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What is Extender Enterprise?


Over the next few weeks I am going to put together a series of blogs regarding eXtender Enteprise and what differentiates it from Microsoft Dynamics GP Extender.

The first topic I will discuss here is Logic Routines.
This is one of the best keep secrets inside of eXtender and can be used in a myriad of ways that will help you configure your Dynamics GP to meet your business needs.

What is the Feature:
Logic automation or Logic routines allow you to trigger simple dexterity scripts to run automatically as you move about a standard Dynamics GP screen. The Logic works just like an eXtender window in that you can trigger the script to run from an extras menu, as you enter, change or exit a field or as you save the record. Instead of opening a window to capture data the function simply runs the logic script you have created .

Why this feature is great:
The best part about Logic is that it is easy and quick to configure, and while it requires programming skills it does not require a full install of the dex development environment, cnk’s or new dictionaries. You can incorporate simple programming without a new chunk and without a new dictionary in the dynamics.set file. There is no workstation install. All you need to do is cut and paste a script into eXtender logic, you have deployed the functionality across the entire system.

The flow on from this approach is that the cost of ownership is lowered for customers, as the dictionary does not need to be recompiled when you upgrade to the next version of GP, and there is no work station roll out if there are updates or changes . You could say that this feature is a little like VBA, but the best thing is that it is not VBA! It is a much cleaner and more powerful way to deliver simple customisation with all the power that dexterity delivers.



How to Use it:
To create a logic routine, first open eXtender and then under the Automation grouping, select Logic. The key components of this screen are discussed below:


Routine Type: this determined when the logic will be executed. There are three primary options here:
  1. Extras: This allows you to execute the logic form an extra menu or a hot key.
  2. Form: This allows the logic to execute when you open, close or move around on a standard GP entry screen.
  3. Table: This allows you to execute logic based upon create, change or delete updates to a GP table.
Tasks: The tasks are where the actual logic is created. The code is sanscript, which is really just simple dex code. You can have this execute in any of the product dictionaries installed with this install of GP.You can let your imagination go wild here and use this code for either simple of complex custom functionality. If you are not a programmer then this is time to call on you resident Dex guy, or contact eOne where we can assist.



Example
Looking at the two screenshots above you can see an example of eXtender logic in action. Here we have a logic routine that executes any time that you change the date in the PO Number field on the sales transaction entry window. The logic checks that this PO number has not been used on an order for this customer previously, and if it has gives the user the options to change the PO number, ignore it or cancel this transaction. The script that runs is also displayed above and while you may not be a programmer it is fairly clear as to what is going on.

What to do next?
Start identifying clients that can benefit from this functionality. Get you developers involved so they can appreciate the ease of delivering these simple solutions. Inspire your customers by not only using eXtender to create a bunch of custom screens, but also as a great way to deliver small and simple customisations to GP. Stop hiding behind the line ‘customization is too expensive’ and deliver to your customers exactly what the need.

Start building up a library of simple scripts that you as a partner use as a competitive advantage. When you walk into a prospect this enables you to show functionality that you know the competitors (accpac, sage, nav) cannot show and also something that you know the other GP reseller will not be showing. Use this functionality to stand out from the crowd and win new GP business.

5 Comments

  1. VJ on August 31, 2009 at 10:05 pm

    Good info Martin – we have implemented eXtender not too long ago at one of our new clients and it has been working great.. This will help our sales staff and consultants to understand the core differences between two products.

  2. Martin on September 3, 2009 at 5:52 pm

    Thanks VJ. Stay tuned for additional posts on this topic. My mission is to provide the information that helps are partners to sell more Dynamics GP.

  3. john on October 2, 2009 at 9:30 am

    Is there a way to write scripts that act upon the Extender window? I'm trying to hook in to Save Record and update a field named Last Updated on my Extender window.

  4. Martin on October 29, 2009 at 9:39 pm

    John sorry for the delayed response. The answer is yes with the eXtender enterprise product. The logic functions allow you to embed code that will exactly what you suggest.

  5. Bunmi on March 16, 2011 at 10:38 am

    Hi,
    came across your post 'Everyone should use eXtender' when surfing the net on how i could overcome the limitations with GP Extender, as regards Linked forms, logic..and a whole lot more.
    But the challenge is i dont know how to go about getting the eXtender enterprise.
    Please any information that can help me with this would be highly appreciated.

    Thanks

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