Mariano and I had two more session to present in the morning and then we would be free to relax a little.
During the lead up to the conference, I noticed that there was very little developer content in the schedule of breakout sessions. So I emailed my friend, Bob McAdam, and asked why.
Bob responded that there was little demand and that GPUG Summit did not attract many developers. I disagreed knowing that there would be a number of developers, including the ISV partners and partner consultants as well as a number of customer developers, attending. I asked Bob, if we could get a session for developers to get together and discuss issues that affected them and so the Geek Speak: Developer Roundtable session was born.
This session was facilitated by Mariano and myself, but it was not a presentation or a Q & A, it was an open forum to discuss anything that the audience wanted to with their peers. At the beginning of the session, after I had explained what the session was all about, I asked all of the audience members to text Bob with “Bob, where are the Developer sessions?”. This was a bit of fun, based on a number of partners sending text messages to Bob on the final night of the GP Tech Conference in Fargo.
It wasn’t long before our discussion was interrupted by none other than Bob McAdam. After his phone went berserk with some 20 text messages, all arriving together and saying the same thing, he quickly worked out that we had our session on came to find us. 🙂
Being the good sport that he is, he posed for a photo with the slide we had up on the screen.
I had not planned on getting Bob to come to the session, but having him there was awesome. It gave us a chance to discuss how to get more developer content in future conferences. A couple of points came out of these discussions:
- When the call goes out for GPUG Summit session ideas, developers need to submit sessions covering the topics they are interested in.
- While the GP Tech Conference in Fargo does include some developer content, it is a partner only event. Allowing developing customers to attend could work.
I prefer the idea of having a developer stream at GPUG Summit, but it will only work if we can get enough developers to submit session ideas AND come to GPUG Summit. It is one of those “Catch-22” situations, they will only have sessions if more developers attend and more developers will attend if they have the sessions.
Thanks to everyone who attend the Geek Speak session, please post a comment if you have any feedback on the session itself, how to get more developer sessions or how to get more developers to attend GPUG Summit.
The next session that Mariano and I presented was on Microsoft Dynamics GP Service Based Architecture. This session, when it was first created, was meant to promote Service Base Architecture (SBA), but since its release we know now that 1) it has some issues and 2) Microsoft is not putting any energy in developing it further. The result was that the session discussed both the positive and negative sides of Service Based Architecture and even discussed alternatives.
I had asked Steve Endow to join us for the session, as he has lots of experience with integrations and has been working with using ASP.Net Core to wrap eConnect calls with REST based web services.
- SBA is not the best method to use for integrations of large amounts of data.
- SBA uses a user license and because it “logs” into GP, you cannot process a second SBA call for the same user and company until the first call has been completed. See this article for more information: SBA is not as Asynchronous as you might think.
- SBA can be great for performing automation tasks or small integrations not covered by eConnect.
- Using SBA allows you to reuse core GP functionality by calling existing code or by driving windows as though you were a user.
I feel that attendees left with a better sense of the pros and cons of the technology without the sales and marketing hype.
Mariano and I headed down to the Mekorma booth for the last block of time assigned to the Expo Hall. It was chance to speak to potential leads for my products and give away some more of the Winthrop Development Consultant and Australian pins I brought with me.
By the time we left the expo, I only had time to attend Leslie Vails session 50 in 50: User Defined Functions in Report Writer in the final time slot of the conference. As always, Leslie was animated and fun to listen to, she engages well with the users as she has been in the real world for many years solving the same issues they see.
I was glad I attended as Leslie had some technical difficulties with her new machine. It would display the slide deck in Extended mode fine, but would not change the duplicate mode so Leslie could demonstrate a Report Writer function in action. In the end I connected my machine so Leslie could demonstrate the process for the attendees. What was even better was that it worked!
And that brought the conference to a close, with the exception of Leslie modelling the Winthrop Development Consultants water coolers….
… and Steve Endow modelling the fantastic t-shirt he wore for the SQL Shootout session.
The final part of the day was a dinner I organised for any of my friends who were still in town that evening. We went to the Jack Daniels restaurant at the hotel and had great food, service and conversation.
I will leave you with one last photo, of a very pleased Shawn Dorward, showing off the medal he won at the Dynamics GP Idol Shootout session. Well done.
Wrap post coming next.
This article was originally posted on http://www.winthropdc.com/blog.