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How to disable "Checking for newer builds" message in Rockton software products

Given the well-deserved popularity of Rockton Software’s (http://www.rocktonsoftware.com/) products, such as ‘SmartFill’ and ‘The Dynamics GP Toolbox’, it has come to my attention that it checks for newer builds each time you sign in. Kind of like the ‘Welcome to Dynamics’ trill from years ago, this can get annoying. Fortunately, Rockton has addressed this issue and published the following KB article to address it.

Jim Moore, at Wesco Valve and Manufacturing Company (www.sswesco.com) was kind enough to send me the article below: 

Issue:
Disabling the “Checking for newer builds…” message. Note: This setting is user-specific.

Option 1.

To disable this feature, go through the following steps:

  1. Click on the Help icon in the upper-right corner of GP.
  2. Select Rockton Software Support at the bottom of the list.
  3. On the menu, click Settings >> Rockton Software Preferences.*
  4. Under the User-specific settings section, bring up the individual user for whom you want to change the setting.
  5. Unmark the Enable check for newer builds at the login for each user that doesn’t want to have that process run.

Note: These settings are stored in a table in the DYNAMICS database, so you don’t need to do this at each workstation.

*Step 3, the path may vary. It may be Rockton Software Support | Preferences | Rockton Global Settings.
Note: All users will be marked by default but the check for newer builds will only appear for PowerUsers and users assigned to the Administrator role for Rockton Software products within Security. If you use Auditor, then it is based on those users you marked as Admins. in the Auditor System Settings window.
Option 2.
To do a mass update on the table that the information is stored in, you can run the following script in SQL Management Studio.  You can then view what the values are for that particular setting in the RS_Global_Setting_Value column (1 = Enabled and 0 = Disabled)**. Be sure to have a backup made prior to running the script.

USE DYNAMICS

UPDATE RSIGLOBL SET RS_Global_Setting_Value = 0 WHERE RS_Global_Setting_Key = ‘EnableNewerBuildCheck’

More Information:
When you install any Rockton product after turning this off, you will receive a prompt at the end of the install to re-enable the setting if it has been disabled. 
**It is recommended that you leave at least one person enabled, so that they are notified when a new build is available.

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How to disable "Checking for newer builds" message in Rockton software products

February 19, 2015 · Leslie Vail · No Comments
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Microsoft Super Bowl XLIX Commercials: #Empowering

Super Bowl XLIX is now over and congratulations are in order for the now 4-time champion, the New England Patriots organization led by head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady. I must also extend congrats to the Seattle Seahawks who put up quite the fight until the end, and simply could not complete the rare feat of a back-to-back championship.

You can catch the game highlights below:

And speaking of winners, how about those touchy Microsoft #Empowering Super Bowl commercials (remember Super Bowl XLVIII ones?) Microsoft came up with two real life examples showing where their technology is being applied to improve the lives of people. You be the judge of these two ads.

Braylon O’Neill’s story

Microsoft Super Bowl Commercial 2015: Braylon O’Neill   

Braylon was born with a strong sense of determination. He was also born without the two bones that make up the lower leg: the tibia and the fibula.

At just 11 months old, Braylon was fitted with his first prosthesis. His doctors use technology to track his gait mechanics and make adjustments that maximize his strength and performance. Braylon is now an unstoppable speed demon – in races with CAF (Challenged Athletes Foundation) he has taken home medals and inspires others to reach beyond their limits

Estella Pyfrom’s story

Microsoft Super Bowl Commercial 2015: Estella’s Brilliant Bus

Estella Pyfrom could have chosen to enjoy a nice quiet retirement. Instead, she had an idea that would change her life and the lives of thousands of families.

At the age of 71, Estella decided to spend her life savings and build a bus to bring technology to underserved communities. Today, Estella’s Brilliant Bus has helped more than 60,000 children gain access to technology and envision a bigger, brighter future for themselves.

Click to find out more about Microsoft #Empowering. Catch more Super Bowl XLIX videos on the NFL’s YouTube Channel.

Until next post!

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

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Microsoft Super Bowl XLIX Commercials: #Empowering

February 2, 2015 · Mariano Gomez · No Comments
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Welcome to the Microsoft Dynamics GP Engineering Team blog

Now, here’s something you don’t see every day: in the trench software development and testing engineers having time to write anything other than code. Well, the Microsoft Dynamics GP Engineering Team (consisting of the Development Engineering and Testing teams) have decided to break their ‘silence’ (so to speak) to pick up their digital pens and deliver some awesome content.

From this group you can expect content around the inner works of Service Based Architecture, Workflow and myriads of other engineering topics.

If you are an avid Microsoft Dynamics GP development engineer, a Microsoft Dynamics GP ISV, a technical consultant looking to propel your knowledge to new heights, then this new resource is for you! Expect coverage from folks like Alice Newsam, Rob Anderson, Michael Hammond, Chris Rudolph, Yuri Mikeev and others.

Below please find the link to the Dynamics GP Engineering Team Blog:

Dynamics GP Engineering Team Blog

Until next post!

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

Disclaimer: the above banner is not an official Microsoft or Microsoft Dynamics GP Engineering Team logo and was created solely for the purpose of bringing attention to the team’s new Community site.

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Welcome to the Microsoft Dynamics GP Engineering Team blog

January 20, 2015 · Mariano Gomez · No Comments
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First reason to attend Microsoft Dynamics Convergence 2015: Satya Nadella

It’s that time of the year again. While we prepare to celebrate the holidays, be it Christmas, Hanukkah, Milad un Nabi, or simply enjoy a good time off with family and friends, it is also time to begin thinking about 2015.

The next major event in sight, of course, is Microsoft Dynamics Convergence 2015 Atlanta and who better to open the event that Microsoft’s newly minted Chief Executive Officer, Satya Nadella.

Satya Nadella

Before being named CEO in February 2014, Nadella held leadership roles in both enterprise and consumer businesses across the company.

Joining Microsoft in 1992, he quickly became known as a leader who could span a breadth of technologies and businesses to transform some of Microsoft’s biggest product offerings.

Most recently, Nadella was executive vice president of Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise group. In this role he led the transformation to the cloud infrastructure and services business, which outperformed the market and took share from competition. Previously, Nadella led R&D for the Online Services Division and was vice president of the Microsoft Business Division.

Before joining Microsoft, Nadella was a member of the technology staff at Sun Microsystems. Originally from Hyderabad, India, Nadella lives in Bellevue, Wash. He earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Mangalore University, a master’s degree in computer science from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Chicago. He is married and has three children.

Fun facts about Satya Nadella

1. The guy loves Cricket! He attributes his ability to work in a team and his team building spirit to the sport.

2. He is an avid computer-based training (CBT) student and does take online classes most every morning in a 15-minute window.

3. He’s a family man at heart. He’s been married for a little more than 22 years and has 3 kids.

4. Poetry is his thing. Likes American and Indian poetry.

5. He’s just Microsoft’s 3rd CEO, behind Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer.

*Fun facts courtesy of IndiaTimes.

So, what are you waiting on? Register now for Convergence and come enjoy an opening keynote session that will also feature the one and only Kirill Tatarinov, Executive VP of the Microsoft Business Solutions Group who in his own style will sure make you excited about the future.

Until next post!

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

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First reason to attend Microsoft Dynamics Convergence 2015: Satya Nadella

December 19, 2014 · Mariano Gomez · No Comments
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Working with Dex.ini Settings to customize the Microsoft Dynamics GP Connect gadget

I take a pause in my Microsoft Dynamics GP 2015 Developer’s preview series to bring something fun before the Thanksgiving holiday here in the United States. Hopefully you find this trick very cool and enjoy it in your workplace.


Have you ever wanted to wake up with The Dynamics GP Blogster page as the centerpiece of your Microsoft Dynamics GP application homepage? Or how about your favorite online news outlet? What if you just want to display your company web page or an intranet portal to allow employees to update their information or view the latest company news?

Today I will show you how to take advantage of two obscure Dex.ini settings to customize the Connect gadget.

The standard Connect gadget displays Microsoft Dynamics Community news and updates, but there are two Dex.ini keys used to enable runtime debugging of the Connect gadget. One of the Dex.ini keys turns on the debugging feature and the other allows you to specify a URL to be displayed. The keys are:

DebugConnect=TRUE
ConnectTestURL=http://dynamicsgpblogster.blogspot.com

If you add these two keys to your Dex.ini file and re-launch Microsoft Dynamics GP the result will jump right at you.

Customized Connect Gadget

I also noticed that if the customized URL contains videos, these will play fine within the Connect gadget. How about that for some educational YouTube videos from the Microsoft Dynamics Channel? I tested it in the Web Client and it also worked just fine.

Please send in your comments as I would like to hear how you plan to use these new settings. Also remember, if you are using the Support Debugging Tool, you can roll out the settings to every user without having to visit their workstations.


Take a look at the following related articles:

Working with the Dex.ini Settings in Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013
More DEX.INI Settings!

Until next post!

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

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Working with Dex.ini Settings to customize the Microsoft Dynamics GP Connect gadget

November 26, 2014 · Mariano Gomez · No Comments
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Microsoft #reIMAGINE 2014 Conference – Getting Here

Typically, there’s nothing exciting about a flight between Atlanta – Minneapolis – Fargo, except this time, I was able to appreciate the art exhibit displayed between T gates and concourse A at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International airport.

Foreground: TRAVELING FAMILYBy Amos Supuni
Born 1970 Malawi

Background: GALACTIC DANCERTapfuma Gutsa
Born 1956 Harare, Zimbabwe

This permanent collection of twenty contemporary stone sculptures from Zimbabwe debuted in 2001 and is one of the largest publicly owned and exhibited collections of its kind. Located in the pedestrian corridor of the Transportation Mall between the T Gates and Concourse A, it features twelve of Zimbabwe’s top artists. Though the Art Program chose these sculptures for their intrinsic beauty, the themes explored by the artists also seem universal. The works delve into the importance of family, humanity’s relationship with nature and desire to be spiritually connected. The Art Program hopes that these common themes resonate with passengers of all backgrounds.

AT ONE WITH NATUREBy Gladman Zinyeka
1962-2000 Gutu district, Zimbabwe

To create each piece the talented Zimbabwean artists skillfully hand-carved the stone to rough out the initial form without the use of power tools. Next the artists smoothed out select surfaces with sandpaper. Wax was applied to some of the surfaces to create contrasting textures that enhance the work’s beauty and emotive qualities.

WHO WILL RAISE THE CHILDBy Gladman Zinyeka
1962 – 2000 Gutu district, Zimbabwe

One of my favorite sculptures is “Who will raise the child” by Gladman Zinyeka. The mother, father and child in “Who Will Raise the Child” lament the AIDS epidemic that leaves many children without parents. Thematically, Zinyeka’s sculptures often meditate on the socio-economic effects of displacement and urbanization, as well as ecological issues.

Picture of tribal village

While they are hundreds of pictures lined up on each wall of the corridor, this village caught my attention as the colors are so intense and the intrinsic and elaborate designs on each of the homes is impressive.

PROTECTING SPIRITBy Sylvester Mubayi
Born 1942 Chiota reserve, Zimbabwe

In “Protecting Spirit,” a spiritual presence with human form stands guard over children protecting them from harm. With the eye placed in the figure’s hand, Mubayi has created a powerful totemic presence that speaks to the mystery of the spiritual world. Expressing the spirit world and its connectedness to Zimbabwean culture is very important to Mubayi. As with most of Mubayi’s work, he used the very hard Springstone for this piece.

Atlanta Bread & Bar

After enjoying the art exhibit, it was time for a beer and some food. This time my choice of spot was the Atlanta Bread and Bar, located next to gate A12, which offers a local experience in a fun and sophisticated atmosphere with delicious food and a full service bar which carries premium and local brands for beer, wine and specialty cocktails. The menu features Atlanta Bread Company fresh soups and made to order sandwiches along with Panini which are served on a variety of daily baked breads. The bar offers an extended menu of appetizers, salads and entrees, including Shrimp and Grits, Steak with Chimichurri Sauce and Chicken Breast with Gouda Grits and Collard Greens. If you ever transiting through concourse A in the morning, they also offer a full service breakfast menu with French toast, omelets, steel cut oatmeal and more!

My flight left at 7:15 PM and had me in Minneapolis at 9:00 PM with only 40 minutes between flights. Fortunately, the flight left from concourse G, which is located next to concourse F, so it was only a 5 minute walk between the arrival gate and the departure gate. Onboard the flight to Fargo, I had a chance to sit next to Cheri Schoenfish, HR Director for the Skype team at Microsoft – and Errol’s better half.

Cheri and I on board our flight from MSP to FAR

Upon arriving in Fargo, the scenery changed from endless pictures and sculptures to one of heavy equipment vehicles, small bobcats, and the mother of them all, this all terrain snowmobile – or would this be a SASM (Sport Activity Snowmobile)

Snowmobile at Hector International in Fargo, ND

Errol and Cheri were extremely welcoming and kind to offer a ride from the airport to the Holiday Inn, where I will be staying for the duration of the conference. Being it was late, it was time to go to bed to get some rest after check in.

Until next post!

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

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Microsoft #reIMAGINE 2014 Conference – Getting Here

November 10, 2014 · Mariano Gomez · No Comments
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Open letter to Jeff Edwards, Microsoft Dynamics Partner Strategy

Mr. Edwards,

I read your lines in response to MVP Mark Polino’s article No upside to Microsoft’s decision to kill Dynamics GP exams on MSDynamicsWorld and I really hope you get to my article Why the end of Microsoft Dynamics GP exam certifications is bad news for customers at some point for an along-the-lines perspective on the issue.

Nonetheless, my objective here today is to offer some direct comments and frankly to keep an open line of communication (there’s probably nothing to debate) on the subject of the retirement of ERP certifications – primarily Dynamics GP which is my area of expertise.

Counter-argument 1:
On the shift to the Cloud – We are not saying it is Azure/O365 in place of GP, we are saying GP AND Azure/O365. The integrated solution provides true value to customers and differentiation for our partners. Issues like use tax, approval workflow and cash flow projections are absolutely critical, and they are improved by the use of GP working together with O365.

I happen to be, probably, one of the most tech savvy MVPs in the Dynamics GP pool of MVPs, with over 15 deployments on Azure along with Office 365 and even Azure Virtual Network to On-Premise network integrations. In fact, I have written a number of articles featured on this site on the subject of cloud and ERP deployments and continue to be one of its biggest proponents.

The real benefit of ERP cloud deployments – at least for my clients – is time-to-execution. After all, being able to complete an implementation project on average 4 to 6 weeks earlier than your typical on premise deployment has its merits and allows companies to quickly realize a ROI, not having to worry about the infrastructure on which their solution will be deployed. When you really get past this fact, the second biggest driver to a cloud deployment is the expertise of the individuals that allowed the client to realize their solution much quicker: BUSINESS APPLICATIONS SPECIALISTS. Let’s not kid ourselves, ERP systems are unlike any other type of technology in the market. You simply cannot take a Windows Server guy and make him/her a manufacturing specialist or a project accounting or tax specialist. It just doesn’t work! Despite all the arguments stating “certifications don’t make experts”, a certification, current or otherwise, is still a vehicle used by customers to understand NOT THE LEVEL OF EXPERTISE, but the LEVEL OF UNDERSTANDING of any given individual on a particular business application subject. For example, if my client perceives my certifications to be strictly technical, then they have a right to question my functional abilities and vice versa.

Counter-argument 2:
On your statement that the Dynamics team does not own the expense of their exams. We certainly wish this was the case, but it was not. We had complete budgetary and P&L responsibility for all the exams we created. As stated, we looked at our budget and the current skills and needs in the channel and decided more training, available online, covering more of the integrated Microsoft solution, was a better use of our budget and would have a more positive impact on both our Partners’ business and customer success.

Respectfully, I sense a degree of contradiction in this argument. I fail to understand how rescinding the certifications directly improve building “current skills and needs in the channel“, and furthermore how can it not have an effect your own bottom line (more on that later). If Microsoft’s goal now is skill-building and targeting of specific needs, the better alternative, in my humble view, would have been to work with said channel to understand how the certifications needed to change or improve in response to your own goals, all within the budget you had. There are various entities who would have gladly worked with Microsoft – for free, even – to ensure the certifications were adequate and sufficient enough, namely Dynamic Partner Connections, the GP User Group (GPUG), and the always willing Microsoft Dynamics GP MVP group. Strangely enough, the collaboration model I described seems to exist and work well for other Microsoft divisions. For example, the SQL Server team is one that works closely with special interest groups and MVPs to ensure the certification is a benefit to the community of SQL Server professionals.

How are you going to ensure that more online training is being assimilated by the channel when your stated intention is to have a “more positive impact on both our Partner’s business and customer success“. After all, you cannot control what you can’t measure, correct? The bottom line is, Microsoft have the mechanisms in place to ensure the assimilation of other technologies – to use your example, Azure and Office 365. If your goal is to ensure partners are driving customers to the cloud and cloud-based solutions, that’s what the partner channel competency program is for. Ironically, partner competency in a specific technology vertical is intrinsically tied to individuals within the organization attaining certifications in those very areas.

Polino is also correct in stating that we do pay for these exams which should offset to some degree the cost of producing them. If cost was a concern for Microsoft, why not raise the retail price of the exam as opposed to simply doing away with them? After all, those of us who really value the Microsoft Certified Professional program and achieving a certification to prove to our clients that we’ve put in the sweat would have gladly paid for them. As an anecdote, we had been offering vouchers to our consultants for upgrading their certifications to the most current product release before news of cancellation hit the streets. I would also venture to say, that most responsible partners offer some form of incentive to their consulting and delivery teams, monetary or otherwise, to maintain existing and attain new certifications that can only benefit the partner organization – what’s that word again? Competency!

Counter-argument 3:
With the expansion of the solution, I would argue it is not easier to become a partner…. We did try to make it cheaper by dropping the cost of unlimited online training from $6,000 to $1,000. As far as a flood of new, untrained entrants, we instituted a requirement for a business plan and proof of investment for any partner signing up. This must be approved by the US Partner Director. New partners coming into the eco-system have dropped by 70% over the last two years, as was our intent. The new partners that do get in offer unique value and are committed to training their people to deliver value to customers

I find it very interesting that you mention a “business plan and proof of investment” as a mechanism to vet new entrants. In one of my management classes in the MIS/Technology Management program I graduated from, I learned that business plans and funding are only the starting point for any business and that most companies fail where it matters most: sales and execution.

As I am sure you are aware of, there are partner organizations that can sell and there are partner organizations that can execute or deliver. Rarely do you find the one organization that is very good at both. Mea culpa!

If there is a silver line here, you have now opened up the floodgates to the return of the boutique consulting firm. After all, large partners can now focus on selling, selling, selling (which is got to be at the top of the list of drivers behind this move) without the added pressure of maintaining a pool of certified individuals just to keep up with some SPA requirement. Less partners, less administration, more revenue, more to the bottom line… I get it!

The flipside of that coin is larger partner firms tend to outsource the delivery to boutique firms specializing in implementing. Case in point, 80% of my organization’s business derives from professional services delivered on behalf of these larger firms, so I may not fit the bill of a traditional revenue partner on your books. The bottom line of this already lengthy explanation is, Microsoft and its larger ERP partner organizations need SOMEONE to deliver such implementations so customers can smile, and Microsoft and, conceivably, the selling partner can perceive those coveted and profitable maintenance plan renewals and margins, respectively.

Then, why not give us the small guys a chance to continue differentiating ourselves in the ecosystem? After all, I would want to believe that your large (selling) partners also have a vested interest in seeing their entrusted customers’ projects being done by individuals who have at least gone through training and completed a product certification. I will say it again, I’M WILLING TO PAY MORE if that’s what it takes, but consider bringing back those certifications for the greater good of the community of customers and partners.

I promise I won’t hold my breath on seeing any of my humble views being entertained at any level within Microsoft, but hope you at least get a chance to read them.

Sincerely,

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

See the article here:
Open letter to Jeff Edwards, Microsoft Dynamics Partner Strategy

September 10, 2014 · Mariano Gomez · No Comments
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