Archive for August, 2012

A client on GP 2010 had just installed Professional Service Tools with the primary intent of running the Copy Company function to transition from test to production.  The utility was failing with the error:

Unhandled script exception:
[Microsoft][SQL Server Native Client 10.0][SQL Server]Could not find stored procedure ‘XYZ.dbo.eeCompanyCopy’.

The cause was that the end user had set up their own ODBC DSN and did not clear the check boxes for ‘Use ANSI Quoted Identifiers’.  Clearing the ANSI flags on the connector allowed the utility to run without error.


It should have been an easy upgrade…  Dynamics GP 9.0 to GP 11.0, but I needed to get 9.0 to latest Service Pack to run the GP 11 (2010) upgrade.  It would not install, so I turned off DEP, turned off UAC, it still failed.  I even pulled out my bag of tricks, copied the server-side folder to a workstation replacing the existing GP (after zipping the original folder).  It updated the application, but there was nothing in Utilities to allow me to update the databases.

Since Microsoft no longer supports GP 9.0, KB searches came up empty, but in researching, I came across a Blog entry referring to updating .NET 1.1 Framework to SP1 and also referenced a non-existent KB.  I downloaded and updated .NET to SP1, accepting the warning that it had compatibility issues with Server 2008, and it completed the framework install successfully.  I re-launched the GP 9 MSP, and IT RAN!

Hopefully this helps others in this situation.

I just got an email advertising classical music downloads.  This sparked my interest as a classical music buff.  If you have read my ‘Inkwell’ blog, you know that I am part of the ‘older generation’, and hold on to certain long-standing precepts, one of which, as a classically-trained pianist/organist, is that music (like conversations) must be taken in context.  Sadly, most of the items for purchase were ‘Best of… collections – snippets of music ripped out of context.

I realize that these collections do introduce younger generations to classical music, but they should be encouraged to listen to the entire piece to put it in context.  Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Brahms are all definitely out of the mainstream for today’s and future generations, and I am firmly convinced that good (note emphasis on ‘good’ here) movie composers will be revered as the classical music masters of the 21st century, and this is a good thing.  It’s where we are today – music soundtrack working to heighten our emotional involvement in a story.

Yes, let’s move forward, but let us also not forget where we came from.

I have been working with Windows 8 since its (legal) RTM availability on MSDN, and unless Microsoft *SIGNIFICANTLY* changes the interface for mouse/keyboard-input business PC users before its public release, it will die faster than Vista. DO NOT encourage anyone to wait for this latest OS – it’s a killer – in all the wrong ways. …just sayin’

There is a great option to restore the ‘feel’ of previous Windows versions and adds some great new features – Try Winstep Xtreme  – you can download your copy here free.  I’ve been using it for over 10 years now more as ‘eye candy’ than for productivity, but now I get the best of both.

I am frequently asked to condense Microsoft’s detailed System Specifications for Dynamics GP.  Following is a ‘short list’ of server hardware requirements and recommendations that will give maximum performance at reasonable cost:

1. 64-bit hardware platform, Hardware RAID. Windows Server 2008R2 Standard 64-bit and SQL Server 2008R2 64-bit Standard Edition. 64-bit allows use of memory over 4GB without disk swap. 1 or more quad-core processors.
2. 12GB RAM minimum.
3. Drive configuration – The recommendation is OS on RAID1 (2 drives), Data on RAID5 (3 or more drives), which is a minimum of 5 drives. One additional often-overlooked factor is drive speed. Use 10,000 RPM drives as a minimum for the data drives, 15,000 RPM preferred. If it’s a matter of size over speed, lower the size (15k RPM is not available in all drive sizes) to maintain speed. For OS, 80GB drive space minimum, for Data, (3 (or more)) 132GB in RAID5, yielding 260+GB of drive space. For maximum performance, add one additional small 15,000 RPM drive and move the SQL tempdb to that drive. Isolating tempdb will boost SQL performance dramatically.
If you must back off the drive count, go for a RAID5 array of 10,000+ RPM drives in a single partition. In this configuration, partitioning data from OS has no good effect on performance, since all partitions are running on the same drives, and it is the division of tasks by array that increase performance, not just a cosmetic partitioning.

If the server is virtual, either Hyper-V or VMware architecture is supported. Allocate at least one processor and 4-8GB RAM. Drive configuration is not as critical, however better performance will be achieved if you use a fixed disk size rather than dynamic. If you do use a fixed disk size, please allocate sufficient space for Microsoft SQL database growth, installation software, and on-disk data backups. Depending on the number of GP companies and anticipated data volume, a 32-64GB System drive and 100GB data drive should be sufficient.

Do you find that each time you log into Management Reporter on Terminal Server or Citrix, you need to re-enter your login and default company?  The reason those are lost between sessions is that their user profiles are set up to delete temporary files and folders on exit.  This unfortunately is where Management Reporter coders chose to put the configuration files that hold that information from session to session. Making the issue more difficult is the fact that Management Reporter coding requires a SQL user login per company, so it’s not a single sign on as it was in FRx.

Constantly adding your login information can be quite frustrating.  We and a number of others have asked Microsoft to change the location of the user configuration file to a different location.  The request is pending.

However, we can tell you how to change the settings so that deleting temporary files and folders on exit is turned off.  (Note: It actually needs to be that way for GP in the event a user is posting and the connection to the Terminal Server drops.  If the session is left running on the Terminal Server, the posting will continue normally.  If the setting to delete is enforced, the session is forcibly closed resulting in a hung posting or data corruption.)

The environmental variables that hold the MR settings are %APPDATA% and %LOCALAPPDATA%.  Some GP functionality also depends on these variables.  User accounts should have the ability to read and write to these variables and they should be retained, not deleted.  On a Windows 7 workstation those variables point to c:\users\User_Name\AppData and \AppData\Local.  In a roaming profile frequently used for Terminal Server\Citrix users, these variables may reside on a completely different server, requiring cross-server security changes.

Bottom line, it’s not an easy fix.  But it can be done. And it is one of this things that will make your users very happy.

Originally posted on

There is a wealth of information about this, but I have to believe that some people just don’t get it.

Let’s start with the easiest, Simple Recovery mode.  You only have one choice for a restorable backup, and that’s a full backup.  When you back up the database, the log (committed transactions) are truncated, allowing the log file (.ldf) to maintain its smallest available size.  There is no transaction log backup for point-in-time restore, so you restore from latest backup.  SQL Express only runs in Simple Recovery mode.

In Full Recovery, you back up the complete database (full backup), but you MUST also back up the transaction log.  If you do not run periodic Transaction Log backups, the log file (.ldf) will continue to grow until it either reaches a preset limit or (more often) fills the drive.  The Transaction Log backup is what clears and truncates the log.  For restoring, you would need the last full backup plus any transaction logs up to the point of desired recovery.

Companies who use a software-specific backup agent for SQL backups are most commonly running full backups to their tape, the cloud, or other media.  If your database is set for Full recovery, you must back up the Transaction Log as well either to the same destination using the agent, or set up a SQL job to back up the log separately.  If this is the case, you would restore from full tape backup then any subsequent transaction log backups to the point of desired recovery.

I’ve seen too many cases where a company will choose a full recovery model to minimize data re-entry in the event of drive or human error, but then only runs full backups to external media.  The result?  A huge log file, or a drive that is out of space, stopping any additional data input until the condition is corrected.

Instructions for fixing full drives are available from Microsoft and many other sites, so I will not cover them here.

If you’re not certain what your database settings are for each of your databases, run this query in SQL 2005 or later:

select name, DATABASEPROPERTYEX(name, ‘Recovery’) Model from sys.databases

Bottom line, use the right backup for your recovery model and method.