Monday, September 29, 2014

The Triad of Fun- Forecaster, ExpressLink, and FRx

ExpressLink is the piece of Forecaster that allows you to import the chart of accounts from GP to Forecaster, and also transfer balances (e.g., actuals or existing budgets) from GP to Forecaster.  This is not the same as the Forecaster Data Transfer Tool, which moves data from Forecaster back to GP.

It has become a challenge to use ExpressLink because it relies on FRx to connect to the GP databases (yes, you read that correctly).  But the tool is so handy, because users can use to to automatically add new accounts from GP to their segment list in Forecaster (rather than having to keep track and handle it manually). 

Although not supported, we have found that we can install FRx on a 64 bit box (there are plenty of blog posts on this subject), and then you can set up the companies in FRX (which is required to use ExpressLink).  Once this is done, the ExpressLink option is available in the Forecaster installation wizard (if FRx is not installed and configured, the option to install ExpressLink will not be available).  But recently, I ran in to an issue where I installed ExpressLink but two funny things happened...

1.  Although I had marked the option to install ExpressLink, and it appeared to have completed successfully, if I went back in to the install wizard to change the installation it did not appear as marked/installed
2.  Within Forecaster, Tools-Import-ExpressLink was grayed out

Now, in this case, FRx was not installed initially.  So we had installed Forecaster, then FRx, and then gone back to install ExpressLink.

After checking everything, making sure FRx was functional, etc, I found that the issue was that ExpressLink wasn't actually installing- I did not see either ExpressLink DLL in the installation directory.  If I went in to Add/Remove Programs and tried to change or repair the install, I got the same results.  I believe this was because I had added Service Pack 5 to Forecaster.  So that was the only option showing in Control Panel, but because ExpressLink was not part of the original RTM install, it was not updating properly.

To resolve the issue, I uninstalled Forecaster.  Then I reinstalled the RTM with ExpressLink marked, and then reapplied the service pack.  Then Tools-Import-ExpressLink was available!

Christina Phillips is a Microsoft Certified Trainer and Dynamics GP Certified Professional. She is a senior managing consultant with BKD Technologies, providing training, support, and project management services to new and existing Microsoft Dynamics customers. This blog represents her views only, not those of her employer.

No comments: