Full Employment for Fargo

Carol Livingston of NCSI was kind enough to send me a Microsoft press release that MS is expanding its Fargo campus. This is a change from a few years ago when the rumor was that good employees were fleeing Fargo for Seattle.
Having been to Fargo, I can definitively say that there is plenty of flat land for expansion.
Ultimately they want to grow Fargo from about 1,300 people (employees, vendors, contractors, flunkies, interns, entourage, groupies and fanboys) to 3,800 people and this is one step in making room. Well, there’s already plenty of room, this just puts a roof over their heads.
Ultimately this is good for us GP folks. GP has deep roots in Fargo and many of us have fond memories…er…hazy, alcohol filled memories of time spent in Fargo. Not to mention the really long walk to the lobby of the Holiday Inn when you find yourself locked out of your room in just your underwear. But that story belongs to someone else so we’ll leave it there.
Here’s the press release. Oh yeah, phase one of the plan includes connecting all the buildings. That should save money on rescue dogs in the winter.

GP 10: Is It Loose Yet?

Computerworld claims that GP10 is available through partners starting yesterday (Sunday, June 17). The article is full of holes so I’m not sure if this refers to new clients only. (Someone in the article is upgrading from the non-existent version 8.5 and if your partner is open on Sunday somebody let me know.)
I suspect it’s new clients only with upgrade disks shipping soon. The Dynamics website is touting GP10’s enhancements but doesn’t discuss availability.
The Solomon guys appear to be getting the shaft again. GP 10 is touted on the Dynamics main page and the new SL 7 isn’t mentioned until I logged on to Customersource.
GP news has been light lately as we build up to the release of Version 10 and I took that time to go on vacation. I’m back now, rested and ready to give the site a good kick start.

Update: Mary Jo Foley says it’s loose. She also reminds us that GP is going to an 18-24 month release schedule. That means that you’ll have time actually apply a service pack or two before the next upgrade. But what will they talk about at Convergence?

SQL Server 2005 Performance Dashboard

For those of you looking to tune the SQL performance of your GP installation, take a look at the new Performance Dashboard from Microsoft. This is a free add on to SQL Server 2005 but you have to be running SP2.
So what is SQL Server 2005 Performance Dashboard? I’ll let the MS folks tell you:
The SQL Server 2005 Performance Dashboard Reports are Reporting Services report files designed to be used with the Custom Reports feature introduced in the SP2 release of SQL Server Management Studio.
The reports allow a database administrator to quickly identify whether there is a current bottleneck on their system, and if a bottleneck is present, capture additional diagnostic data that may be necessary to resolve the problem.
For example, if the system is experiencing waits for disk IO the dashboard allows the user to quickly see which sessions are performing the most IO, what query is running on each session and the query plan for each statement.

Common performance problems that the dashboard reports may help to resolve include:
– CPU bottlenecks (and what queries are consuming the most CPU)
– IO bottlenecks (and what queries are performing the most IO).
– Index recommendations generated by the query optimizer
(missing indexes)
– Blocking
– Latch contention

The information captured in the reports is retrieved from SQL Server’s dynamic management views. There is no additional tracing or data capture required, which means the information is always available and this is a very inexpensive means of monitoring your server.
Reporting Services is not required to be installed to use the
Performance Dashboard Reports.
Sounds pretty cool doesn’t it! It looks good too!

The folks at SQL-Server-Performance.com have all the details on installing and using Performance Dashboard with lots of screen shots.
You can get the Performance Dashboard from Microsoft as well as SQL Server 2005 SP2.

Little Fixes

DynamicAccounting.net moved to a new server over the weekend and in the process, the permissions for Downloads broke. Everything is fixed now. If you’ve tried downloading in the last couple of days without success it should all be working now.

Convergence 2007 DVD’s Are Shipping

I got the email below today so it looks like the Convergence DVD’s are shipping. This seems faster than last year so kudos on either getting them out sooner or reducing my expectations.

————–



Dear Convergence 2007 Attendee,

This e-mail serves as confirmation that your Convergence 2007 DVD set has been shipped and you should be receiving it within 1-2 weeks (International locations may take longer).  The DVD set has been sent via the U.S. Postal Service to the address included with your registration information.  

If you do not receive your DVD set within the specified time, please e-mail Convergence2007DVD@interactservices.com for further assistance.

For more information about the Convergence 2007 DVD set, including how you can order additional copies, please access https://www.msconvergence.com

Thanks again for your participation in Convergence 2007!

Convergence 2007 Team

—————-

Best of Breed vs. Fully Integrated

I had a very nice chat with some folks who are implementing GP and struggling with the age old question of best of breed vs. fully integrated in their fixed asset accounting. They are coming off of FAS which is a long time leader in fixed asset accounting with lots of bells and whistles but integration can be a challenge, especially integration at the PO/Asset Creation point. GP’s Fixed Asset module is not as fully functional as FAS and can cause some pain if you have really complex issues.

I’ve used FAS in an Oracle environment, worked in a fully DIS integrated shop (GEAC, SAP, GP, Peoplesoft and custom all in one company) and we’re fully integrated with the exception of AR. In our environment, we needed the AR flexibility of a industry specialized vertical app. We have it partially integrated with GP but we still have challenges. There is no good GP option for our AR needs and we’d rather spend the money for a solid app and integration than customizations. I’d love to be a fully integrated shop but since I can’t, we’ve erected big barriers for any non-integrated applications. Only one has made it over the hurdle.

Often I find this a company culture thing. Money and time are budgeted to add an application but nothing is included for integration. Alternatively, since integration is often a last step, integration is killed in an over-time/over-budget implementation to the long term detriment of the company. There’s no one answer but I’m a little surprised at how big an issue this continues to be give that it’s been a problem since the PC was invented.

Best of Breed

vs.

Fully Integrated

The Dynamics Live Team

In their continuing saga of Naked Dynamics, we get a look at the Dynamics Live team in their most recent post. It’s hard to be cynical about a team that feeds their coder Guinness and turns him loose!
My only complaint, the Dynamics Live Team is averaging 1 post a month. How about we go for broke and double that for May?

SQL Server 2008?

I’m still getting to know SQL Server 2005. We had the luxury of all those years with SQL2K that I don’t know what I’m going to do with new releases. But it looks like the next version of SQL Server is scheduled for 2008.
It’s all part of Microsoft’s Business Intelligence push. Expect to see SQL connected to your ERP as the backend, SQL Reporting Services and Office as the front end and Sharepoint in the middle.
My take, it’s still not easy enough to set all this stuff, make it work right and make it easy for a power user. Maybe in 2008.

Sage Realigning

TMC net reports that Sage is realigning their products. For folks who sell GP this will be “kick the competitor when they’re down” month. I don’t create the behavior, I simply describe it.

Weekly Dynamic: Uninstalling FRx

FRx is one of the flakiest pieces of software in the GP suite. Integration Manager often competes for this prize but FRx is still the repeat champ.
After installing GP without problems on Windows Vista Business, I’m stuck with an FRx installation that won’t load. Yes SP9 (9 service packs!) is installed. In shame I finally slinked over to tech support. First step, uninstall FRx. It’s more complicated than you think to really get rid of it so here are the steps. Next week, I’ll explain how I finally got FRx running on Vista (hopefully!). Backup any existing Sysdata directories before you start please. I don’t want to hear any whining!
To Uninstall FRx on XP or Vista:
1) Uninstall the app via Add/Remove Programs or Programs and Features
2) Delete the FRx installation directory
3) Delete/Rename the FRx.ini file in the Windows Directory
4) Delete the registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE | Software | FRx Software (Backup the registry first or roll the registry dice. It’s your machine.)
5) Blow that screwed up install of FRx a big kiss goodbye before you do a reinstall.