GPUG Amplify 2016 - Day 2

The second day at Amplify was a little more streamlined than day 1, with 5 breakout session time-slots and a wide-open evening. :)

Here are the sessions I attended and some more GP Live fun!

Session 1 - Web Client Infrastructure - Mariano Gomez

Mariano presented a deep dive into the infrastructure behind the web client. During the presentation, some of the differences were highlighted too, and I’ll try to identify what I picked up on here. The guts of the presentation were around the different elements of technology that interact with the web client, to understand the overall structure.

  • The HTML5 web client windows stack in the middle of the screen and are not moveable. In the previous Silverlight web client, they were moveable, due to differences in the controls available.
  • The HTML5 web client area page panes are not moveable within the web client; however it sounds like if the user arranges them the way they want in the desktop client, that will translate to the web client when they use it next.
  • All of the controls had to be redeveloped for HTML5.
  • Client-side messaging architecture will be re-written in JavaScript.
  • Window Search is only available in the HTML5 web client, not in the desktop client
  • Close All Windows is now available in the HTML5 web client
  • Customization wise, dexterity based ISV add-ons should be fully supported as well as modified forms and reports (non-VBA) are fully supported in the web client. With .Net tools, out of the box HTML5 controls are not implemented yet. VBA is not supported, but continues to be supported with the desktop client of course.
  • Things that don’t or may not work in the web client (some things were unclear and further testing may be required to confirm): macros, excel-based budgeting (TBD), Doc Attach (TBD).

Session 2 - Power BI, OData & Dynamics GP - Belinda Allen

Belinda brought her usual bundle of energy to her presentation around Power BI. You can really tell when someone is passionate about a product and it shows!

I’ve yet to dig into Power BI deeply yet, and the more presentations I see on it, the more I want to just dive in and get further up to speed.

Some takeaways from the session, in no particular order:

  • Use 64-bit Microsoft Excel, not 32-bit, if you can. 32-bit only uses 2gb of RAM on a machine no matter how much RAM is installed.
  • There are 3 parts to consider: Power BI Desktop, which gets new releases monthly; Power BI Service, which gets new releases weekly; and Power BI Mobile.
  • The typical flow of developing a new report is: create it in Power BI Desktop, share/publish it to the Power BI Service, share with other users and then users can view it in Power BI Mobile.
  • Sketch out what you want the report to look like before starting to write it out. As Belinda says, this will literally save you hours of work.

Session 3 - skipped for “GP Live” interview!

GP live tile

My 15 minutes (or 10 minutes) of fame came and went with a brief interview with Pam Misialek (link removed, no longer valid) on the topic of Dynamics Pro exams and certification. I was nervous and found myself struggling for my words at times, but it was fun, a great experience and interesting to sit on the other side of the camera! I look forward to more of this in the future, on both sides of the camera.

One of the best parts about the timing was that day was my dad’s birthday and I had the chance to give him a birthday greeting shoutout “live” on air! He enjoyed that too :)

Session 4 - Tips for Designing Integrations - Steve Endow

Steve presented a great session on the pitfalls of designing integrations and started off with audience participation to get a sense of what they wanted to talk about. One key message was that system integrations are not data imports, and shouldn’t be treated like it’s just importing data, if it’s a recurring system to system integration that you have.

The other key message is that integrations need to be designed. There is more work in data preparation than there is in building the actual integration most of the time. Try to automate the entire integration, not just the data import step.

I sat in briefly on the last session of the day, a repeat performance by Amber Bell, but mostly was catching up on email and organizing my thoughts to get blog posts ready etc.

That’s it for Day 2!

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