Aug 16, 2004

Results of Great Plains 8.0 and FRx 6.7 upgrade

As i wrote last week, i was getting ready to do our first upgrade to a Microsoft Business Solutions Great Plains 8.0 system. Along with FRx Analytics 6.7. Everything went very smooth through out my several jumps from Dynamics 5.0 all the way up to Great Plains Standard 8.0 on MSDE. Here are a few things that i made note of...

  • The actual company upgrade part of the process where the data conversion takes place seemed to be a little more tolerable to you doing other things on the PC at the same time. Normally if the upgrade is running and you try to pull up another window, the Great Plains Utilities window will go all grey and show as "not responding". But now i was able to do something else and flip back to monitor the conversion and after a few seconds the screen would refresh and the progress bar would become active again. Nice.
  • A few new elements related to the 8.0 installation itself - you are now asked separately to define the System password and then a DYNSA password. You can also specify if you want the Lesson User sample users created and if so, what passwords you want. Blank passwords are not allowed in GP 8.0 anymore. And system admins will be glad to hear that they don't have to give out the SQL 'sa' password anymore. The GP administrator can use the DYNSA account to create users and manage security and other tasks that previously required the 'sa' account.
  • The FRx 6.7 installation requires that you update to MDAC 2.8. So as soon as you get started on the FRx install, you have to cancel and then go back to the splash screen and select "Install FRx Prerequisites" and there you can find the install for MDAC 2.8.

  • Then once the FRx install actually kicks off, you'll see it automatically install the Microsoft .Net Framework 1.1. So apparently they've been doing some of the FRx overhaul in a .Net language. Or maybe the new FRx Report Manager is written in a .Net language. I did see some totally redesigned windows within FRx - namely the Company Setup window and the Spec Set setup window.

  • If you recall from previous FRx implementations, you always would get this "Check OFSI..." error message the first time you ran FRx. This would require that you run an additional FRx script against your DYNAMICS database. It created a new table that held a timezone value. Then you ran another script to insert your timezone into this table. MBS support has confirmed that this is no longer required. Yeah!! This process now takes place automatically when the DYNAMICS database is created in Great Plains Utilities.

  • I also had to run a database migration for this project to go from the Pervasive database to an MSDE database. Since Pervasive doesn't exist in the GP 8.0 world, you must do the migration at the GP 7.5 level. So you have your GP 7.5 Pervasive version running and then you build a GP 7.5 SQL/MSDE version on the same machine. Then you run the migration tool to push the data from the Pervasive system into MSDE. Only issue i ran into here was with the extra tool included in the migration kit called "SQLCreateObjects". This is a chunk file that you load into your system once its deployed on the production server and it looks at your list of Great Plains user accounts and then builds the matching SQL user accounts automatically. A very handy tool. But since the migration kit is for GP 7.5, this tool didn't work for me when i installed it in the clients GP 8.0 system. This meant i had to manually create those SQL accounts and set security to the proper databases. There are also some SQL scripts available to help with this but i just did it by hand since their were so few user accounts.
So there are a few new twists that'll you'll run into when you get your first crack at a Microsoft Business Solutions Great Plains 8.0 update. Let me know if you have any questions.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey Jason - Thanks for a job well done!! On time and under budget!! Guess Who..

Victor said...

Jason:
I'm getting Invalid Argument and Provider errors after installing Frx 6.7 in a Citrix environment. I also get the errors in Integration Manager and when trying to hit GP tables linked in an access database.

It's kind of sporadic. I can run a report ok one time and if I run it again I get the error.

I'm on GP 7.5.

I did install mdac 2.8 and Jet 4.0 sp8

Have you seen this before?

Thanks, Victor...

Anonymous said...

Can Frx be used without admin rights, and if so how can this be accomplised? Please email me at bknott@regentcomm.com