Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Want to become a Dynamics GP Visual Studio developer?

By Steve Endow

Today I received a question on Experts Exchange, asking how a developer who knows C# could learn how to develop with Dynamics GP.  Specifically, the person was looking for a class to learn how to develop Visual Studio solutions for Dynamics GP.

I thought it was a good question, but it's one of those questions where there isn't a simple answer.

Here's how I responded.


Unfortunately, I don't believe there has ever been a formal Visual Studio developer training or curriculum for Dynamics GP.  The closest I've seen is on-site custom training conducted by a GP partner at a customer site (I have done such training for a customer).

I think there are two things you'll need to become a GP developer using Visual Studio:

1. Strong knowledge of Dynamics GP design, architecture, quirks, etc.
2. Knowledge of the Dynamics GP developer tools and APIs

#2 is pretty standard developer self-learning.  There is some decent documentation and a handful of samples to get started, but some areas will require some digging and time to understand and utilize.

Depending on how much you know about GP, #1 will be the more difficult part.  There is a lot of subtle background knowledge that helps inform how to design and develop Visual Studio customizations and integrations for Dynamics GP, but there is no simple training session that can capture it all.

You could start by researching the following:

1. Leslie Vail's book, Developing Microsoft Dynamics GP Business Applications, might be a good place to start to get oriented on the tools and options for GP development.

2. Read the MS documentation for Visual Studio Tools (VS Tools) for Dynamics GP

3. If you foresee a need to do any integrations, look into eConnect and GP Web Services.  I only use eConnect, and haven't found much value for Web Services, but it would be good to be aware of both.

4. Setup Dynamics GP on a development server or create an Azure VM using one of the Azure Dynamics GP images to get access to Dynamics GP and start developing some simple projects.

There are a fair amount of blog posts or articles online about Visual Studio development for GP, but I believe most cover a single aspect or small topic, so it will take some searching to get a big picture of the options and processes.

In short, you can do it yourself, but it will require some time. If you have the budget to hire an experienced GP developer to work with you one-on-one, that will probably save you time and make the learning curve easier.


If anyone has any additional tips on how to become a Dynamics GP Visual Studio developer, please let me know.

 Steve Endow is a Microsoft MVP for Dynamics GP and a Dynamics GP Certified IT Professional in Los Angeles.  He is the owner of Precipio Services, which provides Dynamics GP integrations, customizations, and automation solutions.

You can also find him on Google+ and Twitter

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