Month: August 2014

Tales from a Developer’s Life – Waterfall vs. Agile

For a developer, there is nothing more exciting than getting a new project to work on. There is probably a common misunderstanding that being a software developer is a routine, monotonous job where you perform the same activities day to day. My personal view on being a developer is more like being an artist; it requires inspiration and the experience is never the same. We start a project from just an idea, we like to work in solitude, we often get upset about what we create as it is never perfect and we need a muse that drives us and makes us deliver that final piece of software. I cherish that first stage when we put so much thought into the design and the technologies we can use. There is always an opportunity for us to learn something new, not only on technology but also domain wise. Working for a consulting company has given me the opportunity to learn a lot about different businesses, companies and corporate cultures. You see, a developer is like a chameleon; we need to adapt and understand the business, the needs, and the expectations of the final user so that this will carry over to the software we are building. We have to study and adapt to the requirements, as the only thing that truly matters is the customer satisfaction. These first days of a new project are the most exciting and full of inspiration as to what can be achieved. This idea of a software is now growing and forming. There is nothing that can stop us now, we are on a roll and we will deliver!

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How Writing a Detailed Software Solutions Request Can Save You Time & Money.

I have been a consultant for over 27 years now and I hear the same thing year after year, “Why did the end product take longer and cost more than we originally thought it would take?”

Sometimes this is due to an unforeseen requirement that surfaced during the project; sometimes it’s an unexpected technology challenge that came up; but the majority of the time, it’s due to the requirement or the request not being as detailed, as it should have been.

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Might you be outgrowing your accounting software?

Is your organization still using QuickBooks or another entry-level accounting software? 

Has your organization grown from where it first started? If it has, congratulations.  However, is it now starting to reach a tipping point where the very tools that supported the initial growth have begun to hinder the ability to act with agility and insight? Is your entry-level accounting software holding your people and your business back? If this sounds like your situation or your not quite sure; you are not alone. The following article will help to determine if it is time to consider a change.

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Dynamics CRM: Not your grandparent’s tool!

Think back to your last little project you had to do around your house or with your car.  Maybe you were gardening, doing some landscaping, building a deck, or painting a room.  Whatever the project was, you probably had to use some sort of tool, and most likely multiple tools, to accomplish the job.  And if you are like me, you probably didn’t have the right tool at your fingertips causing you to stop and either go find the tool in the garage, go buy a tool, or worse yet, use a work around.  Let’s face it, we’ve all been in similar situations and it gets frustrating when momentum is moving forward and the project comes to a standstill because you don’t have what you need when you need it.

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How to Create a Multi-Company Smartlist in SmartList Builder

Smartlists are a tool within Microsoft Dynamics GP and provide an easy way to create ad-hoc reports and queries into an accounting system data without knowing other reporting tools (IE: SQL Reporting Services; Crystal Reports.) Several reasons why a company may want to create and use Multi-Company SmartLists:

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Dynamics GP & CRM Integration Demystified – Part 1

Dynamics GP and CRM are the two most common Dynamics products in the U.S. which are sold together and setup in the same environment. Yet, most of the time, the discussion on the integration between these two systems is scheduled for a later time or in later phases of the project. It all depends on the requirements of the project. In my experience, having the integrations discussion early on resolves a lot of matters in terms of new processes and license costs. Any integration planned between these two systems requires planning and discussion between the different departments that plan on using it. 

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The Cloud is not as Scary as we thought, Right?

When you look up to the sky, what do you see? Blue sky, birds, clouds? I see a cloud and instantly think millions and millions of bytes of data.  There is data all around us.

I was laying in my hammock the other weekend just admiring the world around me. Listening to the birds chirping, the bees buzzing, my koi pond waterfall flowing, and I found myself staring at the sky.  Next thing I know, the tech geek came out of me and I started thinking about “the cloud” and all the bytes of data we have up in the cloud: pictures, documents, music, movies, etc.  Think about this for a minute: We transfer data wirelessly from device to device with minimal interruption (for the most part I know).  Data is passing around us all the time and we are oblivious to it because you cannot see it nor feel it. We don’t care where it is stored or how it gets to us, but what we do care about is that it is there when we need to pull it up from our devices. 

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Running SSRS Service Account as a Domain User

In order to access the variety of reports which CRM provides out of the box, or to access custom built reports from CRM Reporting Extensions (also known as the SRS Connector), you must be installed on a SQL server with SQL Server Reporting Services running. Generally, when setting up SQL Server Reporting Services, the Service Account which runs the service is set to the default of Report Server. When CRM Server and SQL are on two different servers it may produce an error message at the System Checks page when installing CRM Reporting services because of the Service Account. For security reasons, the best option is to have a domain user as the Service Account.

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The future of Dynamics GP architecture – “GP Next”

Traditionally, ERP has been a large software package with a substantial server installation as well as a large client application. Along with the maintenance of the server components of ERP you would also have to maintain the client installations with regular updates and service packs. Even with MS Dynamics GP you have to maintain the client installations with service pack updates and new add-on installations, over years it has eased that process by way of auto application of the Service packs and using other MS systems like System Center. MS Dynamics GP is not a simple application. It has enterprise level functions to perform and needs to cater to different needs of various departments in an organization. Currently, we live in times where your applications auto update and the installation of apps on your mobile device can even be done by babies, so can this model of simple application management be replicated to Dynamics GP?

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Moneyball your Business Using BI

The Art of Winning an Unfair Game or better known as Moneyball, is a true story about the Oakland Athletics baseball team and its general manager Billy Beane. It’s focus is the team's analytical, evidence-based, sabermetric approach to assembling a competitive baseball team, despite Oakland's disadvantaged revenue situation. 

You may be reading this and ask “What does this have to do with me and my business?” 

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