Microsoft Great Plains: Offshore Customization & Development - Overview for Consultant


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When you visit department stores and see that majority of the apparels are produced in other countries, not US – you probably do not worry about this fact. About 10 years ago, when Clinton’s high tech era was at the inception – we saw the signs of high tech professionals inflow in the USA from overseas. Nowadays the trend is reversed – instead of importing high tech people, we are at the beginning of outsourcing to them in their overseas countries the programming workload. In this small article we’ll concentrate on the Microsoft Business Solutions Great Plains customization specifics: Great Plains Dexterity (IDE and programming language), SQL programming with XML in/out bound, VBA/Modifier/Continuum, Crystal Reports, Web publishing/eCommerce

  • Closed/Protected technology. Great Plains Dexterity serious development requires months of formal training and it also requires access to so-called source code (DYNAMICS. DIC with scripts in it – normally scripts are stripped). This fact imposes restrictions on offshore facility selection. This facility should be located in the country, where Great Plains Software had former development force. To give you more clue – these are Australia and Philippines. If you are considering India – we do not know if anyone there has access to source code, at least officially they do not have access, because source code partner program was closed many years ago.

  • Coded table names: RM00101, SOP30200 – to give you example. The reason was – Dexterity design was based on the multi-database-platform principle. From the development standpoint – it means that developer should have data fixing experience – serving real clients either remotely to US or in their local countries

  • Customization Upgrade Experience. Great Plains Dexterity allows you to create either custom forms or place modifications to the existing forms (SOP Entry, for example). Placing code to the existing forms requires customization upgrade experience – these forms should be re-customized when you do upgrade to the newer GP version – currently version 8.0

  • Project Management. Considering the fact that majority of Great Plains users have rather accounting background – to spec out customization or integration – project manager should have combination of functional/application and technical consulting experience. This means that project manager should be US-based consultant. In the case when you plan to have project managers offshore – they should be in the close time zone (Sao Paulo, Brazil – is good candidate for the place, considering large pool of educated programmers on the market)

    Good luck with implementation, customization and integration and if you have issues or concerns – we are here to help! If you want us to do the job - give us a call 866-528-0577 or 630-961-5918!

    Andrew is Great Plains specialist in Alba Spectrum Technologies ( ) – Microsoft Great Plains, Navision, Microsoft CRM Partner, serving clients in California, Minnesota, Illinois, Washington, Florida, Arizona, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, Canada, UK, Australia, Brazil, Germany, Russia

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