A Different Take on SmartList Builder by eOne Solutions
A few years ago, we did a new implementation for a company whose prior software system utilized Microsoft SQL Server as the database They had years and years of history that they wanted access to, but converting that data was going to require a lot of time and money. So we gave them the option of just moving their existing SQL databases into the Dynamics GP SQL install and using SmartList Builder to access that data. There was no way we could convert all that data for the price of SmartList Builder, so they decided to give it a try.
After stripping out some of the unnecessary (system level) tables, we linked SmartList Builder to their SQL data, built a couple of new objects for them and within a few hours they were querying their old accounting data right from within good old GP. No fuss, no muss!
Since then, we’ve repeated this process several times for different scenarios. One scenario we’ve used this same mindset for is doing a reimplementation of GP for existing GP customers. When we’re looking at a total revamp of accounts, payroll data, vendors, etc. this option works well. We can create a new company in GP, port over the data we need to move using, you guessed it, SmartConnect by eOne and then setup objects that do multi-company queries.
Yes, there is one downfall in that the customer can’t go to, for example, PurchasingInquiryTransaction by Vendor to see prior invoices. But they can quickly do a SmartList query to see if an invoice exists and since we can create any “Go To” we want with SmartList Builder, we can link that object to the Payables Transaction Entry window so the user can click from SmartList and start entering new transactions.
Another scenario is the customer who has a ton of really old databases that they aren’t using but need to keep for historical purposes. We’ve taken those companies and removed them from GP, but we leave the databases in the SQL install and access them using SmartList Builder. This really helps when there are 50 or 60 old databases that we now don’t have to upgrade each time. Yes, we have a customer with 130 live databases and probably 40-50 old disconnected datases – GP really is that scalable. 😊
SmartList Builder is our tool of choice because it gives us the ability to see non-GP databases and do multi-company queries (unlike SmartList Designer). Plus we can quickly take any SmartList Builder object we create and turn it into an Excel Report for viewing, slicing and dicing outside of GP. It’s just a great product all around and hopefully this will spur you to find some new and creative uses for it!