The Road Trip
Prophet Business Group returned to Microsoft’s Fargo campus for the GP Tech Conference for three days packed with learning, networking, and maybe a couple parties. Lee-Anne and I (Stuart) have never been to the conference before, so with Victor as our guide and chaperone, we made the four-hour trip from Winnipeg to Fargo. After missing a couple turnoffs, we arrived safely at our destination, and went for a nice dinner. Early to bed, though, because the next day was a long one!
If you look at the schedule on the conference website, you will notice that the first day was over twelve hours. The event kicked off with an opening session, lead by Bob McAdam who provided us with some insight on the conference, the presenters and sponsors. More interesting was the topic of development strategy changes including moving to a more modern support lifecycle and the alignment of the naming convention of GP to be “Microsoft Dynamics GP” dropping the version from the name.
Lee-Anne’s highlight for the day was learning all about GP Report Writer User defined functions and bringing home lots of tools used to help reporting requirements that are more complex.
SQL Server and Jenga Hacks
I will not go into detail on each session, but my highlight for this day was SQL Server Life Hacks. Shawn Dorward blasted through about 50 slides in 50 minutes of tips and tricks for SQL Server. They were mostly geared towards consultants, but as a DBA I noticed myself saying, “Oh, that’s neat.” a number of times.
Later we attended a party hosted by our friends at eONE in their office. There were many games going on that night including Giant Jenga, which is just regular Jenga, but using a cut up two by four. Can you believe that Lee-Anne and Victor have both never played before? As good of a time as any to learn. At this point Lee-Anne would probably want me to acknowledge the winner, but I will not bore you with the details.
This was a shorter day with only ten hours of content.
SQL Server immune system?
Victor and I started the day at a session named Self-Healing SQL Servers. This was a brilliant session by John Lowther. He showed us a demo of scripts to monitor the health of GP databases. The database applied fixes automatically if it could and sent out notifications if it could not. I talked to him during the break and he told me he had another 45 minutes of content. I really hope he does a part two.
Dynamics GP Setup and SSRS documents
Lee-Anne continued down the GP path attending all relevant sessions, but two were of particular interest; the first was Setting up Company and Core right the first time and Leslie Vail again did not disappoint providing us with lots of hints and tips on switches to turn on and off. The SSRS session on creating a basic document was very helpful for the beginner with tips on how to determine where to get information and then creating some very basic reports and formatting. Formatting of cells is the most time consuming task in setting up SSRS documents and Lee-Anne not only learned this at the conference but is also experiencing it in practice.
We ended the night at a karaoke party put on by Power GP Online. The venue was a giant pool hall that had a pinball arcade and beach volleyball court out back. Not a lot of beach volleyball going on in Fargo in September though, so our Top Gun recreation failed to take off.
They lined up four hours of content for us Wednesday morning. Remember, I still have to drive back to Winnipeg before you scoff at that.
Testing out the cloud!
This was by far the most interesting day in my opinion. I was all set to go to a developer roundtable when I looked at the schedule and noticed Cloud Migration to Dynamics 365 Business Central from Microsoft Dynamics GP. Microsoft’s Jennifer Ranz demonstrated the Migration Tool in Business Central. This allows us to link Business Central with your GP database. Business Central will synchronize with GP periodically, for example every hour. This is not an implementation of Business Central; think of it as a trial with your company data rather than using the premade sample. You still do all your work in GP while having read access to your data in Business Central. If you then choose to switch, we would then come up with an implementation plan for you.
Dynamics GP Navigation & Shortcuts
Amber Bell is a firecracker and loves to empower you make users into “Raving Fans” by showing them simple tips and tricks for navigating in Microsoft Dynamics GP! She demonstrated many well known but little used features, such as Navigation lists and user preferences that can help to simplify day-to-day tasks with a simplified user interface.
It was an intense couple of days of learning, but still fun. If you plan to attend Prophet’s Dynamics User Group, then you will get to hear more about the topics covered at the GP Tech Conference 2019.
North America Summit
Coming up the week of October 13th is the Dynamics Community User Group Summit 2019 in Orlando, Florida that will provide education on all of the Dynamics products; AX, CRM, GP, NAV and Microsoft’s Power Platform. Our very own Ian Richardson and Dgndy Bright are very excited to present their sessions Demystifying D365 Security Business Units and Teams & Setting and Reporting Sales Goals. Definitely something worth checking out.