His article: Why you should care about Microsoft Dexterity discusses some of the history of development environments for financial software systems and then explains where Dexterity fits.
While the core Microsoft Dynamics GP application is built on Dexterity, Dexterity is still the best tool for tight seamless integrations at the user interface level. Visual Studio Tools for Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 resolves a number of limitations in previous versions and will get better as we move forward. In time, the remaining limitations of Visual Studio tools will be resolved, allowing either tool to be selected as the "best tool" for customisations to the "thick client" user interface.
I do agree with Mark Polino's thoughts that .Net technologies will play a bigger and bigger part in the future. However, the current client is heavily reliant on Dexterity and to support and develop against the current client, understanding of Dexterity and how it works is important. There is still a huge investment by Microsoft and a large number of ISV developers in Dexterity and we should still "care" about it.
I think we need to take away 4 points from this discussion:
- Each tool has strengths and weaknesses. The tools are always improving.
- For a Visual Studio Tools developer to integrate with Dexterity windows, knowledge of Dexterity is invaluable.
- The selection of a tool needs to be based on what your requirements are and where your developer's knowledge is.
- Hybrid.... Don't limit yourself to a single tool to complete your customisation.
Feel free to post your thoughts as comments.