Microsoft Dynamics GP Extender – Benefits and Features

Your business will grow someday and it will need to fit into the new systems in order to meet the constantly-evolving requirement; Microsoft Dynamics GP Extender lets you customize Dynamics GP without the need for an experienced developer or programmer, from creating new, fresh reports to building mini-apps.

In Dynamics GP, SmartList is a powerful tool that allows you and other users to organize and even display data from the powerful accounting system in such a manner that makes much sense to you. Users can then search for specific records using specific criteria. Since the SmartList tool in Dynamics GP is easy to use, SmartList Builder takes it and dramatically doubles its range and power, allowing you to query more data in multiple ways with the access that SmartList Builder provides you with, making use of all the information you capture. This means there’s a possibility of you creating your own personalized SmartLists.

Microsoft Dynamics GP Extender – Benefits and Features

Benefits

Have the world at the palm of your hands without code

Since no two businesses –even those with similar operations – are the same, no two implementations of Dynamics can be the same. Therefore, Extender comes in to ensure your Dynamics GP implementation is perfectly suited for your business. It also ensures that you can be able to capture the data you need when you need it. Add fields, build some extra windows, and new data entry screens to Dynamics GP without writing any line of code.

Relied upon by many businesses globally

Thousands of companies rely on this tool every day to do business their own way. In fact, some of them use this tool to capture 3 to 4 business-specific data fields. Others, on the other hand, have built mini apps containing numerous screens, with hundreds of fields. For any data stored in Access, Excel, or CRM but should be in GP, Extender comes in to solve the problem. Dynamics GP is the most flexible ERP system in the world as long as the Extender module is added to the solution.

The Tool allows you to Build Custom GP Windows

With this tool, regular people who lack the knowledge of writing dexterity code can build new screens within Dynamics GP in minutes! No prior programming knowledge or experience is necessary to do any of these. All you have to do is just decide on the data fields you’d like to capture, then select the most appropriate data type for the field type (including checkboxes, drop down lists, currency fields, dates, lookups to other Dynamics GP screens, etc.) and you shall have built a new screen.

Build custom mini application

Apparently, Extender has all the tools necessary to connect your freshly built screens together and build a custom mini application. Easily link from screen to screen, adding your new screens to Dynamics GP menus, including your new fields, into SmartList. Define fields as “required,” appearing in red and bold. You can also add your fields to Dynamics GP reports.

Traditional development vs. Microsoft Dynamics GP Extender

One of the major challenges that consultants face when reviewing a customer’s business requirements is determining whether they need to use Extender for their solution or adopt traditional development. While there are occasions when the only best option is to engage the services of a programmer, (for instance, when you should fundamentally change the existing Dynamics GP process/ function or just modify existing screens to meet business needs), Extender comes in handy when building new screens to maintain an inexpensive upgrade path.

However, the following are the benefits of making Extender your solution of choice:

  • Develop in lesser time
  • Develop for lesser cost
  • Do the screen design of the solution, all by yourself
  • Your new functions will look and feel just like Dynamics GP
  • Open source generally avoids IP arguments, as well as makes the logic behind it transferable

Extender and Extender Enterprise – the Difference

These two products are somehow identical in their basic functionality – similar table structure, inherent ability to build forms, windows, menus, views, etc., the same development team has built and tested both products, and they both work with SmartConnect and SmartList Builder. However, the main difference is logic (i.e. the ability to make the screens that you build ‘perform things’).

While it can be very exciting to develop new screens that can capture data, it is even better to make these screens fit the data capture needs of your business, as well as business flow and functionality. Using logic, you can grey out sections of a screen whilst auto-calculating and setting values while on the go. Set default fields, lookups, restrict drop downs, open another Dynamics GP screen by hitting a button and default values. You can also use logic to link from a simple form to a detailed one, and then to a linked form. When saving a new record let it check stock levels in Dynamics GP and even create an inventory transfer where necessary. With Extender logic, you can get as creative as possible. The sky is the limit!

Extender Enterprise provides the following extra features and functionality:

  • Windows Logic to trigger code to start or run when you move around or open Extender window
  • Form Logic to trigger code to start or run when you move around or open Extender form
  • Process Logic to perform a given functionality on multiple related records
  • GP Logic to trigger code to start or run where you need it within Dynamics GP (VBA alternative)
  • Navigation Lists to build your own custom search or inquiry screens
  • Interfaces for easy integrations

Conclusion

All the core functionality – adding fields, forms, detail forms, windows, detail windows, and menus to Dynamics GP – can be found in the entry level Extender. If your main goal is to capture additional data, including report on that particular data, then Extender will suit you. Extender Enterprise, on the other hand, is the right tool for companies wanting to capture additional data, as well as be smart about how they do it and what they use the data on. Extender Enterprise retains the logic layer – the ability to effectively embed code in, around, and behind the screens built with regular Microsoft Dynamics GP Extender functionality – as its main functionality.

Michael Taylor
Michael is the Lead Author & Editor of DynaMe. DynaMe is a blog focused on cloud based Microsoft Dynamics.
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