Microsoft Dynamics vendors provide comparisons and opinions to professionals in the ERP/Accounting software selection process


Crestwood Associates

Ladies and Gentlemen Let Me Introduce Your New Dynamics GP Report Design Tool – Microsoft Word!

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In previous blogs I have discussed the various reporting tools available in Dynamics GP.  One of the more specific areas of report design has to do with form design.  Forms are your collection of output typically intended for an external audience such as your customers or vendors.  Forms include such always-needed documents as invoices, sales orders, purchase orders, and checks.  They can also include more complex output such as Bills of Lading.

The design of forms differs greatly from your typical tabular report.  They usually require very specific formatting demanding almost pixel-perfect precision.  They often include graphics and other aspects to make them easy to read and pleasing to the eye.  And they often require very specific data to be included on the output.  Because of all of these reasons, they are also the most highly customized reports.  Every company wants their forms to look a certain way.

For some time Dynamics GP has developed their forms in their own proprietary reporting tool, GP Report Writer.   Although this tool addressed the basic needs of form development, it remains a less-than-ideal design environment and a real challenge for complex form development.  As a result, this capability gap is very well addressed by some third party tools such as Accountable’s Forms Printer.  This solution allows you to develop more complex forms in SSRS or Crystal Reports and incorporate that into the Dynamics GP processes.

But as most of you know, Dynamics GP 11 (soon to be known as GP 2010) is coming soon.  And I recently learned that the forms development tool available with this product is none other than your old friend – Microsoft Word!  I think this is a fabulous decision.  First of all, who doesn’t know Word?  And because of the detailed data and graphic placement requirements of many forms, Microsoft Word should be an ideal tool for this purpose.  This is yet another example of Microsoft’s commitment to making Office (mostly Excel and Word) an integral part of their Dynamics ERP solutions.  This will  to continue to grow over time, which can only be a good thing as most users can work with Excel and Word in their sleep.   So for those people considering moving to Dynamics GP, this should make your decision even easier.

Now just how easy this all is to actually use will be the key.  We will be checking this out soon.  But the direction is very promising.

Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have: Rick Feterick, Crestwood Associates LLC, 847-394-8820 x 48 or

Submitted by Crestwood Associates LLC – an Indiana Dynamics GP Partner.

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