I have some exciting news for those of you who still work with Apple Macintosh computers. I have been given permission to “leak’ another cool feature for the upcoming Microsoft Dynamics GP “12” release.
Microsoft Dynamics GP “12” will have support for Apple Macintosh computers*, for details keep reading.
When Microsoft Dynamics GP (then called Great Plains Software Dynamics) was first released, it was available for both the Microsoft Windows and Apple Macintosh platforms. The predecessor to the new GUI (Graphical User Interface) Dynamics product was Great Plains Accounting (GPA) which was available for DOS, Windows and Macintosh. To maintain support for both PC and Apple computers, Dynamics was developed to work on both.
In 1988, when the decision to develop an new accounting system for multiple platforms was made, the team at Great Plains Software looked for a development platform that would allow for development of an application with a Graphical User Interface which could use a single set of source code for both Windows and Macintosh operating systems. They wanted it to be independent of operating system, independent of database platform, be easily customizable and be translatable for both terminology and other languages.
After it was realised that there just was not a development tool available that could handle the requirements, Great Plains Software started designing and developing their own language called Dexterity. The team that developed Dexterity included people like Tim Brookins, David Gaboury, Andrew Ingalls, Erik Nissen, Brian Glaeske, Kevin Honeyman, Todd Lefor, Steve Kubis, etc. Many of which still work for Microsoft in areas such as Dynamics GP, Dynamics AX and Windows Phone 7.
Dexterity uses a data dictionary approach with the data types, field, tables, forms, and reports all defined and stored in a .DIC file (DYNAMICS.DIC is the primary application file). All the script is compiled to pseudo code which can be executed by the appropriate runtime engine for the operating system. Reading and writing of data was handled with a “black box” approach were Dexterity commands for table manipulation separated the developer from the actual implementation being used.
This design allowed for a single application data dictionary to be used across multiple operating system and database platforms. The data dictionary also provided a method for all strings and messages to be extracted, translated and imported back into the dictionary, thus making the application translatable.
As new features or new database platform support were needed, the underlying Dexterity development environment was updated and the Dynamics application would then inherit them. This is how support for SQL Server or Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) was added without having to rewrite the entire application.
When version 6.00 was released, TreeView and ListView controls were added to Dexterity, as (at the time) the Apple Macintosh could not support these controls (used for Explorer/Smartlist), support for the Macintosh was dropped.
Now that the Apple Macintosh supports the controls again (and has done for a while), it was decided that Microsoft Dynamics GP “12” should be able to be used on an Apple Macintosh system again.
So you heard it first on the Developing for Dynamics GP blog, Microsoft Dynamics GP “12” will have support for Apple Macintosh computers*.
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* using Citrix running on a Windows Terminal server with the ICA client for Apple Macintosh.