It was worth the waiting … on July 7th, David Musgrave finally announced the long waited successor of the Support Debugging Tool (aka #SDT), under the new name GP PowerTools (#GPPT).
Soon as I got the link to the download area, I went to pick up the firt built of the new package and the next day installed it.. and there is when I ran into troubles.. I had previously applied on my GP2015 test bed system upgrades to go from GP2010R2 to GP2013R2, and 2015 RTM, so I was coming from a previous release of SDT that was running fine under GP2013R2, and still had all the references in 2015.. Since I couldn’t survive without the SDT very long, Dave was kind enough to provide me a pre-build for 2015 of the actual SDT, so I could test properly the new GP.
That being said, the new setup of the GPPT comes with a few tricks if you already have an old SDT installed… and you need to be careful the way you apply the update. I don’t wanna repeat what David already wrote, so for more details about what to care for to install the new #GPPT, go and have a look at today’s blog post about the public BETA setup.
The current BETA release has a time-bomb built-in that will expire the product on August 15th, 2015. By that time David will either have released another BETA with an extended expiration date, or feel confident enough that #GPPT is ready for prime-time release on the commercial level. Yes.. the new #GPPT will no longer be available for free since David doesn’t work anymore for Microsoft and has to work hard to get the bread on the table too :-).. But the inital launch price should be very affordable at 365$/yr and everyone should get a license to support that super tool that took years of development to reach this level of quality (that’s less than a coffee cup a day !). Just the current BETA release required several hundred hours of work to add in new features and functionality that will make you fall in love again with GP’s administration (in case you just divorced from it 🙂 )..
Here are a few ones just to show you.
- The Company selection screen. David included some of it’s VBA code that he wrote in the past to allow to enlarge the company selection list from the login screen, because sometimes it was very hard to figure out which company to select when they all started with the same or similar names.. To enable this feature you have to navigate into the GPPT Administrator Settings > Company tab, and in the middle of the screen, check the box called ‘Add extra width to company name drop down list…’
- Another one I love is the all new Security Log enabler.. in the old #SDT when a user had security issues, you would walk up (or connect) to the end-user and start the security profiler to track what’s causing the issue, then export the log to XML by file or e-mail, re-import it with your POWERUSER role user and load the profiler trace to figure out what’s not working. The new Security Log allows you to enable all this directly from your workstation on the product level itself. To enable this, you navigate again to the Administrator Settings > General tab, and at the bottom check the box “Enable Security Activity Tracking”.
- Finally another nugget is the fact that you can now setup a different password for the GPPT administrator and for the System protected area password. This way you can delegate or share some of the powerful functions of GPPT without revealing the system password.
Lots of new functions to still discover, so stay tuned as I’m going to report more about my findings on the new #GPPT.
Until next post, have a great time.