GP Tech 2019 – Day 2

This is a continuation of the mini-series of posts about the GP Tech Conference in Fargo, ND. If you missed the first two posts, you can find them here:

Meeting with Microsoft

Day 2 started a lot more slowly for me. I decided to skip a couple of the first morning sessions to join a meeting with a few others to give some feedback to Microsoft about Dynamics GP. I won’t get into any details on this other than to say it was a good meeting, and I was happy to be in the right place at the right time to get invited!

Power Platform and Dynamics GP

This was the second presentation I attended delivered by Microsoft MVP Belinda Allen, and it was another good one. This session covered a few things, demonstrating how all 3 applications in the Power Platform (Power BI, Flow and PowerApps) can be utilized with Dynamics GP. With these still-relatively-new suite of tools, sometimes the hardest thing to think about are how to utilize what are cloud solutions with traditional on-prem products.

Her relatively straight-forward example was managing GL Accounts, with users being able to view them in a Power App, and update custom settings via a Flow that emailed you when new GL Accounts were added to Dynamics GP. She showed how to use SharePoint lists to store this data for the GL Account PowerApp and it was super easy to set up and connect to.

Hands-on sessions: Build a Power BI Dashboard and Build a Flow

In back-to-back sessions that book-ended the lunch break, first Shawn Dorward, then Belinda Allen covered 2 hands-on 90 minute sessions. The intent was users would be able to follow along if they could to build something during the presentation.

I don’t have a lot of notes for either as I was also following along and building. Both sessions were valuable but my favourite was Belinda’s (sorry Shawn!). Out of that session I built my “first” useful flow to monitor when someone on Twitter shares something on my website without tagging me (i.e. I wouldn’t be aware of the tweet). So far so good, I’ve got a handful of emails alerting me to tweets with my website in it. I need to tweak it a little more but I’m happy to have got it built and running!

SQL Profiler for everyone

This was a session delivered by Kerry Hataley and it was great, it not too detailed for me to digest everything right away! He was explaining how XEvents is now the preferred way to trace activity in SQL server and while I took a lot of notes, I need to re-read those and his presentation to walk through some examples to wrap my head around it. I use SQL Profiler sporadically but since it’s deprecated, I will dig into XEvents to try that next time I need to trace something.

It was a great session, and I’m glad I attended. Kerry has likely forgotten more than I’ll ever know about SQL Server!

After that session, I skipped taking the shuttle bus and I walked back to the hotel from Microsoft. For reference, that’s a 4.9km distance, and about 1 hour door to door. It was a nice night for a walk to clear my head!

Evening “Family” Dinner

I got lucky with dinner plans as I happened to reach out to Belinda just as she was heading for dinner with a small group that ended up being about 14 of us I think, possibly even more! Steve Endow posted a couple of pics, one he took (I can’t explain the odd expression on my face!) and one I took so he made it in the pic.

Left side: Tanya Henderson, Chris Hanson, Dave Feenstra, Amber Bell
Right side: Me, Belinda Allen, Mark Polino, Windi Epperson, Dave (?) and Rod O’Connor
Same people here, except Steve now in the spot on the left and my spot is empty!

I’ve referred to it as a family dinner as most of us have known each other for so long in this community, it’s like we are a big family. Many of us have relationships going back 5, 10, 20 years and it’s conferences like these where we really love to get a chance to unwind together. After most of us had finished eating, more people arrived to fill the room even further – probably 5 more long time community colleagues joined our table. It was a fun evening.

After that, I went back to the hotel and chilled out for the rest of the evening. That’s it for Day 2, stay tuned for Day 3!

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