with a list outside of Dexterity– only get the selected position of an item.

This lack of functionality makes it very difficult when using VBA or VSTools when list types are being used unless the list is “static” and doesn’t change.

I’ve attached a form you can import into your test dictionary to view the Dexterity code directly and test as you like.

As I noted previously, Dexterity is the only language that can natively do most things with our listbox.  That said, from other articles in the this; our readers should be quite familiar with using the Continuum API.  Since the API allows you to execute any sanScript statement – you could do all of this via Continuum as well.

Perhaps I’ll make that the topic of a future article.

Patrick 

Read the original:
All About Listbox, Button Drop Lists, and Drop Down Lists

October 30, 2013 · Patrick Roth · No Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,  · Posted in: Blogs I Follow Total Views: 472

Tech Tuesday: Negative Values in SmartList Builder

This week’s Tech Tuesday article is from our very own GPUG All Star Nominee, Nicole Albertson!

After spending a week at the GPUG Summit, I wanted to talk about a little known feature in SmartList Builder.  There is a Field Option called Negative Values that allows you to display a field value as negative based on the value of another field that has the field type of drop down list or yes/no.

For example, if you are looking at the Sales Transaction Work, you may want to display the Document Amount as a negative value if the SOP Type is a Return, but as a positive value for any other SOP Type.  The Negative Values option can be used for this.

I have seen many people create a calculated field with a Case statement in it to look at the SOP Type and if it is a Return, to take the Document Amount * -1.  There is a much easier way to do this.

If we take a look at the SmartList Builder setup below, we can see the Document Type field. If we select it and then hit the Field Options button (blue arrow) next to the Display Name, it will open the Set Field Options Window.

In the Set Field Options window, there is a tab called Negative Values.  If we look at the tab, it gives us the option to “Display as negative based on field”.  In my example, I will select the Sales Transaction Work table and the SOP Type field.  Then I get the option to select the values I want to use to decide when the Document Amount is going to be displayed as a negative value.  I mark the Return and save the SmartList setup.

Now when I run the SmartList, you can see that the Returns are showing as a Negative and the rest of the SOP Types are positive still.

This can be extremely helpful if your end goal is to export the data to Excel.  As you can see, the data comes into Excel as a negative value, so when I try to do a calculation on it, it is already negative and I don’t have to format it as such.

Did you know eOne will be taking SmartList Builder back January 2014? If not or if you have any questions for Nicole or our team regarding SLB please let us know at slb@eonesolutions.com!

Read More:
Tech Tuesday: Negative Values in SmartList Builder

October 29, 2013 · Nicole Albertson · No Comments
Tags: , , , , , , ,  · Posted in: Blogs I Follow Total Views: 470

GPUG Summit 2013 Tampa Wrap Up

I just got back from GPUG Summit 2013 in Tampa and I have to say it was a very exciting week. With a 4-hour training and 3 sessions over 3 days, reality is time is always of the essence at a conference like this one. If you went to any of my sessions, please fill out the survey as this is how I get invited to these events – seriously!

ITP02: Fun with Microsoft Dynamics GP Administration Tools
Wednesday October 23, 2013 2:00pm – 3:00pm
CPE Eligible
Complete survey

STR04: Web Client Deployment for IT Directors
Thursday October 24, 2013 1:15pm – 2:15pm
CPE Eligible
Complete survey

ITP07: Administering SQL for Microsoft Dynamics GP Administrators
Friday October 25, 2013 9:45am – 10:45am
CPE Eligible
Complete survey

Nonetheless, I got a chance to attend a few sessions where I picked up a few nuggets (blog material for this week) and learned some more about topics I don’t usually get involved with and, boy, it was all worth it! Some of the sessions I attended are as follow:

BIR03: Unlock the Magic of Excel Refreshable Reports
Presenter: MVP Mark Polino
Wednesday October 23, 2013 10:00am – 11:00am
CPE Eligible
Complete survey

PSH05R: Making Microsoft Dynamics GP work Simpler and Easier
Presenter: Mark Rockwell @ Rockton Software.
Thursday October 24, 2013 9:30am – 10:30am
Not CPE Eligible
Complete survey

BDA06: Going Deep with SmartList Builder
Presenter: Nicole Alberson @ eOne Business Solutions.
Thursday October 24, 2013 4:00pm – 5:30pm
CPE Eligible
Complete survey

STR08: Business Portal is Alive and Kicking
Presenter: Tanya Henderson @ S2 Technologies.
Friday October 25, 2013 11:00am – 12:00pm
CPE Eligible
Complete survey

Thanks to Summit sponsors FastPath and Data Masons for hosting the Thursday morning MVP breakfast, attended by MVPs from all ERP and CRM products and a few GPUG All-Star guests – from left to right and front to back, John Lowther (GP), Belinda Allen (GP), Leslie Vail (GP), Mariano Gomez (GP), Zubin Gidwani (GP All-Star), Jon Rivers (Data Mason), Howard Swerdloff (GP All-Star), Gretchen Opferkew (CRM), Claus Lundstrøm (NAV), Per Mogensen (NAV), Mark Polino (GP), Brandon George (AX)

Congratulations to the GPUG Summit 2013 All-Stars, Beat Bucher (@GP_Beat) with Forensic Technologies in Canada, Terry Heley with Microsoft, and Michelle Kocher with Delta Medical Systems.

Michelle, Terry, and Beat joined the “Ask the All-Star” session featuring (from left to right) Zubin Gidwani, Richard Whaley, MVP John Lowther, Bob McAdam, and MVP Mark Polino.

It was also good to catch up with my friends at eOne Business Solutions, Abbey Cooper, Nicole Albertson, and Chris Dew – Martin Olsen behind the camera.

My thoughts in general are:

  • Mark Polino is an Excel diva – enough said!
  • 1 hour sessions are too short. Most presenters I spoke to had a lot more material they would have wanted to present, but time did not allow them to go deeper into the topics.
  • Summit is definitely an event all end-users must attend at least every couple years.
  • Drop the word “optional” from the pre-conference training sessions. When you make something “optional”, people just don’t show up. It was not uncommon to find classrooms with just 2 students and the instructor.
  • Can’t beat the Tampa weather. Should plan to have more summits in this beautiful city.
  • More deep dives please! It should be all about the details for the end-user.
  • From a presenter’s perspective, VPC images were messed up and some were not even ready. Not cool!

Until next post!

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

Read More:
GPUG Summit 2013 Tampa Wrap Up

October 28, 2013 · Mariano Gomez · No Comments
Tags: , , , , , , ,  · Posted in: Blogs I Follow Total Views: 326

Surface 2 and Surface 2 Pro videos

David Meego - Click for blog homepageLast month, I wrote an article about the Surface 2, Surface Pro 2 and accessories being announced. As a follow up I thought I would post links to some new videos and to the launch event, in case you missed it.

The event can still be viewed on the original link, but is also available from YouTube.

 

Check out the latest videos:

 

Surface Frames (direct link)

(Please visit the site to view this video)

 

Surface 2: Thinner. Lighter. Faster. (direct link)

(Please visit the site to view this video)

 

The Making of Surface 2 (direct link)

(Please visit the site to view this video)

 

Joro Boro: DJ and Composer (direct link)

(Please visit the site to view this video)

 

Surface 2 Launch Recap (direct link)

(Please visit the site to view this video) 

 

Microsoft Surface 2 – Launch Full Event – Monday, Sept. 23 (Part 1) (direct link)

(Please visit the site to view this video)

 

Microsoft Surface 2 – Launch Full Event – Monday, Sept. 23 (Part 2) (direct link

(Please visit the site to view this video)

 

Enjoy

David

Read More:
Surface 2 and Surface 2 Pro videos

October 28, 2013 · David Musgrave · No Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,  · Posted in: Blogs I Follow Total Views: 379

Send Your SmartList Builder Feature Requests Our Way!

It has been a great week with our friends here in Tampa, at the GPUG Summit. If you weren’t able to make it to the Summit this year, please do consider joining us at Convergence or at next year’s Summit in St. Louis, MO.

In Tampa, we’ve loved hearing about your excitement around SmartList Builder and all it contains – Excel Report Builder, Drill Down Builder, and Navigation List Builder. (It’s always fun to have to add 3 rows of chairs to a room already packed with 105 people waiting to learn more about the Builder tools!)

With SmartList Builder coming home to eOne starting January 1st, 2014, we want to make sure you know that now is the time to send in feature requests! Start asking yourself:

1. If there’s any change in SmartList Builder that I’d like to see, what would that be?
2. What addition to SmartList Builder would help my daily processes?
3. What SmartList Builder feature could be enhanced or added to save me time?

So, if you have a feature request to send our way, please don’t hesitate to let us know! It’s easy to do. Just head to our website and enter your request in our forum dedicated to learning more about what customers want!

We look forward to hearing from you!

Continue Reading:
Send Your SmartList Builder Feature Requests Our Way!

October 25, 2013 · Abbey · No Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , ,  · Posted in: Blogs I Follow Total Views: 287