Choosing the Correct Development Tool for Microsoft Dynamics GP

Many ISVs have created custom applications, customizations and integrations using the Dexterity development tool. There are a number of tools available for developing customizations within Dynamics GP. However, there is only one tool that has access to all 4 layers of GP, which is extremely beneficial and strategically advantageous for ISVs with resources proficient in the Dexterity environment. You can utilize Dexterity to create new forms, tables and easily integrate them into the GP user interface.

The Microsoft Dynamics GP Architecture is comprised of 4 layers; The Database, Data Dictionary, Business Logic and the User Interface layers. The database layer allows direct access to the data. The data is stored in this area making it the most important and also the most complicated and difficult layer to interface with. This level of complication is attributable to the validation that must occur prior to committing data. The Data Dictionary layer contains all the resources used to define and create the GP data model in Microsoft SQL Server. The Business Logic layer allows you to take advantage of the internal code that is shipped with GP by providing a predefined interface. Finally, the User Interface layer is the visual layer which is utilized every day by the system users.

Dexterity is the only tool that allows access to all four of these layers. It is also the only tool that has access to the data dictionary layer, which gives dexterity a unique advantage over other tools. Seamless integration is a major concern when creating custom applications or customizations that interface with Dynamics GP. Customizations created in Dexterity will provide a seamless user experience because the runtime engine interprets the main dictionary and all integrating dictionaries simultaneously. This is ideal because now the user has access to business solutions for the back office, front office, and e-business. Dexterity permits development of integrated applications, moving data to or from existing sources, and the ability to modify each customer’s applications to meet specialized needs.

Utilizing dexterity will give you the ability to change the application for individual users or user groups without interfering with other groups’ customization requirements. Developing within Dexterity allows access to all of the standard GP resources such as windows, scripts, tables and reports. Additionally, the capabilities of Modifier with VBA are accessible within the development environment. Combined, these include but are not limited to graphical interface technologies, platform-native controls, background processing and inter-application communications capabilities. Along with this list of advantages that Dexterity provides, the multi-dictionary environment that GP runs in allows applications to be easily deployed to multiple sites or multiple customers. A multi-dictionary environment also protects the integrity of the core system.

After researching the multiple choices available for developing within Microsoft GP, Dexterity comes out with a strong developmental advantage over other tools. Not only does Dexterity allow further development within the native language and interface of Dynamics GP, but it can also integrate with all other development and integration tools that have access to Microsoft Dynamics GP. Dexterity has direct access to call Microsoft Dynamics GP procedures and functions, access to use all predefined tables and fields, and it allows the setup of triggers for new business logic or for information capture. For these reasons, Dexterity allows the most extensive capabilities among the Microsoft Dynamics GP development tools. Additionally as technologies advance, so do their compatibility concerns. Having customizations written in Dexterity, the native Great Plains development tool, means that as new releases come out and more functionality is added to the product, the functionality and reliability of the custom applications is far more reliable than other external applications that may or may not be supported in future Microsoft releases. For more information or Dynamics GP or register for a demo by contacting FMT Consultants (760) 930-6400 or via email at

Written by:
Blake Eaches
FMT Consultants

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