Friday, May 13, 2011

The Ultimate Microsoft Dynamics GP Search Tool - Part 1: Introducing Search Master

If you ask several Dynamics GP users what their top concerns, wish list items, or frustrations are with Dynamics GP, I would bet that "searching" or "search" would not be a top item, and may not even be on the list.  Maybe the general concept of search in Dynamics GP would be included, such as the ability to produce a report showing specific data, or being able to "find" certain data.  But based on my experience, I speculate that "search" is not a common topic or feature request among many Dynamics GP customers.

A little over a year ago, I was chatting with a friend who implements a hosted web-based "SaaS" ERP package that competes with Dynamics GP.  He asked me if Dynamics GP had a "global search" feature.  I replied, "A what?"

Honestly, at the time, the concept was foreign to me.  I tried to think about what that would look like in Dynamics GP, but had a hard time envisioning what value it might provide.  I thought that if a GP user wanted to find a vendor, they could use an inquiry window or SmartList or some other existing window or feature to find that vendor.  I didn't think that search was necessarily a "problem" that needed to be solved in Dynamics GP.

My friend then gave me a demo of his ERP package and showed me some examples of how the global search feature worked.  Only when I saw the global search feature did it finally dawn on me how powerful and useful such a feature could be in Dynamics GP, or in any ERP application.

I then spoke with my colleague Andrew Dean at Envisage Software, who developed the fantastic Post Master for Dynamics GP product.  When I presented the concept to him, he instantly saw the potential and began working on designing a new product.

After many months of research, hard work, and testing, we are proud to present Search Master for Dynamics GP, which we believe is the ultimate search tool for Microsoft Dynamics GP.

Search Master is a .NET client application that allows a GP user to search for any value, in any Dynamics GP company database, and then instantly displays the results.  No waiting, no browser windows, no long running queries.  And there is no need to tell Search Master whether you are searching for a vendor, an inventory item, a customer, or a sales transaction--it will instantly find every Dynamics GP record that contains the specified keywords.

Results are grouped by database and by category, allowing the user to quickly find the data they are looking for.  With a single click on any search result, Search Master will open the appropriate Dynamics GP inquiry or edit window and take the user directly to the record.

Rather than continuing to discuss it, I'll point you to our brief video demonstrating how Search Master works and the power of a instant, global search tool for Dynamics GP.  The video window below is pretty small, so I recommend clicking on the video or on the link below to view in a larger window on YouTube.

We believe that Search Master will redefine how you interact with Dynamics GP and how think about accessing your Dynamics GP data.

Rather than clicking on a menu, opening a window, switching to a Navigation Pane, using SmartLists or performing a lookup to find a record, you can instead use Search Master to instantly find any record, transaction, or data in Dynamics GP, and then jump directly to the record in GP with a single click.  And since Search Master can find and display data in any Dynamics GP company database, users no longer need to worry about what company they are currently using in GP--search results can include records from all company databases.  All instantly.

Several years ago, I had a Dynamics GP client with 22 company databases.  Because they had a centralized accounting department, the accounting staff was constantly having to switch between GP companies to enter and look for data.  If the AP department received a phone call from a vendor, they sometimes didn't know which of the 22 companies the vendor was associated with--it could be one, or it could be 5, so finding a specific invoice or check was a time consuming chore, all while the vendor was on the phone waiting.  I was able to create some multi-company SmartLists, but it was alot of work, required numerous custom views and maintenance scripts, and required the user to navigate to SmartLists, click several times to add a filter to find what they were looking for, and then potentially switch GP companies to locate the vendor transactions.

Search Master solves this challenge completely.  An AP clerk can now type just a few letters of the vendor name and instantly find the vendor and every transaction related to that vendor, even if they exist in multiple company databases.  With a single click, Search Master will switch to the appropriate company database and display the desired information.

Besides eliminating navigation and mouse clicks, one of the most enjoyable features of Search Master is that it returns results instantly.  As soon as you type a word or query, you see the results.  There is not "Submit" button, there are no web pages to load, there are no time consuming queries, and there is zero waiting for search results.  Searching is performed in real time without any delays.  Think about how often Dynamics GP users use menus, navigation panes, lists, SmartLists, inquiries, navigation buttons, and lookups to find specific data--and then think about eliminating all of that wasted time.

Andrew Dean and I will be at the Envisage Software Solutions booth at the Decisions Spring 2011 Virtual Conference Dynamics GP Day on June 15th to present Search Master, perform demos, and answer any questions.  Please make sure to sign up for the conference and visit our booth!

If you think that Search Master would be valuable for your company or one of your Dynamics GP clients, please contact us.  I can be reached at, or via telephone at (949) 735-4640, or you can visit the Search Master web site.

In Part 2 of this series, I'll discuss Search Master's powerful query syntax that allows you to search for much more than just basic keywords.

1 comment:

Marty said...


I think Search Master will greatly extend the life of Great Plains and is brilliant! Microsoft should showcase this offering to its largest clients. The ability to see across multiple-companies is a breakthrough!