Current version of Microsoft Dynamics GP, 10.0 is available on Microsoft SQL Server 2005 and 2000. If you are on older version, we’ll also give you advise on where to find information.
We’ll begin with Microsoft Great Plains architecture and technology inside:
Application Dictionary. Core dictionary is DYNAMICS.DIC, the dictionaries and their products are listed in Dynamics.set file. These dictionaries are interpreted by Dex.exe application. GP proprietary architecture is Microsoft Dexterity: Dex forms, reports, fields, string and other objects as well as Dex sanscript scripts are stored in the Dex dictionary. Often we have this question asked – what is DEX_ROW_ID. The answer – this is unique identifier, required by Great Plains Dexterity internal logic
Connection to SQL Server. GP talks to MS SQL Server databases via ODBC connection. If you are on Windows 64 bit platform, at this time you will have to deploy 32 bit ODBC DSN
SQL Server Databases. DYNAMICS is system database, which stored users and security, company definitions plus currencies and system-wide multicurrency settings among other system things. Company database stores settings, master records, work, open and historical transactions for one legal entity – company. You may install unlimited number of companies at this time. SQL objects: tables, stored procedures and so-called atomic stored procedures (their names begin with zdp_). GP doesn’t use SQL referential integrity, “integrity” is programmed on business logic level
Installation process. First GP installing copies GP user application with or without SQL objects (SQL objects are required to load Dynamics and company database if you are doing fresh install or initiate upgrade process if this is your purpose). You can do GP workstation initial installation on the server – this will allow you to load GP server side faster, but this is not required – you can install first workstation on Vista or XP machine and load server side remotely. When you install first GP workstation, Great Plains Utilities applications starts automatically to begin Server installation process
Additional GP products: Project Accounting, Fixed Assets, Manufacturing, Collection Management are good examples – each of these products has its own Dexterity dictionary file – you can recognize its name by reviewing Dynamics.set file
Additional GP workstations install. For end users you do not install SQL objects, plus GP Utilities synchronize Dynamics dictionary with GP database settings (GL account format)
Customization install. If somebody did Great Plains Dexterity customizing for you, they typically provide you with so-called Dexterity chunk file, this file you copy into GP workstation folder and when you launch Great Plains next time, this chunk file will be integrated (.cnk file will be transformed into Dex dictionary file and its record will be added to Dynamics.set file)
Integration Manager installation. IM is currently under the process of being rewritten in eConnect (integration tool, which is written in SQL encrypted stored procedures with various interfaces to be exposed to BizTalk, Web Services, ADO.Net, etc), so if you will decide to install eConnect connector, you will need to specify your domain user account for eConnect security
Great Plains Software old versions installation notes. If you have Great Plains Dynamics 5.0, 5.5, 6.0, 7.0 or 7.5, these versions were available on Btrieve, later on purchased by Pervasive Software and renamed into Pervasive SQL 2000 and Ctree/Faircom. Pervasive/Btrieve Client-Server version requires altering for Pervasive SQL Server settings, so if you just need single user GP workstation for transactions lookup only, we recommend you to follow single user workstation installation instructions. Both Ctree and Btrieve versions have Location Translation technology, please give us a call on location translation as it is no longer supported by Microsoft Tech support and is not trivial in its consideration
Great Plains Accounting for DOS, MS Windows and Mac. This dinosaur support was terminated in around 2001, however there is migration path to Microsoft Dynamics GP, plus you should get discount on GP modules purchase. It is not practical to try GPA migration to GP on your own, we recommend you to have Great Plains technical consultant to do the migration job.
If you like us to help you with GP upgrade, integration, software licenses, reporting, please give us a call