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Security was top of mind with Microsoft Dynamics GP 2016’s OData feature

by Mark Polino
Director of Client Services, Fastpath, Integrated Business Group
October 18 2016
Data security

Microsoft Dynamics GP 2016 introduced OData as a new way of accessing information in GP via the internet.  As it is implemented in GP, OData is a resource-based web protocol for querying data. It makes accessing GP data remotely for analysis in products like Tableau or Power BI easier than ever before. This secure connection has been a missing piece of the puzzle in a lot of use cases.

But companies are always worried about the security of their data so I dug into OData security to really understand it. First, the OData connection has to be created and secured with an SSL certificate as part of the setup so there's a solid security base at the core. Second, data has to be both selected and published to be available. For example, if a user selects to make payroll data available, but it isn't published, no one can access that data, even with appropriate permission.

Finally, even after data is published, the user has to have appropriate role access to a specific set of data to make that available to something like Power BI. In this first release, OData information roughly correlates to the same data sets that were already available in Smartlists and refreshable Excel Reports. It's that same information now accessible outside the firewall. The OData process is both easier and more secure than trying to lock down externally facing Excel data while still allowing data access.

To help make all of this happen, GP 2016 comes with a new set of roles and tasks. These are designed to provided user level access to specific information. Security is managed via Active Directory users, ...

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About Mark Polino

Mark Polino is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a former Microsoft MVP (2007-2018) for Business Solutions. He is the author or coauthor of 5 books related to Microsoft Dynamics GP.  Mark also maintains the Dynamics GP focused website DynamicAccounting.net. He speaks and writes regularly about ERP related topics. Mark has been a controller and CFO for a division of a publicly traded company and he has  worked as a consultant implementing ERP solutions. Mark holds additional certifications including Certified Information Technology Professional (CITP), Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF) , Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA). Dynamics Credentialed Professional for Dynamics GP 2015 (Core Install and Core Financials), Xero Certified. He holds a bachelor's degree in accounting from the University of Central Florida and an MBA from Rollins College. Mark lives with his family in Florida.

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