Mar 22, 2007

Test post using FeedBurner

I just added a FeedBurner feed to my site in hopes it'll fix some of my problems (wrong dates on feeds and no links) and provide some additional functionality.

My new feed is http://feeds.feedburner.com/TechRoundup

PDF Preview Handler for Outlook 2007

I love the new "attachment preview" feature in Microsoft Outlook 2007. There is where you can click on certain attachment types (Word, Excel, etc.) and view the attachment right in Outlook 2007 without having to launch a seperate product.

I know we'd all like to be open those PDF attachments in the same manner. There is no official PDF support yet - either from Adobe or Microsoft but I've found there are a few people out there creating their own.

I'm using "PDF Preview Handler for Outlook/Vista" by Ryan Gregg. It works with Windows XP, even though its not listed on the page. It does require Adobe Acrobat Reader 7.x or later.

The other one that I found is "Foxit PDF Preview Handler". This one uses the light weight Foxit PDF reader, for those that don't want to use Adobe Acrobat. This one apparently only works with Windows Vista so I haven't been able to test it out yet.

Also, these previewers should allow you to preview PDF files in Explorer when browsing files in Windows Vista.

Mar 21, 2007

Feed posts are out of order and no links in posts

For anyone reading my blog via the RSS/Atom feed, i've just noticed that the posting date is wrong on all of the posts i've submitted recently. The posts on the website are fine (www.JasonHartman.net), its just the feed posts that are messed up.

Seems to be a problem others are having with Blogger. I'll see what I can do to fix it.

Also, I've noticed that since moving over from the "classic" Blogger to the new/beta Blogger, that the links aren't showing up in my feed posts either. I'm reading feeds in Outlook 2007.

I'm trying to clean up these issues. I'd also be curious to hear from anyone what would recommend another blogging platform for me. And I'd of course want a fairly easy way to migrate all of my past posts to the new platform.

Thanks,

Jason

Microsoft Dynamics partner news screensaver

One interesting tidbit that I heard at Convergence was about the release of a screensaver that partners could run that would pull in newsfeeds from PartnerSource. I've tried it out and it's pretty cool. You can select which products you want to hear about (Dynamics GP, NAV or AX). And you can select whether you want business news and/or technical news. Also a few settings for how often you want it to look for new articles or change the picture.

If you have a PartnerSource account you can download it from this page.

The text below is from the description:

The Microsoft Dynamics Partner Instant Update Screensaver gives you the opportunity to get updates on an ongoing basis from the global Microsoft Dynamics Product Management teams. It offers you the opportunity to get global updates directly to your desktop. The news column in the left hand side of the screensaver is updated with new announcements on an ongoing basis and links to the full details on PartnerSource. Once installed, news updates will be fed automatically to your screen whenever you are online and the screensaver is activated.

Install the screensaver on your machine and specify your preferences using "settings" in the top right corner of the screensaver.

Microsoft Office 2007 compatibility pack for previous versions of Office

If you have an older version of Microsoft Office (Office 2000, Office XP, Office 2003), you can download an Office Compatibility Pack which will give you the ability to work with the new XML-based file formats use in Word, Excel and PowerPoint 2007.

Details on the pack are available here.

Or you can jump directly to the download page.

  • Supported Operating Systems: Windows 2000 Service Pack 4; Windows Server 2003; Windows XP Service Pack 1
  • Recommended Microsoft Office programs:
    • Microsoft Word 2000 with Service Pack 3, Microsoft Excel 2000 with Service Pack 3, and Microsoft PowerPoint 2000 with Service Pack 3

    • Microsoft Word 2002 with Service Pack 3, Microsoft Excel 2002 with Service Pack 3, and Microsoft PowerPoint 2002 with Service Pack 3

    • Microsoft Office Word 2003 with at least Service Pack 1, Microsoft Office Excel 2003 with at least Service Pack 1, and Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2003 with at least Service Pack 1

    • Microsoft Office Word Viewer 2003

    • Microsoft Office Excel Viewer 2003

    • Microsoft Office PowerPoint Viewer 2003

Save as PDF or XPS in Microsoft Office 2007

Because of some legal reasons, Microsoft wasn't able to include the "Save as PDF" feature in the new Office 2007 suite but you can download it for free from this link.

It also gives you the ability to save as an XPS document - which is Microsoft's version of a PDF-type document.

  • Supported Operating Systems: Windows Server 2003; Windows XP Service Pack 2
  • This download works with the following Office programs:
    • Microsoft Office Access 2007
    • Microsoft Office Excel 2007
    • Microsoft Office InfoPath 2007
    • Microsoft Office OneNote 2007
    • Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007
    • Microsoft Office Publisher 2007
    • Microsoft Office Visio 2007
    • Microsoft Office Word 2007

Mar 10, 2007

Convergence 2007 Blogging

I've setup "Mobile Blogging" on my blog so I'll be able to send text and images from my smartphone phone this week while I'm at Convergence. What is Convergence you say? It's the grand daddy of all Microsoft Dynamics conferences. It officially kicks off tomorrow in San Diego and runs thru March 14th. This site can tell you all about it.

So keep an eye out for my "photo journal" - it looks like you'll actually need to come to my site to see the pictures. They don't appear to publish thru the RSS feed.

first mobile post

Mar 6, 2007

Microsoft Dynamics GP and Windows Vista compatibility

I had the opportunity to work on my first Microsoft Dynamics GP 9.0 (Great Plains) installation on a Windows Vista workstation.

There is a Microsoft TK article that says you need to disable the User Account Control (UAC) security feature or change the installation location to somewhere outside of \Program Files\. I did turn off UAC but not until later in the process after GP was already installed but before I ran it for the first time, so I can't comment if GP would have worked with UAC enabled. It did installed fine with UAC enabled. I had an issue installing Service Pack 2 for GP 9.0 so disabling UAC was part of my troubleshooting effort.

While installing SP2 , I received the following message:

"A fatal error has encountered.
The Microsoft Dynamics GP installation has ended prematurely. Click Finish to exit the installation."

To remedy this situation, you need to install Service Pack 1 for the .Net Framework 1.1, according to this TK article. My installation of SP2 went fine once I installed that service pack. I was then able to launch GP and connect to the server.

I'm not sure why the .Net Framework 1.1 even comes into play since Windows Vista already includes version 3.0 of the .Net Framework. Mixing versions of the .Net Framework has been a bad idea in my experience.

The official word on Integration Manager 9.0 and FRx 6.7 is that they are currently NOT compatible with Vista. FRx 6.7 SP9 is supposed to be compatible but this release isn't available on PartnerSource or CustomerSource yet. I'm assuming they are working on a new service pack for Integration Manager to make it compatible as well. Also, the Automatic Payroll Tax Update in GP is not compatible with Vista. You'll need to pull in those tax updates from another non-Vista GP workstation.

Feb 26, 2007

Microsoft Dynamics GP 9.0 Service Pack 2

Microsoft Dynamics GP 9.0 customers and partners can use this link to download SP2 (Service Pack 2) for Microsoft Dynamics GP 9.0 (formerly Great Plains). You'll need to login to your CustomerSource or PartnerSource account to get to the content. That page also contains links to download other current service packs for products like FRx and Integration Manager.

This page contains the Dynamics GP 9.0 service packs overview so you can find past and future downloads there.

Service Pack 2 has updates to the following modules:

FEATURES:
Microsoft Dynamics GP
Microsoft Dynamics GP Utilities
Analytical Accounting
Collections Management
Dexterity
Extender
Fixed Asset Management
Field Service
Electronic Funds Transfer for Payables Management
Electronic Funds Transfer for Receivables Management
Electronic Reconcile
Encumbrance Management
Manufacturing
Payment Document Management
Project Accounting
Purchase Order Enhancements
Revenue and Expense Deferrels
Safe Pay
SmartList
SmartList Builder
United States Human Resources

COUNTRY SPECIFIC SUB-FEATURES:
Business Activity Statement (BAS) and Pay As You Go Payment Summaries (PAYG)
Bank Management
Canadian Payroll
Canadian Human Resources
Canadian Human Resources with Integration to Canadian Payroll
Direct Debits and Refunds
Enhanced Intrastat
Multilingual Checks
Scheduled Instalments
VAT Daybook

Feb 24, 2007

Using Group Policy to deploy Microsoft Dynamics GP

Now that Microsoft Dynamics GP has switched over to using a standard Microsoft .msp file for the installer, you can use tools such as Group Policy to deploy the application to your workstations. You can also send out links to the installation package via email.

Microsoft has put together a white paper on this subject. Click here to download it.

One thing to keep in mind is that this method will only deploy the basic Dynamics GP application - you'll still need to do some seperate manual installations for additional products like FRx Report Writer, Integration Manager and other third-party products you may have in your solution.

Microsoft Dynamics GP (Great Plains) pricing

You've probably been looking all over the Microsoft Dynamics website for a price list on Dynamics GP (formerly Great Plains) but you won't find it. They like to keep this information under wraps and its only available from authorized Microsoft Dynamics partners.

Speaking of which - now is a great time for a shameless plug of my company - Triton Business Solutions. :)

We'd be glad to help you out with your Microsoft Dynamics GP pricing needs. Let us know what we can do to help!

Microsoft Dynamics GP (Great Plains) version comparision

In August 2006, Microsoft Dynamics GP (formerly Great Plains) moved to a new pricing method. In the past, you paid a la carte for the various modules that you wanted (GL, AP, AR, etc.) and then you paid for the number of user licenses.

Under the new structure, you choose the particular "suite" that you are looking for and then the pricing is purely based on the number of user licenses. These two suites are called "Business Essentials" and "Advancement Management".

The "Business Essentials" edition covers the basics like General Ledger, Payables Management, Receivables Management, Inventory, Purchase Order Processing, Sales Order Processing, etc. The "Advanced Management" edition ups the ante with Electronic Bank Reconciliation, Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), Manufacturing, Project Accounting, Business Portal, etc.

You can find the breakdown of the functionality in each package on this page.

Some items are still sold separately - Payroll, Human Resources, and Field Service among others.

Feb 22, 2007

Blog posting from Word 2007

I'm sending this post using Microsoft Word 2007. It supports several different blogging providers – Windows Live Space, Windows Sharepoint Services, Community Server, WordPress, Blogger, TypePad and others. Here is a little information on the subject.

Test post - new Blogger

Just upgraded my account to the "new" Blogger.