Extender is coming, what now for the other customization tools

David MeegoYou may has seen that Microsoft Dynamics GP v10.00 Service Pack 4 will include a number of new features to the Extender product.

Please see the information on blog posts on the Inside Microsoft Dynamics GP blog and US Microsoft Dynamics GP Field Team blog:

What we are getting is more of the features from eOne Integrated Business Solutions's eXtender product.  Lots of cool features that go way beyond the additional custom fields offered by Extender Standard.

The big difference is that Extender can now create totally independent windows. You can create an entire vertical application based on a set of Extender windows. It can have work-flows which generate transactions based on Extender data. Where previously, you needed to develop customizations using Dexterity or Visual Studio Tools for Microsoft Dynamics GP, you can now configure the Extender windows as desired without any development.

So do we still need tools like Modifier with Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), Dexterity and Visual Studio Tools?

The answer is yes.  While Extender can easily allow the additional windows to be created, it cannot change an existing window and cannot change the behaviour of existing code. It also cannot go beyond the basic functionality of data storage and generating specific transactions.

Extender is a great tool that can definitely speed up and simplify the process of adding simple windows to Microsoft Dynamics GP.  However, other tools will still be needed for more complex integrations.

As mentioned before on this blog, a hybrid approach using Extender in conjunction with the other tools might be the best approach. Get Extender to do what it does and then use another tool to do the bits Extender cannot do.

Note: It is not recommended to attempt to modify or customize Extender windows.


Comments (3)

  1. Martin Olsen says:

    Great information David. One of the easiest ways to take advantage of your hybrid approach is through the eXtender Enterprise tool still available from eOne. this contains a number of additional great features  – but most relevant to your article is the Logic Feature. This feature allows two levels of form logic:

    1. Configuration: consultant level functions that allow fields  to be disabled/enables and values to be set based upon defined rules.
    2. Development: Ability to embed sanScript behind an eXtender window, form, detail form, linked form etc.

    This gives you the best of both worlds, the ability to have your consultants build the front end in eXtender -and the developer comes along to write the code that makes the solution ‘sing and dance’. Through logic you an write a few lines of code (that may simply open the cash receipt screen from a custom eXtender form and pre-populate the customer and date), or build a really complex solution to meet a very specific customer need.

    In addition, eXtender enterprise allows you to trigger this eXtender based sanScript to be triggered from regular GP screens. This means that you can have small amounts of code trigger, without the need to compile dictionaries or later upgrade them. 

  2. David Musgrave says:

    Post from Jivtesh Singh at About Dynamics, Development and Life


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