Canadian Payroll Year-End got wrong numbers for Quebec…

Every year-end it’s the same race for Dynamics GP customers that are using either the US  or the Canadian Payroll module in their system, they have to apply tax updates to account for the new deduction rates and personal credits. The US customers are lucky, because their tax updates are not tied to a full service pack, as Microsoft managed to put them in separate tax tables, thus a simple XML file import is doing the job.

Not so much luck for the Canadian Payroll users, as the tax rates & calculations are somehow not completely stored in tables, but also embedded into the core code of the module.. which makes the update only possible thru a full service pack to update the core code of GP (usually there are only 3-4 modules that got a new build number).

Fellow MVP Jen Kuntz has posted a brief note about this on her blog, with the links for the downloads.

The less funny part is that when the US tax updates get released somewhere around mid to end of November, the Canadian Government manages to release those new numbers only very late, sometimes in early December, but due to the singularity of the Province of Quebec, which has it’s own tax rules, those new rates get often delayed until mid-December.

Which brings me to the point that the poor GP development team in Fargo has to rush the code changes & testing often in as little as 1 or 2 weeks to get it out in time before the Christmas closing (or Year-end). Every year we make some bets about when it’s going to be released, not so happy to see preliminary tentative dates on Customer Source giving Friday December 22 as release date. This often leaves us with no spare time to TEST out the service pack and then apply it to our Production environment before closing shop for the holidays.

However, yesterday (Dec. 20st), the Canadian Payroll service pack 2017 for GP2013 was delivered as an early X-mas gift and we could install it & run some payroll tests.. Only to realize this morning when the Paymaster looked up the personal tax deduction for the employees to check if the rates were aligned with the official documents from CA & QC, and he told me that the values didn’t look good :-(.


According to the Year-End Tax update document itself (and confirmed with official documents), the tax credit for personal deduction should be 15’012$CAD in the Province of Quebec, whereas here we clearly see that the value is identical with the Canadian Basic Personal Amount. Somehow this value is not consistent in the Year-End documentation itself and should be corrected by Microsoft in the coming days. The code wasn’t updating the proper values..

If you have already run the payroll reset function, then all your employees would be currently set with the wrong value..

No panic ! There is a way to fix it with a quick SQL script that you can run against your GP company database where the Canadian payroll is used. Use the following code bellow to query your data and check the current amounts (Federal & Quebec)

-- Federal Amount
SELECT CPY10105.PBasicPersonalAmount
INNER JOIN CPY10100 ON CPY10105.PEmployeeID = CPY10100.PEmployeeID
WHERE (CPY10100.PInactive = 0)

-- Provincial Amount
SELECT PQuebecMR19Base
WHERE Pinactive = 0

I’m not including inactive employees, as you may want to keep the rates of former employees, though you may want to review this on a case by case basis, as there might be employee on long-term leave (those get usually disabled to not get into the payroll run).

If the values that are returned are not correct, then you can fix them with the next script below:

UPDATE CPY10100 /*P_CPY_Master*/
SET PQuebecMR19Base = 15012.00000
 ,PQuebecMR19Line12 = 15012.00000
WHERE Pinactive = 0
 AND PQuebecMR19Base = 11730 --> last year's value
 AND PProvince = 'QC' --> do not update other provinces if you have

Also check out in the Employee card the spouse & child values at the Federal level, as some employees may want to claim the base amounts too according to the Federal form TD1(2018).

The Provincial amounts are defined in the TP-1015.3 which you can download the PDF from the link.

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year all.
Until next post..

Categories: Breaking News, Canadian Payroll, Dynamics GP, News, Year-End | Leave a comment

Why are my Project Timesheet Periods behind?

The initial situation

Are you using Project Accounting Timesheet (TS) entries in GP ? maybe you’re still on version 2013 & lower, which means you also use possibly Business Portal & PDK to manage and process the TS reports submitted by your employees.

If you’re wondering about the fact that after several years of TS report entry, your weekly period # has started to shift back.. and like in our company where GP has been implemented back in 2005, the shift currently is 2 full weeks .. Why you may ask ? just because every year isn’t equal in Calendar and doesn’t start exactly on Jan. 1st for your 1st day of reporting, which might be Saturday, Sunday or even Monday for some companies (not even counting for leap years).

In PDK this translates into showing the period #52 ending on Dec.  15th, this year, as shown in this screen capture:


After 12 years of weekly reporting

How do I fix it ?

Now someone would say that is an easy fix, as I’ve seen suggestions on a few forum posts or discussion, but it is not.. 1st place where they tell you to go is under “Project > Setup > Timesheet” and change the number of reporting periods per Year.. Alas, it doesn’t work like this, since PDK & GP is coded to ignore that value, when the option for field ‘Reporting Periods’ is anything else than Miscellaneous.


Original setup in GP

I’ve been poking around this setting long enough to confirm that this is possibly a bug, which wasn’t intentional I guess by Microsoft, but the truth is that the only purpose of that field is to provide a divider value for the Miscellaneous option.


(Note: the only time this Period # is actually validated by GP is during the posting of the TS batches)


In fact, when you setup and chose the option Miscellaneous the first time (before ever posting any TS report), GP will pop-up a message and claim that the value has to be greater than 0, but not bigger than 365 or 366 in case of leap years (actually saying it can’t be less than 0, but even zero is rejected).


How do I fix it ?

So, how to you gonna fix the shifting week issue ? The only field you have a control over, is the “First Date of Reporting Period 1”.. Every 5-6 years, when the calendar has shifted thru a whole week, your reporting period #1 might get out of sync and start in the previous year.. All you have to do is adjust the starting date to the new year, et voilà !


With the First Date of reporting changed to 2016-12-31, Period #52 is correct in 2017.


It’s not until 2021 that you’ll have to worry again to change the start date 🙂



Don’t do that while you have unposted TS reports in the system, since the period field in the table is set when a TS report is edited, but once submitted for approval, it doesn’t change anymore, and the last thing you want is to have a duplicate entry for the same period # in the current year (those are key fields for the PDK tables), ending with a xxxx-2 sequence report number.

Plan ahead of time your date change, and let all your reporting employees know that nobody should submit a new Timesheet into the new year, before you updated the First date of reporting for the next calendar year.

As always, it is warmly recommended to try out those settings first in a TEST company, and validate it with a couple of new TS reports to see if everything lines up correctly.  This shouldn’t affect the payroll periods setup, as those are managed in a different place, but if you post your TS reports directly to the US Payroll (which is an option in the PA TS Setup), you may want to check this out too.. As I don’t have a US Payroll setup in our companies, I wasn’t able to validate that aspect.

What if I have Timesheets started in the wrong period?

Two choices: either the TS report wasn’t processed in PDK and posted to GP, in which case you can simply return it to the user and make it edit to re-submit.. this is enough to update the Period field in the table after you updated the start date in the setup… or the TS was already processed and posted to GP, in which case you can run a SQL update to ‘switch’ those transactions from the new Period to an ‘extension’ of your 52 periods, this could be 53 or 54, depending how far you’re behind in the calendar.

TS Processed in PDK, but not posted in GP :
– update PDK10000 & PA10000 from the company DB

and PAYR = 2017

and PAYR = 2017
and [USERID] = '*PDK*'

Note: GP will not post a TS batch if the period is greater then the current # in the PA TS Setup window and eventually throw an error. To bypass this, just go back to the setup window and change the number of periods for the year from 52 to 54 (or whatever your max value needs to be). Don’t forget to put it back after posting.

ScreenCap 2017-11-30_181108

TS Processed in PDK & already Posted in GP:
– update historical table PA30100 (there is not history for PDK as everything is kept in PDK10000)

and PAYR = 2017

and PAYR = 2017
and [USERID] = '*PDK*'

But what if I want to change my Reporting Periods option ?

You can’t … at least not from the front-end GUI of GP.. Once it has been set and Timesheets have been posted into the system, this option is greyed out.

ScreenCap 2017-11-30_171117

During my research on the Internet, I came across a forum posting from Andy Sather at Microsoft, that provided some insight on the 2 values.. However, there was a typo in his answer, as he gave the value 9 for Miscellaneous, which is incorrect.. it should be 8 (I tested this in the Fabrikam company and looked up the value).

The only way to change it, is to grab to SQL Studio Management (or any tool to update a table value), and update the two fields driving the show. You’ll have to update two fields in table PA41801 from the company DB, which means repeat the process for each other company too.

-- Query content of PA Setup table

-- Update PA Reporting Periods option
-- Refer to this community post for the details 

SET PAreportingperiods = 3 -- bi-Weekly
 , PAnumofreportingperiods = 26 -- used when PAreportingPeriods = 8
Where PAreportingperiods = 2 -- Weekly
 and PAnumofreportingperiods = 52

I do not recommend the use of Miscellaneous in the Reporting Periods option, as PDK & GP don’t’ handle quite well fractions of weeks..For example, I tried to set the calendar year to use 53 or 55 weeks, but rather than dividing the 365 days in equal values, which is quite difficult when ending up with a decimal number ( 365 / 53 = 6.88 ), PDK & GP don’t round-up as you would expect, but rather just cut the numbers behind the decimal point..

Effectively, your period #52 is starting on Nov. 8th, finishing on Nov 14th, and your period #53 starts on Nov. 15h, but extends all the way until Dec. 31st.. not sure you want such  a long reporting period. Unless you have a very good reason to use a custom period setup, I suggest to stick with the regular settings from the list.

Hope this clarifies some of the mysteries around PA Timesheet periods setup and help you to fix some of the issues. Don’t forget to put a reminder every year-end to check your periods setup.

Until next post,

PS: I just noticed from a forum post on GPUG, that Equipment Log & Miscellaneous Log Setup suffer from the same issue, though in our company it was initially set to ‘Daily’ and uses therefore 365 periods/yr… which ended up to shift too after 13 years and we’re now already in period #21 on 2017-11-30, as it was never corrected in the past.

Update: There has been some interesting discussion around this topic on GPUG. Here’s is the link to the thread


Categories: Dynamics GP, PDK | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Get ready for  Year-end updates & sharpen the pencil! 

Howdy GPUGer’s

It’s this time of the year when all the leaves are on the ground (or almost) and the first  snowflakes signals that Christmas is soon at the door too.  That’s when you know it’s time again to get ready for the year end processing,  and most important,  the tax tables updates.

The GP community south of the Canadian border  have it easy,  as usually they get their updates by mid- or end-November.

Our friend Terry Heley from Microsoft announced today the release for the US of the version for GP 2016.. 2013 & 2015 are scheduled to follow next week..

2017 US Year-End update released

Microsoft has also prepared a nice PowerPoint presentation for this YE 2017 prep, with tons of resources and links, even how to open a support case if you’re stuck and can’t find help over the holidays 🙂


If you still struggle with your Year-End processes and don’t know where to start, then look no further and head over to the GPUG Collaborate where there is plenty of webinar recordings about the topic.

Happy Year-End preparation.
Until next time,

Categories: Dynamics GP, Year-End | Leave a comment

GP Power Tools build 22 hotfix available for download (May 02, 2017)

Good day GPUGgers !

As many of you may know (or not), I’m an avid user of GP Power Tools (former Support Debugging Tool, aka SDT) since the tools was launched in 2006, and recently worked very closely with David to bring fixes & enhancements to the product, as I’ve been running Windows 10 since a few months in production on my laptop, where I’ve GP 2013 R2 & GP 2016 R2 (in Test) clients installed.

Windows 10 having changed quite a few things in regards of screen management and multi-monitor setup, plus a few other small hindrance (like the invisible window frames), it has been quite an interesting journey in the past months.

Here are the changes that were brought into this update for the build 22:

Version 16.00 build 22 (Released 02-May-2017) Installer: 16.00.0022.4

  •          Updated Trigger Setup window to stop asking to reset script when changing Menu Trigger text.
  •          Updated Company Color Themes to use User Display Preference settings for Link Fields and Required Fields.
  •          Updated Company Color Themes to override User Display Preference color settings when needed for inverted themes.
  •          Added fix for Dynamics GP Bug where Apply button on User Display Preferences only works one time.
  •          Added additional checks to ensure correct window handle is used when repositioning and retitling windows.
  •          Update default values for Email, Logging and Administrator settings to enable recommended features for new installs.
  •          Adjusted window repositioning code when capturing window handle for 3rd party products to use foreground window method.

One of the important updates for me is about the handling of the windows, as I’m running a setup with 3 displays (Laptop LCD + 2 external 22″ monitors), and I think that nowadays this is a pretty common setup. Since the Windows position memory feature was introduced in build 22 by David, I had a few issues where my other application windows (Outlook, Office, Explorer) would randomly be snapped to the the lower right or left corner of the display it was showing, even it was not related to GP, and this specially annoying when you had a larger posting batch going on your GP client, as you couldn’t work with other windows without having them snapping away under your mouse :-).

Based on the feedback I provided to David, he was able to correct his code and now checks for the proper identification of the window’s title, and if that title does not match the expected value, the code will stop the Automatic Window Position check (this can also happen with 3rd-party ISV products, though part of GP, they are not recognized as such).

Thanks to a feature added a while ago, but not fully used yet,  it provides  an additional DEX.ini settings that allows you to trace in detail what’s going on with your GP forms while your client is active. That helped us to identify the issue caused by non-GP windows.


Be careful to not leave that option on longer than it would be necessary for you to debug a problem with some forms in GP, because it will fill up the GPPT log quite quickly.

Each GP form/window entry would look something like this (extract from the GPPT log):

2017-05-05 09:44:07 : ** Start of Log **
2017-05-05 09:44:07 : Version: 12.00.0022, Last Modified: 02-May-2017.
2017-05-05 09:44:07 : Automatic Trigger Mode Trigger CPY_DIR_DEPOSIT Unregistered
2017-05-05 09:44:07 : Automatic Trigger Mode Trigger VENDOR_EFT Unregistered
2017-05-05 09:44:07 : ** End of Log  **

2017-05-11 08:02:24 : Automatic Window Position    : window UPR_Employee_MNT of form UPR_Employee_MNT.
2017-05-11 08:02:24 : Dynamics GP Application Pos  : (114,57), Content Offset: (202,167).
2017-05-11 08:02:24 : Dynamics GP Zero Position    : (316,224).
2017-05-11 08:02:24 : Primary Desktop Actual Size  : (1680,1050), not used if per monitor setting available.
2017-05-11 08:02:24 : Primary Desktop Work   Size  : (1680,1010), not used if per monitor setting available.
2017-05-11 08:02:24 : Monitor Desktop Actual Pos   : (0,0) - (1680,1050), Size: (1680,1050), Device: \\.\DISPLAY1.
2017-05-11 08:02:24 : Monitor Desktop Work   Pos   : (0,0) - (1680,1010), Size: (1680,1010).
2017-05-11 08:02:25 : Monitor Desktop Physical Size: (1680,1050), DPI Scaling: 100%.
2017-05-11 08:02:25 : Dexterity reports Window Pos : (9,33) - (656,489), Size: (647,456).
2017-05-11 08:02:25 : Windows reports Window Pos   : (332,257) - (981,771), Size: (649,514).
2017-05-11 08:02:25 : Windows Window Scaled Pos    : (332,257) - (981,771), Size: (649,514), use instead of Dexterity settings.
2017-05-11 08:02:25 : Windows Window Border Offset : (7,3).
2017-05-11 08:02:25 : Adjusted Dynamics GP Zero Pos: (323,224), adjusted horizontal position for border offset.
2017-05-11 08:02:25 : Updated Dexterity window Pos : (9,33) - (658,547), Size: (649,514).
2017-05-11 08:02:25 : Dexterity Window + Offset Pos: (332,257) - (981,771), Size: (649,514).

Quite interesting and helpful when you’re an administrator and trying to figure out what’s going on with your GP client, especially if you run that on a shared environment like Citrix or Terminal Server.

If you’re already a GPPT subscriber, go and download the latest build 22 from the Mekorma site and install it. If you’re not a GPPT user yet, I encourage you strongly to grab a copy and ask for the free 30 Days trial key. You’re going to love it.

Until next time, have a great Day!


Categories: Citrix - TS, Dynamics GP, GPPT - GP Power Tools, System Administration | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

A remove range operation on table ‘SY_Current_Activity’ failed accessing SQL data


You’ve probably encounter this error message on rare occasions in Dynamics GP, but be prepared for seing an increase with GP 2015 & up.

Recently I was working on a case with a customer that upgraded last fall (2016) from GP 2010 to GP 2015, and ever since the upgrade, the users who access GP over Citrix exclusively (no local GP clients) had randomly issues with pop-ups denying them access to some of the 50 GP companies.. The corporation has office mainly on the east-coast and also over in Asia, thus making the maintenance more difficult with the 13-hours timeshift, as the system is busy most of the 24h in a day.


However, as they also use tons of 3rd-party ISV products and some customization, it was hard to pinpoint the culprit / faulty module. At some point we thought that it was the “inactivity” timer of the Rockton Toolbox that was causing this, but it made no sense to me, especially as the companies were not in the user’s access list.. Disabling the feature in RSTB was only a temporary solution, as you can guess that with so many companies, comes also a lot of users and more than often they don’t exit GP properly, leaving their session run on the Citrix server.. doubled down with the fact that there was no timeout set for inactive sessions, it wasn’t helping either. On top of that, the company is using FastPath for SSO and as I discovered later, FP does also have a feature for ‘inactivity’ timeoout.. As both were enabled (FP & RSTB), it becomes really though to diagnose the source of the problem.
We tried to enable the DexSQL tracing with the help of GP Power Tools, but as it occured only randomly, it was not a solution, since all users accessed GP thru 2 Citrix servers, the logs were growing fast (because enabled to all users) and it was slowing down the system.

By early 2017, we had a confirmation from Rockton that it might have been a bug related to the Toolbox ‘inactivity’ timeout feature, and thus applied the latest build with big hopes. Alas, only a few days later, the problem was back again with some users out of Asia reporting the pop-ups.. Strangely it occured mostly at Asia’s business hours (during night on east-coast) or very early in the morning on Eastern Time. My suspiscion started towards some maintenance job that would kill user sessions without further validation, but couldn’t find any tangible hints. I tried also by all kinds of back-end manipulation of the ACTIVITY table to reproduce the behavior and get the error message, as I suspeced the shared DEX.ini  to be causing this (DEX.ini stores the last company ID when a user exits GP).

At the end, as I had a conversion with my good friend & fellow MVP David Musgrave on how I could potentially enable single user tracing, without implementing indivual user DEX.ini config files, he suggested to have a look at the ACTIVITY table from the DYNAMICS DB, and check for potential triggers that could fire up at a bad time. Low & behold, it turned out that starting with GP 2015, Microsoft implemented new feature in GP that required a trigger on the ACTIVITY table to proceed with some clean-up work on company DB tables, which whne happening under a context when users were logged into another company at the same time to which they didn’t had access, would cause the infamous pop-up to show on screen.. confusing the users about the company they didn’t access to.

Read the details in David’s blog post about the underlying details and a (temporary) resolution. For now, the trigger was simply disabled on the ACTIVITY table, to confirm the source of the problem. Further action is required to resolve the issue on a long term basis with Microsoft and/or 3rd-party providers.


Categories: Citrix - TS, Dynamics GP, GPPT - GP Power Tools | Leave a comment

Are your currency rates Up-to-date?

Once in a while I get a call or an e-mail from a user that is stuck in GP in the Sales Order entry form or the PO receiving process, because they received an error message on screen telling them there is currently no valid Exchange Rate available for this transaction.

Pop-up from GP when no valid rate is available for a transaction

Pop-up from GP when no valid rate is available for a transaction

As in many companies when you enable Multi-Currency in GP, you’ll end up with a ton of Exchange Rate ID’s, considering you might need one for the daily transactions, the Average for a month, and the month-end rate for some reports. Even worse, if you use Management reporter, you may want to use different rate ID’s then the ones for daily use.

Anyhow, in our system with a dozen GP companies, we deal with as much as 46 Exchange Rate ID’s (and this doesn’t include the Fabrikam Z-xxx rates), ranging from BATH all the way to ZAR. Some of them are more often used pairs than others, so you get the picture: our users from the Finance department that are entering them every day (mostly) are sometimes behind or forget about some of the pairs (especially in month-end when they’re busy).

I had written an Excel report a few years back that would give them a quick overview of the various MC tables involved, notably MC00100 (Exchange Rate table), MC40300 (Rate ID’s) and MC60200 (MC company access). The problem with that report was that the data returned for MC00100 would just keep getting longer and longer as you don’t remove outdated rates.. Sorting the data by the expiration rate date wasn’t a good idea either, because due to some typo’s during entry, some of the expiration dates would be totally off (like in 3016 or 2106), thus not very reliable..

I tweaked the SQL query that I had built to extract the MC00100 data to return the most recent entered Exchange Rate only for each Rate ID… which limited the entries to the actual amount of Rate ID’s (or pairs) we have in the sytem. Much better and easier to quickly spot where there is an expired currency rate that needed a new entry.

Here is the SQL script that you can easily put into a refreshable Excel report (or if you own SmartList builder, create a view and use it with SmartList in GP).

/* This query allows to retrieve all the most current Exchange Rates from the Rate Table MC00100
in the DYNAMICS DB. Given the nature of error prone entries, it can't be based on the Expiration date,
as sometimes totally unreallistic dates show up there (like 3016-12-31, due to a typo).
The query was written in a way that lists in descending order by the latest EXCHDATE
(c) 2017-02-03 B. Bucher
Inner join (Select EXGTBLID as ExcTabID, max(EXCHDATE) as ExcDate
from MC00100
Group by EXGTBLID) GroupDT
on MC00100.EXGTBLID = GroupDT.ExcTabID
and MC00100.EXCHDATE = GroupDT.ExcDate

PS: I know that some may arg we could use a data feed to update our currency rates, but I’ve looked around and as we draw them from the Bank Of Canada web site, I wasn’t able to find a feed that would work with their data (at least not for free).

Until next post..

Categories: Dynamics GP, System Administration | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Refreshable Excel report for monthly actuals vs. budgets in Dynamics GP

Here’s an interesting blog post from Victoria about financial reports in Excel with budget vs. Actual..  Read on and have fun!


A lot of the requests I get are for actual vs. budget reporting. Certainly FRx and Management Reporter can do this pretty easily, but more and more I see users wanting this in Excel with a refresha…

Source: Refreshable Excel report for monthly actuals vs. budgets in Dynamics GP

Categories: Dynamics GP

Microsoft Dynamics GP 2016 has released! — David Musgrave’s Winthrop Development Consultants Blog

I have just received an email from my friend Terry Heley from Microsoft letting me know that Microsoft Dynamics GP 2016 has now been released to general availability and can be downloaded (my download is already completed ). Thanks to everyone who has made this release possible. Lots of hard work goes into getting all […]

via Microsoft Dynamics GP 2016 has released! — David Musgrave’s Winthrop Development Consultants Blog

Categories: Dynamics GP | Leave a comment

How to recover your SQL DB from a suspect mode ?

Today we had a very strange situation as I came into to office usually around 7:30am and as there are not much people are around, I have around one hour quite time to work on things that I don’t want too much disturbance..

Around 8:00, a fellow worker from Finance came to my office and asked if I knew why he couldn’t access the ‘Accounting’ folder anymore ?  You have to know that our business is running it’s Intranet over a SharePoint 2013 instance that is configured to run across three servers. As it is very cumbersome for the users, especially accounting people that deal a lot with Excel files, to drag files around on SP, they do map their ‘main’ SP folders thru Windows Explorer with drive letters (i.e. F:\ ).

I started with the usual questions about “have you rebooted your computer ? did you change your password recently ?, and so on”..  As nothing seemed to be wrong, I fired up my IE browser which normally starts straight on our Intranet home page.. and allas, all I got what a typical SharePoint error message (the famous one with the yellow background).

As not much people from IT are in the office around this time, I started to look at the SP front-end server first by opening a remote session into the system. The event log was red of alerts of all sorts, but one that caught my eye was an ‘invalid login’ towards one of the service accounts pointing to the SP database server. In particular was the “SharePoint_Config” database mentioned in the errors, which led me to believe there was  a serious issue going on the SQL server where SP hosts all the DB’s (and there are a ton, believe me… I think at least 20 or so).

As a SQL DB admin who manages quite a few SQL servers in the company, my first thought was to restart the SQL services, as nothing seemed to be unusual (disk space was OK, first thing to check, services were all running… ). At this time I tried to reach out our SP administrator that was en-route, but not aware at all about the whole mess.. In the mean time at least a half-dozen employees had already opened Help Desk tickets about the non-working intranet. He said that he wasn’t far from the office and said that I should just try to reboot all the servers, that would usually help to bring things back to normal 🙂

I didn’t had a chance to reboot all the servers, but one thing that caught my attention was the SharePoint_Config database that had a strange icon that was not looking normal.  As my SP Admin had in the meantime reached his desk and called me, we started to look into the SQL DB status. We quickly found a blog post related to the exact same issue and started working on it.

The SharePoint_Config database is a vital component of a SharePoint server farm, as it contains all the configuration for the various sites composing the farm. In our case the database ran into an issue over the week-end and was put in ‘suspect‘ mode by the SQL server, cutting simply all access to the DB from any application.. thus the SP website could not run anymore.

With the help of the blog post we were able to quickly fix the corruption (fortunately for us) and within an hour or so had the server back on operation. At last resort, we would have had to reach out to the server backups to restore the faulty database, which would have taken probably much more time, as the whole backup is very huge.

Lesson to Learn from this event :

  1. the same could have happened to any Dynamics GP or CRM databases, not something specific to SharePoint
  2. if you manage your own backup jobs on the server for SQL DB’s, make sure you get an alert if anything unusual happens during the backup. In this case, the faulty DB could not be backed up, but the CommVault application that we use wasn’t triggering any alert about that …
  3. I’ve programmed my own sets of backup reports for all the SQL servers I’m responsible for (which was not the case for SharePoint), so I get in my inbox every day an overview of what was fully backed up
  4. if anything happens during my SQL maintenance jobs, I immediately get a notification on my cell/inbox.
  5. if you don’t manage yourself your DB backups (i.e. IT takes care of it), make sure you have some tools (like Idera, Apex or Red-Gate) to monitor the status of your SQL servers and DB’s.. Such situation should not have left a server stranded for several hours and could have avoided a stressful Monday morning in the office.

I hope this provides some food for thought about how you manage your daily SQL servers.
Until next post…


Disclaimer : I have no relations or interests in any ways of the above mentioned tools, but I’ve used some of them that are free for quite a few years.



Categories: Dynamics GP, SharePoint, System Administration | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Miss Convergence 2016 ? Don’t miss Amplify 2016!

GPUG Amplify 2016

Lots of people have been sitting on the fence since last year’s Convergence 2015 when Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella announced that Microsoft was going to give new directions to one of the largest event of the company in North America (roughly 12-13’000 attendees in the past years).  Microsoft wanted to target more the big company decision makers of the America Inc (and other countries of course), namely all the C-level people (CEO, CTO, CFO, CIO, name it… ).

Problem is that Convergence has essentially been followed by the base users of their Dynamics line of product, at least that was my feeling and experience since attending my first Convergence in San Diego in 2007. Lots of IT people, Finance, HR and Manufacturing dept users, all of them wanted to see the next coming ‘new’ features for the product they used. One essential reason also for participating at Convergence was the chance to be able to have a one-to-one discussion with the technical folks of Microsoft and also to meet their peers that share the same domain of business and interest. Having also the opportunity to visit several ISV’s on the Expo Center was a bonus as well.

For several months after last year’s Convergence 2015, many folks still believed that Microsoft couldn’t sacrifice such a huge event like this and make a 180° turn. Even our lovely GP folks in Fargo tried to reassure everyone that they were still fully committed to continue the development and support of GP, promising they would do all in their power to maintain some decent content for the 2016 Convergence.  Then on January 13th 2016, Wayne Morris made a big announcement about this year’s coming event in April.. And this was the beginning of the end ! Convergence as we all knew it was dead, replaced by a complete new event called Envision 2016.  For all the users from the base of Dynamics, this was a clear statement that there not much to expect anymore from the event as we had known it for the past 10 years.  As alternative, Wayne Morris was redirecting the folks to other large events like Microsoft Ignite (Sept 26-30, 2016, Atlanta, GA), the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (July 10-14, 2016, Toronto, Canada) and last but not least the Dynamics User Group Summit (Oct 10-14, 2016, Tampa, FL).

The later one being the most interesting when it comes to content for all things GP related, since Ignite is more targeting technical and development people, and the WPC being mostly a partner event which this year will be help in Canada (I wished Convergence would come one day north of the border… sigh). With only one major event left this year for most regular Dynamics GP users in the fall in Tampa FL (GPUG Summit), the Dynamics Community organization committee started (probably quite early) some discussions with the folks in Fargo and decided to organize some other more GP-centric event for the Spring season… and so they decided to launch as experimental event for the first time in 2016 the new GPUG Amplify conference.

GPUG Amplify will be held in Anaheim CA from May 23-25. Technically only a short event of 2,5 days, it is not excluded that GPUG could organize some Academy training classes the day before (Sunday). Anaheim is also home of the Disney Land California park which is only a few streets away from the Marriott Convention hotel where the conference is going to take place, so why not combine business and fun for a full week off. One big incentive of GPUG Amplify is the price : 699$ if you’re a registered GPUG member and do your reservation before March 25th. That’s almost a third of the price of this year’s Convergence ticket , eeehh Envison, which will set you back a full 1995$

Of course there will be no fancy party with big-O names.. but there will be an Expo reception evening on Monday night and lots of networking opportunities as well. Breakfast and lunch meals are going to be provided as well, like at Convergence and GPUG Summit. Of course, this year being kind of a testing event, it’s not clear yet how much sessions will be presented, nor if there are going to be many user-driven session, but from what I could get so far, the session content will mostly be covered by Microsoft people and possibly some ISV’s (Gold & Platinum sponsors).

If you want to know more about the coming event, head over to the Contact page and an e-mail to Bob Buresh or Nancy Anello from Dynamics Communities. Pam Misialek has already posted a blog entry on the Dynamics Community forums to market the event.

I’ve yet to bring the topic up in our company with our CFO, who had started to attend with me Convergence back in 2012 in Houston, and has not missed one since then, as he too found a lot of interesting content, since he is our main financial reporting tools user (having used FRx for many years and transitioned to MR 2012 back in 2012). I hope we could be part of the very first edition of GPUG Amplify, hoping that it will get the audience it deserves and there will be more over the next years.

Until next post,
Your truthfully @GP_Beat

Edit :  PS: I was just listening to the latest Enterprise Podcast from Dynamics Communities and Bob McAdam was confirming that some Academy classes would be held on Wednesday PM after the closure of Amplify at noon… And he mentioned the opportunity of spending some time at Disneyland as well for the remaining time that week !

Categories: Amplify, Convergence, Dynamics GP, GPUG, News | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

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