When developing Dynamics GP customizations in our WebSan environment, our development phase is contained within a local server configuration to ensure that all modifications to the forms and reports dictionaries are local and will not affect our hosted users. However, there are a few more items to note when separating a development from a production environment.
When enabling and granting access to modified forms and reports in GP, administrative users would navigate to the Microsoft Dynamics GP menu >> Administration >> Alternative/Modified Forms and Reports and grant access to the modified item by selecting the ID, Product, and Type (Windows: Forms or Reports), then checking the box beside the version they would like accessible:
The ID field at the top of this window is used to specify which group of users has access to the forms and reports chosen in the list underneath. Users are assigned an “Alternate Modified Forms and Reports ID” in the ‘User Security’ window:
Therefore, if you are customizing the ‘Payables Transaction Entry’ window and want to ensure that current GP users cannot view these changes until they are completed, you can add your own GP login to a new “DEV” group that has the customized form selected such that further work and testing can be performed without effecting production users. While the ID field handles what version of the form or report the user can view, any VBA code that is applied to the customization is made accessible through the “EventMode” property in the ‘Visual Basic Editor’ (Alt+F11), if the form or report has been added to VBA.
Within the VBA code, you can select the form or report that is using VBA and set the EventMode property to either “0-emOriginalOnly”, “1-emModifiedOnly”, or “2-emNever”. The first applies the VBA code to the original (un-modified) object only, while the second applies it to the modified version. The third ensures that VBA code is not run when that object is accessed:
By utilizing these two properties, it is possible to contain a customization to only a particular group of users until testing is completed, and is ready to be deployed to a production system. If development is occurring within a production environment, configuring these two settings will ensure that other users are unaffected.
If you find yourself always starting from scratch when creating custom VBA forms in Dynamics GP even though you've created other similar forms in the past, here's a little trick to save yourself some time:
1. Find a similar VBA form that you have already created and export that form to a package file using the Customization Maintenance window.
2. Browse to where you saved the package file and open the file in a text editor (such as Notepad).
3. Here you can do 2 key things that you can't do directly in Dynamics GP's VBE window. The first thing you can do is change the name of the form by simply doing a Find & Replace and changing the existing form name to the new name you want to use. The second thing you can do is change the Product ID. You'll notice that when you create a form in a standard Dynamics GP module, you can't use it in Project Accounting (or other add-on modules). By changing the Product ID at the top of the package file, you can make the form available in a different module. So if you originally created the form for the Customer Maintenance window (Product ID 0), simply change the Product ID to 258 to now make it available in Project Accounting.
4. Save your changes to the package file.
5. Import the package file back into GP and notice it imports into the Product you specified and with the new name that you specified.
6. Make any other changes you need to the Form
7. Take an extra long coffee break!
If you are a frequent user of Microsoft Dynamics GP, chances are you use a select few windows much more often than others. If this is the case, you may find it helpful to have shortcuts to these key windows directly on your home page. These shortcuts can be added in several different ways:
- Quick Links – Arguably the most popular method is to add the window to the Quick Links pane of your home page. To do this, hover over the Quick Links pane, select the pencil icon that appears in the top right corner of the pane, and click the Add button to add new links. Don’t forget to refresh your home page if the new link does not appear right away.
- Navigation Pane – To add a shortcut to your navigation pane, open the window that you want to link to, select File, and select Add to Shortcuts. A link to that window will now be added to your navigation pane when you are on your home page.
- Toolbar – To view the toolbar for a particular series, right-click the blue menu bar at the top of the Dynamics GP screen and select the desired series so that a checkmark appears next to it. To customize which icons are on the toolbar, right-click the blue menu bar again, select Customize…, choose the appropriate series from the drop-down menu, and click Add to add a new icon to the toolbar.
By: Rahim Jiwani, Application Specialist, WebSan Solutions Inc.