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Need some votes: modernize the GP Deployment Package tool and fix bugs

  • 1.  Need some votes: modernize the GP Deployment Package tool and fix bugs

    GPUG ALL STAR
    Posted Jun 18, 2021 06:36 PM
    Many of you GP SysAdmins probably know about the GP Deployment Package creation tool that is part of the GP setup DVD (or binaries)...
    In the past this tool worked pretty seamlessly, though a little outdate and limited in customization capabilities.. (i.e. you couldn't modify an existing package and had to re-create from scratch if you wanted to add another module).

    With the release in 2019 of the "GP Next" version, which basically was a re-branded GP 2018R2, to which Microsoft had simply removed the annual "millésime" to simply call it "Dynamics GP" going forward, I noticed some bugs in the deployment package creation tool. One was that when you install the GP client manually, it would default to the default path "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Dynamics\GP", but when you created a deployment package with that version, despite the fact that during the process you'd have specified the same default path "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Dynamics\GP", once the package was executed and GP installed on a local computer, the path would end up being "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Dynamics\GP2018" !

    This is very odd and annoying, because if you want to script also the installation of 3rd party ISV products, they would end up in the wrong place if you assumed that "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Dynamics\GP" was the default path... (on a side note, I still found some ISV products that default to the GP2018 folder, despite having been upgraded to the latest iteration of GP 18.3).

    As I realized I wasn't the only one running into this problem, even 2 years after the first release of "GP Next", I decided to create a suggestion for Microsoft to modernize the tool and fix this path bug in the latest GP release.
    Please go and up-vote this idea, it takes only 2 minutes of your precious time, but hopefully Microsoft will eventually consider it if it gets enough votes.
    Thank you for your support.


    Modernize the GP client deployment package creator
    Experience Dynamics 365 remove preview
    Modernize the GP client deployment package creator
    I've been using the GP client deployment package creator for many years and it has been a life saver for many setups, as it helps expedite the base GP client setup.Especially the option to define the location for shared dictionaries and Word Templates / Letters / Notes, as the regular GP setup doesn't even ask about this..
    View this on Experience Dynamics 365 >


    ------------------------------
    Beat Bucher
    Business Analyst, Dynamics GP SME
    Montreal QC/Canada
    @GP_Beat http://www.gp-geek.com
    Montreal QC GPUG Chapter Leader
    MBS MVP (2015-2018)
    All-Star 2013
    ------------------------------
    Academy - Online Interactive Learning from Experts


  • 2.  RE: Need some votes: modernize the GP Deployment Package tool and fix bugs

    GPUG ALL STAR
    Posted Jun 21, 2021 09:36 AM
    I'll second this idea.  Being able to create a customized installer for your workplace is a critical tool for any admin.  And while it would be super nice for that installer to also handle third-party add-ons, I realize that may not be doable right now  (new feature maybe?).  As is, even with a custom install for GP, it still takes me upwards of 45 minutes per fat client to deploy GP in our environment because we use a lot of third party add-ons.

    Thanks Beat!

    ------------------------------
    Blair Christensen
    Database Administrator
    Oppenheimer Companies, Inc.
    Boise Idaho GPUG Chapter Leader
    GPUG All-Star
    ------------------------------

    Academy - Online Interactive Learning from Experts


  • 3.  RE: Need some votes: modernize the GP Deployment Package tool and fix bugs

    GPUG ALL STAR
    Posted Jun 21, 2021 03:15 PM
    Thanks Blair for chiming in...
    Yes, typically what I do with third-party products (as they rely more and more now on their own 'setup' packages), is that I put a list of numbered shortcuts in the shared Software folder location, so that IT staff can simply go down a list and install the packages one by one after the GP fat client initial setup with the deployment package.
    This helps straighten the setup of a new GP client on a new computer, and with a little readme.txt file, provides some guidance on the way to proceed.
    I try to keep this up-to-date every time an ISV product gets updated and keep also archive sub-folders so older versions can be retrieved quickly in case of some issues.
    On average, with 3-4 ISV products to install, a GP client takes about 15-20 min to install a complete the 1st start to make sure everything works, and get the user signed into GP.

    ------------------------------
    Beat Bucher
    Business Analyst, Dynamics GP SME
    Montreal QC/Canada
    @GP_Beat http://www.gp-geek.com
    Montreal QC GPUG Chapter Leader
    MBS MVP (2015-2018)
    All-Star 2013
    ------------------------------

    Academy - Online Interactive Learning from Experts


  • 4.  RE: Need some votes: modernize the GP Deployment Package tool and fix bugs

    TOP CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted Jun 22, 2021 08:57 AM
    Beat, It's got my vote. It's as much about staying consistent with the Microsoft message as about fixing installer path issues.

    We have many 3rd party plug-ins and a few years ago I spent time figuring how to create Silent install batch files for each. Some vendors were helpful, others not so much, but I figured them out anyway. For me it's a matter of running one or more batch files in order, then starting GP as Admin to install all. Fairly quick and nicely reproducible. But I will have to spend more time walking through each if GP can't be consistent.

    ------------------------------
    David Morinello
    Senior Dynamics GP Systems Architect
    Ascend Learning, LLC
    Leawood KS
    ------------------------------

    Academy - Online Interactive Learning from Experts


  • 5.  RE: Need some votes: modernize the GP Deployment Package tool and fix bugs

    TOP CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted Jun 22, 2021 07:52 PM
    I completely agree! Thanks Beat.  I voted.​

    ------------------------------
    Cecile Dinh
    Dynamics GP Admin at ARC (Airlines Reporting Corp.)
    GPUG Chapter Leader - Washington, D. C.
    ------------------------------

    Academy - Online Interactive Learning from Experts


  • 6.  RE: Need some votes: modernize the GP Deployment Package tool and fix bugs

    TOP CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted Jun 23, 2021 01:36 PM
    I just voted...  the  vote count is now at 23.

    For installation/maintenance of our fat client installs, I wrote a C# GPUpdater program that reads an xml file and then does all of the installation work.  The xml file contains what programs (GP & 3rd party), how to determine what version is currently installed (reg key value, dll version, file date/time stamp...), the "version" of latest builds/releases, and the steps required to install the newest version.  If I deploy a new change (updated .dic or .dll file) or new 3rd party program, I update the xml file and I'm done.  The next time someone launches GP, my program will automatically update the local machine before starting GP.  None of our users are local admins so my GPUpdater program will also tell the user to contact the IT department if something that needs local admin rights needs to be installed.

    Lastly, the GPUpdater program sets an environment variable before launching GP.  I have a GP customizations that makes looks for this environment variable.  If it doesn't find it, it tells the user "You must launch GP with GP Launcher".  This prevents systems from not getting updates.

    I thought about releasing my updated to the world and maybe doing a session about it at Summit.... I just don't know if there is any interest.

    ------------------------------
    John Arnold
    Senior Software Engineer
    US Digital
    Vancouver WA
    ------------------------------

    Academy - Online Interactive Learning from Experts


  • 7.  RE: Need some votes: modernize the GP Deployment Package tool and fix bugs

    GPUG ALL STAR
    Posted Jun 23, 2021 02:10 PM
    John,

    If nothing else, I'll treat you to dinner to get a hold of that.  It would make my life much easier.  Rockton's Version product tells you when there are conflicts, but it can't do the updates.  And my current full install on a new PC approaches 45 minutes when I get all the third-party pieces added in.

    It's for stuff like this that the organized dinner groups was awesome.  That was probably one of the most useful things at Summit TBH.  But every time I ask about them coming back I just get "organize your own."  :(

    ------------------------------
    Blair Christensen
    Database Administrator
    Oppenheimer Companies, Inc.
    Boise Idaho GPUG Chapter Leader
    GPUG All-Star
    ------------------------------

    Academy - Online Interactive Learning from Experts


  • 8.  RE: Need some votes: modernize the GP Deployment Package tool and fix bugs

    GPUG ALL STAR
    Posted Jun 23, 2021 02:52 PM
    Hi John,
    This looks really like a solid alternative to the GP installer.. and I too have a few clients that don't want to use a Citrix or Terminal server (or just don't have that luxury), thus all the GP clients are locally deployed..
    I agree with Blair, the topic dinners were great for this kind of discussion. Unfortunately I don't think I'm going to be physically present this year, but looking forward for possibly 2022. I'm sure this will make up for a great session too, like the one your macro generator :-)

    ------------------------------
    Beat Bucher
    Business Analyst, Dynamics GP SME
    Montreal QC/Canada
    @GP_Beat http://www.gp-geek.com
    Montreal QC GPUG Chapter Leader
    MBS MVP (2015-2018)
    All-Star 2013
    ------------------------------

    Academy - Online Interactive Learning from Experts


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