Microsoft Convergence 2011 Atlanta – Day 4 cont.

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After a fantastic closing session with Doug Kennedy, the YEA performers and the brilliant Malcom Gladwell, it was time to get back to the final day of sessions.  Mariano and I had a little time before the next session we wanted to attend (one of the few we got to), so we visited the Expo Hall. 

We were on a mission as we only had about 20 minutes time before we needed to be at the other end of the conference center. I went directly to the Rockton Software booth to say goodbye to my great friends Mark Rockwell and Kelli Sexton. This year the theme for their both was "Vikings" and they had dressed up for the duration of the conference. 


After saying goodbye and grabbing the above photo, Mariano and I rushed through the "Connector" between buildings B and A to get to the Interactive Discussion session on security. The IDGP04-R2 Tips & Tricks for Maintaining Security in Microsoft Dynamics GPsession was hosted by Bob McAdam (Tribridge), Andy Snook (Fastpath Solutions), Dave Ahalt (MonaVie) and Steve Baute (Interactive Intelligence) assisted by Terry Blaser (Microsoft). The session covered a variety of aspects, including the differences between the version 9.0 (and before) optimistic user and class based security model and the version 10.0 (and later) pessimistic task and role based security model.

[Edit] Check out Terry Blaser's podcast on Security in Microsoft Dynamics GP.

We also discussed how to upgrade and whether to use the Security Upgrade Tool. The consensus with using the Security Upgrade tool was to only use it if you needed to get your system running quickly, but then to schedule a project to move the security properly to the role and task based model.  This is because using the tool does not leverage the advantages of the role and task based model AND the resulting converted tasks and roles make maintenance of security very difficult and much more work than it should be.

We also discussed troubleshooting security and analysis of which users have access to what resources. This is where the use of the Support Debugging Tool was raised and so Mariano and I assisted with these questions as Subject Matter Experts (SME). There were a number of people attending that were already using the Support Debugging Tool and they encouraged others to take advantage of the tool and what it can do.  One attendee even joked about starting an SDT fan club.

Mariano Gomez, David Ahalt, David Musgrave, Andy Snook, Bob McAdam & Terry Blaser

After the session Mariano and I headed over to Building B to get some lunch. On the way we caught up with Pam Misialek and John Lowther. Pam joined us for lunch. It is too late for Convergence, but if you see Pam or Errol Schoenfish in the future, please feel free to say "Thank you" if you appreciate them bringing me all the way from Australia to present.

Mariano Gomez, Pam Misialek, David Musgrave and John Lowther.

Suddenly, I looked at my watch and realised that Mariano and I had to leave the lunch hall to get back to Building A to go to the Sidney Marcus Auditorium so we could sit in on MVP Mark Polino's session CSGP06-R2 Getting More Out of Microsoft Dynamics GP: 50 tips in 50 minutes. With Mark's session you can't lose concentration at all or you will miss something. He fires tips from all areas of the application at you like a machine gun. There is no time for questions, but that is the only way to get through some many tips in such a short time.  For more information on any tip, just download his materials from the Convergence Website or from his blog

Mark Polino in full flight.

After Mark's session we had some time before our next commitment, which was presenting our repeat of the CSGP014-R2 Administering Microsoft Dynamics GP Like a Pro with the Support Debugging Toolsession. We went and visited the members of Microsoft Dynamics GP support team manning the HelpDesk area in the Community and Learning Center in Hall A.

Then it was time to get ready for our session with the Tech Check and set up my laptop to run the slides and demos. It was the last session of the last day of the conference and everyone was exhausted. To try and get some excitement back we left my laptop playing some Australian songs, like Men at Work's classic Downunder and some Kylie Minogue. Mariano and Leslie were trying to get me to dance, but I resisted the urge (more on that in the next post).

Mariano and David presenting

The session went well. We actually had to skip one demo we had planned as the audience were being very interactive and asking lots of questions. We were really happy that even though the numbers were down from the first session, the audience was awake and engaged. Once the session was over, we still had lots of people stay back to say hello and ask questions.

Post Session Question Time

I must say thank-you to all the conference attendees who made the effort to say hello to Mariano and I and let us know how our work in the Microsoft Dynamics GP community (forums and blogs) or with the Support Debugging Tool has helped them.  It is really appreciated and encourages us to keep doing what we can.

Suddenly, Convergence was over, the last questions had been answered and everyone was leaving the conference center. After a couple of drinks in the Omni Hotel lobby lounge Mariano and I were joined by the "Usual Suspects" and a couple of other attendees for a dinner at McCormick and Schmicks. Notice the Tim Tams on the table, this was my last pack and was passed around after dinner.

David Musgrave, Joyce Vanjura, Mike McDowell, Leslie Vail, Jorge Cortez Monroy,
David Eichner, John Lowther, Ted Mauldin and Mariano Gomez

After dinner, it was time to go "home" back to Mariano's house. I have one day staying with Mariano to relax and discuss our plans for next conference before I start flying home on Friday.

Please let me leave you with two action items:

  1. Please make sure you complete your evaluations giving feedback comments when you can. This serves 3 purposes. It tells Microsoft what you thought of the sessions and the conference as a whole; it gives feedback to the presenters to allow them to make their sessions better next time; and it will help raise money for the Youth Ensemble of Atlanta with $5 donated for each conference evaluation submitted.
  2. Please post comments on this post, or use the email author option on the blog to let us know what you would like for next conference. What topics would you like Mariano and I to cover and to what level? We work very hard to tailor the session materials to the level that the audience wants, let us know how we are doing.

Thank you for all your support.


20-Apr-2011: Added Link to Terry Blaser's Podcast on Microsoft Dynamics GP Security.

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