Last year Microsoft announced that it would discontinue development of Business Portal, which has for many years been a component of Microsoft Dynamics GP. If you’re a Dynamics GP user, you may have found Business Portal useful for requisition management, time sheets and for gaining an overview of your other important business data.

But it’s more likely you never used Business Portal. The uptake of this module was never as high as Microsoft hoped, and that’s a major factor in Microsoft’s decision to not include it in Dynamics GP 2015  (which is available now).

So is the demise of Business Portal a ‘bad news story’ for GP users? Well, not really. Microsoft has incorporated much of the functionality of Business Portal in other architectures and applications that form part of Microsoft Dynamics GP 2015. Most of the Business Portal capabilities can now be accessed from any internet‑connected device via the Dynamics GP 2015 Web Client. Previously users could only access Dynamics GP from a laptop or desktop, so this is a great plus for Dynamics. Accessing Dynamics GP is as simple as entering an internet address and logging in with your Dynamics GP Web Client credentials.

Microsoft has also made changes to the Workflow functionality of Dynamics GP. The product’s Workflow engine eliminates the dependency on SharePoint and is now a core part of the Dynamics GP platform. The current Workflows for GP 2015 are as follows:

  • Purchase Order Approval
  • Purchase Requisition Approval
  • Payroll Timecard Approval
  • (Project PTE) Timesheet Approval
  • General Ledger Batch Approval
  • Receivables Batch Approval
  • Payables Batch Approval
  • Vendor Approval
  • Employee Profile Approval
  • (Human Resources) Employee Skills Approval
  • Payroll Direct Deposit Approval
  • Payroll W4 Approval
  • (Project PTE) Expense Report Approval

 

The back-end, service-based architecture of Dynamics GP will also be enhanced as the solution evolves. While nothing has been released yet, this will enable developers to create web applications that can hook into Dynamics GP directly and perform pretty much any function you want.

The upshot of all this is that, if you’re a Dynamics GP 2015 user, you should find that much of the functionality that used to be in Business Portal is now easier to access and use. Whereas the capabilities of Business Portal were perceived by many GP customers as too complex or not really relevant, users can now gain more value from their investment in Microsoft Dynamics GP.

 

You can read more about Professional Advantage and Microsoft Dynamics GP here.

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