Archive for July, 2012

This relates immediately to a server install I was performing, but is something to keep in mind.
1. Don’t try to use SSRS (SQL Server Reporting Services) Reports in GP if SQL is an Express version of 2005, 2008, or 2012. According to GP 2010 System Requirements, SQL Express is supported for everything but Analysis Cubes. I spent too much time trying to get it to work until I came across a Blog post flatly stating that it does not work. Even running GP as a local administrator and logged in with the SQL sa account, I continued to get the error that I did not have permission to install to that location. I did set security in the Reports Site Settings (you need to run IE as administrator the first time to add yourself), gave our user, domain admins, and domain users full access to everything, then repeated the permission settings for folder security. I even went so far as to set security permissions on the file folder structure in Windows Explorer – same error. As I stated, the Blog post was sufficient to put a halt to my efforts.
2. The client wanted to use SQL 2012, which for GP2010SP3 supports. However, Management Reporter would not validate on SQL 2012 to allow creation of the databases. In this case, Management Reporter System Requirements DO state SQL 2005 or 2008 are supported, with no mention of 2012.

One additional note – You will have little or no trouble installing Management Reporter Server components if you download and pre-install the Access 2010 Runtime and Access Runtime SP1 from Microsoft Downloads. If you don’t run those first, setup will hang on the MR Server configuration windows. If it’s a 64-bit OS, install 64-bit Access Runtime and SP. If Office 32-bit is installed on the server, you cannot just run the 32-bit Access Runtime install, because it senses a mismatch between the Windows Server and Office platforms. The only option is to uninstall MSOffice 32-bit and then install the 64-bit Access Runtime. You will then need to install Office (Word, Excel) as 64-bit.

This was an interesting project, one I have not had to deal with for a few years.  A client was still running a single-user Great Plains 6.0 Ctree on Windows 98 (remember that?).  Fortunately, I still had the migration chunk file so it was doable.  First order of business was getting a copy of the code and data off the old PC, and ended up pulling the drive, attaching it to my notebook via  a USB adapter, and copying the folder from there to a virtual Windows XP Mode install on my notebook.  The Ctree version fired right up, and I verified data.  Upgrade to 7.5 was simple enough, except when I continued to get Pathname errors running Shrink on PM and GL history files.  I verified that the files existed and GP produced historical reports.  The problem was that during installation of GP 7.5, Utilities did not synchronize to the existing account framework.  As soon as I changed the dex.ini flag to TRUE and forced synchronization all was well.  Data upgrade was flawless as was Check Links.

On to migration.  I needed to use MSDE (SQL 2000 Express) for the database, which is also why I needed XP Mode.  I created the empty mirror database and ran the push migration from 7.5 Ctree.  The migration ran for 16 hours, and the data set was less than 500,000 records!  The processor was maxed on the virtual machine, which is why the excess time, but I didn’t want to kill the process, change processor and memory parameters for the VM, restore and restart.  I need to remember that for next time.

The upgrade to 8 was textbook.  On to 10 – a new problem.  Component installation failed on SQL Server Native Client 9.0 and would not complete.  There was nothing in the error logs.  I then tried installing just the SQL Client from the Bin folder, and finally received a usable error – installation was not permitted on a terminal session.  The fix was to disable integration components in XP mode and restart the Virtual PC.  Success!  Remember to re-enable integration components so you can see your local Windows 7 drives.

The upgrade processes to 10 and finally 2010 were non-problematic, and running SQL backups between upgrades ensured a successful conclusion.

Of Inkwells and Blogs

Learning to write was and still is a journey.  I recall a school desk with a round hole in the upper-right-hand corner.  Each of us was given a new dip pen, a new bottle to put in that hole, and a blotter.  No pigtail dipping allowed.  We practiced Palmer Method cursive writing with that dip pen.  No, we’re not talking 1800s here, it was the early 1950s.  Legible writing, spelling, and grammar were drilled into each of us daily.  It worked.  Sadly, the days of dip pens were numbered, and the following year or two was wooden pencils and cartridge fountain pens.  Ball-point followed well through high school and college, but the lessons learned were never forgotten.

My first computer?  A Radio Shack TRS-80 MC-10 with a chiclet keyboard and built-in Basic programming language.  4K RAM, and it plugged into a TV.  If you wanted to save your program, a cassette recorder was the best answer.  Next, the big time – a Zenith EZ-PC.  Black and white monitor, two 720K floppy drives – no hard drive.  Believe it or not, it ran Wordperfect, AutoCAD, DBase III+ and Lotus 1-2-3.  Modems?  What for?  No internet existed outside university testing labs.

…and here I am writing a Blog?

I’ve worked in IT for almost 30 years now, learning as I went, breaking things just so I could figure out how to fix them.  Exploring – always exploring.  I’m a firm believer in the axiom that each day is worthwhile only if you learn something new.

Always do your best, take pride in your work, and keep learning!