Friday, November 13, 2009

Dynamics Confessor Blogspot: Dex.ini Switches Part 3

Here is some very useful info on the Dex.ini. Wish I had seen some of this at the GP Conference this last week. Thanks Leslie. Dynamics Confessor Blogspot: Dex.ini Switches Part 3

Friday, November 6, 2009

Getting ready to head out

So on Sunday I will be heading to Fargo, ND for the Microsoft Dynamics GP Technical Conference 2009. I am really hoping to pick up a lot of information while there. Guys like Mariano Gomez and David Musgrave will be there doing sessions. I'm also hoping to make some contacts there. So if you're there and see me, stop by and say hello.

My fear is that everything will be all about developing with Dexterity and not about the Visual Studio side of developing. If you search for Great Plains info on Google you will find lots of topics floating around, but most of it will be about Dexterity. It has really amazed me that Microsoft has not moved more towards an interface/API that utilizes .NET. Yes I am aware of eConnect and the webservices, but you are very limited on what you can do via these.

So after a talk with a co-worker I have come to the same conclusion he has - the old school consultants drive what is developed and why learn a new language when you make lots of money utilizing something you have already mastered. Now I know that this is not everyone, I believe it does include a majority of the GP Community. You can read about how people want to open up the community and get more information out there, but there's still very few fresh ideas to be found.

So then after thinking about it more, I realized that those of us who come from a development background and are having problems with developing things in GP are missing something very fundamental. That thing in my mind is the accounting background. In my career I have built many websites, windows apps, services, etc., but I can honestly say that none of the apps I have written have used accounting principles. Many of the legacy app devs I have talked with over my career have always hand built some sort of accounting system. Most modern apps you build in .NET do not take regular accounting principles, i.e. double entry system, into account. Consider the slow of shopping cart apps out there. None that I have built, modified or implemented ever took this into account.

IMHO I think that those on the in with GP take that knowledge of the accounting principles for granted and assume that the new devs should know that. The problem with that is, current devs usually work on many different systems. When I first started programming about 13 years ago, you usually were given an area to work in. If I was building apps in the manufacturing area, I would not be given a project in the accounting area. That was left to other devs.

Technology allows us to work on every aspect of a company's apps from the websites to windows apps and now GP. The technology we have now allows us to move across projects easier as most projects are integrated with another at some level. It's rare to have an application that is truly a stand-alone app. At least in each of the companies I have worked in.

So now I am charged with building live apps in GP, and find myself having to learn accounting along the way.  If you go read the forum posts on any GP related forum you will see that many others out ther are really struggling with the same issue - they don't understand the core processes behind the applications they are developing. Now don't get me wrong here, I know that there are those that will want you to write their app for them and figure if they just keep playing dumb you will write the code, but there are many of us out there that just want to know the concept and the only way we can understand it is seeing how it is done.

I learn by doing things. I did not finish college. I do not have a degree. I just picked up a computer and was able to figure out how it worked, by doing things with it. So hopefully when I come back to work after the conference I will have a better understanding of what concepts are needed to work in GP. Any help is appreciated. :-)