As most of you know I am the developer of the Support Debugging Tool for Microsoft Dynamics GP (SDT).
The SDT has been provided free of charge to Partners and Customers (via their partners) in the Dynamics community since its release in September 2008. The tool and its feature set have come a long way from the public release of build 9 for GP versions 8.0, 9.0 and 10.0.
Six years later in September 2014 I released the latest version of the tool: build 19 for GP versions 10.0, 11.0 (GP 2010) and 12.0 (GP 2013 & GP 2013 R2).
The day after I released build 19 I was given one month’s notice that I would be made redundant (laid off) by Microsoft.
Now, the Support Debugging Tool was and has always been my pet project. It took a lot of work to persuade the powers that be to allow it to be made publically available. All the development and most of the ideas have come from me, including design, coding, documentation, testing and support. Much of the vast number of hours of time invested have been my personal out of hours time.
While there had been discussion with both the Development and Support teams, there was never any real interest from them to make the tool more official. This is why you will be told that the tool is unsupported by Microsoft and not widely used by the support team. Even though it was originally created as a tool to help the support team debug problems… hence the name.
Now that I have left Microsoft, the tool is “in stasis”. It is still available for download, but there will not be any further development by Microsoft. That is why it is not available for Microsoft Dynamics GP 2015 yet.
So, the next question is “What is the future for the Support Debugging Tool?”.
The answer is that I have been negotiating with Microsoft, since I was told I would be leaving, to gain ownership of the code. Sadly, this process is taking much longer than I had hoped but progress is being made.
Once the agreement is finalised, the Support Debugging Tool will be updated and reborn as a product of Winthrop Development Consultants and sold for a nominal charge per site using an annual subscription model.
“But wait” you cry “It was free, why will there be a cost now?”
As I am no longer getting a salary from Microsoft, I need to be able to cover the costs of the continued development of the tool. I have lots of ideas to make the tool better, easier to use and more powerful and with your support and feedback will make a better tool for the community to help support and administer Microsoft Dynamics GP.
This change of ownership will also provide a great opportunity to change the name of the tool. For too long the word “Debugging” or even “Support” has scared people away from the tool. Even the initials, SDT, make people think about unmentionable diseases.
I have some ideas for a new name, but would love to your input. So all the people who always told me you don’t like the name, here’s you chance, post a comment with ideas for a new name.
Think of something that encompasses all the features which the tool can assist you with; logging, troubleshooting, resource info, security, screenshots, system reports, triggers, scripting (SQL and Dexterity), data transfer, pre upgrade checks and much more.
Looking forward to your feedback.
PS: If you haven’t responded on the Support Debugging Tool feedback survey yet, please do as your feedback is valuable.
This article was originally posted on http://www.winthropdc.com/blog.