The Microsoft Dynamics GP Web Client is Here to Stay

Convergence 2013 is long gone. At the March event, there were a total of six Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 Web Client concurrent sessions conducted by various presenters. I personally had a chance to present two of these sessions at both PreGAME and at the main Convergence event. Overall, these six sessions averaged 95 attendees. The common theme: Dynamics GP partners were a no-show for the Web Client concurrent sessions.

While I don't want to read too much into these numbers, I do want to spend some time talking about this phenomenon in more detail, since adoption of the Dynamics GP web client technology is going to be critical in future sales, deployments, and upgrades.

First, some background...

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About Mariano Gomez

Mariano Gomez is a Microsoft MVP, PMP and EVP for Midmarket Solutions at Intelligent Partnerships, LLC. He is the original developer of the Microsoft Dynamics GP Spanish release for Latin America and has been consulting and implementing technology solutions for organizations across the United States, the Caribbean, and Latin America for the last 20 years. Mariano holds an MIS degree from the University of Phoenix.

About Intelligent Partnerships, LLC

With over 150 years of combined management and technology consulting experience, Intelligent Partnerships skillfully partners with organizations to solve complex problems, boost operating performance and maximize value for stakeholders. 

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Silver light has been cancelled - what does this mean for client

What do we tell customers? They will begin deploying a product that will not be supported in a few years and by the way it doesn't support all the VS tools apps you have been building and you need to learn Dexterity and forget .net?

Silverlight has been cancelled

See, this is why it pays to attend training and to stop reading sketchy blogs. Silverlight is alive and well and in fact is being integrated into the Windows 8 Application Lifecycle Management. From the Microsoft Silverlight team:

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/silverlight/

HTML 5 and XAML will both coexist. If not, ask yourself, has DOS been killed?

Microsoft is working on methods to port VST applications to the Web Client. You will understand that Visual Studio Tools is a whole different animal as it has more than just the 32 controls Dexterity provides. Also, Visual Studio controls are extensible, so that would need to be accounted for if mapping to a Silverlight control. However, because most of the code base (make that GP and ISV applications) are written on Dexterity, that was the natural path: to make these viable on the Web.

No one is saying "Forget .NET and go learn Dexterity". However, what we are saying is Dexterity offers the path of least resistance to the Web Client. If your application was built on Dex, then you have a high chance of success to make it to the Web Client.

Also, there are workarounds to move your VBA customizations to Web Client - I discuss this in my articles Hybrid development for the Managed Code developer and Hybrid development for the Managed Code developer (cont).

If you have more questions, I am open to continue this discussion. I strongly encourage you to attend the Web Client training in Fargo at the end of this month.

MG.-
Mariano Gomez, MVP

Web Client is here to stay

Mariano,
Thanks for the article! I'm excited about the Web Client, but cannot get clients excited once they discover that they will need a separate server for the Web Client (per Microsoft).
For the most part, much of our GP base is under 10 users, and clients have been excited about the new Web Client, since it would ease deployment hassles for certain people in each organization.
When asked, Microsoft's response is simply 'It's not supported'. I asked if it would work on the SQL server or another existing server for 2 or 3 part-time connections to the Web Client, Microsoft says 'Not supported', but they won't say WHY it's not.
It may be a great deployment option, but when the client has to purchase an additional server license and CALs, it's just not going to happen.
So I will ask you and the community "Why won't the client run on the server where SQL is installed?" Hopefully I'll hear something other than 'it's not supported'.

Web Client on SQL Server

Let me start by saying that that's a very good question. However, it's a good question for all the reasons you are not mentioning.

From a deployment standpoint, the web client is supported on a Single Machine deployment or a Multi Server environment where you will end up, obviously, with the possibility of multiple web servers, multiple session hosts (the servers where GP + Web Client Runtime components are installed), and even multiple tenants (instances of GP).

But let's focus on single machine, which is probably what most "small" environments will be running anyways.

In a single machine deployment, your session host and web server can effectively be the same. However, and as a best practice, you should at least have a separate server for your database server, that is, SQL Server.

Now, the only reason why Microsoft may be saying "it's not supported" - and again, your words and nothing I have officially heard or confirmed - is because it's a stretch to also run your web server on the same machine where SQL Server is installed, given the fact that both applications are memory intensive.

I personally do believe that if you going to deploy web client in a single machine environment, at least you should consider having 3 servers in that environment: a domain controller running Active Directory, a Web Server/Session host that will run the web site and the GP client, and a SQL Server.

You will need GP on the SQL Server, but without the web client runtime to perform additional tasks like updating tax tables, running IM integrations, modifying forms/reports, and so on. The GP client on the Web Server is strictly used for sporadic admin and troubleshooting functions - after all, if there's an issue at the Web Client level, you must verify if that issue can be replicated on the rich client.

Hope this helps.

MG.-
Mariano Gomez, MVP
IntellPartners, LLC

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