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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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You receive "Could’n retrieve the list of available databases: The connection attempt failed" error when updating Management Reporter 2012

Hi everyone! I’m on the tail-end of upgrading a client to Microsoft Dynamics GP 2015 R2 and came up on an interesting issue when attempting to update Management Reporter 2012 CU6 to CU9.

Background

In order to create my client’s test environment for this upgrade, we cloned their production VMWare environment and went through all the usual server renames, static IP changes, SQL Server renaming, and so forth.

For the Management Reporter 2012 database server, we followed the applicable entries outlined in How to move Microsoft Management Reporter 2012 to a new server (CustomerSource access required), and in particular we removed the Application and Process services then ran the T-SQL script to re-create the certificate and symmetric key.

Once these portions of the configuration were in place, we proceeded to install Management Reporter 2012 CU9, first installing the Application and Process services – which also performed the overall ManagementReporter database update.

Next was to create the Data Mart database.

When we tried to connect to the Dynamics GP server to retrieve a list of the available databases to select the system database, we stumbled upon the following error: “Couldn’t retrieve the list of available databases. The connection attempt failed.

Configuration Console – Dynamics GP Connection information error when clicking on the Database drop-down list

When I checked the Event Viewer, the following entry could be seen:

The encrypted setting, Password, could not be decrypted.
— Exception Dump — 
Caught Exception: [System.Security.Cryptography.CryptographicException] Encrypted data was invalid and cannot be decrypted.
Stack trace:
   at Microsoft.Dynamics.Integration.DataAccessLayer.DataProtection.Decrypt(Byte[] data)
   at Microsoft.Dynamics.Integration.DataAccessLayer.DataProtection.DecryptSettings(XElement settings)

User: DomainMRAdmin
Machine: GPTOOLSTEST

Solution

Clearly, the data source information to the Dynamics GP database server wasn’t being adequately validated somewhere by the installer. Furthermore, the installer was attempting to decrypt the password I was passing in via Microsoft.Dynamics.Integration.DataAccessLayer.DataProtection.Decrypt() method which happens to be a part of the Dexterity Shared Components.

I then recalled that the Management Reporter Server installation process uses the Dexterity Shared Components to validate the connection to the system database. In reviewing the Dexterity Shared Components on the server, I found out that version 14 was installed — version 14 corresponds to the Dexterity Shared Components installed by Dynamics GP 2015. So, I was a bit puzzled. However, further analyzing this issue, I realized that CU9 predates the days of Dynamics GP 2015, so the version of the Dexterity Shared Components it must be looking for were those of Dynamics GP 2013 or earlier. It was a long shot, but I installed the Dexterity Shared Components version 12 from the Dynamics GP 2013 CD.

Once I fired up Configuration Console and attempted the configuration of Data Mart, I was then able to choose the system database from the Dynamics GP server and complete the process just fine.

Additional Notes

In doing some poking around into the ManagementReporter database tables, searching for a potential answer to this issue, I found that the dbo.ControlCompany table contains the GLEntityConnectionInformation column, which stores an XML document with some connection information. If your test environment is a result of cloning a VMWare or Hyper-V image, chances are the data stored in this column will contain the original server information and will need to be edited to reflect the current test environment server information. By simply right-clicking on the table and choosing to Edit the Top 200 rows option, you can edit the server name. The content of the XML document stored in this column looks something like this (server name in red):







GPTOOLSTEST


DDM


TWO


false


sa


AOaPHTA9VkmLvkUcyA053AEAAABurN19cbBVL3sfs/UoYU4o3YPglXB4SSrzLzXjlavUpC+uSNKdDYDDEjS9MfKKlao=


false


So you maybe asking, “why not update from CU6 to CU13+Hotfix directly?”. As it turned out, I found out that this while technically possible, causes some very undesired results with very complex reports. More on this in a follow up post.

Until next post!

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

Excerpt from:
You receive "Could’n retrieve the list of available databases: The connection attempt failed" error when updating Management Reporter 2012

August 27, 2015 · Mariano Gomez · No Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,  · Posted in: Blogs I Follow Total Views: 14

You receive "Could’n retrieve the list of available databases: The connection attempt failed" error when updating Management Reporter 2012

Hi everyone! I’m on the tail-end of upgrading a client to Microsoft Dynamics GP 2015 R2 and came up on an interesting issue when attempting to update Management Reporter 2012 CU6 to CU9.

Background

In order to create my client’s test environment for this upgrade, we cloned their production VMWare environment and went through all the usual server renames, static IP changes, SQL Server renaming, and so forth.

For the Management Reporter 2012 database server, we followed the applicable entries outlined in How to move Microsoft Management Reporter 2012 to a new server (CustomerSource access required), and in particular we removed the Application and Process services then ran the T-SQL script to re-create the certificate and symmetric key.

Once these portions of the configuration were in place, we proceeded to install Management Reporter 2012 CU9, first installing the Application and Process services – which also performed the overall ManagementReporter database update.

Next was to create the Data Mart database.

When we tried to connect to the Dynamics GP server to retrieve a list of the available databases to select the system database, we stumbled upon the following error: “Couldn’t retrieve the list of available databases. The connection attempt failed.

Configuration Console – Dynamics GP Connection information error when clicking on the Database drop-down list

When I checked the Event Viewer, the following entry could be seen:

The encrypted setting, Password, could not be decrypted.
— Exception Dump — 
Caught Exception: [System.Security.Cryptography.CryptographicException] Encrypted data was invalid and cannot be decrypted.
Stack trace:
   at Microsoft.Dynamics.Integration.DataAccessLayer.DataProtection.Decrypt(Byte[] data)
   at Microsoft.Dynamics.Integration.DataAccessLayer.DataProtection.DecryptSettings(XElement settings)

User: DomainMRAdmin
Machine: GPTOOLSTEST

Solution

Clearly, the data source information to the Dynamics GP database server wasn’t being adequately validated somewhere by the installer. Furthermore, the installer was attempting to decrypt the password I was passing in via Microsoft.Dynamics.Integration.DataAccessLayer.DataProtection.Decrypt() method which happens to be a part of the Dexterity Shared Components.

I then recalled that the Management Reporter Server installation process uses the Dexterity Shared Components to validate the connection to the system database. In reviewing the Dexterity Shared Components on the server, I found out that version 14 was installed — version 14 corresponds to the Dexterity Shared Components installed by Dynamics GP 2015. So, I was a bit puzzled. However, further analyzing this issue, I realized that CU9 predates the days of Dynamics GP 2015, so the version of the Dexterity Shared Components it must be looking for were those of Dynamics GP 2013 or earlier. It was a long shot, but I installed the Dexterity Shared Components version 12 from the Dynamics GP 2013 CD.

Once I fired up Configuration Console and attempted the configuration of Data Mart, I was then able to choose the system database from the Dynamics GP server and complete the process just fine.

Additional Notes

In doing some poking around into the ManagementReporter database tables, searching for a potential answer to this issue, I found that the dbo.ControlCompany table contains the GLEntityConnectionInformation column, which stores an XML document with some connection information. If your test environment is a result of cloning a VMWare or Hyper-V image, chances are the data stored in this column will contain the original server information and will need to be edited to reflect the current test environment server information. By simply right-clicking on the table and choosing to Edit the Top 200 rows option, you can edit the server name. The content of the XML document stored in this column looks something like this (server name in red):







GPTOOLSTEST


DDM


TWO


false


sa


AOaPHTA9VkmLvkUcyA053AEAAABurN19cbBVL3sfs/UoYU4o3YPglXB4SSrzLzXjlavUpC+uSNKdDYDDEjS9MfKKlao=


false


So you maybe asking, “why not update from CU6 to CU13+Hotfix directly?”. As it turned out, I found out that this while technically possible, causes some very undesired results with very complex reports. More on this in a follow up post.

Until next post!

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

Excerpt from:
You receive "Could’n retrieve the list of available databases: The connection attempt failed" error when updating Management Reporter 2012

August 27, 2015 · Mariano Gomez · No Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,  · Posted in: Blogs I Follow Total Views: 0

#GPPT Installing GP Power Tools (Upgrading from SDT, Silent Installs and more)

David Meego - Click for blog homepageNow that GP Power Tools has been out for a little while and I have recently released a hotfix that improves the installer as well as fixes some issues found with the tool, it is time to explain how the installer works and answer some frequently asked questions.

Please note that some of the information in this article only relates to the build 20 hotfix (Last Modified: 19-Aug-2015) or later. If you are unsure what build you have, just go and download the latest installer from the Mekorma website. If you look at the installer’s properties, the File Version will show as XX.0.20.4 or later.

Below are the questions and their answers:

Do I have to uninstall the Support Debugging Tool before installing GP Power Tools?

No, there is no need to uninstall the Support Debugging Tool from Microsoft Dynamics GP if you already have it installed. GP Power Tools and its installer have special code built in for handling the upgrade from the Support Debugging Tool to GP Power Tools.

What happens when upgrading from the Support Debugging Tool to GP Power Tools?

When the GP Power Tools installer detects the Debugger.dic file, it will install an additional Debugger.cnk file and automatically unchunk the file. The now extracted Debugger.dic dictionary will then run some upgrade code. The purpose of this code is to update the product name and file paths in the Dynamics.set launch file so they refer to GP Power Tools instead of the Support Debugging Tool.

The step to update the launch file is needed because the Support Debugging Tool and GP Power Tools share the same product ID 5261, and the Dynamics.set is not updated when installing a chunk for a product ID that already exists in the launch file.

Before you ask, I needed to re-use the same product ID to avoid breaking all the scripts that use Helper Functions that call with name “” in dictionary 5261. Also, it would be unwise to have both products installed at the same time as they would clash.

Next, the installer will install and unchunk the GPPTools.cnk as well as installing the DLL files needed for the .Net scripting functionality. The now extracted GPPTools.dic dictionary also runs some upgrade code. This code will adjust the Dynamics.set to ensure that the Mekorma Product Manager is listed before GP Power Tools in the file. It will also remove the now redundent Support Debugging Tool files.

What happens to all the data and settings I had in the Support Debugging Tool?

All the Support Debugging Tool’s settings are stored in a Debugger.xml file which will be located in the the Data folder or in a shared location if that has been set up.

After GP Power Tools installs and creates its tables in the System Database, it will look for the Debugger.xml file and import it to restore the data and settings.

You can restore a different Debugger.xml or backup to a Debugger.xml file at any time from the Setup Backup and Restore window in GP Power Tools.

Do I have to uninstall when installing a later build of GP Power Tools?

No, You can just install the later build over the top to update the existing instance. You can also use this feature to reinstall or repair an existing instance.

How can I uninstall a specific instance of GP Power Tools?

You can either run the installer and select the instance to be removed from the list of existing instances, or you can select the specific instance from the Control Panel >> Programs and Feature and uninstall it.

Why does the installer stop me uninstalling GP Power Tools when it is still installed in Microsoft Dynamics GP?

The GP Power Tools installer does not want to break your Microsoft Dynamics GP application. If the GP Power Tools files were removed before the product was removed from the Dynamics.set launch file, you will would get missing dictionary errors next time you launched GP.

You must uninstall GP Power Tools from inside the application using the About GP Power Tools window first. This will also remove the security and navigation entries it added and give you the option to remove the SQL objects created. Before removing the tables, GP Power Tools will back up their data to the Debugger.xml file.

Once, the GP Power Tools dictionary is removed from the Dynamics.set launch file and the addin DLLs have been renamed, your Microsoft Dynamics GP system can restart without issues. Now you can run the installer to complete the uninstall.

Can I do a Silent Install of GP Power Tools?

Yes, you can. From build 20 hotfix onwards, the installer supports performing a silent install from a command line with administrator privileges. You can specify the Microsoft Dynamics GP Instance and path to install to.

Below are examples of the syntax:

Installing to default instance of Microsoft Dynamics GP
GPPowerTools_14.00.0020.exe /s INSTALL=TRUE TARGETDIR="C:Program Files (x86)Microsoft DynamicsGP2015"
Installing to default instance of Microsoft Dynamics GP specifying instance name
GPPowerTools_14.00.0020.exe /s INSTALL=TRUE TARGETDIR=" C:Program Files (x86)Microsoft DynamicsGP2015" DYNINSTDESC="(Default)"
Installing to a specified instance of Miicrosoft Dynamics GP
GPPowerTools_14.00.0020.exe /s INSTALL=TRUE TARGETDIR=" C:Program Files (x86)Microsoft DynamicsGP2015R2" DYNINSTDESC="GP2015-R2"

Notes:

  • The top two examples are essentially the same, if using the default instance of Microsoft Dynamics GP, then you don’t need to specify the instance name. If you do wish to specify the instance name then use “(Default)” for default instance.
  • When specifying the instance, it must match an existing GP instance as it will be checked in the registry.
  • When specifying the path, it must contain a Dynamics.exe of the same version as it will also be checked.

I have multiple installation instances on my system, can I install GP Power Tools for the other instances?

Yes, just run the installer again and select the option to create or update an instance. Then when asked to select the instance, just select a different instance from the list. You can also perform a silent install to a different instance.

The list of instances is read from the registry and so will only contain instances actually installed using the Microsoft Dynamics GP installer.

I have manually created additional application folders, can I install GP Power Tools to the additional folders?

There are times were you might have additional Microsoft Dynamics GP application folders with different products or customisations installed. These folders are often created by manually copying the application folder and editing the paths in the Dynamics.set and Dex.ini files.

These additional folders will not show up as instances in the installer. So use the installer for the actual instance instances first. Then you can copy the files from the installed instance to the additional folders. You will need to locate the chunk files in the appropriate C:Program FilesCommon FilesMicrosoft Dynamics GPGUID folder.

Hint: Use right click >> Properties >> Dictionary tab to confirm the versions of the chunk files.

Copy these files to the application folder:

  • GPPTools.cnk
  • GPPTools.pdf
  • GPPTools.txt
  • GPPTools_License.doc
  • Application.GpPowerTools.dll
  • Application.GpPowerTools.xml
  • Application.GpPowerTools.Metadata.dll (GP 2015 or later only)
  • Application.GpPowerTools.Metadata.xml (GP 2015 or later only)
  • MEP7156.cnk
  • MPRK.dll
  • MEP.chm

Copy these files to the application/Addins folder:

  • WinthropDC.GpPowerToolsVB.dll
  • WinthropDC.GpPowerToolsVC.dll

You will need to run Microsoft Dynamics GP as Administrator once to allow the chunk files to extract.

 

Hope this answers all your questions.

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, News, Products, Support Debugging Tool Tagged: FAQ, GP 2010, GP 2013, GP 2015, GP Power Tools, GPPT, SDT, Support Debugging Tool

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#GPPT Installing GP Power Tools (Upgrading from SDT, Silent Installs and more)

August 24, 2015 · WinthropDC · No Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,  · Posted in: Blogs I Follow Total Views: 25

#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
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,  · Posted in: Blogs I Follow Total Views: 31

Microsoft Edge says “Hmm, we can’t reach this page.”

David Meego - Click for blog homepageI have finally taken the plunge and updated my primary machine, a Surface Pro 3, to Windows 10.

I delayed the installation of Windows 10 for a little while primarily because I wanted to get GP Power Tools released and did not want anything to mess up my development environments.

Then my friend Bill Marshall seemed to have some issues with Dexterity and Windows 10, so I did some testing on another Windows 10 machine to ensure that everything should work.

While doing some initial testing after the upgrade, I started receiving errors from new Microsoft Edge internet browser.

Error
Hmm, we can’t reach this page.

This would be expected if I did not have internet access, but I did. Internet Explorer worked fine and my mail worked perfectly via outlook.

While checking my settings on the Network and Sharing Center window, I noticed that my system had both a private and a public network showing. Even though my WiFi and Ethernet were connected to the same router.

I was able to solve the issue by cleaning up my network adaptors. I had a number of virtual drivers because I had been using a Hyper-V virtual machine to test the Windows 10 preview. Disabling the Hyper-V Virtual switch and making sure that the remaining Ethernet and WiFi adapters had all checkboxes selected on the Networking tab of propertues (except Microsoft Network Adapter Multiplexor Protocol and Hyper-V Externsible Virtual Switch) stabilised my connections.

Now both connections show as a Private connection to the same network and my internet connection is now fast and stable.

It seems that Microsoft Edge does not like it when there are both Private and Public networks at the same time.

Hope this helps.

David

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

Filed under: Microsoft, Windows Tagged: Exception, Microsoft Edge, Windows 10

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Microsoft Edge says “Hmm, we can’t reach this page.”

August 13, 2015 · WinthropDC · No Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,  · Posted in: Blogs I Follow Total Views: 95

#GPPT What’s New: Microsoft Dynamics GP usability enhancements

David Meego - Click for blog homepageGP Power Tools is now released and available via my distribution and support partner, Mekorma.

Continuing on with the What’s New series, today’s article will have a quick look at some of the usability enhancements to the Microsoft Dynamics GP application.

There are a number of features that GP Power Tools adds to Microsoft Dynamics GP to make using the application easier for users and administrators.

The first couple of features add menu entries with keyboard shortcuts to the main application menu. The options are for Raise All Windows to bring all open windows into the foreground above the main application window, and Exit After Processes to exit the application once all background processes are completed.

GP Power Tools Menu

The next features are enabled from the Administrator Settings window. The Prevent application windows from opening outside of the visible desktop area option resolves the issue where windows that remember their last position can open beyond the visible desktop. This problem can also occur with multiple monitor systems when having Microsoft Dynamics GP windows across more than one monitor.

Administrator Settings 2

The Add extra width to company name drop down list on Company Login windows option, adjusts the fields on the Company Login window to use the full width of the window. This ensures that long company names will be displayed in full in the drop down list.

Company Switch

Also once GP Power Tools is installed, the company selection drop down list on the Company Login will default to the company last selected on the window. If you don’t want this enhancement, it can be disabled via the Dex.ini Settings window.

The last feature for today enhances the access denied security message to add the details of the resource that the user is denied access to.

Access Denied With Details

This feature is enabled by default, but can be disabled from the Administrator Settings windows.

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: Microsoft Dynamics GP usability enhancements

August 6, 2015 · WinthropDC · No Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,  · Posted in: Blogs I Follow Total Views: 44