Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Dynamics GP Goes Web Based: Microsoft Dynamics GP Web Client Announced

Microsoft announced that a Dynamics GP Web Client is coming. At the GP General Session at Convergence 2011 this drew a lot of wows from users and partners. This product will not be out for another year so there are a lot of unknowns at this point.

My suspicion has been for some time that Microsoft is taking baby steps towards a web ui. Things like the web based components that kept appearing such as Navigation Panes, Navigation List preview pane and most importantly the SQL Reporting BI and reports which render on web engine.

Here are Some questions and the answers I could uncover.
(This was in chats here and there so things could change/be inacurrate etc. Keep in mind.)

Q:What does GP Web client UI look like?
A: In one word: Nice! It looks just like the existing Dynamics GP user interface with the Outlook overall view. It is running inside a browser but had a neat little feature that in the bottom of the window there was a panel that show a preview of all the open windows. Below is the Home screen:


Q: Is the UI snappy?
A: Obviously the demo will show something that works nice (not like,let's say Navigation Lists a year ago ;-) but in the General Session they demo'd editing a Vendor master and then moving to a new record. The navigation and data entry seemed to be snappy.

Q: Did I see "Tabs" on the GP Windows?
A: Yes you did! GP Web client is rendering extra windows supporting the main window as a tab. Wow--very smart. Take a look below and note the tabs on the Vendor Master windows.


Q: What about performance and server loading?
A: One person noted that with Terminal Services a server can handle approximately 15 users. With a GP Web Server they heard a test number of something like 75. So this shows that GP Web server will be considerable more efficient than TS.

Q: What About ISV Modules?
A: All Dexterity based modules will work with the new GP Web Client. It seems like behind the scenes the dexterity windows are being converted/(compiled?) to the web based screens. So this is huge and very well thought about.

Q: Won't some current GP windows not be well suited for Web?
A: Yes, and Microsoft noted that they are "cleaning up" some windows for the web client version to make things more streamlined.

Q: What is it built with?
A: Silverlight. It shows--nice.

With Internet Explorer 9's new "drag to your taskbar" feature which effectively makes any web page act like a windows application, GP Web Client will feal like a win app to most!

This developement is very big for the GP community. This means that GP is heading into the future and will be part of the "cloud" motion of everything. It will also make hosting GP exponentially easier. It will make the huge community of ISV products effectively web enabled.

And once again this demonstrates that Microsoft is fully behind Microsoft Dynamics GP!

Note: for even better screenshot of the web client I suggest going over to David Musgraves' article on this same subject:
http://blogs.msdn.com/b/developingfordynamicsgp/archive/2011/04/13/microsoft-convergence-2011-atlanta-day-2.aspx

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