Wow, what a ride!!
I will apologize that this update has taken until now to post, but writing blog posts requires time and that is the one thing that has been at a premium over the last few days.
On Tuesday, I arrive on the first full day at the conference to hear someone call out my name..... someone who still has an Australian accent. I turn around to find none other than Geoff Harding. Former work colleague from Sequel Technology who now lives in the USA and works for Wennsoft. Geoff wrote the Equipment Series while at Sequel Technology, he even let me write a few sections of code. It was great to see Geoff again as I only see him now at Microsoft Dynamics GP conferences. I had brought some Vegemite with me from home to give as a gift and so who better to receive it than a fellow Aussie.
Geoff Harding (tall one) and David Musgrave (short one)
The Conference started with opening session with Dave Coulombe, Errol Schoenfish and Jeff Trosen welcoming us to Fargo. During the session, Martin Olsen and Chris Dew from eOne Business Solutions demonstrated some of the new "Forms" functionality that was added to the Extender product for v10.0 Service Pack 4 and later. They created a great example on-the-fly of a system to track professors, classes and students. For some reason, they enjoyed picking on me by using my name in their demo data and setting me as a junior level trainer using the lowest hourly rate. Errol also showed a great video which attempts to explain why 11 is better than 10.
After the opening session came the first concurrent session time slot. There were two sessions offered for each time slot and one of these first sessions was Mariano and my "Customizing the Microsoft Dynamics GP Client with Visual Studio Tools, Dexterity and Modifier with VBA" session. As we are getting ready for the session, setting up the machines and getting the microphones put on, Mariano is looking more and more uncomfortable. I knew that this was his first time presenting to a large public audience, and understood that he would be nervous. While he got me worried, after a quick break to get some fresh air he was ready to go. I had faith in him and it was well rewarded. The session was standing room only and was a great success. We went through eight demos showing how to use four different tools in two ways to achieve similar customisations. He was a lot more relaxed after the session.
Mariano (looking more relaxed) and David
After our session, we attended the Rob Anderson's "What's New in Dexterity for Microsoft Dynamics GP 11?" session which showed us some of the cool things coming in the next set of the tools. Here are a couple of them: Context menus in Dexterity and Table buffer parameters for Visual Studio Tools. We also attended Rob Wagner's "Emailing Documents and Word Templates" session, which showed us how the new Word forms functionality works when printing documents such as SOP Invoices.
After the three concurrent sessions there was an ISV Expo and Reception. Mariano, Leslie Vail and I stayed for a little bit and then went to a meeting room to prepare for our Troubleshooting session the next day. In particular we were working on demonstration of the Support Debugging Tool for Microsoft Dynamics GP. We made good progress but were not finished when we ran out of time and went back to the conference to participate in the Study Hall sessions.
While there I was able to catch up Dave Coulombe, who I have known since I first started with GP in 1994.
Dave Coulombe and David Musgrave
I was also able to meet and greet with a number of partners, Microsoft staff and long time friends.
Left to Right: Emily Roen, Leslie Vail, David Musgrave, Constance Gilleland, Denni Conner
At the end of the Study Hall time (9pm), we (Mariano, Leslie and I) caught the bus back to the Ramada hotel and found a table in the Basies restaurant that had a power socket. We sat down with some drinks and snacks to eat and continued to work on the demonstration for tomorrow's session. By the time we finished, it was 1:30am and we were all exhausted.
I must thank Mariano and Leslie for spending the time working through the ideas I had to streamline them, improve them and make them work smoothly.
We were finally ready for the session, just need to update the document with the handwritten notes and print the cheat sheets out.
By the time I got to sleep, I had four hours before I had to get up again.
17-Nov-2009: Materials for the Customizing session are attached to the bottom of this post.
18-Nov-2009: See the Microsoft Dynamics GP Technical Conference 2009 Wrap Up for more posts.