Microsoft Great Plains or former Great Plains Software Dynamics/eEnterprise is very good platform for service business automation, including midsize and large corporations, specializing in routine projects: placement, small contracts to residential and small business customers, franchisee networks, distribution, etc. In our small article we will be giving you example of medical personnel placement projects, where hospitals and clinics are the customers. The advantage of such standard-functionality system as Great Plains/Dynamics GP is reasonable price and very reliable database platform: MS SQL Server. The other way is to deploy rich-functionality ERP, such as SAP R/3/mySAP, Oracle Financials, however the implementation, customization and integration cost would be a way higher.
o Timesheet import. Placement industry is underserved and placement application market is very weak, this results in a high demand in standard ERP customizations. Usually placement agency has CRM application with sophisticated or simple time and expenses logging functionality. This time logs should be integrated with project accounting timesheet header and line tables. Timesheet import should come in parallel with the import of new customers, new contracts and projects. Tables: PA10000 – Timesheet header and PA10001 – Timesheet line, PA01901 – PA Key Master, PA01301 – PA Budget Master, PA01101 – Contract Master and PA01201 – Project Master.
o Employee Expenses. Your temps usually file you expense reports, especially if they are traveling to remote locations/hospitals/clinics
o Billing Process. In the billing itself you usually need fixes to Project, Contract and Timesheet records – if you deploy simple custom logic and user defined fields plus notes. Prior to billing you typically run SQL scripts and stored procedures. The necessity of this custom logic should be attributed to legacy design – please note that GP was designed as database and graphical platform independent application/MRP back in the earlier 1990th. Its IDE and programming language is kind of a shell written in C – Great Plains Dexterity, current name is Microsoft Dexterity.
o Invoice Formats/Forms. Great Plains Project Accounting is former MatchData Dexterity third party module. The initial design was done in Philippines at the end of 20th century. Since then Great Plains Software tried to integrate PA into DYNAMICS.DIC (as well as its new acquisitions – Great Plains Manufacturing), later on the decision was made to keep third party (now purchased and integrated modules) in their own dictionaries. Further complication – Project Green was intended to merge all the applications into one: Microsoft Navision, Axapta, Solomon, Great Plains – currently the idea is to have web portal type of integration. As you can expect – the invoice form is very flexible and is probably too generic for the standard functionality of GP Project Accounting. You might need Dexterity custom touches to activate required features
o For C#/VB.Net developers. With the version 9.0
Microsoft Dynamics GP will be exposing you Microsoft Great Plains objects and forms. This is not a Dexterity, however you should be familiar with Dexterity design and architecture.
o Dexterity Legacy. You should still see it out there: DYNAMICS.SET, DEX.INI, DEX.EXE. In some cases we see ancient legacy applications, coming back to 1980th – Great Plains Accounting for DOS and MS Windows: 9.2, 9.5. The only recommendation to the customers who are without GP/MS support – upgrade to Microsoft Dynamics GP Standard 9.0
o Future Directions. Microsoft Dynamics GP has a long history of success. However in the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Continental Europe Microsoft Business Solutions is now promoting new MRP/ERP application, originally developed and designed by Navision Software – Microsoft Dynamics AX/Microsoft Axapta/Navision Axapta
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