Great Plains DOS Support ? Notes for Consultant

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Great Plains Accounting, accounting package for mid-size and small companies was in its peak of popularity back in earlier 1990th. It first had DOS interface, later on migrated to classic Windows version (remember earlier event driven Windows and its strange and at the same time revolutionary programming model ? guys who remember Borland C++ and Microsoft C++). As each product has its life time ? it is almost over for Great Plains Accounting ? Great Plains Software was purchased by Microsoft and incorporated into its business systems subdivision: Microsoft Business Solutions.

Support for Great Plains Accounting was discontinued several years ago. Great Plains Accounting is btrieve based application and typical installation has GPDATA (with all the database files in) and GPCODE (with executable code ? this code is copied over the network and is executed on each workstation). Typical problems we see with GPA:

1. No Techknowledge database for customers. In the case of Great Plains or Great Plains Dynamics/eEnterprise ? customer can do self-support. You need to login to Customer Source and open techknowledge database and try to get your problem found there with the solution. Great Plains Accounting techknowledge database is not available for former GPA customer ? you should call to your Microsoft Business Solutions Partner to have them access to proprietary information.

2. Old Hardware. Great Plains Accounting typical system sits on Windows NT 4.0 (sometimes on Windows NT 3.5 or Novell). It was probably installed 5 or more years ago and sits in the very old computer hardware. You may expect (and we see it with our old-timers GPA customers) hard disk failures and RAM failures. We have to do regular fixes ? simply reinstalling either code base or database portions or both.

3. Workstation Locks and crashes ? btrieve origin of the system architecture uses brtieve files to store current processes status (batch posting, for example) in the file, controlled by posting workstation. In the case of the crash you often see the error message, like: "Unable to access btrieve file for transaction recovery. Must run Btrieve first." Multiple scenarios might be applied for recovery. In this exact case you have to delete of rename BTR.TRN file to BTR.OLD - this file controls posting process and will be recreated next time you post

We (and Microsoft Business Solutions itself) strongly recommend you to migrate from Great Plains Accounting to Microsoft Great Plains standard 8.0 (budget version) or Microsoft Great Plains 8.0 Happy supporting! if you want us to do the job - give us a call 1-630-961-5918 or 1-866-528-0577!

Andrew Karasev is Chief Technology Officer in Alba Spectrum Technologies ? USA nationwide Great Plains, Microsoft CRM customization company, serving Chicago, California, Arizona, Texas, Florida, Georgia, New York, Australia, UK, Canada, Continental Europe, Russia and having locations in multiple states and internationally ( ), he is Dexterity, SQL, C#.Net, Crystal Reports and Microsoft CRM SDK

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