Microsoft Small Business Financials - Support, Upgrade, Integration Overview For Consultant

SBF is part of Microsoft Dynamics GP family of ERP application, in the past this product was introduced by Great Plains Software as Small Business Manager. This application was originally initially created from the same code base as regular Great Plains Dynamics and so it is Great Plains Dexterity coded with the options if being modified in Microsoft Dexterity

1. SBF Support. User training is relatively simple in Small Business Financials and often users are reading the manual and discover the system on their own. Security model is also straight forward. Real support needs are typically related to data repair on SQL scripting level. You can also use traditional for GP data fixing technologies as check links. We recommend you to use consultant or programmer who could quickly help you via web sessions or remote desktop connection, meaning that these people do not have to be local

2. Version update. In comparison to Microsoft Great Plains Dynamics GP, Small Business Financials is easier to upgrade, and it is less sensitive to Service packs application in upgrading process. Current version is 9.0 as of April 2008, typical upgrade path is from version 6.0 to 7.5 and then to 9.0. GP latest version is 10.0, where Microsoft Business Solutions completely redesigned user security model, this is probably one of the reasons that SBF is still on 9.0

3. Integration. You should consider such technologies as SQL stored procedures, if you have support from MBS VAR, who is comfortable with Microsoft Dexterity, you can deploy Dex customizations in integrating SBF with external legacy application or in EDI environments

4. Reporting. SBF utilizes GP ReportWriter for integrated reports and FRx reports for Financial reporting. Report Writer stores modified reports in Reports.dic dictionary file, you should be aware about this file, when you install new user workstation. It is also good idea to share reports dictionary for all the users on the server, in this case you should modify Dynamics.set file - the line, where reports.dic file path is specified

5. Backup Strategies. As SBF is typically for small businesses, where IT support is limited, we recommend you to setup automatic backup via SQL Server Agent maintenance plans. Then backup files should be taken by tape backup, or alternatively you can deploy Windows backup utility to backup on external USB hard drive. You should include into backup the following databases: Dynamics, company, master