Dynamics GP 2010 R2 Database SDK – Siva


I was in fact awaiting Sivakumar’s post about the new section that he has been working on. I got the privilege to go thru’ this first before his post went public.

Siva’s new section is all about GP 2010 R2 SQL Objects (Tables, DBs, Stored Procedures, Views, etc.). Like the one we have in MS Word documents that can be accessed from GP SDK, this is also an interesting concept and also very informative for all developers out there, who may not have access to SQL Server on a real time.

Read his post here, Dynamics GP 2010 R2 Database SDK, and share your thoughts with him. 

I am sure this is going to be of immense help for all of us.

VAIDY

GP Homepage Layout Mass Update – Thru’ SQL


I love SQL. Simply because, it eases lot of pain in doing some redundant work.

When you create a user, by default, GP creates the following segments on his/her homepage:

1. To Do (Reminders/Tasks)
2. My Reports
3. Microsoft Outlook
4. Quick Links
5. Connect (links to Online Resources such as CustomerSource, Forums, Blogs, etc.)
6. Metrics (quick dashboards for users)

All of the above work perfectly, but at some stages (especially when you are working on a GP Terminal Server) some of these components would halt GP for a while, not allowing users to do anything.

One classic example is Microsoft Outlook. We recently migrated our Email Services to Microsoft Office 365. For those users who use Thin Client to on their day-to-day job, Terminal Server is THE destination. Quite obviously, Terminal Server has got Outlook installed.

Before Office 365, Outlook profile used to connect to our on-premise Exchange Server. After migration, we had to change the profile from Exchange Server to Office 365 hosting server.

Whenever a user logs on to Terminal Server and opens GP, GP will halt for at least 3-5 mins to get this Outlook configured. I am getting calls from users (yes, even now) that their GP session does not work and they are not able to do anything. Following icon shows up on their taskbar when this happens:

It didn’t take me much time to realize that all these users had added Microsoft Outlook on their GP homepage.

“Do we really need Outlook on GP homepage?” is a question to be asked to oneself. Yes, Microsoft has integrated your ERP with one of the most used product by maximum business users. Agreed. But is that alone a reason for you to use it? Let’s not get into that argument in this post, anyways.

I had to take a stand and remove Microsoft Outlook from those users’ homepage. But then, I don’t know, right now, about how many users out of 100+ total users have added Outlook on their homepage.

Certainly not without the help of a SQL query.

The table where this information has got stored is SY08100 (Technical Name: syHomePageLayout). In this table, the column SectionID denotes the sections which are available for a user to add to his/her homepage. Following is the legend:

1 – To Do (Reminders/Tasks/Cues)
2 – Microsoft Outlook
3 – Metrics (quick dashboards for users)
4 – My Reports (links to users’ favorite reports and smartlists)
5 – Quick Links (links to users’ frequently used windows)
6 – Connect (links to Online Resources for GP such as Forums, Blogs, etc.)

Typically, for each user, this table will contain 6 rows, each row denoting each of above section. SY08100 also contains a column named Visible. This denotes whether or not to show a particular section on GP homepage.

For instance, if user SA has setup his GP homepage to show To Do, My Reports & Quick Links to show up, the following will be SY08100 records:

So, if I want to hide Microsoft Outlook from all users’ homepage, I just have to execute the following SQL query on DYNAMICS database:

UPDATE SY08100 SET Visible = WHERE SectionID = 2

We must also understand one thing. Users can always add this again thru’ Customize this page… option. So this is NOT A PERMANENT SOLUTION.

Whenever there is a necessity, as in my case, you can certainly rely on this SQL method to do a homepage layout mass update.

VAIDY

Test Company Posting Journal File Destinations


One thing we all must remember while restoring a Live Company DB onto a Test Company DB is, that several places in GP tables, Company ID is stored. We have a SQL Script that will search ALL tables and ALL columns that contain the Inter ID (SQL ID for each GP database) and replace the live DB ID with test DB ID.

This post explains some specific cases where the Posting Journals of all transaction types are destined to a text file. Typically, in a multi-company environment, consultants would setup the path for all Posting Journals with the respective company Inter ID (or any folder name that uniquely identify each company).

I will explain you an ideal scenario, where this poses an issue.

I would restore live backup onto a Test Company and run the SQL script that will replace all live company ID references to test company ID. But my Posting Journals File destination is a simple string value, something like below (I have taken Purchase as a sample series):

:C:Journals/[CompanyID]/Purchase/[JournalReportName].txt

So if my live company ID is, for instance, VMLIVE, then the above path would like this:

:C:Journals/VMLIVE/Purchase/JournalReportName.txt

Whenever I post a purchase transaction, my Posting Journal detail would go and get append on this file, which I can audit at any point of time.

Now, consider that my Test Company ID is VMTEST. When I restore my live backup onto my test company and run the SQL script which replace live company reference with test company ID, everything would get fixed except this. Since the value stored in File Destination field in the Posting Journal Destinations table (SY02200) is NOT JUST the company ID, but the above Filename with Path.

After restoration and I post a purchase transaction on my test company, the posting information get appended on the file JournalReportName.txt on the path C:\Journals\VMLIVE\Purchase, which is WRONG. It’s not just wrong. Your posting journal file gets dumped with test entries as well as live entries. If any client audits the Posting Journal files as part of their internal process(es), then it’s a big trouble.

In such scenarios, where all posting journals are destined to a text file on a path identified specifically by a company ID or name, the GP Administrator must make sure that the field FILEXPNM (File Export Name) on table SY02200 (Posting Journal Destinations) must be properly updated before we post any test entires. Below is the simple UPDATE statement which would fix this:

UPDATE SY02200
SET FILEXPNM = REPLACE(FILEXPNM, ‘[LiveCompanyID/Name]‘, ‘[TestCompanyID/Name]‘)

Where [LiveCompanyID/Name] denotes the value which identifies your Live Company and [TestCompanyID/Name] denotes the value which identifies your Test Company.

VAIDY

SQL Tip: Find Table(s) Having A Particular Column


This SQL query is my savior for a long time now. Thought I would just share it with all budding SQL developers.

Q: How to find the table(s) which contain a particular column which I know?
A: Below is the query that would do the trick.

SELECT name 
FROM sys.objects 
WHERE object_id IN 
(
SELECT object_id 
FROM sys.columns 
WHERE name = [columnname] –Column which you would want to locate
)

This query will return all tables which contains the specific column. And this query also would save your time immensely.

VAIDY

Perils of Using of DEX_ROW_ID on Customization / Integration – David


This one is certainly a nasty issue, if we are going to use DEX_ROW_ID value on customization or integration.

I have personally fallen into a trap by using DEX_ROW_ID on my customization. But now, it’s all wisdom out of that bad experience.

Only time when I normally depend on a DEX_ROW_ID is to sort records to understand which record was entered last in the table. That itself may not be always correct. So we may have to add other logical fields that are relevant to a particular record.

For instance, if I have to list out transactions entered on a particular day and check in the order in which the records are created, I would use the Transaction Date and DEX_ROW_ID as SORT ORDER.

There are many other reasons, but restrict yourself to use DEX_ROW_ID only for selecting records and analyze it.

VAIDY

Using SQL to retrieve number of records in a table – David


David gives an alternate SQL option for the simple COUNT(*) and explain how it improves the performance as against COUNT(*).

You may have to go thru’ the comments as well; some comments discuss the post further.

VAIDY

User Access Setup Error: GPS Error RevokeUserAudit: 58


I faced this error message from the time I upgraded to GP2010 R2. The error message is thrown when we revoke access to a user on a company. Below is the exact sequence of error messages that I received:

Since I had not doing this frequently (it’s maximum 3 users in 6 months) and also the purpose of revoking access was working without any issues, I did not consider this as a harmful message.

Yesterday, I had to revoke access to users for an existing company due to some maintenance. Minimum of 10 users and I started receiving this error message each time I select a user and revoke access. It’s then I decided to check this out and clear it once for all.

I could get only one link with exact error message, which I found on our Community Forum. User Access Setup Error: GPS Error RevokeUserAudit: 58.

Let me explain what I did to get rid of this.

1. Check the second error message. It says it did not find the stored procedure *mxCallRevokeUserAudit*.

2. I checked whether this stored procedure is available on any other company that I had on my GP environment. I could not find one on any company.

3. I was intrigued by the name of this stored procedure since, it’s not similar to any Microsoft Dynamics GP SQL object naming convention.

4. I then launched GP and opened Tables Resource Description (Microsoft Dynamics GP -> Tools -> Resource Descriptions -> Tables).

5. Since the message said something about *Audit*, I thought I would first check with *Audit Trails* module. To my surprise (and joy, of course), Physical Name of all tables started with *MX*.

6. I then concluded that the SQL Stored Procedure what I am looking at, is also of *Audit Trails* module.

Now I could not do much with that, since I could not find that stored procedure anywhere. I checked my GP licenses and it did not cover *Audit Trails* module at all.

When I upgraded to Microsoft Dynamics GP2010 R2, I had selected this module also for installation. Since this module is not covered under my license, it installed the dictionary but it did not create the SQL procedures (that’s my assumption and I may be wrong).

The only option that was left; to remove this product from my environment (by removing DYNAMICS.SET file contents alone and not the dictionary itself).

This removed that now (in)famous error message.

VAIDY

Don’t update "Batch Status" thru’ SQL when users are logged on


A user complained about a batch not being able to be posted. The error message is something like this: This batch is currently receiving transactions.

Normally when a user complains about something like this, a GP Administrator or Consultant’s immediate step is to check what the *Batch Status* field holds in SY00500 (Batch Header) table. The legend for this field says:

0 – Available – BATCH_AVAILABLE
1 – Marked to Post – BATCH_POSTING
2 – Marked to Delete – BATCH_DELETING
3 – Marked to Receive – BATCH_RECEIVING
4 – BATCH_DONE_POSTING
5 – BATCH_PRINTING
6 – BATCH_UPDATING
7 – BATCH_POSTING_INCOMPLETE
8 – BATCH_PRINTING_INCOMPLETE
9 – BATCH_UPDATING_INCOMPLETE
10- BATCH_RECURRING_INCOMPLETE
11 – BATCH_POSTED_WITH_ERROR

And quite apparently, in my case, it was 3. i.e. BATCH_RECEIVING. It’s very easy to update this field back to ZERO that denotes BATCH_AVAILABLE, so user can post it.

I could have also done the same thing. But I did not. I just wanted to make sure that this batch indeed did not receive any transactions. How do we identify whether a batch is receiving transactions or not? That I will address in another post.

This one is intended to caution a Consultant or Administrator NOT to update *Batch Status* thru’ SQL for any batch which is marked as BATCH_RECEIVING when users are logged on.

It would break a valid transaction being saved in this particular batch. When a batch receive transactions, GP locks this batch from getting posted only by updating the *Batch Status* field with BATCH_RECEIVING. By changing that from back end, we are risking batch getting corrupted.

Tell the user that he/she has to wait. And wait till users log off from GP. And then check whether the *Batch Status* becomes BATCH_AVAILABLE. In case it is not, then you update it thru’ SQL.

It is worth waiting for sometime than trying to clear a mess. I take this opportunity to insist again: SQL is not ALWAYS an appropriate approach for issues that we face in GP.

UPDATE: David has sent me a link, which quite obviously I missed mentioning here. How did I miss this? We do have a way to release stuck batches without logging off users.

VAIDY

Stuck Receivables Transaction due to Incorrect Amounts


Yesterday, I received a support request from one of our users who tried posting a batch full of receivables transactions and received an error message for one transaction whose distribution amounts did not match document amount.

It was suppose to be a simple task to release this transaction for edit, but due to some reason this transaction got stuck in between. It did not come back to it’s original batch and quite obviously it did not get posted either due to that error.

Following are the steps involved in releasing that transaction:

CHECKS

1. Check whether the transaction is still in RM10301 (RM Sales Work) table.

In my case it was still in RM10301 table.

2. Check the fields BACHNUMB (Batch Number) and BCHSOURC (Batch Source) in RM10301 table for that transaction.

In my case, BACHNUMB contained the USER ID who tried posting the batch; BCHSOURC contained XRM_Sales instead of RM_Sales, since it was in the middle of posting process and got stuck.

3. Check whether a batch with that user’s USER ID is created in SY00500 (Batch Header) table.

In my case, there was indeed a batch with that User ID. Because of which, this user could not open Receivables Transaction Entry window and was receiving the (in)famous error message “A previous transaction level posting… … …”.

CORRECTION STEPS

1. I first created a Receivables batch (I named it as RM-RECOV).

2. Through SQL Server Management Studio, I updated RM10301 table fields BACHNUMB and BCHSOURC as follows:

BACHNUMB = ‘RM-RECOV’
BCHSOURC = ‘RM_Sales’

3. Deleted the batch [USER ID] from SY00500 table, to remove user’s transaction posting session lock.

4. Tried opening that transaction on Receivables Transaction Entry form. Since the batch number RM-RECOV was updated through backend, it did not obviously update batch information. Due to which, I still could not open this transaction.

5. As a final step, I ran Receivables Reconcile Batch Information (Tools => Utilities => Sales => Reconcile). This step updated the amount from that erroneous transaction on to batch RM-RECOV.

After above steps, user was then able to reopen that transaction and edit it.

Bottomline: SQL approach is not always the only option for consultants to clear such issues. We need to perform some crucial application level tasks that would compliment SQL methods.

VAIDY