#GPPT Setting up GP Power Tools in a Development Environment

David Meego - Click for blog homepageI was recently asked by my good friend and fellow MVP, Jen Kuntz, about how to best get GP Power Tools running in a Development Environment.

GP Power Tools (GPPT) stores all of its settings and data in tables in the System Database on SQL Server, however, it writes all of its logs and saved files to a shared logging folder. When moving GP to a development environment, you would probably want to change this logging folder to a different location.

The predecessor to GP Power Tools was the Support Debugging Tool (SDT), which was originally designed so that it could be easily installed and removed by any user. Because of this design principle, the SDT did not store any data on SQL instead storing its settings in a Debugger.xml file in the logging folder along with the logs and saved files.

GP Power Tools is now designed to be left installed on all workstations and servers where GP is installed so it can provide all of its functionality and features to all workstations at all times. So to improve performance and data security, all the of the settings were moved into SQL tables. The exception is that it still needs a logging folder to write its logs and saved files to.

To avoid the development/test environment storing its logs and saved files to the same location as the production/live environment, we will need to change the logging folder on the development system.

Below is an explanation of where and how the logging folder path is defined:

  • Just after login, GPPT checks if there is a logging path assign at the administrator level (WPT40100.LogPath), easily found using Tools >> Resource Finder when on the Path in the Logging Settings window.

Click in the Logging Path field, then select Tools >> Resource Finder from the menus:

Click Preview Data to show table data in SQL Execute window. If desired, use the unmark all button to unmark the fields and then click on the checkbox on the LogPath column to only show that column in the preview:

  • If there is a path and it is different from the workstation’s path (stored as MBS_Debug_Path dex.ini setting), found in the user interface on the Debug tab of the Dex.ini Settings window (hover over field for tooltip of setting name) …

  • and updating of Dex.ini settings by GPPT has not been disabled (MBS_Debug_ConfigurationOverride=TRUE), found in UI at bottom of Dex.ini \Configuration window (hover over field for tooltip of setting name) …

  • it will update the workstation’s Dex.ini setting to match the administrator setting, and that is what is used by the system when saving logs and other files.

If no valid path is defined at all (Dex.ini setting blank or missing, or if a write access test of the specified folder fails), it will default to the Data folder underneath the application folder, usually something like:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Dynamics\GP\Data\

Note: The logging folder path is defined using native Windows pathname format (not Dexterity Generic pathname format) and can be a path using a drive letter or a UNC pathname. It should point to a shared folder that everyone has write access to and must finish with a backslash.

Therefore, to control the logging folder path for development environments, one of the following methods are recommended:

  1. Dex.ini Method: Set the MBS_Debug_Path to the desired path on the development workstations’ applications folder (Don’t forget the ending backslash) and set MBS_Debug_ConfigurationOverride=TRUE to stop the Administrator controlled path from overwriting it.
  2. SQL Method: Change the LogPath in the WPT40100 table to the desired path (Don’t forget the ending backslash) and it will be used on each workstation that logs into the development server.

Hope this helps explain everything.

David

This article was originally posted on http://www.winthropdc.com/blog.

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