eWeek looks at MBS’ integration into Microsoft

eWeek had a short article on 11/29/05 about the integration of the Dynamics GP team into the MS Office group. This article certainly makes me think that despite losing money, Microsoft is really committed to the MBS products. You can find the article at:

Great Plains Resources for Year End

For CustomerSource users, the November additions to the Knowledge Base are here:

The Great Plains Year End Guide for 2005 is here:

SQL Server 2005 Orlando Launch Event

Sorry for the long delays between posting, as we approach year end, it’s been pretty busy at work. I’ll try to get back to weekly features and gotcha’s next week.

I went to the SQL Server 2005, Visual Studio 2005, Biz Talk Server 2006 Orlando launch event today. I got my free copy of SQL Server 2005 and VS 2005 as early Christmas toys. Expect GP to be available for SQL Server 2005 late January or early February if you’re an existing client.

The launch event was alright but it seemed like they skimped on the level of executives present. The sessions were pretty heavy on overview and rah rah, considering that the products have been out for a month now. All in all though, it was worth the trip. If your registered for another city, go and have fun. I’m looking forward to SQL Server 2005. Maybe I’ll go home early to play with it.

Weekly Feature: Schedule Your Macros

You may have maintenance or reporting macros that you want to run when you’re not logged in. I’m working on a set of prebuild maintenance macros for registered users to be available in the near future. As promised in the Macros weekly feature, to schedule a macro to run:

  • Start GP, don’t log in.
  • At the Welcome window hit ALT-F8 to start recording. Name the macro and save it to a location where you can find it.
  • Log in as you normally would. (The macro will record your password. You may want a separate, maintenance only login for automatic macros)
  • After you are logged in, leave macro recorder running and either perform all the functions you want scheduled or run another macro that you’ve prebuilt that has all the functions you want. This second options adds increased flexibility. You can separate the scheduling macro from the macro used to perform maintenance.
  • When done, pick Tools->Macro->Stop Recording.
  • Almost Done. Open the macro (mac) file in notepad. Remove the # DEXVERSION line. (This removes version specific info from the file and makes it more version generic so you don’t get burned by a service pack)
  • Add the line: Logging file ‘macro.log’ to the top of macro. (This turns off macro dialog boxes)

To fire this macro off you need 3 pieces. The dynamics.exe location, dynamics.set location and the macro location. The line to run your macro from a windows shortcut looks something like this:

“C:Program FilesMicrosoft Business Solutions80Great PlainsDynamics.exe” “C:Program FilesMicrosoft Business Solutions80Great PlainsDynamics.set” “C:Documents and SettingsmpolinoDesktoplogin.mac”

Quotes are required. Create a shortcut with these locations and use the windows scheduler to fire off the shortcut. After that your macros will run as scheduled. Any error dialogs are logged in the macro.log file. Now you can run those maintenance macros while you are at the beach!

Weekly Gotcha:Get rid of that Print Dialogue

Do you hate that print dialogue box that pops up everytime you print? There is a way to get rid of it. In Named Printers, (Tools->Setup->System->Named Printers in 8.0) you can turn off print dialog box. Open named printers and check the Do Not Display System Print Dialog box. If you’ve already setup advanced printers, select the Machine ID drill down and check the box there.

It’s not inuitive, but it can be done.

If You Can’t Fire Them, Promote Them

I may get in trouble for this post but here goes. I once gave my wife some advice. She owns her own business and her mother works with her. Her mother went through a period of high personal stress that affected her ability to concentrate and it was really hurting her work performance and the business. Since you really shouldn’t fire your mother, I suggested she promote her. It’s a great excuse to take away day to day tasks and free up time to resolve whatever other issues are going on. (You don’t need to be doing that bank balancing, that below your skills. We need you to work on the strategic direction for next year.)

Well, it looks like Microsoft Business Solutions may be doing the same thing with Doug Burgum. Doug is a great guy in person but parts of his communication style leave a lot to be desired. If you’ve ever heard him speak, you may still be wondering what the point is. He’s also a Steve Balmer buddy and for a long time, the face of Great Plains and now MBS. Via Mary Jo Foley, MBS is moving Doug into a Chairman role, responsible for evangelism and long term planning. They are looking for a new VP to head the MBS unit. It’s no secret that MBS has been struggling to hit the goals Microsoft has set for them, but dumping Doug would be expensive from a marketing and competative strategy position. It would let competitors pound FUD on MBS. So Doug moves into the grandfatherly chairman role and someone, hopefully with a fresh perspective, gets to take this to the next level.

This also continues the de-Fargoing of MBS. Burgum will continue to be based in Fargo but new role will be based in Redmond.