This is a reposting of an article I originally wrote on my Developing for Dynamics GP blog.
Something I am often asked is how to get started with Dexterity. As Dexterity is not really known outside of the Microsoft Dynamics GP world, there are not a large number of books available on the subject, like there are for Visual Basic or Visual C#.
Note: if you are still unsure about which tool or tools is best for you, please see the Choosing a Development Tool post.
So what is the best place to get started. Below are the steps I suggest.
- Install Dexterity
Either from the Tools\Dex\Setup folder of CD 2 of the Microsoft Dynamics GP install CDs. Follow this #Dexterity Development Environments Series to set up the development environment.
Read the Manuals
Dexterity installs manuals in a Manuals folder. They can also be accessed from the Help menu inside Dexterity. I suggest that you work through the Quick Start manual, using the Programmer’s Guide Volumes 1 & 2 for reference. You should also browse through the sanScript Reference and the Function Library Reference to get familiar with what commands and functions are available. The Integration Guide explains how to write integrating applications and how to re-use all the navigation and security facilities inside Microsoft Dynamics GP.
Do the Training
The Dexterity Fundamentals training (now called Dexterity I) is an excellent start to getting the foundations needed for all Dexterity developers. The materials can be downloaded from the Training Links page. While this training can be completed as self study, nothing beats getting trained by an instructor in the classroom. I have been running training prior to GPUG Summit conferences, watch this blog for the next class.
Note: The training materials are for version 9.0. Don’t worry, this is the latest version and everything is still valid for later versions of Microsoft Dynamics GP and Dexterity.
Check out the Samples
There are a number of samples provided with Dexterity and also available for download from CustomerSource. Look at and play with the samples as they will help you learn.
Use the Help File
Press F1…. The Dexterity help file is a brilliant resource for all things Dexterity. Use it.
Read the articles
The Developer Articles Links page on this blog has links to great Knowledge Base (KB) articles.
Use the Forums
There is a list of links for Forums on the right hand section of this blog.
Use the Tool
Get the hands on experience. The best way to learn is to actually get down and create some Dexterity windows and write some sanScript code. It is recommended that you start with a small integration or customisation project first. Learn to walk before you run. Completely changing the behaviour of the SOP_Entry window is not recommended as your first project.
Use the SDK (Software Development Kit)
The SDK can be installed from the Tools folder of CD 2 of the Microsoft Dynamics GP install CDs. The SDK contains vast amounts of information on the data model and transaction flows as well as documentation on procedures and functions that can be re-used.
Please add your comments on your experiences or advice you can give to new Dexterity developers.
24-Apr-2009: Added link to Choosing a Development Tool post.
08-Feb-2012: Added note about training materials being version 9.0.
This article was originally posted on the Developing for Dynamics GP Blog and has been reposted on http://www.winthropdc.com/blog.