Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Microsoft Dynamics GP is going from Strength to Strength.

Microsoft Dynamics GP seems to be going from strength to strength. I want to deliver a few reasons why I say this and what I believe the cause may be.

What makes me say that:

      1.  Growth: Every VAR I speak to - and I speak to plenty – are really busy and growing their teams. These VAR’s are adding to the people they employ to support Dynamics GP, because they are signing up new customers and are continually supporting the solutions for their existing customers.

      2.  Sales: eOne is selling more product than ever in our 12 year ISV history. I have always used SmartList Builder as a barometer of total GP sales - and if those ratios are still roughly the same then there is still plenty of GP being sold on a monthly basis.

      3.  ISV Sales: Sales into the GP customer base – Mid Market companies that use GP are still spending on their GP system via addons from eOne, other ISV’s, upgrades, consulting etc. The base would not be investing in existing systems to this extent unless they were planning to stay with Dynamics GP for a long time.

Why I think GP is going great and will be for a long time to come:

      1.  No Competition: It still amazes me that ERP’s really have not changed dramatically in the last 15 years and that there is still no truly credible competition. Think about it – have there been massive leaps since 2000? This is partially that Accounting underpins an ERP – and nothing changes slower than accounting practice.

There are some new players in the cloud space which are certainly doing okay – but from a functional perspective they offer little if anything that is better than GP.  Netsuite have a clever integrated CRM with their ERP – but if you put GP and Microsoft CRM together (using SmartConnect of course) you get a way better outcome (albeit at a cost).

Tools like Intacct, Acumatica are good but are really the same old tools delivered differently via a browser. Functionality, which is what counts for the end users, in GP offers everything and more than any other horizontal product in the mid market space.

      2.  Mid Market: GP is in the mid market, the true mid market, which covers from the top of small to some really large companies. There are some amazing companies and brand names that rely on GP all day every day. The mid market need all the controls of a strong ERP. A mid market company needs all the reporting power of a strong ERP.

There is a huge push from tiny cloud players like Zero and Freshbooks. All good products but really targeted at a completely different business demographic. They are aiming up at quickbooks and sage – and not the GP space. These are perfect for small companies, but when you look at those tools they really provide very little in respect to functionality. These tools do not offer anything to any of the GP customer base that we work with everyday.

      3.  GP web client: Is actually pretty cool, eOne runs this in-house. It works and it works well. 

      4.  eConnect: I am not sure that everyone at Microsoft understands it – but eConnect is one of the best things that GP has going for it. It is a great API – that makes GP a perfect hub repository for all the data form the many systems a business deploys. With GP 2015 coming along that will expose even more API functionality through Dex Next - this is exciting times for GP. The GP API is very strong, very robust and fully developed. There are many ERP’s and CRM’s that would do anything to have an API as good as eConnect.

      5.  Cloud: The cloud is re-introducing the best of breed software concept. There are vertical cloud solutions for just about everything. These solution do the one thing they do ‘really well’. Mid market companies do not want or expect an ERP to ‘do everything’. They want it to do its core functions really well and be very stable, but also allow for easy integration with all the best of breed applications they decide to deploy.

For Example - Many ERP’s build web stores and eCommerce platforms. But there are way better solutions on the market than what any ERP provider could deliver. When you look for a web store, payment gateway, etc. you are looking at Braintree, 2CO and any of the many web stores. You need these integrated – but you do not expect your ERP to handle this natively.

On the CRM side of things you have tools like Mailchimp/Constant Contact which do their one task really well. As long as the integration is strong – you do not need this functionality inside of your CRM. There is a huge world of great addons – and it is eOne’s job to make sure you can integrate them all to your core systems as easily as possible.

      6.  Community: A fully developed and broad ISV community. At eOne we are contacted just about every week from an ISV that is wanting to get into the GP space! These are companies that have vertical solutions but everywhere they turn they meet customers who use GP and need integrations. They also know that this is a massive market for them and they want a piece of what the GP ISV’s are getting. 

GP has many great ISV’s. As business is swinging back to best of breed solutions - as opposed one system can do everything – it shows that the GP model has been right for a very long time. Microsoft builds the core solution, and experts in various fields build what goes around that core.

      7.  More with less: Microsoft is doing the right thing. This week Satya declared they will be doing more with less at Microsoft. This is something that has worked great for Dynamics GP. Over the last few years the GP team has shrunk – and as a result the GP team have actively looked to be cleverer and smarter – doing more with less. I think Microsoft has seen GP’s success and decided to try that model across the entire company.

     Have any questions or comments regarding Microsoft Dynamics GP? Feel free to comment below of email Martin at martin.olsen@eonesolutions.com!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Tech Tuesday: Which Build of SmartList Builder and Extender 2013 Do I Need?

With the Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 R2 release, we had to make some changes with SmartList Builder and Extender to work with the changes made in R2.

With that change, came the need to have two different releases of SmartList Builder and Extender. On our download page, you will see two different listings for SmartList Builder 2013 and two for Extender 2013. 



When deciding which to download, you need to take into account your Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 version. To find your Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 build, you will need to go to Help - About Microsoft Dynamics GP and note the Microsoft Dynamics GP version. It is going to be 12.00.xxxx. If the xxxx is 1745 or higher, then you will need the R2 release (1st one in the list). If it is 1744 or lower, you will need the Pre R2 release (2nd one in the list). 



You can also find the version information on the User Login window if you are not already logged into GP.

It is important that you get the correct build of SmartList Builder or Extender as you will find that certain features don't function or are missing from the options if you have the incorrect one. If you have installed the R2 build already and are not yet updated to Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 R2, please contact support at 888-319-3663 or support@eonesolutions.com.

If you have any questions or are interested in Extender or SmartList Builder please feel free to email us at sales@eonesolutions.com! 

Monday, July 21, 2014

SmartView - Exporting to Excel from GP

This is really simple, but for those of you that wait for data to export to Excel - it is really cool.
Check out how long it to pull my data to screen and then get it to Excel.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSGieTut8mw


Martin

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Join us in October at GPUG/CRMUG Summit 2014 in St. Louis, MO

As we put together our schedule of events this fall, we want to make sure you know about one of the most beneficial events for users. Join us and hundreds of GP & CRM users at GPUG & CRMUG Summits, October 14-17, in St. Louis, MO. 

Here are the reasons we love the Summit events: 

  • There are literally HUNDREDS of breakout sessions available on nearly every GP/CRM subject you can dream up. 
  • The vast majority of sessions are led by end users who will tell you exactly their experience and exactly how they feel about something. They don't carry a hidden agenda, so you get the information you want & need. The whole conference for users. 
  • The sessions are divided into specific learning tracks - making it easy for you to narrow down where you want to spend your time. 
  • There is a huge amount of networking, interacting and learning from others who are in the same boat as you - working with GP and/or CRM every. single. day.
  • Fun key note speakers that aren't there just to share a specific "message" from the guys at the top of say, a very large corporation located on the West Coast. They really are there to inspire you & get you thinking about bettering all areas of your life. 
  • If you head to the event early, you can take advantage of great training options to improve your skills.
  • Have I mentioned AWESOME ISV's who have solutions that are designed to make your lives a whole lot easier? We'd LOVE to see you come visit us in the expo hall - so be sure to schedule your time at booth 818! 

Have any questions or want to know a few more reasons why we participate? Let me know - I'd love to chat with you. We hope to see you in October! 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Tech Tuesday: How to Change the SQL Server for SmartView External

Take a look at one of our helpful articles on SmartView from Nicole Albertson. You can search the Knowledge Base section of our website for articles on any of our products. It has been known to help lots of people sort through common support questions. Take a look at it when you have a moment! 

SmartView External hold the SQL Server name in the SmartView.exe.config file.  If the SQL Server that Microsoft Dynamics GP resides on is moved, this will need to be changed for SmartView External as well.

To change the SQL Server, follow these steps:

  1. 1. Open the SmartView.exe.config file.  By default it is installed in one of the following locations.
    1. 32 bit OS:  C:\Program Files\eOne IntegratedBusinessSolutions\SmartView
    2. b.      64 bit OS:  C:\Program Files (x86)\eOne Integrated Business Solutions\SmartView

  2. 2. Find the following line:  xxxxxxxxx" />

  • 3. In the value, enter the name of the SQL Server that Microsoft Dynamics GP is installed to.  If it includes an instance name, be sure to include that.  If desired, instead of the name, you can use the IP address, port number.

  • 4. Find the following line: 
  • In the value, if the system database name is not DYNAMICS in the current Microsoft Dynamics GP installation, enter the correct system database name.  If it is DYNAMICS, just leave the value in this line at DYNAMICS.

  • 5. When completed, the file should look something like the following.
  • xml
    version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="yes"?>

      <appSettings>
       
       
        svuser
    " />
        PhoneNumberFormat" value="(XXX) XXX-XXXX  Ext. XXXX" />

    6.  Save the File.

    Once you have changed the SQL Server information in the config file, launch SmartView External and verify that it is pointing to the data on the new server.

    Questions? Let us know! 

    Monday, July 14, 2014

    Learn about Calculated Fields with SmartConnect - Straight from One of Our Partners

    We love stumbling across articles from our key partners that share their love of our solutions and give users out there tips to make their lives easier. Take a moment to read an article from BDO Solutions' blog by Eric Verebely called "Customizing SmartConnect Integrations: Part One - Try This!"  He highlights the value of calculated fields when setting up integrations in SmartConnect and lets you know just how to do it. Thanks, Eric!

    What's your favorite tip for SmartConnect users? Let us know!  

    Thursday, July 10, 2014

    Welcome Pat Roth - new eOne support and QA team member

    Just as the summer pushes forward, the eOne team continues to do the same. We’ve grown in the last week and have added our new Product Specialist, Pat Roth, to the eOne team. He joins our Fargo office and will focus primarily on support and QA. 



    After spending 19 years with Microsoft, Pat decided to make the move to eOne. We’re excited for the wealth of experience within the channel and the passion for solving problems that he brings to the eOne team.

    When he’s not solving support and QA issues, Pat enjoys spending time with Barbara, his wife of 18 years, and his two teenage boys. He enjoys everything from volunteering as a chess coach for his youngest, gardening with his oldest, watching movies with his family, reading, or going on cruises with his wife.

    We are thrilled to have Pat on board at eOne. Please join us in welcoming him to the eOne team.

    Want to personally welcome Pat? Drop him an email at pat.roth@eonesolutions.com

    Tuesday, July 08, 2014

    Tech Tuesday: Identifying the Source Company in a SmartConnect Real-Time Map

    This week's Tech Tuesday is from our Senior Technical Consultant, Chris Hanson, who will show us the easiest method to tracking the Source Company in a Real-Time Map.

    One of our features in SmartConnect is a real-time data source that allows maps to automatically execute when a certain event is triggered. When using a GP real-time source you can setup that source once to be used across every GP company if needed. The issue is then how you can identify which company the event/data comes from as that is not tracked by default within the source.

    The easiest method to track the source company is to use the DB_NAME() function that is built into SQL. That statement can be added to any SQL based data source (real-time or otherwise) in order to identify the database the data is coming from as it will return the current database if no parameter is passed into it.

    For a real-time map, that function would be added within the query builder when setting up the source. In the screenshot below, DB_NAME() was added as an expression with the Alias for that result set to SourceCompany so it is easy to identify when looking through the columns while building the actual mapping. 



    The result of that function should return the SQL name of the database/company that the data is coming from. So if we were using the Fabrikam company to test this map, it would have TWO set as the value when triggered from that company. That value can then be used in restrictions, tasks, or other additional columns as needed to ensure the data is processed correctly when the map runs.

    Have something you'd like to see covered in a Tech Tuesday article? Send them in to sales@eonesolutions.com!

    Monday, July 07, 2014

    Life too short - Richard Whaley

    It was very sad to hear that our good friend Richard Whaley has passed away recently. At eOne we worked closely with Richard in many different capacities.

    Richard always wanted to learn and attended many of our classroom training sessions over a number of years.  After having Richard attended a SmartList Builder session, I was amazed that a month later he published a full in depth manual on SmartList Builder. I remember asking Richard what he did in his spare time and he said 'writing manuals gave him a real buzz'.

    There will never be a segway riding professor quite like Richard, a truly genuine man. If I learnt one thing from Richard it is to 'be who are are, and do what you love to do'.   Our thoughts are with his family at this time.

    Thursday, July 03, 2014

    eOne Holiday Hours for the 4th of July

    As many of you out there in the US prepare for the Independence Day holiday on Friday, keep in mind that we're doing the same thing at eOne. Our office will be closed Friday, July 4th to allow our team to celebrate the holiday the way they see fit - whether that involves eating way too many burgers, trying their hand at the best firework display in the neighborhood or skiing up a storm around the lake. So, if you need anything before Friday, reach out to us! Send your requests to: 

    sales@eonesolutions.com (for sales, reg keys and marketing questions)
    support@eonesolutions.com (for support needs)
    renewals@eonesolutions.com (for any renewal needs)

    We'll be back open & ready for your calls/emails/inquiries on Monday, July 7th. 

    How do you plan to spend this 4th of July holiday? Whatever you decide - enjoy your time!

    Wednesday, July 02, 2014

    Tech Tuesday: What version is what in SmartConnect?

    We have recently released SmartConnect 2014; for more information on the initial release, check out our blog post on it from last week here. Chris Dew, our Director of Product Management, will ease any confusion when it comes to different SmartConnect versions below.
     
    We have quite a few people that ask what version of SmartConnect is needed for a specific version of Microsoft Dynamics GP or Microsoft Dynamics CRM. The new architecture we introduced in 2010 has allowed us to remain independent of specific versions of products for the most part. As with many ETL tools, we are always introducing new technologies as they are made available. For example, SQL Server 2014, gets added to our list of supported datasource and destinations.

    Below I have prepared a couple of key releases you will want to note for the major versions:

    SmartConnect 2014
    • Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 R2, 2013, 2010, 10
    • Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013, 2011, 4.0 and Online
    • Salesforce.com
    • SQL Server 2014, 2012, 2008, 2005
    • Webservices as datasource and destination
    • Excel add-in for Excel 2013, 2010

    As you can see the newest version of SmartConnect should have you covered for most versions of Dynamics GP and Dynamics CRM. We have seen a few customers using SmartConnect to migrate from older versions of Dynamics GP (5 and 6) or from Dynamics CRM 4.0 to 2013 or the Online edition. You won't need to worry about loading any older versions of SmartConnect to go back this far. The only thing I would point out is that we do require SmartConnect to be loaded on a SQL Server 2005 or greater database when you are migrating.

    As we look to the near future where we can make additional connectors available, we are especially excited about the "DexNext" services oriented approach. When we add this connector for Dynamics GP 2015 it will open up many more integration points to Dynamics GP and ISV products ensuring that the same business logic is used whether you enter the data inside of Dynamics GP or from SmartConnect. Will eConnect still be around for a while? Absolutely, but Microsoft will be pushing the architecture and I think it will make Dynamics GP have the best integration story with SmartConnect out there!


    Interested in SmartConnect? Have further questions regarding versions? Email us at sales@eonesolutions.com and we will be happy to assist you!

    Friday, June 27, 2014

    SmartConnect 2014 releases today!

    It's here... SmartConnect 2014!
    We are very excited to release SmartConnect 2014 today!

    This release will work for any of the following versions of Dynamics GP(10, 2010, 2013, 2013 R2), Dynamics CRM (4, 2011, 2013, online) and all the more generic connectors (SalesForce.com, Web Services, Text Files, XML, SQL,etc).


    SmartConnect 2014 has some really great features added along with several fixes. Below are a few of the really exciting features along with the download below:
    http://www.eonesolutions.com/Products/Downloads


    SQL Server Realtime Triggers – This feature allows you to run a SmartConnect map and use the data from the just saved record in SQL Server. Any SQL table can have this added.

    Microsoft Dynamics CRM Bulk Destination – As larger datasets need to be sent to Dynamics CRM the load on the CRM Webservice can be reduced by using the Bulk Destination for CRM and sending more data in one document.

    Microsoft Dynamics CRM Entity Lookup Enhancements – Entity Lookups allow you to work with Microsoft Dynamics CRM data without needing to know the complexities of the GUIDs or needing an intermediary datastore to synchronize Dynamics CRM data. We have enhanced this feature set allowing you to use other calculated fields and transformations in the lookups.

    SalesForce.com Entity Lookup Enhancements – Entity Lookups allow you to work with SalesForce data without needing to know the complexities of the GUIDs or needing an intermediary datastore to synchronize SalesForce data. We have enhanced this feature set allowing you to use other calculated fields and transformations in the lookups.

    Rolling Column New Features (Next Document Numbers) – We have added most document types and now you can even have multiple in a specific map. Custom Rolling Columns are available globally now instead of just on a specific map. Additionally, you can pass in data source fields and calculated fields in determining the correct document type.

    Disable/Enable all tasks – Quickly enable/disable all tasks when testing maps. This can be very useful when you have a process like sending an email or updating a SQL table on the success or failure and you only want that to run when the map is ready for production. 


    Enhanced Transformation Abilities – I really love this feature. We have basically allowed you to use the transformation fields (Calculated Fields, Lookups, Translations, etc.) everywhere inside of the application. When you look at SmartConnect as an ETL tool you can see that this adds another level of robustness when delivering any solution for your business needs.

    Thanks,
    Chris Dew
    Director of Product Management


    Do you have any questions regarding the latest release of SmartConnect 2014? Email us at sales@eonesolutions.com and we would be happy to help!

    10 Facts About Upgrading from Integration Manager to SmartConnect

    We have seen an increase of customers making the upgrade from Integration Manager to SmartConnect. Over 2,000 Dynamics GP customers have already made the switch for their integration needs.

    Curious to know why so many people have made the switch? We've made it easier for you to see the benefits of upgrading to SmartConnect in the video below:



    Interested in upgrading or simply purchasing SmartConnect? Email us with any questions at sales@eonesolutions.com and we would be happy to assist you!

    Thursday, June 26, 2014

    SmartConnect Classroom Training in Q3

    Summer is here and though many of us have been taking turns vacationing, we're still hard at work in the office - focusing on the products and getting ready for some great events in (our) Q3. As you look forward to your next quarter, we'd love to have you set aside time to join us at our SmartConnect classroom training events: 

    July 16th & 17th: Fargo, ND
    August 13th & 14th: Denver, CO
    September 17th & 18th: Los Angeles, CA

    So are you ready to become an integration guru? The sessions are $1400/per person for two full days of hands-on training and lunches each day. If you send 2 people from your organization, the 2nd person is half off. We have LIMITED SEATING available so please sign up early.

    Already made your schedule for next quarter? Consider joining us for the following. The sessions for Q4 are as follows: 

    October 12th & 13th: St. Louis, MO (prior to the GPUG Summit event) 
    November 12th & 13th: Fargo, ND (prior to the reIMAGINE event)
    December 3rd & 4th: Phoenix, AZ

    Sign up through our website calendar or email sales@eonesolutions.com if you'd like to participate! 

    Tuesday, June 24, 2014

    Tech Tuesday: Creating a Task in SmartConnect to get a file from an FTP site

    This weeks Tech Tuesday is from our very own Chris Dew, our Director of Product Management, who will explain how to create a task in SmartConnect to get a file from an FTP site.

    We get quite a few customers that want to take files from a FTP site and utilize this file as the source of their data when running a map inside of SmartConnect. Today I have created a sample Task script that will allow you to grab a file in a Pre Map Task and then use it for the integration.

    First you can simply click on the Tasks button in any existing map, and then choose a new task called run script. This is where you can now copy the script below and paste into this window (like in the image below).



    =================================================================

    'EXAMPLE OF HOW TO USE FtpWebRequest

            'Configuration
            Const localFile As String = "C:\Users\Administrator\Downloads\ftpREADME.txt"
            Const remoteFile As String = "/README.txt"
            Const host As String = "ftp://ftp.swfwmd.state.fl.us/pub/"
            Const username As String = "anonymous"
            Const password As String = "email@email.com"

            'Create a request
            Dim URI As String = host & remoteFile
            Dim ftp As System.Net.FtpWebRequest = CType(System.Net.FtpWebRequest.Create(URI), System.Net.FtpWebRequest)
            'Set the credentials
            ftp.Credentials = New System.Net.NetworkCredential(username, password)
            'Turn off KeepAlive (will close connection on completion)
            ftp.KeepAlive = False
            'we want a binary
            ftp.UseBinary = True
            'Define the action required (in this case, download a file)
            ftp.Method = System.Net.WebRequestMethods.Ftp.DownloadFile

            'If we were using a method that uploads data e.g. UploadFile
            'we would open the ftp.GetRequestStream here an send the data

            'Get the response to the Ftp request and the associated stream
            Using response As System.Net.FtpWebResponse = CType(ftp.GetResponse, System.Net.FtpWebResponse)
                Using responseStream As IO.Stream = response.GetResponseStream
                    'loop to read & write to file
                    Using fs As New IO.FileStream(localFile, IO.FileMode.Create)
                        Dim buffer(2047) As Byte
                        Dim read As Integer = 0
                        Do
                            read = responseStream.Read(buffer, 0, buffer.Length)
                            fs.Write(buffer, 0, read)
                        Loop Until read = 0 'see Note(1)
                        responseStream.Close()
                        fs.Flush()
                        fs.Close()
                    End Using
                    responseStream.Close()
                End Using
                response.Close()
            End Using
    return true
    =================================================================

    The only configuration that needs to be done is at the very top where you determine four things:
    1) The name and location you want to put the file on your network
    2) The name of the remote file
    3) FTP Site
    4) Username
    5) Password

    Have fun with this one and use your imagination on other scripts you can use. If you have a suggestion for a new script please let me know.

    chris.dew@eonesolutions.com

    Thanks,
    Chris Dew

    Interested in SmartConnect? Please email us at sales@eonesolutions.com and we would be happy to assist you!

    Monday, June 23, 2014

    SmartList Builder vs. SmartList Designer

    We have been getting a lot of questions regarding the differences between eOne’s SmartList Builder and Microsoft’s new SmartList Designer tool.

    To make it easier for you in your decision making process, we have interviewed the two candidates in the video below to see who is better qualified to create custom SmartLists for Microsoft Dynamics GP.



    Spoiler alert: SmartList Builder wins!

    Interested in more information on SmartList Builder? Please feel free to email us at sales@eonesolutions.com!

    Wednesday, June 18, 2014

    Props to SmartConnect

    We are always on the lookout for satisfied (and possibly-not-quite-satisfied) so that we can continue to improve our software and go above and beyond the expectations of our clients. It has recently been brought to our attention that the Markovich Report - a blog by one of our SmartConnect users, was written praising SmartConnect and labeling it his choice integration tool for Microsoft Dynamics GP & CRM.

    After listing the other integration options (i.e. Scribe, Connector from Microsoft, writing it yourself) he states,  
    "Or you could eliminate all of that nonsense and time wasting and just use SmartConnect from eOne. In fact, you should definitely do that. SmartConnect has changed my life at work."
    He also gave this tid bit:
    "Side note: this was done without me really knowing much about the CRM tables or how the CRM web services really work. What I found was this: it’s not really necessary. eOne has done all of the heavy lifting for me initially and it’s just up to me to decide what information I want to sync."
    So big props to SmartConnect for taking on all the heavy lifting for Joe and for offering many more options to integrate between GP and CRM. Also a big thank you to Joe for your kind words and feedback regarding eOne SmartConnect, we appreciate it!

    For the full blog you may view it here.


    Do you have a story about how SmartConnect has benefited you? If so we'd LOVE to hear it, please email your story to us at sales@eonesolutions.com!