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Important SmartList Builder announcement


On the heels of the Extender and Collections Management announcements over the last year, it has just been announced that SmartList Builder is joining the Microsoft Dynamics GP OEM modules “coming home”. You can read about all the reasons and details for this in Martin Olsen’s comprehensive announcement on the eOne blog.

This is certainly an interesting direction of things and I wonder what this means for the future of selling and supporting Microsoft Dynamics GP. On one hand, as a Dynamics GP partner/VAR, I know that having more ISV products in the mix is sometimes a challenge because there are more moving parts to keep track of – both for sales and ongoing maintenance/support. Also, often selling a GP module to a customer is a much easier endeavor than selling them a third-party add-on product. On the other hand, as the owner of an ISV company myself (my company, Flexible Solutions, makes the GP Reports Viewer add-on), I think it’s great to see these widely used and popular add-ons become ISV products. I feel that paves the road for ISV products to be more accepted and become a standard part of purchasing and using Dynamics GP. In fact, after this change, I don’t think that my company will have more than 15% of our customers left without any ISV products.

I guess the big question will be for customers – are they willing to purchase an ERP system that needs so many additional products from ISVs? Will they start questioning why Microsoft does not make a product robust enough to stand on its own? The devious part of my brain is also wondering if Microsoft is paving the way to create their own products/modules to replace these OEM modules in the future. (Please don’t read more into this, I have absolutely no knowledge of any plans for this, and it’s entirely possible this is just lack of coffee talking.)

After writing the above paragraph, I actually found some support for this happening already with SmartList Designer introduced in GP 2013 SP 2. Take a look at this blog post by eOne describing the differences and another blog post by Mariano Gomez about SmartList Designer. Hmmm…

All my speculation aside, eOne has been fabulous to work with over the last year with the transition of the Extender module (which I love and use daily, by the way). We have quite a number of customers using Extender and we’ve not had a single issue with getting in touch with eOne, transitioning customers, getting support or anything else. I expect the same to hold true for SmartList Builder. And Martin certainly makes a very compelling case as to why this change for SmartList Builder is a good one for all of us.

In the meantime, my understanding is that support for existing SmartList Builder versions will continue to be offered by Microsoft and only if/when you upgrade to the eOne version starting January 2014 will you need to go to eOne for support. eOne also welcomes feature requests for all their products and they just created this forum to gather feature requests for SmartList Builder. I work with SmartList Builder almost daily and will be very interested to see what suggestions people have.

13 Responses to “Important SmartList Builder announcement”

  1. Hi Victoria,

    How would I convert smartlists done with SmartList Builder to SmartList Designer? My user had created some lists using Smartlist Builder. Now, after upgrade to GP2013 R2, when we click on the list, we get error “This module isn’t registered…To register this module, contact your Microsoft Dynamics GP representative…”

    Thanks.

    Regards,
    Saras

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    • Hi Saras,

      If there is a way to convert these, I am not aware of it. You might need to ask Microsoft about that, but I suspect you would have to manually reset up each one. However, if your customer already owns SmartList Builder, there should be no need for this. Is it possible SmartList Builder is not installed/registered? I believe you would need to now get keys from eOne directly, not from Microsoft.

      -Victoria

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  2. Have you discovered a way to combine Sales Order Processing (SOP) with Receivables Management (RM) for applied payments to invoices including the customer PO number?

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  3. The answer likely sits with SSRS. The tool creates an easy alternative to SmartList and if Microsoft develops some standard interfaces for GP and SSRS then why do you need to use SmartList anyway? I mean it is nothing more than a collection of views on which you can filter. I would have to say your last unofficial suspicions are likely correct.

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    • Allen,

      Interesting idea. I think Microsoft would have to make some SERIOUS improvements to SSRS for this to be true. While I have worked with both SSRS and SmartList/ SmartList Builder extensively, I would pick SmartList Builder over SSRS anytime when parameters or stored procedures are not needed. And I would often pick Excel over SSRS, depending on the environment.

      -Victoria

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      • Microsoft should provide the ability to add a bare bones SmartList to Dynamics GP – without having to buy a module. This is what the new designer is. (A bit like they needed a tool to integrate GP and CRM so came out with a free connector. . eOne agrees that when you buy GP out of the box you should be able to add a basic Smartlist for free – and back Microsoft for adding this functionality. SLB was too good to give away for free.

        SmartList Builder goes well beyond the designer tool, and Microsoft know that and are comfortable with that. Microsoft remain massive fans of SmartList Builder and will actively assist in marketing and taking this to the GP community.

        Allen is partly correct in that Microsoft will start making some of these basic data lists available across SSRS also. I am with Victoria in that SSRS is targeted at a very different market and skill set than SLB is.

        It is exciting times at eOne and we are already actively making improvements to SmartList Builder. That said we know that the 13,000 companies that own SLB want it to keep working much the same way it always has – so the changes will be incremental and very user friendly.

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  3. New SmartList Builder features from eOne | Victoria Yudin - January 6, 2014

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