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Microsoft Convergence Atlanta 2015 (#CONV15) – Day 1

Keynote and General Session

I know, it’s been over a week since Microsoft Convergence 2015 closed its doors, however, I did not want the time to go by without reliving some of the things I personally experienced throughout the event. With early mornings and late evenings it became impossible to write blog posts as things were happening, considering my own involvement with quite a few of the activities and presentations at Convergence.

Day 1 started out with David and I rushing through Atlanta’s traffic to get to the Georgia World Congress Center. From there we would head over to the Phillips Arena for the Opening Keynote Speech. We got there at the tail end of the presentation of Dance 411. The Dance 411 Foundation’s mission is to foster the well-being of urban youth and young adults through self-expression. They provide a quality education and exposure to the discipline of dance, drama and music. Judson Althoff, President Microsoft North America was in the middle of interviewing JJ Crampton and Sindy Scheider, both directors of the Foundation and requesting everyone filled out the Convergence event evals, for which Microsoft would make a donation to the Foundation.

Dance 411

Once the dance group completed their presentation, Althoff was once on stage to talk about the Atlanta Youth Project and Truly Living Well Center for Natural Urban Agriculture and the volunteering work done in conjunction with the Convergence attendees who signed up for community outreach, now a staple of these events. The community outreach video was accompanied by an original song by The Groove Merchants.

Upon the conclusion of the community outreach video, Althoff was back on stage to describe the upcoming days at Convergence and some of the guest speakers that attendees would have a chance to experience. He also alluded to the fact that the event itself, Convergence, is also evolving and changing, just like the businesses present at the event. He also noted that Convergence used to be a Dynamics only event. Microsoft has expanded the event and evolved it to actually incorporate all of its innovations. Convergence has become the Premier Business Event.

Without further due, Satya Nadella was on stage to talk about how Microsoft is empowering every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more, via the “systems on intelligence”.

Satya Nadella on Microsoft’s Vision

The systems of intelligence interact with the systems of record to make sense of the data collected. Microsoft is focusing on the automation of the systems of intelligence, with the richness of its cloud infrastructure. To further talk about how other industries are taking advantage of the technologies that drive the systems of intelligence, Satya welcomed Seattle Seahawks’ Russell Wilson.

Seattle Seahawks Russell Wilson

Russell described how he uses OneNote to track all his activities on and off the field and how the National Football League (NFL) leverages Microsoft Surface during the games to analyze team formations, plays, and players in near real time – Microsoft is a sponsor of the NFL.

The rest of the presentation focused around the use of other technologies such as Yammer within Microsoft itself. Also there was a cool case study on how AccuWeather is leveraging Microsoft Azure to deliver custom and personalized weather to both consumers and businesses.

AccuWeather

After the case studies, it was time for Mark, Belinda, and I to head over to the GWCC to wire up for the Microsoft Dynamics GP General Session, to be held at the Sydney Marcus Auditorium. Upon arrival, I went back stage to check in and had a chance to capture this picture with the engineering team at work.

Video and Audio Engineering Room

This year, the Microsoft Dynamics GP General Session featured a number of info-bites showing what each of the presenters were doing at different stages during the 90’s and various terminologies born from that time.

Little bits of information before session

This year’s Dynamics GP General Session would focus on product strategy and roadmap, and as customary, it began with with Errol Schoenfish welcoming all attendees and discussing the Microsoft Cloud for Business strategy, which features Office 365, Azure, and the business applications, including Microsoft Dynamics GP. Errol went on to demo a Time Management app (#IfErrolCanDoIt) showing how it would work on various device platforms.

Then came the highlight of the event (ehem!): The MVP Duel featuring Mark Polino and I, with a special guest, Belinda Allen. Our presentation, showcasing a number of new features in Microsoft Dynamics GP 2015, went very smooth and features were well received by the audience.

The MVP Duel – From left to right: MVPs Mark Polino, Belinda Allen, and Mariano Gomez

Up next was the customer story featuring Rural Renewable Energy Alliance (RREAL), a non-profit dedicated to make solar energy available to low income families.

Next up was Jennifer Ranz to demo a day in the life of a RREAL employee. Jenn showed the dashboards released for Office 365 and PowerBI. Jason Edens from RREAL came on stage to talk about how their company is leveraging Microsoft Dynamics GP to run their business.

The session went on with other demos and a glimpse into the future of Microsoft Dynamics GP. First up was Jeff Trosen to talk about the evolution of the Microsoft Dynamics GP roadmap. Chad Sogge came up next to talk about the new HTML 5 interface and provide a demo of how this new web client technology will allow for a better user experience across browsers and devices.

Errol Schoenfish and Chad Sogge on the Future of Microsoft Dynamics GP Web Client

I had to finally get a shot of the audience.

Microsoft Dynamics GP General Session Attendance

Well, in my next post, I will talk about the sessions we delivered throughout the rest of the event.

Until next post!

MG.-
Mariano Gomez, MVP
Intelligent Partnerships, LLC
http://www.intelligentpartnerships.com/

See more here:
Microsoft Convergence Atlanta 2015 (#CONV15) – Day 1

March 30, 2015 · Mariano Gomez · No Comments
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Upgrade from GP 2010 to GP 2013 R2

3d man with Q & A

Question: How do you upgrade from GP 2010 build 2390 to GP 2013 R2

Answer: The documentation from Microsoft that delineates the upgrade path from GP 2010 to GP 2013 R2 is missing the current build of GP 2010 (as of 3/16/2015). The document from Microsoft can be found here: https://mbs.microsoft.com/partnersource/northamerica/support/hot-topics/HOT_TOPIC_MDGP2013Upgrade#UpgradePaths.

The line missing is how to upgrade to GP 2013 R2 from 11.00.2390. The answer is that you have to upgrade to 12.00.1826. The build numbers for both GP 2010 and GP 2013 R2 are achieved after installing the January 2015 Hotfix. Thanks go out to Paul Degneau, at Standard Process www.Standardprocess.com, for suggesting this to me.

Enjoy!

Leslie

Original post:
Upgrade from GP 2010 to GP 2013 R2

March 17, 2015 · Leslie Vail · No Comments
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Convergence Question #1 – Do You Have Any Promos?

It’s almost time for Convergence 2015 and we’re ready with the
most commonly asked question eOne gets at the expo:

DO YOU HAVE ANY PROMOS?

This year, the answer is – yes, of course we do – for dedicated
Convergence attendees. 

Here are the promos so you can be ready (and know – they expire 4/30/15!): 

SmartList Builder Self-Paced Training 
Simply
tweet a picture of our roaming Bob the

Read More:
Convergence Question #1 – Do You Have Any Promos?

March 12, 2015 · Abbey · No Comments
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You receive "You are not allowed to use Microsoft Dynamics GP. Please sign out and sign in with an authorized account" when accessing Web…

One of the cool things about Microsoft Dynamics GP 2015 is the new Web Client Identity Management feature. Having the ability to access Microsoft Dynamics GP with your Windows Directory or Windows Azure credentials without ever needing a SQL login account is just beautiful.

The Theory – Part 1: GP Utilities

The theory is fairly simple: you have a Microsoft Dynamics GP user account, which in turn is tied to a Windows Active Directory account or Windows Azure Active Directory account. User accounts are stored in the User Master table (dbo.SY01400) in the system database, which has been beefed up with a new column called Active Directory Object GUID (ADObjectGuid) to store the actual GUID of the directory or organizational account mapped to the GP user.

User Setup window

However, because Microsoft Dynamics GP continues to be dependent on SQL authentication for all intends and purposes, it continues to need a SQL login to be able to access the Dynamics GP database objects. This is where the new Web Client SQL Login user comes into play.

If you have done a new install of Microsoft Dynamics GP 2015, you would have noticed a new window called Manage Web Client SQL Server Login during the GP Utilities process. This window prompts for SQL credentials that will be used to access the SQL server database objects from Web Client.

Manage Web Client SQL Server Login window (GP Utilities)

If you are doing an upgrade, you will need to direct your attention to the drop-down list in the Additional Tasks window to find it — more on this later.

Additional Tasks window (GP Utilities)

When you enter the credentials in the Manage Web Client SQL Server Login window, the actual SQL Server security principal is created with the same password encryption at the database level. To understand more about this, read Why does Microsoft Dynamics GP encrypt passwords by David Musgrave over at Developing for Dynamics GP.

The Theory – Part 2: Web Client

When you are installing the Web Client itself, you are once again prompted to enter the Web Client SQL Server Login credentials. At this stage you MUST enter the same account information entered when you ran the GP Utilities.

This information is stored in the TenantConfiguration.xml file (in a single-machine instance) under the SessionCentral folder. The same information is used by the Service Based Architecture service (GPService service) to gain access to database resources, hence there’s also a TenantConfiguration.xml file (again, in a single-machine instance) under the GPService folder. These two folders can be located under your Program FilesMicrosoft DynamicsGP Web Components root folder.

Now that your AD or Organizational account is tied to your GP user account, when you launch the web client and your AD credentials are validated against IIS, a security token is created and passed on to Session Central service, which in turn spins up a runtime process passing on your AD account credentials in the GP Login window. The log in process itself will use the Web Client SQL Server login to access the system database and in particular the User Master table to validate the AD account GUID against the one stored in the table. If all matches, you are allowed access and from there on you go about your business.

The Problem

This brings us to the topic of this post…

As it turns out, during that handshake between Session Central and the Runtime service to pass off the AD credentials, I received the following error:

Further review of the Dynamics application and services log in Event Viewer, shows the following error:

System.Security.Cryptography.CryptographicException: Padding is invalid and cannot be removed.
   at System.Security.Cryptography.CapiSymmetricAlgorithm.DepadBlock(Byte[] block, Int32 offset, Int32 count)
   at System.Security.Cryptography.CapiSymmetricAlgorithm.TransformFinalBlock(Byte[] inputBuffer, Int32 inputOffset, Int32 inputCount)
   at System.Security.Cryptography.CryptoStream.FlushFinalBlock()
   at System.Security.Cryptography.CryptoStream.Dispose(Boolean disposing)
   at System.IO.Stream.Close()
   at Microsoft.Dynamics.GP.Web.Foundation.AesCryptographer.Decrypt(String value)
   at Microsoft.Dynamics.GP.Web.Services.Session.TenantServiceXmlHandler.ResolveTenantPasswords(Tenant tenant)
   at Microsoft.Dynamics.GP.Web.Services.Session.TenantServiceXmlHandler.GetTenantDetails(String identity, String tenantName)
   at Microsoft.Dynamics.GP.Web.Services.Session.Service.SessionCentralService.CreateSession(String tenantName, UserContext userContext)

Typically, any Crypto exception is directly related to credentials. So I traced back my steps after the upgrade and realized I had created the Web Client SQL server login account manually — after all, I had not seen the option in the GP Utilities drop down to do so. Of course, this would mean that the password was un-encrypted on SQL server and wouldn’t match the password stored in the TenantConfiguration.xml file. In retrospect, had I even used GP Utilities to setup the account and entered a different password from the one I entered during the Web Client install, I would have received the same error.

The Solution

Knowing that in essence what I had was a password mismatch between the value stored in TenantConfiguration.xml and the password at the SQL Server level, I decided to make things simple and removed the database user (sp_dropuser) corresponding to the security principal and the actual security principal (sp_droplogin) then re-launched GP Utilities and created the account once more, this time making sure the password matched what I had entered when installing the Web Client.

Once I launched the Web Client and entered my Windows credentials information, I was able to experience the beauty of single sign-on all the way to the company database I had selected as my default company.

Also, it is worthwhile to mention that Service Based Architecture was failing validation, but I will address this in my next article.

Acknowledgements

I want to thank Chris Rudolph with the Microsoft Dynamics GP Software Engineering team for his valuable insight into working through this issue. Chris also helped me with understanding some deep architecture stuff that I will be presenting in a future related article to this one.

Until next post!

MG.-
Mariano Gomez, MVP
Intelligent Partnerships, LLC
http://www.intelligentpartnerships.com/

Read More:
You receive "You are not allowed to use Microsoft Dynamics GP. Please sign out and sign in with an authorized account" when accessing Web…

March 12, 2015 · Mariano Gomez · No Comments
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Considering an Upgrade from Dynamics GP to Dynamics AX?


Recently I’ve delivered Dynamics GP training to new users who came from a company using Dynamics AX.  In my own experience, other than the additional features that Dynamics AX offers over Dynamics GP (which are considerable) and getting accustomed to the ability to post a transaction initiated in the General Ledger backto a subsidiary module in AX, there is a lot of commonality in the User Interface (UI) between the two applications.  This is particularly important for companies that have perhaps outgrown Dynamics GP and are considering a move to a more full-featured ERP system such as AX.  Microsoft has done a commendable job of unifying their ERP system UI’s, which offers the client the benefit of quicker and easier user adoption when moving from one application to another.
Additionally, both applications are tightly integrated with Microsoft Office tools, further easing the transition to a new system.
The first image below is of the Dynamics GP 2015 Financial module, with the menu items arranged in basically the same sequence as the Dynamics AX 2012 R3 image below it.  Notice how the menus and the Navigation Pane layout are quite similar in both applications, albeit the AX UI is cleaner, in my opinion.  Maybe the GP development team can get together with the AX dev team on that one.
Based on their comments, my recent trainees report the same experience.  They’ve indicated that adapting to Dynamics GP from AX has been much quicker than they thought it would be, primarily because of the similarities between the two UI’s. 
 
In considering an upgrade from Dynamics GP to Dynamics AX, user adoption and performance ramp-up can be relegated to the bottom of the list of concerns.

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Considering an Upgrade from Dynamics GP to Dynamics AX?

March 3, 2015 · Frank Hamelly MCP-GP MCT MVP · No Comments
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Light it Up Challenge–Microsoft Australia

If like me, you think Internet of Things is the next big thing, here is a fun little event by Microsoft around it.

Code it. Light it. Win it!

All you have to do is sign up to receive the Challenge Kit, and complete all three challenges.
Tune into Microsoft’s six week lab series and discover how to program your device.
If your LED device is one of 5 to light up on April 13 2015, then you’ve won.
During the challenge, you’ll learn how to code, build and deploy with the Internet of Things.
We’ll give you an IoT overview, explain the architecture and MS platform.
Get started today!
*Terms and conditions apply: http://aka.ms/lightitup

See more here – Internet of Things – Light it Up Challenge

Follow this link:
Light it Up Challenge–Microsoft Australia

February 24, 2015 · Jivtesh Singh · No Comments
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Setting up Dynamics GP 2015 in 15 minutes

In the past year, I have done a few run throughs of setting up Dynamics GP 2013 in 5/10/15 minutes much to the amazement of experienced consultants. Now The GP 2015 Virtual Machine is available in the MSDN Azure gallery, so you can start doing the same magic with the latest version of GP. If you need help with this, feel free to add a comment or shoot an email and I will put up a short video tutorial.

Read the post from Errol – Announcing, Microsoft Dynamics GP 2015 image available in the MSDN Azure gallery.

Do you need to access a Microsoft Dynamics GP web client installation for a quick test or demo? Need access to a Microsoft Dynamics GP development environment? The Microsoft Dynamics GP images available in the MSDN gallery on Microsoft Azure can help. Use this image to create a virtual machine with Microsoft Dynamics GP fully configured in a matter of a few minutes. The resulting image will contain Visual Studio 2013 Premium and SQL Server 2012 Express along with the following Microsoft Dynamics GP components.

    • Microsoft Dynamics GP
    • Microsoft Dynamics GP Web Client
    • Microsoft Dynamics GP SDK
    • Dexterity for Microsoft Dynamics GP
    • Dexterity Shared Components
    • eConnect for Microsoft Dynamics GP
    • Visual Studio Tools for Microsoft Dynamics GP
    • Web Services for Microsoft Dynamics GP
    • Web Services for Microsoft Dynamics GP SDK
    • Microsoft Dynamics GP pre-requisite software (including Microsoft Lync 2010 SDK Runtime, Microsoft Silverlight 5, Open XML SDK 2.0 for Microsoft Office and Microsoft Application Error Reporting)

See more here:
Setting up Dynamics GP 2015 in 15 minutes

February 21, 2015 · Jivtesh Singh · No Comments
Tags: , , , , , , ,  · Posted in: Blogs I Follow Total Views: 43