Stiffer Competition on the Low End

Competition on the low end of accounting software is heating up. Microsoft’s new boxed small business software is being discounted to better take on Quickbooks and now Sage has entered the fray. This is kind of strange since Sage’s Peachtree product is a verrrrry distant #2 to Quickbooks.

Sage has a huge line of accounting products purchased over the years but after replacing a number of them with Great Plains, it became apparent that Sage has next to no upgrade strategy among the products. Every growth step for their existing base becomes a point of attack by a competitor, rather than a smooth upgrade to the next product.

Microsofts recent entry into this space is Great Plains based and looks alot like GP with alot more bells and whistles for inexperienced accountants.

Year End

If you run GP payroll, don’t forget to update your payroll tax tables. Also there is an update available for 1099’s.

My December post seems to have an incorrect link to the GP year end resources. The correct link is Here.

Great Plains Knowledge Base Articles for 12/95

For Customer Source subscribers, the GP knoweledge base articles for December are located at:

GP 9.0 First Look

I got a first look at GP 9.0 this week via a partner webinar. It looks like another very solid upgrade similar to 8.0. The themes seem to be improved infrastructure, fixes for nagging issues and an overall Microsoftization of the product. That’s a good thing in my opinion.

For example, installation is expected to be easier with 9.0. DynamicsGP 9.0 is installed using Microsoft’s .MSP installtion files, not .exe’s. This means that the installation will be more in line with other MS products and will allow for automatically updating client installations via Automatic Client Updates feature.

Also, batches close on save automatically now, AP check selection is improved, true check per address functionality has been added to AP and more features are included in the core.

I suspect there will be some pain with this release however. With Business Portal included you are looking at possibly an entirely new infrastructure ( 2.0, SQL Server 2005) underneath GP not to mention all the variations companies could be running. The product looks and behaves more and more like a Microsoft app and I think that this a good direction for GP. I’m looking forward to the upgrade.

SQl 2005 and Dynamics GP Compatibility info

via MBS Blog Central ( here is the current compatibility status for GP and SQL Server:

SQl 2005 and Dynamics GP Compatibility infoDynamics GP 9.0 – Compatible out-of-the box with SQL 2005

Great Plains 8.0 – Will be compatible with SQL 2005 with an upcoming service pack (no release date is set yet)

Great Plains 7.5 and all earlier release with NOT be compatible with SQL 2005

Also, with the release of Dynamics GP 9.0, SQL Server 7.0 is no longer supported. Just SQL 2000 and 2005.

Here is the full list of SQL versions supported with Dynamics GP 9.0.

Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Enterprise Edition SP 4
Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Standard Edition SP 4
Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Workgroup Edition SP 4
Microsoft SQL Server 2000 (64-bit) SP 4
MSDE 2000 SP 4
Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Enterprise Edition 32-bit and 64-bit
Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Standard Edition 32-bit and 64-bit
Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Workgroup Edition
Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express Edition (formerly called MSDE)

New Dynamics Logo

If you take a look at Microsoft’s new Dynamics site (, there is a new logo for the brand. It looks like 3 sails. So Great Plains has moved from from the little prarie logo, to the offsetting color spinning thing to 3 sails. I have to say, I like the new look overall. It’s sort of a clean differentiation. Microsoft but not.

Update: I’ve also noticed that from the website, Microsoft Dynamics is FORMERLY Microsoft Business Solutions. So MBS is truly dead. This is something I speculted about with the branding at the SQL 2005 launch event. This will at least reduce the mouthfull that was MBS.

Website Upgrade in Progress

I’ve decided to take the plunge and upgrade and to DotNetNuke 4.0.2, 2.0 and SQL Server 2005.

The 2.0 upgrade is done and after some pain, the DotNetNuke upgrade is initially done. I still have some skin changes but it’s up. SQL Server 2005 upgrade is next.

The worst part is over. I love DotNetNuke but they need to work on their documentation. It’s obtuse to say the least, but I figured it out.

All should be back to normal by Monday at the latest.

Great Plains 9.0 – Stronger Core?

I’ve looked through the Dynamics GP 9.0 enhancements list and I have to say that I’m impressed that so much of the new stuff is geared toward administrators. This release doesn’t appear to be a festival of new features, but a tightening up of the core.

For admins there’s Mass Deployment, Automatic Client Updates, Setup Checklists, Scheduled Backups, and SQL Server 2005 Password Policies (does this mean we can use Windows authentication?)

On the useability side, I saw improved batch creation, calendars for date entry, Smartlist integration with the letter writing wizard, GL Descriptions without drilling down, better check batch adjusting, true multiple remit to’s for vendors, and a number of improvements around reporting.

No killer feature appeared but GP has been due for a good, solid boost to the foundation. All the admin features are necessary to compete in large deployments and bring GP close in line with Microsoft’s unified update ability.

New Branding for the Dynamics line?

One thing I noticed at the MS Launch event yesterday was that the event literature continuously referred to “Microsoft Dynamics”. This is a change from the Microsoft Business Solutions branding. I never did find the Dynamics booth so that’s not a plus, but this may signify both a branding unification and simplification for the Dynamics line.

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:,1759,1893792,00.asp