Launching GP with alternate Dynamics.set file

Today’s #TipTuesday post is one for those who modify reports in Report Writer (mostly) or anyone who has an alternate Dynamics.set file they wish to launch in their Dynamics GP environment.

A quick review of the terms here: the Dynamics.set file is a launch file that displays the # of products/dictionaries installed on a given workstation, the list of products (product # followed by product name) and then the pathnames to the Code, Forms and Reports respectively for each of those dictionaries, in that order. Back in 2010, I wrote a series about Report Writer and the first post was some detail around the Dynamics.set, how to read it, etc.

Why have more than one Dynamics.set file?

The most common reason a user might have an alternate Dynamics.set file in my world would be that person does some editing of reports in Report Writer or editing of forms in Modifier. In both of those cases, you do not want to be editing or modifying resources in the “live” reports and forms dictionaries! You might have a DEV environment but not everyone does. The next best thing is setting up a path for a copy of the reports and forms dictionaries and having another Dynamics.set file that points the necessary resources to that location. Any changes made while launching GP using that Dynamics.set file are editing that copy of the dictionaries, safe from “live” reports and forms.

How to use an alternate Dynamics.set file

There are a couple of ways. One simple way would be to create a new shortcut on your desktop and change the “Target” in properties, to point to the other Dynamics.set file.

Right click on the Properties of the shortcut, and in the target, put in the name of your alternate Dynamics.set file “Dynamics-DEV.set” for instance. Now launching that will launch the .exe with that .set file.

My preferred method is drag and drop, which is old school and I find not a lot of new GP folks know about this shortcut. So, I figured a short blog to remind people about this could be a good tip!

To use this method: click on the Dynamics.set file you want to use, drag and “drop” it on top of Dynamics.exe in the application directory, and Dynamics GP will launch with that launch file. Because I’m naturally a cautious person, I also will verify which .set file launched by checked the Edit Launch File window inside of Dynamics GP. All I have to do is check the paths of one of my dictionaries I know to be a “DEV” path, to visually confirm I’m good to go. That window is under Administration > System > Edit Launch File.

Fun Fact

In testing this, I was playing with an alternate Dynamics.set file on my “work” workstation and it turns out, regular users don’t have permission to create/add files to the GP install directory so I had to save the Dynamics.set “DEV” file I created to “My Documents” instead. Deal breaker? Not at all. I could drag that file to the dynamics.exe in the application directory and it still launches properly. There is nothing forcing that .set file to be *in* the application directory itself, with the drag and drop method.

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