How to Upgrade Dexterity Customization - Tips for IT Manager


If you have Microsoft Great Plains and support it for your company and have light or heavy Great Plains customization, written in Dexterity - you need to know your options in upgrading Great Plains or migrating it from ctree/Pervasive to MS SQL/MSDE.

Great Plains Dexterity is proprietary programming language/environment, which was created in early 1990-th to provide platform / database / graphical interface independence for Mac and Windows based Great Plains Dynamics.  Today it is legacy and Microsoft Business Solutions is phasing Dexterity out.

However Great Plains 7.5 and even 8.0 is Dexterity based application, so you have to deal with it and it's customization.

 

Good news.  Prior to version 7.0 Great Plains had plans on expanding GP functionality and so was changing tables structure - forcing Dexterity customization to be analyzed and partially rewritten with each upgrade.  Not any more - GP structure stays the same - Microsoft is doing new modules acquisition and unifying it's graphical interface to move all it's ERP packages: Great Plains, Solomon, Navision and Axapta to web-based Microsoft Business Portal.

 

Still pain.  Dexterity has possibility to customize existing Great Plains screens, so called Alternative Great Plains forms.  This was upgrade problem in the past and it stays now - there is no way to do it in house (until you are willing to pay for full-time internal developer - who is usually in the learning curve).  You got to bring in consultant.

Recommended approach.  You should have the strategy to migrate Dexterity customization to SQL, Crystal Reports, custom web publishing - Visual Studio.net and slowly abandon Dexterity customization

  • SQL Stored procedures - performance improvement.  Consider replacing dexterity data manipulation with SQL stored procedures.  Dexterity is cursor-driven language and it is not efficient when processing huge datasets.
  • Crystal Reports.  Take advantage of open and leading technology.  Crystal Reports will eliminate the need in the future for painstaking Dexterity reports upgrade.  Base you Crystal report on the SQL view or stored proc
  • Do direct web publishing off your GP database.  Use Visual Studio - it is easy to find specialists and have them in staff.  We are in the World when web publishing is very easy.
  • Good luck and if you have issues or concerns - we are here to help! if you want us to do the job - give us a call 1-866-528-0577! help@albaspectrum.com

    Andrew Karasev is Chief Technology Officer in Alba Spectrum Technologies - USA nationwide Great Plains, Microsoft CRM customization company, based in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Boston, New York, Houston, Dallas, Miami, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Seattle and having locations in multiple states and internationally (www.albaspectrum.com), he is Dexterity, SQL, C#.Net, Crystal Reports and Microsoft CRM SDK developer.


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