Changing and Copying a Home Page Role – Part 1

January 16, 2011

Part 1 of 2 – Changing and Copying a Home Page Role.


I was working with a client a few days aback and they have been on Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 for quite a few weeks now. One of their users was moved from the accounts payable department to the accounts receivable department.

The IT staff wanted to change the configuration of her home page to look just like that of an existing user in this department, so of course, came the question…“How do we change her home page, and have her get the same links we have setup for all the other users in the group?”.

Out of the box, Microsoft Dynamics GP allows you to change a user’s role by clicking the Change Role… button under the Customize Home Page window.

Customize Home Page

Once you click on the Change Role button, you will receive a warning on effecting the changes, since all customizations and previous layout changes would be lost in the process of changing the user’s role.

Change Role Warning

Since our goal was to move the user from role, this was the first task at hand. The company enjoyed standard links and settings for their users overall, so worring about loosing the previous links and settings was not an issue. Once we clicked the Ok button, we were at the Select Home Page window where we could move the user to the Accounts Payable role.

Select Home Page

Good so far! Now, how could we make a copy of all the settings established by the IT department for all users to this user profile? Tomorrow, I will show you a script that we wrote to achieve this.

Until next post!

MG.-
Mariano Gomez, MVP
Maximum Global Business, LLC
http://www.maximumglobalbusiness.com/


From the newsgroups: Tracking COBRA in Microsoft Dynamics GP Payroll (US only)

December 20, 2010

This week’s answer comes courtesy of Microsoft’s Aaron Richards over at the Partner Online Technical Community, but first the question — no names given to protect the innocent 🙂

We are using Dynamics GP2010. How do we track COBRA in Payroll. We are not using HR.

Specifically, we are trying to track what the government reimbureses us. For example, we’re trying to track 70% that we pay to the insurer on the 941 that we send to the government which eventually reimburses back from the government that we had paid.

Please advise or point me to a reference for utilizing this.

As stated by the partner, the customer is not using the HR module which has full COBRA tracking capabilities. Here is what Aaron had to say:

Thank you for using Microsoft Online Communities. My name is Aaron and I will be assisting you with your questions today. This information was released when we started tracking COBRA in the hotfix pdf.

It stated the following:

Consolidated Omnibus Reconciliation Act (COBRA) changes

The recently-passed economic stimulus legislation (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009) establishes an employer-provided 65% COBRA premium subsidy for certain workers who lost their jobs between Sept. 1, 2008, and Dec. 31, 2009. The employer is reimbursed for the subsidy by claiming a credit on quarterly federal tax returns (Form 941). For details of the Act’s provisions relating to COBRA, see http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=204505,00.html at the IRS site, and http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/COBRA.html at the Department of Labor site. The March 2009 Round 4 U.S. Payroll Tax Update contains the following Payroll and Human Resources changes to support the COBRA premium subsidy.

The Payroll Setup window contains new fields that allow you to select and display a COBRA subsidy benefit code.

The Cobra Premiums and Payments window in Human Resources contains a new field that allows you to indicate whether a payment is an employer-paid COBRA Premium Subsidy. If it is, you can enter or select a Batch ID for the payment (the batch lookup will display only manual check batches). These fields will be accessible only if you have assigned a COBRA subsidy benefit code in the Payroll Setup window.

The Quarterly 941 Preparation report and the Form 941 report have been changed to display COBRA subsidy information. Line 12a shows the total of the posted COBRA subsidy benefits for all employees during the associated quarter. Line 12b shows the number of employees receiving COBRA subsidy benefits during the associated quarter. The changes are included on both single-company and cross-company quarterly 941 reports.

Additionally, lines Line 7d through 7g are removed from Form 941, and Line 7h (Total Adjustments) becomes Line 7d. The form layout is changed to reflect the new field positions.

The Act specifies that employers must notify certain current and former participants and beneficiaries about the premium reduction. The U.S. Department of Labor has posted links to four model notices at http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/COBRAmodelnotice.html. You will need to decide which notification to use. A link to the Department of Labor Web site has been added to the Human Resources COBRA Recipients Lists window. There are no changes to the COBRA notifications generated by Human Resources.

March 2009 Round 4 U.S. Payroll Tax Update – 4

Setting up the COBRA subsidy
1. In the Benefit Setup window, create a new benefit code to track the employer COBRA subsidy.

2. In the Payroll Posting Accounts Setup window, assign General Ledger account codes for the employer subsidy payment (Benefit Expense and Benefit Payable).

If you do not want to post the amount to General Ledger, you can use the same account for both codes.

3. In the Payroll Setup window, assign the new benefit code as the COBRA subsidy benefit.

4. For any employees electing to receive COBRA benefits and eligible for the 65% subsidy, assign the new benefit code to the employee, using the Employee Benefit Maintenance window. Mark the Transaction Required option.

5. Inactivate the employee pay records, as well as all other deduction, benefit, and tax records for the employee.

6. Keep the employee record as well as the new COBRA benefit active.

Processing a COBRA subsidy if you are using only Payroll

1. In the Payroll Manual Check-Adjustment Entry window, enter an adjustment transaction for the employee.

2. In the Payroll Manual Check Transaction Entry window, specify the COBRA benefit code and the amount of the subsidy.

3. Post the adjustment transaction, which updates the benefit code.
4. At quarter end, print the Quarter End 941 report, which includes the COBRA subsidy amount.

I hope this in-depth review helps with your COBRA strikes.

Until next post!

MG.-
Mariano Gomez, MVP
Maximum Global Business, LLC
http://www.maximumglobalbusiness.com/


Do I have to use those "Z-" currency IDs in GP?

December 13, 2010

I know this seems like a trivia question, but recently I have come across a number of clients who have been using Microsoft Dynamics GP for a number of years and have been told by their former partners that they *must* use the predefined currency IDs created after adding the sample company, with no real explanation to support these claims. Case in point, my new client in Saudi Arabia, has been struggling for years to understand why they were told to prefix all currency IDs with the “Z-“. So they went ahead and setup “Z-SR” for the Saudi Real.

If you are familiar with Microsoft Dynamics GP and the sample company, Fabrikam, you may have noticed by now that after adding the sample company (which is not a requirement by any means), you will get a number of predefined currencies such as Z-US$ (US Dollars), Z-UK (British Pounds), Z-C$ (Canadian Dollars), Z-AUD (Australian Dollars), and so forth, accompanied by a number of exchange rate tables. If you are not familiar with the sample company, then we have a totally different set of problems :-).

So here are some common questions and the answers I usually provide to them:

1. What are these “Z-” currency IDs in GP?


These currencies were created as part of the sample company, Fabrikam (formerly The World Online, Inc). The reason these currencies exist is so you can test transactions in various currencies in the sample company without worrying about additional setups, i.e, exchange rate tables. Because currencies are a system wide setting, they can be used across all companies created in the system.

2. Why is every currency ID prefixed with a “Z-“?

If you add true currency IDs following standard ISO currency IDs, you will notice that all the prefixed “Z-”  currencies provided with the test company will show up at the bottom of the Currency Lookup window, whether you are using a Dictionary Order Case Insensitive (DOCI) or Binary sorting at the database level. Microsoft SQL Server sort order establishes the behavior of many lookups in GP. In other words, if a currency ID is setup as say AUD or USD, these will take precedence over the currencies that begin with “Z-” making it easier for a user or system administrator to find information in the lookup.

3. Do I have to use the sample company currency IDs for my production environment?

Categorically No! These currencies have been provided for test purposes with Fabrikam, hence the sample company designation. However, you may find that working with these *out of the box*, preconfigured values may save you time in setting up other companies IF you decide to go down this route. Nonetheless, you will need to evaluate whether the configurations suite your company specific needs.

I generally tend to recommend setting up currency IDs using standard International Standard Organization (ISO) codes. ISO standard 4217 lists all currency IDs and their corresponding numeric code. Please use this when possible as it facilitates other configurations in the system, for example Customer and Vendor records.

4. If I choose not to use the sample company currencies, can my new USD currency coexists with the sample company’s Z-US$?

Categorically Yes! So long you assign the proper currency ID to your production company and, if using multicurrency, setup the proper exchange rate tables referencing all other currencies you may use and configure, then there’s no reason for interference with the preconfigured, sample currencies used by Fabrikam.

Well, I hope these simple answers help with your Z-currency nightmares.

Until next post!

MG.-
Mariano Gomez, MVP
Maximum Global Business, LLC
http://www.maximumglobalbusiness.com/


Configuring Email for Sales and Purchasing Documents in Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010

September 15, 2010

Recently, I have been receiving a number of questions on the new Sales documents email functionality in Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 and how to get it configured and working adequately. If you know me by now, I love to translate those questions into useful articles for the Microsoft Dynamics GP community at large.

Fortunately enough, the configuration process is not that difficult. Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 allows this feature to be configured in a top-down approach which in turn ensures that all related areas of the application are email-aware.

As a first step, there is a setup needed to be done at the company level – MSDGP > Setup > Company > E-mail Settings, or if you prefer, click on Administration on the Navigation Bar, then locate the E-mail Settings link under the Setup web-part:


The first settings you will be able to configure is whether you want the actual document embedded as part of the email body or as an attachment to the email itself. My preference is the latter as it allows for a cleaner look when the email is received by the recipient. Microsoft Dynamics GP supports 4 different attachment formats, DOCX, HTML, PDF and XPS.

Since Microsoft Word and Adobe Acrobat are widely available and have been around for a while, I strongly suggest selecting at least these 2 options. XPS has only been around as a document standard since 2009 (released in 2006) and has native support on Windows Vista and Windows 7, hence recipients running Windows XP may experience some difficulty opening attachments in this format, especially if they are unaware of the XPS viewer’s download location.

NOTE: The IE-hosted XPS viewer and the XPS Document Writer are also available to Windows XP users with the download and installation of Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0.

Once you have defined the initial settings, you may then proceed to enable the email documents that can be submitted from your Microsoft Dynamics GP application. You will be able to define settings for both the Sales and the Purchasing series, as shown below:

Sales E-mail Setup

Purchasing E-mail Setup

The Sales E-mail Setup and Purchasing E-mail Setup windows can also be accessed under the respective series setup menus.

Of special importance is to setup the different labels for each document that will be enabled for submission. Also, if you are expecting the recipient to reply to your emails, select the mail boxes to which replies will be delivered using the Select Names button. My personal preference is to setup general mailboxes on your Microsoft Exchange Server or any other email hosting application. For example, your sales orders can have a general mailbox such as orders@fabrikam.com, or accounts_receivable@fabrikam.com if you are expecting replies to things like AR credit memos or debit memos from the recipients Accounts Payable team. You may do the same for purchasing. This overall approach ensures that emails are delivered to one location or an individual in charge of monitoring these replies.

Finally, you may further tailor specific settings for customer and vendor records, which will allow you to define at a granular level wheter the recipient will receive multiple attachments per email and the specific format for each document that will be attached to the email. You may also choose to enable or disable specific documents that may be submitted to the recipient.

Customer E-mail Options

Vendor E-mail Options

A feature I find particularly useful is, if you have customers or vendors that have size limits to their mailboxes, you can tailor Microsoft Dynamics GP to not allow file sizes above those limits.

I hope this review of the email capabilties of sales and purchasing documents has been useful. Please drop your comments and let me know whether you are using these features today in your business and if it has aliviated any of the past pains you’ve experienced by not having the functionality or in turn has created new problems.

Until next post!

MG.-
Mariano Gomez, MVP
Maximum Global Business, LLC
http://www.maximumglobalbusiness.com/


Top 10 Microsoft Dynamics GP freebies

August 26, 2010

With the amount of money customers pay for software and implementations nowadays, it only makes sense that they would want to maximize their investment. What better than free (as in no strings attached!) software that works as intended. Because of this, I have set out to compile a list of the top 10 free add-ons — in no particular order — that I would drop into ANY Microsoft Dynamics GP implementation, no questions asked!

1) Support Debugging Tool. Ok, so I am biased! I have talked about this product in two Microsoft conferences and to outright show how biased I am, I am also personal friends with the product’s author, David Musgrave. SDT is a collection of some of the most powerful administrative tools for Microsoft Dynamics GP currently available from anywhere, with rich features like Resource Information, Security Profiler, Dictionary Control, SQL Execute, Runtime Execute, XML Import/Export and the even more powerful Advance Debugger mode. So, where can you download this product? The product is available from Microsoft. If you are customer you MUST request it from your Microsoft Partner, and no, you shouldn’t need to pay for it. The product is available via PartnerSource. For more information on SDT, visit the Support Debugging Tool Portal page over at Developing for Dynamics GP.

2) VersionPro. I really like when someone can identify a problem and produce a simple, yet powerful solution. Are you currently having problems keeping tabs of all the dictionary product versions throughout your entire organization? Version Pro is an administrative tool designed to ease the hassles of maintaining workstations on your Dynamics GP network. It keeps track of each product you have installed at a system level – and takes the next step in ensuring that each and every workstation on your network is on the same version for every product. VersionPro is available from Rockton Software — yes, Mark Rockwell and his crew — and can be downloaded here.

3) Password Expiration Notice. How many times have you been frustrated by passwords expiring with no prior notification to you or your system administrator? While I have addressed this issue from a SQL Server perspective in my article Enforcing Password Policy with Microsoft Dynamics GP, my friend and fellow blogger Michael Johnson, the MBS Guru takes it a step forward by implementing a Visual Studio Tools customization to check up on expiring passwords. You can download Michael’s solution here.

4) Dynamics GP Productivity Pack Add-on. Do you work all day long with customer records? Won’t you like to be able to capture information much faster and visit the typical inquiry and transaction entry screens just from the Customer Maintenance window? Matt Landis and the folks over at Landis Computer have the answer. You can download Matt’s Productivity Pack Add-On here.

5) DexSense. Are you a die hard Dexterity developer? Wish you could have IntelliSense embedded in Dexterity to speed up your product development cycle? Just a few weeks aback I posted a call to vote on IntelliSense for Dexterity, but the answer came from the community. Tim Gordon at Alpine Limited in South Africa worked tirelessly to produce a solid first approach to IntelliSense with the product now being featured by MVP Leslie Vail in her new round of Dexterity training here in the United States. Now you can download Tim’s DexSense here.

6) SpellCheck for Dynamics GP. Who knew right? Tired of misspelling every word typed into those pesky note fields? SpellCheck for Dynamics GP provides spell-checking on any Note, Comment, Text or String field in GP and 3rd party products. SpellCheck can be attached to any text entry field in the application. This add-on is an essential tool for environments that rely heavily on the accuracy of every single word stored in their database. You can download SpellCheck here.

7) Menus for Visual Studio Tools. This is another great free add-on that allows the developer in you to place your WinForms on a standard Microsoft Dynamics GP menu. This gem is also created by Microsoft’s David Musgrave. For more information and links to download Menus for Visual Studio Tools click here.

8) Purchasing Account Required. Missing an expense account on a purchase order line item can be just a bit as annoying as having to figure out which line was missed. Michael Johnson puts out another piece of code that takes the thinking out of entering POs by making the Purchase Order account required in the process of entering the order. As if it wasn’t enough, you can download both the VBA and the VST versions of the customization here.

9) SmartSort.Perhaps you’ve already discovered that getting your hands on information inside of Microsoft Dynamics GP may not always be an easy proposition, despite the range of tools available. EthoTech SmartSort speeds up your inquiries — and your data entry — by eliminating as many as 3 mouse clicks per lookup. Now you can automatically sort lookup information in almost every conceivable way! Quickly find the information you need by customizing your own view based on built-in advanced sorting options or SmartList favorites. AND… you can use SmartSort with over 40 Microsoft Dynamics GP lookup windows. Download SmartSort here.

10) SOP Batch Split. I couldn’t have wrapped up the list without one of my own. Ever wish you could segregate invoices that have been transferred from orders in the same batch? What if all you want to do is change the batch name for a few sales transactions? Now you can do this with the SOP Batch Split tool. SOP Batch Split is a free add-on that uses Modifier with VBA and T-SQL stored procedures to perform a SOP batch transfer and is available here.

If you enjoyed this list and would like to know about other free products or suggest your own please add a comment to this post.

Until next post!

MG.-
Mariano Gomez, MVP
Maximum Global Business, LLC
http://www.maximumglobalbusiness.com/


Top 10 Microsoft Dynamics GP freebies

August 25, 2010

With the amount of money customers pay for software and implementations nowadays, it only makes sense that they would want to maximize their investment. What better than free (as in no strings attached!) software that works as intended. Because of this, I have set out to compile a list of the top 10 free add-ons — in no particular order — that I would drop into ANY Microsoft Dynamics GP implementation, no questions asked!

1) Support Debugging Tool. Ok, so I am biased! I have talked about this product in two Microsoft conferences and to outright show how biased I am, I am also personal friends with the product’s author, David Musgrave. SDT is a collection of some of the most powerful administrative tools for Microsoft Dynamics GP currently available from anywhere, with rich features like Resource Information, Security Profiler, Dictionary Control, SQL Execute, Runtime Execute, XML Import/Export and the even more powerful Advance Debugger mode. So, where can you download this product? The product is available from Microsoft. If you are customer you MUST request it from your Microsoft Partner, and no, you shouldn’t need to pay for it. The product is available via PartnerSource. For more information on SDT, visit the Support Debugging Tool Portal page over at Developing for Dynamics GP.

2) VersionPro. I really like when someone can identify a problem and produce a simple, yet powerful solution. Are you currently having problems keeping tabs of all the dictionary product versions throughout your entire organization? Version Pro is an administrative tool designed to ease the hassles of maintaining workstations on your Dynamics GP network. It keeps track of each product you have installed at a system level – and takes the next step in ensuring that each and every workstation on your network is on the same version for every product. VersionPro is available from Rockton Software — yes, Mark Rockwell and his crew — and can be downloaded here.

3) Password Expiration Notice. How many times have you been frustrated by passwords expiring with no prior notification to you or your system administrator? While I have addressed this issue from a SQL Server perspective in my article Enforcing Password Policy with Microsoft Dynamics GP, my friend and fellow blogger Michael Johnson, the MBS Guru takes it a step forward by implementing a Visual Studio Tools customization to check up on expiring passwords. You can download Michael’s solution here.

4) Dynamics GP Productivity Pack Add-on. Do you work all day long with customer records? Won’t you like to be able to capture information much faster and visit the typical inquiry and transaction entry screens just from the Customer Maintenance window? Matt Landis and the folks over at Landis Computer have the answer. You can download Matt’s Productivity Pack Add-On here.

5) DexSense. Are you a die hard Dexterity developer? Wish you could have IntelliSense embedded in Dexterity to speed up your product development cycle? Just a few weeks aback I posted a call to vote on IntelliSense for Dexterity, but the answer came from the community. Tim Gordon at Alpine Limited in South Africa worked tirelessly to produce a solid first approach to IntelliSense with the product now being featured by MVP Leslie Vail in her new round of Dexterity training here in the United States. Now you can download Tim’s DexSense here.

6) SpellCheck for Dynamics GP. Who knew right? Tired of misspelling every word typed into those pesky note fields? SpellCheck for Dynamics GP provides spell-checking on any Note, Comment, Text or String field in GP and 3rd party products. SpellCheck can be attached to any text entry field in the application. This add-on is an essential tool for environments that rely heavily on the accuracy of every single word stored in their database. You can download SpellCheck here.

7) Menus for Visual Studio Tools. This is another great free add-on that allows the developer in you to place your WinForms on a standard Microsoft Dynamics GP menu. This gem is also created by Microsoft’s David Musgrave. For more information and links to download Menus for Visual Studio Tools click here.

8) Purchasing Account Required. Missing an expense account on a purchase order line item can be just a bit as annoying as having to figure out which line was missed. Michael Johnson puts out another piece of code that takes the thinking out of entering POs by making the Purchase Order account required in the process of entering the order. As if it wasn’t enough, you can download both the VBA and the VST versions of the customization here.

9) SmartSort.Perhaps you’ve already discovered that getting your hands on information inside of Microsoft Dynamics GP may not always be an easy proposition, despite the range of tools available. EthoTech SmartSort speeds up your inquiries — and your data entry — by eliminating as many as 3 mouse clicks per lookup. Now you can automatically sort lookup information in almost every conceivable way! Quickly find the information you need by customizing your own view based on built-in advanced sorting options or SmartList favorites. AND… you can use SmartSort with over 40 Microsoft Dynamics GP lookup windows. Download SmartSort here.

10) SOP Batch Split. I couldn’t have wrapped up the list without one of my own. Ever wish you could segregate invoices that have been transferred from orders in the same batch? What if all you want to do is change the batch name for a few sales transactions? Now you can do this with the SOP Batch Split tool. SOP Batch Split is a free add-on that uses Modifier with VBA and T-SQL stored procedures to perform a SOP batch transfer and is available here.

If you enjoyed this list and would like to know about other free products or suggest your own please add a comment to this post.

Until next post!

MG.-
Mariano Gomez, MVP
Maximum Global Business, LLC
http://www.maximumglobalbusiness.com/


Enforcing Password Policy with Microsoft Dynamics GP

July 16, 2010

The ability to enforce password policies was introduced since version 9 of Microsot Dynamics GP (see Why does Microsoft Dynamics GP encrypt passwords? over at Developing for Dynamics GP for more information).

Surprisingly, still many system administrators are not taking advantage of this feature, because they have found it difficult to manage without certain reporting necessary to follow up on Microsoft Dynamics GP logins activity. The typical complaints revolve around the lack of visibility on when a user password will expire or whether the account has been locked or not.

To make administrative tasks even more difficult, Dynamics GP systems administrators must rely on database administrators and Windows Server administrators to resolve any issues arising from a user being locked out the system, typically working their way through a helpdesk on a relatively simple issue.

With that said, I set out to create a query that could provide systems administrators with an insight into Microsoft Dynamics GP logins and their password expiration settings:

LoginPolicies.sql

use master;
go
set nocount on;
go
declare @loginname varchar(200);

declare @logintbl table (
 LoginName varchar(20)
   ,IsLocked char(5)
   ,DaysUntilExpiration int
);

declare c_logins cursor for
  select [name] from sys.syslogins where name in
    (select USERID from DYNAMICS..SY01400);
open c_logins;

fetch next from c_logins into @loginname;
while @@FETCH_STATUS = 0
begin
 insert @logintbl(LoginName, IsLocked, DaysUntilExpiration)
 select
   @loginname
  ,case convert(smallint, LOGINPROPERTY(@loginname, 'IsLocked')) when 0 then 'No' when 1 then 'Yes' end
  ,convert(int, LOGINPROPERTY(@loginname, 'DaysUntilExpiration'));

 fetch next from c_logins into @loginname;
end

close c_logins;
deallocate c_logins;

select * from @logintbl;
go
set nocount off;
go

When the above query is executed in Microsoft SQL Server Management studio, it produces the following results:

LoginName            IsLocked DaysUntilExpiration
-------------------- -------- -------------------
sa                   No       NULL
DYNSA                No       NULL
LESSONUSER1          No       0
LESSONUSER2          No       NULL

Note that this query uses a table variable. If you are looking for a more permanent solution, you can replace the table variable for an actual table.

You may also use Support Debugging Tool’s SQL Execute option to run the above query — I have attached the configuration file for the script to be imported into Support Debugging Tool using the Configuration Import/Export option.

Many system administrators would also want to know when was the last time a user logged into GP, but unfortunately, SQL Server does not keep track of login activity, unless you enable some of the auditing functions. Another alternative is to enable Activity Tracking in GP and track all successful login attempts sorted from the most recent. You may then incorporate this information in the above query for a cohesive result.

Related Resources

Microsoft Dynamics GP Application Level Security Series @ Developing for Dynamics GP
The Scoope on Dynamics GP’s Application Password System @ Inside Dynamics GP

Downloads

Support Debugging Tool XML configuration file – LoginPolicies.dbg.xml

Until next post!

MG.-
Mariano Gomez, MVP
Maximum Global Business, LLC
http://www.maximumglobalbusiness.com/