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Book Review

Book Review: Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 Reporting

Full Disclosure: I was provided a no-charge eBook version for the purposes of this review by the publisher, Packt.

Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 Reporting by David Duncan and Christopher Liley, is a very good, general purpose book on the reporting options available in Dynamics GP. It focuses on the “Big 5” reporting options for Dynamics GP – SmartList/Excel Reports, Report Writer, SSRS, Analysis Cubes, and Management Reporter. In my opinion, the book does a good job of balancing the “theory” of report creation with the “reality” of execution. That is to say, the book balances explaining “why” and “when” to pick a certain reporting tool with “how” to use the tool you’ve chosen.

If I had to suggest a target audience for the book, my feeling is the following types of people would best benefit:

1. “Power” end-users of Dynamics GP who want the ability to build some basic reports without needing the help of “the IT guy” or a consultant.

2. Beginner-to-Intermediate Dynamics GP professionals who want some guidance on how to choose the right reporting tool for the job, and how to implement some of the basic features of each reporting tool.

By way of compliments, I can say that I picked up a few tips on SmartList/Excel Reports I can likely make use of at my “day job”. Also, given the somewhat dry nature of a technical book on report creation, the authors took enough of a conversational approach to keep things feeling somewhat fresh.

If you’re an advanced Dynamics GP professional or consultant, I’m not sure there is going to by a lot on this book for you. As mentioned above, I see this as a good, general-purpose book to give a flavour for the reporting options available. It’s not a deep-dive, nuts-and-bolts technical book – and depending on who you are, that may not be a bad thing.

Overall, I give the book a 7/10 – broad coverage of subjects, written well for a technical book, and with enough detail to get someone up and running on a reporting tool.

The publisher is running a promotion for the month of May – details of which can be found at http://link.packtpub.com/J9AEn6

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Book Review: Dynamics GP 2010 Implementation by Victoria Yudin

Full Disclosure: I received a no-charge electronic copy of the book from the publisher.

In my opinion, Victoria Yudin has managed to cram all of the information necessary to properly implement Dynamics GP 2010 into this book, “Dynamics GP 2010 Implementation“. The material covers everything from start to finish – from building your implementation team through to post-implementation follow up and training.

Chapters 1-4 cover the essential planning exercises you will need to follow in order to successfully implement your ERP system. I like the fact that she spent the time to outline some of the intricacies of Dynamics GP (such as how, for a SQL-based application, it doesn’t use SQL Server effectively as it could, and why), and how the Dexterity runtime works. Also of benefit in this section is a good guide on how to select the right people for your implementation team, and a sizing guide for how to select the right level of hardware for your deployment.

Chapter 5 covers the actual steps to perform the installation and some common configuration items. I was pleasantly surprised that the whole installation stack was covered – in other words, the book walks the reader through the steps of installing SQL Server. For more advanced or experienced implementers, this may be old hat, but for the “new” implementer this information could be very valuable.

Chapters 6-8 walk through module configuration – the main subledgers (AP, AR, SOP, POP, etc) and the GL. Each section is well written and contains enough detail for a “new” implementer to configure the system the appropriate way.

Chapter 9 covers populating master data using Integration Manager. While I personally am not a fan of Integration Manager, for the “new” implementer it is worthwhile to understand how it works and what it can do.

Chapter 10 covers training, and lists out some common tools that may be of use post-deployment. Echoing the rest of this book, this area is a good mix of suggestions and hard facts to aid the implementer.

Overall, I was impressed by the depth and breadth of material covered. One thing I would have liked to see more of is “tips and tricks” or “lessoned learned” by the author. As someone with many years of experience, I am sure the author has come across a number of unique or interesting scenarios, and adding some of those to the book would have added a little more flavour to the book.

I also would have loved to see a “what’s new” section which highlights some of the main changes  between GP 10 and GP 2010. Although the book appears slanted towards those performing a new implementation of the Dynamics GP system, having insight into what is new about this particular release of the product, as compared to the previous version, would have been helpful as well.

In all, I’d rate the book as an 8/10. Well written, comprehensive, and with enough breadth and depth that I didn’t feel like I was missing anything critical in order to properly implement Dynamics GP 2010.

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