Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 Implementation — Save 50%
A step-by-step book and eBook guide to implementing Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010
Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 is a sophisticated Enterprise Resource Planning system used throughout the world.
This article by Victoria Yudin, author of the book Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 Implementation, will cover the steps for setting up your Dynamics GP system.
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When you launch Dynamics GP for the first time on a new computer, you will be prompted for a Server, User ID, and Password:
For the Server, choose the ODBC data source pointing to your SQL Server (remember this will need to be created identically on each computer).
The first time you log in, use sa for the User ID. Dynamics GP will detect that this is a new installation and will prompt you to run Dynamics GP Utilities. Choose Yes, log into Dynamics GP Utilities as sa, and follow the prompts. Your local Dynamics GP application will be initialized and synchronized to the settings on the server. Once done, click the Launch Microsoft Dynamics GP button at the bottom of the Additional Tasks window.
Log into Dynamics GP again as sa and you will see the Company Login window with a drop-down selection for the companies that have been created in Dynamics GP. For performing system setup steps, you can choose any company on the list. To perform company setup, you will need to choose the specific company you will be setting up.
System setup for Dynamics GP includes settings that are global to your entire Dynamics GP installation such as the system password, registration, creating users, setting up user security, currency settings, exchange rates, and additional system-wide settings.
A very useful feature in Dynamics GP is the Setup Checklist, which lists all of the setup steps with a brief description of each and provides automatic links to the related setup windows. The setup checklist also gives you the ability to assign tasks to others and change the status of the various installation tasks as you go through them. In the following sections, the navigation paths to get to each setup window will be detailed using the Dynamics GP menus, however you may find that bringing up the setup checklist can save you time during the setup. The setup checklist is found under Microsoft Dynamics GP | Tools | Setup | Setup Checklist.
Show required fields
To help with system setup you may want to have Dynamics GP highlight the required fields on windows for you. This option is turned off by default. To turn it on:
- Click on the Help icon in the upper-right corner and click on Show required fields. This setting is a toggle, once clicked it will display a checkmark next to it to show it is activated.
- Navigate to Microsoft Dynamics GP |User Preferences. On the User Preferences window, click on Display to open the User Display Preferences window. Change the settings under Required Fields to be something other than the default settings. You can click on Apply to preview your changes and click OK to close the window.
Changes to the display preferences are specific to the Dynamics GP user. Once set, they will be used on any computer where the user logs into Dynamics GP.
Most system setup windows will require the Dynamics GP system password you entered during the initial Dynamics GP installation. You can set this password to be blank while performing the system setup, so that you are not constantly prompted for it. To change the system password navigate to Microsoft Dynamics GP | Tools | Setup | System | System Password. It is highly recommended to assign a system password once you are done with the system setup.
You can set overall system preferences for Dynamics GP by navigating to Microsoft Dynamics GP | Tools | Setup | System | System Preferences. All of these settings are optional.
The Office SharePoint Server is used to enable searching Dynamics GP data from SharePoint.
The Home Page Defaults control what loads for newly created users in Dynamics GP. Note the critical word loads. These sections will still exist on the home page for new users, but they will not load with initial data if unchecked on this window. It is recommended to uncheck all of the Home Page Defaults to save time during initial login, especially when installing on a computer where there may not be Outlook installed, or when logged in with a Windows user ID that might not have an Outlook profile. Changes to these settings will only apply to newly created users, no existing user setup will be changed.
Remember User is a new feature in Dynamics GP 2010. This activates the Remember user and password and Remember this company checkboxes on the Dynamics GP login windows. Unfortunately, there is no way to separate these two options. While many companies may feel that remembering the company is a nice option for users, remembering the User ID and password may be against security policies in many organizations.
Dynamics GP registration
Dynamics GP will typically install without asking for registration keys, however this should be the first thing entered as part of system setup to ensure that the system is set up with the modules you are registered for. Registration keys can be obtained either from your Dynamics GP partner or from Microsoft.
To enter your registration keys, navigate to Microsoft Dynamics GP | Tools | Setup | System | Registration. On the Registration window enter your Site Name and Registration Keys. The Site Name is listed under License Holder on your licensing information and must appear the exact same way, with the same punctuation, spelling, and spacing. Even though there are five Registration Keys possible, you may have less. The keys listed as – No key – on the licensing information should be left blank on the Registration window.
Click on the Validate button and the Modules list will populate with the Dynamics GP modules you have purchased. It is recommended to uncheck any modules that you are not planning to use. Leaving all the modules activated may cause some functionality not to work as expected and to require setup for those modules prior to entering transaction for other modules. Modules can be activated at a later time if needed. Some of the modules may not sound familiar, but may be core or internal modules needed for other functionality you are using. If you are unsure about some of the modules on the list, consult with your Dynamics GP resource.
Creating Dynamics GP users
Dynamics GP is licensed for concurrent users, so you can create as many named users as you would like. It is recommended to create a Dynamics GP user for each individual that will be using Dynamics GP. The following are the steps to create new Dynamics GP users:
- Log into Dynamics GP as either sa, DYNSA, or a user that has been set up in SQL Server with the sysadmin server role.
- Navigate to Microsoft Dynamics GP | Tools | Setup | System | User.
- Enter a User ID. Unlike most user IDs, the Dynamics GP user IDs are case sensitive. Consider making user IDs the same as the users' Windows logins. Even though Dynamics GP uses SQL Server authentication, it may be easier to administer users when all the IDs follow the same pattern.
- Enter the User Name. While not required, it is helpful to enter the full name of the user, so that this information is available when looking through a list of users in the future.
- Enter and confirm the Password. Dynamics GP passwords are case sensitive. If you leave the password blank, the user will be required to create a password the first time they log into Dynamics GP. While that sounds like a handy feature, this can be a security risk because while the password is blank anyone can log in with just the user ID. This is not a concern if the user will be logging in immediately, however if users may log in for the first time days or even weeks later, this is not very secure. Users can change their own passwords in Dynamics GP at any time, so create a unique password for each user and ask them to change it as soon as they log in the first time.
- Class ID is an optional setting that may be useful for grouping users in the future. With the changes to the Dynamics GP security model starting with version 10.0, user classes are not widely used anymore and are not needed for security setup. The Class ID can be changed at any time.
- Setting the Home Page Role is also optional. If set while creating the user, this will save the user from having to pick their home page role when they first log into Dynamics GP.
- Set the Advanced SQL Server options. These options allow using your Active Directory domain password policies with Dynamics GP. This is another feature that sounds more useful than it often proves to be. There are many limitations and workarounds for this, detailed in KB article 922456, Frequently asked questions about the advanced SQL Server options in the User Setup window in Microsoft Dynamics GP: https://mbs.microsoft.com/knowledgebase/KBDisplay.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;922456 (requires login). A common recommendation is to uncheck the Advanced SQL Server options when creating new Dynamics GP users.
- If the Collections Management module has been installed and activated for Dynamics GP, once you click Save on the User Setup window you will receive the following pop-up message:
Clicking on Add will open the Collections Management Collector Setup window where you can set up this user as a collector. Clicking Cancel will allow you to continue without setting the user up as a collector. A user can be set up as a collector at any time, so if you are not sure, click on Cancel.
When a user ID is created in Dynamics GP, a SQL Server login is created with the DYNGRP role. The user password is encrypted by Dynamics GP so that this login cannot be used outside of the Dynamics GP application.
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(For more resources on Microsoft Dyanamics, see here.)
Once Dynamics GP users are created, they need to be granted access to the Dynamics GP companies they can log into and security needs to be set up for them.
Access to companies
To give a user access to Dynamics GP companies, navigate to Microsoft Dynamics GP | Tools | Setup | System | User Access. Select the user in the Users list on the left and check the Access checkboxes for the companies listed on the right.
When a user is given access to a company in Dynamics GP, the SQL Server login for that user is added to the corresponding SQL Server database.
The following is a refresher on the Dynamics GP security components and the navigations paths for them:
The lowest level security building block. Operations include access to windows, reports, tables, tools, posting permissions, and SmartList Objects. Operations are already part of the system, so there is no setup for them.
A grouping of operations. Tasks typically group operations across common fairly low level functions, such as creating Customers or entering Sales Transactions. Tasks can cross Dynamics GP products and modules. Multiple tasks can have the same operations.
Microsoft Dynamics GP | Tools | Setup | System | Security Tasks
A grouping of tasks. Multiple roles can have the same tasks. When setting up user security in Dynamics GP, users get assigned one or more roles.
Microsoft Dynamics GP | Tools | Setup | System | Security Roles
You can assign roles to your Dynamics GP users on the User Security Setup window (Microsoft Dynamics GP | Tools | Setup | System | User Security).
As security can differ by Dynamics GP company, select a User ID and Company, then choose the Roles for that user and company. Multiple roles can be assigned to each user, even if those roles contain some of the same tasks. A user with no roles assigned will be able to log into Dynamics GP, but ill not have access to anything in the system.
Before modified forms or reports are set up in Dynamics GP, there will only be one option, called DEFAULTUSER available in the Alternate/Modified Forms and Reports ID drop-down list. The AFA Reports button will bring up an additional window to set up security for Advanced Financial Analysis (AFA) reports. If AFA will not be used, no setup is needed for AFA.
Clicking on the Print icon in the upper right corner of the User Security Setup window will print a report showing all the roles assigned and the tasks included in each role for the selected user and company. The Copy button will allow you to copy the selected user and company settings to any other company for the same user.
It is recommended to create a new user for the person performing the Dynamics GP setup and assign them the POWERUSER role, rather than using the sa login for everything.
A nice new feature in Dynamics GP 2010 is the ability to copy both company access and security settings from one user to another. To use this feature, navigate to Microsoft Dynamics GP | Tools | Setup | System | User, select the user you want to copy access and security to, then click the Copy Access button.
Multicurrency setup is global to the entire Dynamics GP installation, so currencies and exchange rates can be set up once and used by all the companies in the system. There are three steps to system-wide multicurrency settings: currency setup, exchange tables, and multicurrency access.
Dynamics GP is installed with a number of predefined currencies. If desired, these can be used as they are with no additional setup needed. To see the existing currencies in the system or to create new ones, navigate to Microsoft Dynamics GP | Tools | Setup | System | Currency.
Before a new currency can be used in Dynamics GP, it must be set up on the Currency Setup window. Make sure the Currency Symbol, Negative Sign, Decimal places, and Separators are correct for each currency you plan to use. These settings will control the display of all currency amounts on windows and reports throughout Dynamics GP. Verify the Payables Check Terminology, as this will determine how amounts in words appear on your payables checks.
For US companies not planning on using Multicurrency, the default Z-US$ already set up for the US Dollar is typically used.
Exchange rate tables
Exchange rate tables must be created for each currency you plan to use that is not your functional currency. Each exchange rate table will define the relationship between the functional currency chosen for a company and the currency of the exchange rate table. There is no built-in method in Dynamics GP to automatically update exchange rates, so typically companies choose to update exchange rates manually on a monthly or quarterly schedule. Often the frequency of the updates will depend on the volatility of the exchange rates.
To create or change an exchange rate table, navigate to Microsoft Dynamics GP | Tools | Setup | System | Exchange Table. The following are examples of a typical exchange rate setup and rate table:
The illustrated settings will cause a transaction entered in Australian dollars to divide the Australian dollar amount by 1.09915 in April and 1.10856 in May to calculate the functional amount for that transaction.
The following are explanations of the settings on the Multicurrency Exchange Rate Table Setup window:
- Rate Frequency can be changed at any time and determines the default Expiration Date for new exchange rates entered. If you are not sure how often new exchange rates will be entered you can select None, so no expiration date is defaulted. It is important to always have a valid exchange rate, otherwise users may get error messages during transaction entry. This can, however, be mitigated by the Transaction Rate Default setting described further in this section.
- Rate Variance is a limit on the difference that will be allowed between a new exchange rate entered and the previous rate. This variance limitation will also apply for any rates entered on-the-fly during transaction entry, if that is allowed. A rate variance of zero means there is no limit. This setting can be changed at any time and is useful for preventing mistakes when typing in exchange rates. For volatile exchange rates, consider making the rate variance something large or zero.
- Rate Calculation Method determines whether the specified currency gets multiplied or divided by the exchange rate entered to arrive at the functional currency. This setting cannot be changed once exchange rates and transactions have been entered.
- Transaction Rate Default determines how the system chooses what exchange rate to use:
- Exact Date: A valid exchange rate must exist for the exact date of the transaction. With this option and the exchange rate table shown previously, a transaction dated June 2, 2010 would cause an error, because there is no valid exchange rate for that date.
- Previous Date: If there is no valid exchange rate for the transaction date, the exchange rate with the closest date prior to the transaction date will be used. If no previous exchange rate exists, the exchange rate with the closest date following the transaction date will be used. With this option and the exchange rate table shown previously, a transaction dated June 2, 2010 will use the 1.10856 exchange rate, even though it expired on June 1, 2010.
- Next Date: If there is no valid exchange rate for the transaction date, the exchange rate with the closest future date to the transaction date will be used. If no future exchange rate exists, the exchange rate with the closest date prior to the transaction date will be used. With this option and the exchange rate table shown previously, a transaction dated June 2, 2010 will use the 1.10856 exchange rate, as there is no future exchange rate to use.
Many companies leave this setting on Exact Date to ensure that exchange rates are entered in a timely manner.
- Search for Unexpired Rates is only available if Previous Date or Next Date is chosen for the Transaction Rate Default. This setting allows you to limit the number of days the system will look backward or forward for an exchange rate. For example, if this was set to 20 on the previous example, a transaction dated July 1, 2010 would not have a valid exchange rate, as the latest expiration date is 30 days prior. This setting can be used to have a bit of a grace period for entering new rates.
The Multicurrency Exchange Rate Maintenance window is opened by clicking Rates on the Multicurrency Exchange Rate Table Setup window or navigating to Cards | System | Exchange Table.
Before a Dynamics GP company can use a currency, you need to allow that company access to the currency. This is done on the Multicurrency Access Setup window (Microsoft Dynamics GP | Tools | Setup | System | Multicurrency Access), which will only be available when no other users are logged into Dynamics GP.
On the Currencies list, select one currency at a time and then check the Access checkboxes for the companies that can use this currency. Select the Exchange Tables IDs one at a time and check the Access checkboxes for the companies that can use the exchange tables:
Additional system-wide setup
There are a few additional system-wide settings that you may want to consider for the Home Page metrics settings and default tasks.
Home Page metrics
The Metrics section of the Dynamics GP Home Page may not load properly if the computer does not have Microsoft Office 2003 Web Components installed. If you get an error displaying the metrics, use the following link to install these components: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=7287252C-402E-4F72-97A5-E0FD290D4B76&displaylang=en.
Every user created in Dynamics GP will automatically get assigned at least one task called the Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP):
There are also additional tasks assigned to administrative roles, such as creating backups or installing payroll updates. These are recurring tasks and deleting or marking them as completed simply brings them back later. To get rid of all of these tasks globally, you can run the following SQL script in SQL Server Management Studio:
delete from DYNAMICS..SY01403 where APLICFIL in ('SQMTask',
Some of these tasks do not get created until a user first logs into each company, so you may want to wait to run this script until all the users have logged in, or rerun it periodically as needed.
Sometimes the CEIP task is persistent and will not go away with the previous method. In that case, Leslie Vail has a blog post with the steps to remove this task: http://dynamicsconfessions.blogspot.com/2010/07/goodbye-ceip-program.html. These steps are user-specific, so they will need to be performed while logged into Dynamics GP as each user.
If you had set the system password to blank during the system setup, you may want to change it now by navigating to Microsoft Dynamics GP | Tools | Setup | System | System Password.
In this article, we have gone through the basic steps of setting up the Dynamics GP system, including creating users and setting up security.
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About the Author :
Victoria Yudin has been designing, implementing, integrating, and customizing business management and accounting systems for over 20 years. She has been a user of Microsoft Dynamics GP (and its Great Plains Software predecessor) since it was available on DOS and has been a Dynamics GP consultant for almost 15 years.
Victoria has the distinction of being the only person in the world named a Microsoft Dynamics GP Most Valuable Professional (MVP) each consecutive year since 2005. She has also been on the DynamicsWorld's Microsoft Dynamics Top 100 Most Influential People list each year since 2010. Victoria has also been in the top 10 of Doug Pitcher’s "most famous, awesome and totally influential Dynamics people" list for all 3 years it has been published. (http://bit.ly/18UaKkL)
Victoria has an undergraduate degree from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, and has numerous certifications for Microsoft Dynamics GP and related technologies.
In November 2000, Victoria started Flexible Solutions, Inc. to bring together her experience in accounting and business with her love for technology. Flexible Solutions (www.GPReportsViewer.com) is a Microsoft Dynamics GP Partner, offering the GP Reports Viewer add-on for Dynamics GP, as well as Microsoft Dynamics GP implementation, reporting, and support services.
In September 2008, Victoria started her blog, called Ramblings and musings of a Dynamics GP MVP (http://victoriayudin.com) to share her experiences and thoughts with the Dynamics GP community. Currently Victoria's blog gets more than 45,000 hits per month. Victoria also regularly helps fellow Dynamics GP users and consultants on many of the Dynamics GP online forums, including Experts Exchange, where she has earned the rank of Wizard.
Victoria previously authored the Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 Implementation book and has had articles published on MSDynamicsWorld.com and in the GPUG Magazine.