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Get involved: Enter the GPUG Summit “AppOFF” Competition

David Meego - Click for blog homepageWith the release of Microsoft Dynamics GP 2015, developers were provided with additional Service Based Architecture (SBA) functionality built into the application and development environment.

Service Based Architecture is primarily comprised of two features: Service Enabled Procedures and the .Net Interop.

These two features blur the line of distinction between Dexterity and the .Net development world. Previously tools like Continuum and Visual Studio Tools allowed external developers to interface with Dexterity based applications, but Dexterity itself was unaware of these tools and their integrations.

With Service Based Architecture, Dexterity is now able to get in on the party. It can create code in the form of Service Enabled Procedures which are exposed to the outside world as REST based web services. It can also now use .Net objects, methods, properties and datatypes directly in Dexterity’s sanScript language.

GPUGSummit_Logo

To promote the use of this technology, at the upcoming GPUG Summit confence in Reno, Nevada, USA on the 13-16 October 2015, the Dynamics GP User Group (GPUG) will be hosting an “AppOFF” competition.

The competition is inviting GPUG members to design and create a Dynamics GP related App which can either leverage the default web services included with Microsoft Dynamics GP 2015 or use custom developed Dexterity service enabled procedures to provide additional web services.

The aim is to edcuate members on the tools that can be used to create Apps and so providing some GP related Apps for the community to use, while having some fun with a contest between members.

If you saw the development tools session that Mariano and I presented at Convergence, we showed you can use the Project Siena tool in conjunction with standard GP web services to create functional App in only a few minutes.

For more information on the objectives and guidelines, see Kim Peterson’s blog post

Get involved, enter now.

David

This article was originally posted on http://www.winthropdc.com/blog.

Filed under: Conference, Development, GPUG, News Tagged: Conference, GPUG, GPUG Summit 2015, News

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Get involved: Enter the GPUG Summit “AppOFF” Competition

August 27, 2015 · WinthropDC · No Comments
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RoboCup Junior Australia 2015 WA State Championships

David Meego - Click for blog homepageI am a bit late getting this blog post written, but I have been extremely busy with the release of my first commerical product, GP Power Tools, as well as other development work that was pushed back to allow me to complete the product launch.

So, on top of all the development work I have been doing, I have been continuing with my volunteer role as mentor for the All Saints’ College Robotics Club. The club meets after school every Friday afternoon during term time for one and a half to two hours and currently has about 30 students attending.

RoboCupWALogo

The results of the last year’s worth of work by the students was put to the test at the RoboCup Junior Australia 2015 WA State Championships held at Curtin University Stadium on the 7th and 8th of August.

The students from the secondary school compete in the Rescue and Dance Challenges of the competition using Lego Mindstorms NXT and EV3 sets. You don’t have to use Lego, but it a great framework to start with. The Mindstorms graphical development tools provide an entry point into computer programming without the steep learning curve that more traditional languages have. There is also a Soccer Challenge, but we don’t take part in that challenge.

This year we went to the competition with seven teams:

Open Dance

  • Pickle Jar Productions (Josh, Megan, Noah, Sarith and my son Rohan) with Priscilla the Gorilla

Secondary Rescue

  • Team Sonic (Janardan (Jay), Liam and Mason)
  • WalkingHam (Charlton and Joel)
  • Benzetomi (Ben, Remi and Thomas)

Open Rescue

  • Spinner (Anthony)
  • BEN (Pragash)
  • Vindaloo (Disura)

Friday – Qualifying Rounds

As usual the first day of the competition is chaotic madness. The teams from Scitech and RoboCup and all the volunteers do the best they can, but when there over 600 competitors from primary and secondary schools from all over the state it is hard. The competition this year had grown by almost 50% and included 97 registered rescue teams and 60 dance teams.

The Rescue Challenge this year introduced some additional challenge tiles which weren’t revealed until the day of the competition. The two challenge tiles were a straight line with an extra wide black section and a straight line with a section of silver tape. Both of these needed additional programming on the day to ensure they could be traversed.  Normally, when both sensors see black, it means there is an intersection with a shortcut and when the sensor see silver, it means that the rescue tile has been located.  The competitors would have to ensure that their robots understood the difference and could continue line following.

This year Tim Schmitz and the Scitech team had organised new course tiles. They had printed directly onto white plastic sheets and the tiles were fantastic. They had also made sure that the green for the shortcuts and rescue tile was the original deep green colour that can be easily correctly identified by the Lego colour sensors. The only issue was that the mats were so clean and shiny that the light readings for the white and silver strip were almost the same. This made it hard for the robots to distinguish and some had issues with false detection of the silver strip or being unable to see the silver strip.

After a tough day in the Rescue challenge, All Saints’ College had all 3 Open Rescue teams in the top 8 qualifiers for the finals and Team Sonic qualified for the Secondary Rescue finals.

Nic and CJ as JudgesFormer All Saints’ College students and 2014 National Open Rescue Champions:
Nick and Christoper Jack (CJ) helping out as judges in the Rescue challenge

In the Open Dance challenge, there were a number of primary school teams that had to move from Primary Dance to Open Dance because the Primary and Secondary Dance divisions had a two controller limit. This did mean that there were primary students competing in the same division as secondary students. That said, there were some great performances during the qualifying rounds.

Here is the qualifying performance from All Saints’ College:

RoboCup Junior WA 2015 Open Dance State Championships – Pickle JAR Productions – Qualifying (direct link)

 

After a tense wait that evening, we received email and website confirmation that Priscilla the Gorilla was through to the finals.

Saturday – State Finals

Saturday was much less chaotic with the only the top 24 rescue teams (8 from each division) and 23 dance teams making it through to the finals.

After a discussion with the Rescue challenge co-ordinator the evening before, we brought in two sets of riser blocks (my personal set and the set I made for All Saints’ College) so that the would have enough for the day’s competition. During the discussion, I also suggested using a shinier silver tape to make the silver strip easier to differentiate from the white.

To give you an idea of the difficulty level, below are the three courses used in the finals playoff rounds of the Open Rescue competition.

Open Finals Course 1Open Rescue Finals – Course 1

Open Finals Course 2Open Rescue Finals – Course 2

Open Finals Course 3Open Rescue Finals – Course 3

The courses for Rescue were still very difficult with only a few robots completing the challenge with a successful rescue. Below are some examples from Team Sonic (Secondary) and BEN (Open).

RoboCup Junior WA 2015 Secondary Rescue State Championships – Team Sonic – Run 1 (Direct Link)

 

RoboCup Junior WA 2015 Secondary Rescue State Championships – Team Sonic – Run 2 (Direct Link)

 

RoboCup Junior WA 2015 Open Rescue State Championships – BEN – Run 1 (Direct Link)

 

RoboCup Junior WA 2015 Open Rescue State Championships – BEN – Run 2 (Direct Link)

 

Note that Secondary Rescue needs to rescue the can, by demonstrating control of the can and removing it from the green “chemical spill” area, when Open Rescue needs to place the can on the orange block. Open Rescue now can also have an empty black can which does not need to be rescued, but adds to the complexity. To get full points, the robot needs to regain the line on exit and start line following.

After a series of playoff rounds and then the finals to determine the final placings, Team Sonic came second in Secondary Rescue and BEN came second in Open Rescue. A fantastic effort in a competition that was much harder than previous years.

Over in the dance competition, Rohan and his Pickle Jar Productions teammates performed again. The performance was better than the qualifying performance with the exception that Priscilla stopped turning to face the audience due to some malfunction.

RoboCup Junior WA 2015 Open Dance State Championships – Pickle JAR Productions – Finals (Direct Link)

 

After the performance, the team took the robots up to the judges so they could see them close up and something fell out of the robot. That’s when they found the cause of the malfunction.

GorillaGear
Broken gear from rotation system

After the judges had deliberated amongst themselves and tallied the scores, we had the closing ceremony with the awards presentation and were very pleased to find out that Pickle Jar Productions won the very close Open Dance competition.

Well done to all the competitors and the place getters , including our teams from All Saints’ College.

Pickle Jar Productions and TeddyWA State Champions – Pickle Jar Productions: Sarith, Josh, Megan, Teddy, Rohan and Noah

Team SonicTeam Sonic: Jay, Mason, and Liam

All Saints College TeamsThe All Saints’ College Finals team:
Pragash, Disura, Liam, Mason, Sarith, Jay, Rohan, Megan, Josh, Noah and Anthony

Priscilla1 Priscilla2
Priscilla the Gorilla (With and without her costume on)

As always, a special thanks to our sponsors (Asphaltech, Rotary Club of Melville and Computelec), volunteer mentors (including me, Aaron, Nick and CJ) and a huge thank you to Donna Hatton (Help Desk Officer) from All Saints’ College who is the driving force behind the robotics club.

For the previous posts on the RoboCup robotics competition see:

 

The RoboCup Junior Australian Open Championships (the Nationals) are in South Australia on the 25th to 27th September. Sadly I cannot attend as I will be in the USA at that time.

Enjoy

David

This article was originally posted on http://www.winthropdc.com/blog.

Filed under: Robotics Tagged: Fun, General, News

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RoboCup Junior Australia 2015 WA State Championships

August 20, 2015 · WinthropDC · No Comments
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#GPPT What’s New: Series summary for GP Power Tools build 20

David Meego - Click for blog homepageOver the past few weeks I have been posting a number of “What’s New” articles for GP Power Tools build 20.

If you have missed any of them, this article has all the links to the articles, so you can read them at your leisure.

Below is a list of the articles:

For users of the discontinued and unsupported Support Debugging Tool still on Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 and GP 2013, you now have many reasons to upgrade to GP Power Tools.

Enjoy

David

This article was originally posted on http://www.winthropdc.com/blog.

Filed under: 2010, 2013, 2013 R2, 2015, 2015 R2, Dynamics, GP, GP Power Tools, Microsoft, Products Tagged: GP 2010, GP 2013, GP 2015, GP Power Tools, GPPT, What’s New

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#GPPT What’s New: Series summary for GP Power Tools build 20

August 19, 2015 · WinthropDC · No Comments
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#GPPT What’s New: Installer and Documentation

David Meego - Click for blog homepageGP Power Tools is the first product that I have released over the years to have a proper installation program. As the complexity of the products increases and there are more files involved than a single Dexterity chunk (.cnk) file, it became necessary to use an installer rather than just a zipped archive file.

GP Power Tools has a number of DLL files as well as a text file with version history, a license document and the user guide PDF.

This article shows you what the new installer windows look like and how simple GP Power Tools is to install.

Installer

When you click on the installer executable: GPPowerTools_XX.00.00XX.exe, the first window you will see is the UAC (User Access Control) check. Winthrop Development Consultants now has a code signing certificate and so the installer executable and all the DLL files are signed with a digital certificate.

Installer 1

You will then be presented with the welcome page, which allows you to confirm the product, version and build you are about to install. Click Next.

Installer 2

Next you will see the License Agreement page where you will need to accept the license terms before proceeding. This is the same license as contained in the GPPTools_License.doc file. Tick the checkbox and click Next.

Installer 3

If you have more than one instance of Microsoft Dynamics GP of the appropriate version installed, you will be asked to select which instance you want to install against. Otherwise this window is skipped. Select an instance and click Next.

Installer 4

The Install folder for the selected instance is displayed. While it is possible to change the folder, usually you should just accept the folder listed. The installer will check that the folder contains a Dynamics.exe file of the correct version before continuing. Click Next.

Installer 5

Now the installer will list all the settings for final confirmation. Click Next.

Installer 6

Once Next is clicked, the installer will install the Dexterity chunk (.cnk) files and DLL files as well as the .txt, .doc and .pdf files. It will also automatically unchunk and include the chunk files while the installer has elevated permissions.

Installer 7

The last window will tell you that the installation has completed. Click Finish.

Installer 8

If you run the installer again, you will be presented with a different window which will allow you to either install again or to remove an existing instance. You can install again to a new instance or install over the top of an existing instance if you need to perform a “repair”.

Installer 9

Note: You must uninstall GP Power Tools from inside the application from the About GP Power Tools window, before uninstalling via the installer. This will perform the appropriate clean up within the application. It also backs up the GP Power Tools settings to a Debugger.xml file that will be read back if you re-install.

About Debugger

Documentation

Finally, after receiving a feedback survey which gave a score of 1 out of 9 for documentation, I thought it was worth reminding everyone that there is a very detailed (256 page) user guide manual installed with the product (that can also be downloaded separately).

User Guide

Pressing F1 for help from any of the GP Power Tools windows will offer to open the manual or take you to the GP Power Tools Portal:

Enjoy

David

This article was originally posted on http://www.winthropdc.com/blog.

Filed under: 2010, 2013, 2013 R2, 2015, 2015 R2, Dynamics, GP, GP Power Tools, Microsoft, Products Tagged: GP 2010, GP 2013, GP 2015, GP Power Tools, GPPT, What’s New

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#GPPT What’s New: Installer and Documentation

August 17, 2015 · WinthropDC · No Comments
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You experience slow performance exiting Microsoft Dynamics GP 2015 on Windows 10

Today I ran across a very interesting partner forum post, in which the consultant described a slow performance issue when closing (exiting) Microsoft Dynamics GP 2015, which started happenning after his client upgraded their Windows workstations to the newly minted Windows 10 operating system.

A Microsoft support engineer acknowledge that “there have been a few people experiencing this issue“. The recommendation to bypass the slow application closing is to change or add the following Dex.ini setting to see if it resolves the issue on exit. The setting changes a Microsoft Dynamics GP global variable and avoids the pause that seems to be occurring during the exiting process.

OLEClose=FALSE

This Dex.ini setting controls whether the Microsoft Dynamics GP application checks for the OLE Container application being opened at the time of shutdown — a “shutdown” can occur if the user legitimately exits Dynamics GP or simply chooses to open either the Report Writer or Modifier tools. If the Container is open during the shutdown operation, Dynamics GP will attempt a graceful closure of it.

The default value of this setting is TRUE, whether the setting is present in the Dex.ini with a value of true or empty, or simply not present at all. This indicates to GP that it should always attempt to close down the Container if it is found to be open.

Given the fact that most customers are now taking advantage of Document Attachment (Doc Attach) and moving away from the Container application, there should be less and less dependency on Container, which would almost require that the default value for our flag is set to FALSE, rather than it’s current state.

As usual, you must apply these changes to your environment only if you are experiencing this issue.

Until next post!

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

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You experience slow performance exiting Microsoft Dynamics GP 2015 on Windows 10

August 13, 2015 · Mariano Gomez · No Comments
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#GPPT What’s New: Run C# and VB.Net scripts with .Net Execute

David Meego - Click for blog homepageThe Support Debugging Tool already has the ability to create and execute Dexterity sanScript and Transact-SQL scripts, without needing the Dexterity development environment or SQL Server Management Studio installed.

Now GP Power Tools adds the ability to create and execute Visual C# scripts and Visual Basic.Net scripts, without needing Visual Studio installed.

Welcome to the new .Net Execute window. Developed with the assistance of my friend Andrew Dean from Envisage Software Solutions in Sydney, the .Net Execute window allows developers with a Visual Studio and Visual Studio Tools for Microsoft Dynamics GP background to write and execute .Net scripts inside Dynamics GP.

Net Execute

When you select a script language, a template script is automatically generated in that language including the appropriate using or Imports statements. The system also adds the references to the appropriate DLLs. You can click on the References button to add additional references for other Dynamics GP dictionaries or other system or custom features.

 Net Execute References

The script editor window provides all the standard features, such as the Insert button for inserting code constructs, the Helper button for adding calls to Helper functions, the Names button for looking up and inserting dictionary resources as well as the Script menu with find, replace and syntax checking.

Using the Helper functions it is possible to create or load scripts written in Dexterity, SQL or either of the .Net languages and execute them. This allows you to write scripts in any combination of the four languages regardless of what the base language is.

Support for Visual C# and Visual Basic.Net is provided by the two addins installed with GP Power Tools. The Visual C# extension addin providing support for Visual C# scripts and the Visual Basic.Net extension addin providing support for Visual Basic.Net. These addins DLLs must be installed for the functionality to be available.

Finally, the Visual Basic.Net extension addin also provides an additional feature in the Runtime Execute window: Dexterity sanScript code can be executed in the context of a modified form, rather than the original form, and so read and write to Modifier added local fields.

Enjoy

David

This article was originally posted on http://www.winthropdc.com/blog.

Filed under: 2010, 2013, 2013 R2, 2015, 2015 R2, Dynamics, GP, GP Power Tools, Microsoft, Products Tagged: GP 2010, GP 2013, GP 2015, GP Power Tools, GPPT

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#GPPT What’s New: Run C# and VB.Net scripts with .Net Execute

August 2, 2015 · WinthropDC · No Comments
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Microsoft Windows 10 is almost here

David Meego - Click for blog homepageIt is already the 29th July 2015 in Australia and Windows 10 is almost here.

I know that because it is already downloading into a hidden C:$Windows.~BT folder onto my machines.

Now one question that many people are asking is “Can I do the free upgrade as a clean install if I have downloaded the ISO image?

The short answer is No.

The long answer is ….

Can I perform a clean install using the Free upgrade?

No, it will require that you are running a previous qualifying version and start the upgrade from within the qualifying version. You can initiate a clean install after completing the Upgrade.

Please be aware that you cannot use the free upgrade offer to perform a clean install on first attempt. You must first upgrade from the qualifying version of Windows 7 or Windows 8/8.1 (whether you do it through Windows Update or using the .ISO file). Ensure the upgrade is completed successfully and then ensure that it is activated. You can then proceed to do a clean install by using recovery media or using the Reset function in Start > Settings > Update & Security > Recovery > Reset this PC (Get Started).

For more information on all your Windows 10 questions, please see the following article:

Enjoy

David

This article was originally posted on http://www.winthropdc.com/blog.

Filed under: Microsoft, News, Public Service Announcement, Windows Tagged: General, News, Windows, Windows 10

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Microsoft Windows 10 is almost here

July 28, 2015 · WinthropDC · No Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , ,  · Posted in: Blogs I Follow Total Views: 51