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Benefit of the Doubt

It’s less than 2 weeks before election day, and it’s apparent that the scandals of HRC have no effect on Obama’s sheep.  I watched a news clip with a couple of early voters in Florida, and their comments were that they knew she was not perfect, she’d ‘made a mistake’, but she deserved another chance and benefit of the doubt.  Really?

One mistake, certainly.  Candidates are not perfect, they’re human, and if anyone votes for a candidate because of his or her purity, they’re insane.  Humans make mistakes, we’re not perfect, we’re not God.  Two mistakes and I’ve got a bit of serious thinking to do about their veracity and viability.  Two of the SAME mistakes or continued reckless behavior simply tells me they’re either incompetent or think that we the voters are stupid. Either way, they will not get my vote.

We as a country are headed in the wrong direction and need new leadership.  Being President does not mean having all the answers, but knowing who to ask and trust for the right answers.  With the Clintons, it’s who will give them the most money or power.  Their direction will head us further down the toilet bowl, and the handle has already been pulled.

We need someone to lift us out of there.  To finish with the toilet analogy, may the effects of their deeds speed their journey into the septic tank they deserve.

 

GP & SQL Compatibility

I replied to a GPUG question earlier today from someone wanting to use SQL 2016 with GP 2015.  It bears repeating here and applies to similar situations as well.

When Microsoft says not compatible, they mean it. It may work, but it’s not supported. If you do run into an issue with compatibility down the road, you have just burned all bridges, since you won’t likely be able to restore it later to a supported SQL version. At that point you can only hope that you’ve kept a copy of databases from the earlier SQL version and reenter everything from that point, or start over. It’s usually a deprecated function is specified in GP coding that will be the problem, and the only fix is to rewrite the software.

For years I was the “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead” guy, the one that could always trick the system into making it work after a client broke it, but after seeing the destruction and mayhem it can cause down the road (read potentially hundreds of consulting hours), it’s wise to trust Microsoft’s compatibility list. It’s there for a reason.

I’m Melting!

2 Chronicles 7:14 “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” Read wicked ways = Clinton’s Socialist agenda.

A vote against Trump is a vote for an everlasting Socialist quagmire of greed, deception, and filth with no place for citizens. We become the Soylent Green that feeds the increasingly destructive engine of Democratic Socialism.

Clinton is sitting at the right hand of Satan, encourages murdering children, and encourages (as did her predecessor) confusion of the sexes. There is nothing good with or about her. I only hope that her end comes the night of November 8, 2016, and we as Dorothy in Oz hear ” You cursed brat! Look what you’ve done! I’m melting! melting! Oh, what a world! What a world! Who would have thought a good little girl like you could destroy my beautiful wickedness? Oooooh, look out! I’m going! Oooooh! Ooooooh! “


Who said I couldn’t quote the Bible and L. Frank Baum in one post?  … just sayin’

A Quiet Rage

A quiet rage is growing in this country against those who seek the crowning of Queen Hillary.  Morals and supposedly adult behavior are cast aside in the desperate need to up the ante in dirty politics.

It would seem that we the people have no say in these political amoral and immoral tactics other than to accept them.  The queen and her court of jesters and blind fools made up of pop stars and once-respected news media now await the predicted inevitable result of her majesty ascending the throne to grace her deplorable subjects with bread and water while she eats cake and drinks champagne.  It isn’t about what’s right, it’s about power.  She is the evil of all evils.  You think Obama was bad?  Just wait until HRC decrees the borders open and America fair game for control from external forces.  Power and control – that’s her objective.  She’s open to taking control of the UN as well, I’m sure.

The adoring media and their polls predict an easy win for her majesty.

Social media says differently.  I can only hope that on election day that those warriors with their pent-up rage emerge from behind their computers and cast their vote against the continuing rule of lies and corruption.

No, I’m not a fan of Trump, but I will vote for whoever has the best chance of defeating the sheer undisguised evil that is HRC.

If you haven’t seen the 2005 movie “V for Vendetta” please do so.  If you have seen it, treat yourself and watch it again.

Remember, remember the 8th of November…  Yeah, I know the date’s wrong, but it was too good to pass up.

Pro Team Sports?

I’m not much of a team sports watcher, but we here in the USA have taken ‘pro’ sports to the extreme.  When I was attending Pirates ‘knothole’ games, an average baseball player salary was somewhere around $10,000 per year.  In the time it’s taken the minimum wage to go from $1.80 to $7.25 per hour, team sports ‘pro’ compensation has gone from that $10,000/yr figure to an average of $2,000,000 + /yr.

Team sports isn’t about the teams anymore, but about the players, their lifestyles, their endorsements.  We have so lost the idea of ‘team sports’ that players don’t feel the need to play as a team, but to outperform, outclass, do anything to NOT be a team member.

Today’s ‘pro’ is idolized, worshiped, revered – for what?  For the most part, the more lavish and outlandish your lifestyle, the more you align yourself with thugs and infamy, the more money and ‘respect’ you command.  These are NOT the types we want or need our young people looking up to.  Wife beating, child beating, no problem – pay them and the media off, then bask in your notoriety.

There are a lot of people, I’m certain that would welcome the opportunity to play on a team as a team member.  I say we take all these overpaid primadonnas that want to protest one thing or another and throw them out.  Play team sports as a team, and if you want to make waves, bye-bye.  The same philosophy goes for cheerleaders, marching bands, and so on.  Imagine a cheerleading routine or a college band halftime show where some of the participants protested.  Yeah, not so great a view.  …but teams expect us to put up with anarchy.

NFL wonders if their player’s protests are causing a decrease in attendance?  Really?  Team sports, team behavior – no exceptions.

All Lives Matter

All.  Lives.  Matter.  All.

If BLM truly cares about their precious Black Lives, why don’t they use their leverage to clean up Chicago, Baltimore, St. Louis, etc.?

The answer is simple – BLM is a HATE GROUP, people, and care only about hating everyone that is not the same color as they are.  Racist?  I think so!

There’s no place for racism in America.  None.  …and no place for groups like BLM.  Grow up and pull yourselves out of the mire.  The government’s not going to do it, they simply reinforce your plight.  There are people of ALL colors that need to pull themselves up. Get a job. Work your way up, and don’t settle for government handouts.  It’s a trap, and a bottomless life-sucking hole.

 

Where are the issues?

I wrote a bit yesterday on this topic, but where is the discussion on issues that are important to the American people?

With all the mud-slinging and accusations of wrongdoing, complicity, and bias, we don’t have a clue where the candidates stand.  I will not vote for Clinton because of her constant lies and then makes no effort to apologize for wrongdoings, or even to explain her reasoning for doing things her way.  Instead, she treats us like a queen to her subjects (why am I reminded of Marie Antoinette frequently?) – we DARE ask why?  Off with their heads! (oh yes, that’s a different queen).

And Trump – I’d like to like him, but someone needs to hijack his Twitter account, or at least lighten up on the conspiracy theories.  Yes, there are conspiracies, but he’s hurting himself by stooping to their level.  Better to know they’re there and confront them.

Election 2016

Unbelievable.  Just.  Unbelievable.  I thought the presidential election was to select the person most capable of leading the country, NOT who was the most perfect.

With the Democrats (and some Republicans) saying Trump’s character is flawed because he behaved like a typical male in a supposedly private conversation along with some unsubstantiated accusations, no one is talking about the things that will matter to the American public over the next four years.  Things like:

Terrorism

Open Borders

Federal Debt Reduction and Management

Governmental Corruption

 

Hillary is a proven documented serial liar who will do anything if it gets her more money and/or more power and/or adoration from the same sheep that elected Obama – twice.  She has proven repeatedly that she cannot be trusted with the nation’s secrets.

Neither candidate is anywhere near perfect, and my choice will be the least evil choice between two flawed candidates.  Can we please discuss the issues, not sling mud?  Please?  The American public has a right to know.

Just sayin’

What appears to be a clear question on the surface quickly clouds in the face of reality.  Your data is not only important, it’s vital to the life of your business.  There are several reasons that I will cover below.

Database upgrades complete with no errors.

This is the first reason clients think of when testing upgrades, and this is the one we are concerned least about.  If this were a data migration from one system to another, then yes, the figures must be checked closely.  Barring damaged data, database upgrades simply add columns and procedures to accommodate new processes and features in Dynamics GP.  Your data actually remains relatively untouched during this process.  While you may think initially that all you need to be concerned about is your ‘bottom line’, that’s actually the one thing you don’t need to worry about.  Check, yes.  Concern, no.  What is more likely to have changed is the way to access that data and how it gets reported.  Bottom line on your bottom line, I cannot recall one upgrade in thousands where the figures did not tie out.

Vital business processes are not hampered.

This brings us to the second and most crucial step, yet one passed over by most clients – testing processes.  Data doesn’t do us much good if we can’t act or report on it.  Each new version of Dynamics GP brings new features, and those ‘features’ occasionally change location of an action button or drop-down from the bottom of a window to the top, or even to another window.  You need to know where changes have been made so you aren’t trying to learn while the UPS driver is waiting for a check.

Speaking of checks, the formatting, along with that of many other reports (yes, a check is a ‘report’ to the software) is also modified during upgrade processes to accommodate the changes to the tables noted above.  Some of the more frequently customer-modified reports include GL Trial Balances, SOP Invoices, Check layouts, and Purchase Orders.  With the upgrading of the formats, sometimes sort orders are changed, or other changes which may affect the looks of your invoices, checks, etc.

It is imperative that you devote time during a test upgrade to run through:

  • Daily Processes in Finance, Payables, Receivables, Payroll, Inventory
  • Weekly Procedures
  • Monthly Procedures
  • Quarterly and Year-end Procedures

That includes printing checks – to blank paper, then hold up the printed check to blank computer check stock to verify alignment.  Don’t forget to shred the printed check forms, particularly if GP is printing the signature.

Third-party and integration tasks should be checked as well.  Stand-alone programs and web interfaces should be checked for proper operation, functionality, and security.

Little or no testing can jeopardize your upgrade and result in not only lost productivity for you, but additional costs for an emergency situation that would have been uncovered and corrected in test.  Will we do an upgrade without a test?  Certainly, if you can afford the down time and loss of productivity.  The no-test scenario is usually reserved for 1-2 user systems running Payables and GL only.

Frequently an upgrade also means a new server.  This gives you a perfect chance to test the capacity and capability of the new server by loading the server as you would on a daily basis to make sure the application is as responsive as you need it to be before you’re in production and it’s too late to fix a problem without lost production time.  So don’t just have one person test the system – plan a time when everyone can test together.  If there are problems, we can diagnose and correct them before it becomes a critical issue.

CAL’s ‘What’s New’ training can be beneficial if done during in the test upgrade phase.  This will eliminate many of the navigation questions that may arise when first encountering the upgraded interface.  This training can be reinforced with additional assistance when the live upgrade is performed.

There are several reasons for backing up your Dynamics GP SQL Data and shared files, among them:

  • Business Continuity
  • Human or Computer Error Recovery
  • Historical Preservation
  • Data Health and Maintenance

 

Business Continuity or Disaster Recovery is the most comprehensive and usually requires the most planning.  You must consider how much data loss is acceptable and how long your accounting system can afford to be down.

Let’s first consider the types of SQL Recovery Modes available.  It is important to understand these simply because of the types and granularity of restores depend on them.  For our purposes we will focus on the 2 most common recovery models, Simple and Full.

Simple Recovery Model is just that – simple; the backup job creates the backup file and clears committed transactions from the log file, then truncates the log.  It cannot be restored to a point in time other than when it was created.  These can be done as often as needed, but remember, you’re backing up the entire database, so keep a close eye on drive space.

Full Recovery Model (the one we recommend) has many more options, but comes with a bit more overhead.  In full recovery mode, the full database is backed up, including data and log file.  It does not, however, truncate the log file.  There is a secondary, and more frequent, backup called the Transaction Log Backup (never could have guessed that one, right?) that does the actual truncation of the log file.  In a restore situation, you restore the full backup and any log files to get you to the point of error.  This type of backup is your best bet in the event that someone accidentally clears data or other human error situation.

For Business Continuity purposes, you ideally should have a balance of on-disk and external media on- and off-site.  Two or three days should be sufficient for on-disk backups, as you would rarely want to take your accounting system back that many days.  External media retention is up to you, but a week’s worth of backups with at least one day offsite works well for most.

Many companies want or require a year-end backup archived.  Back up the database to external media, and archive as desired.  You may want to burn these to disk as shelf life is longer and would not be affected by EMP, media deterioration or accidental erasure.  Include a copy of the current DYNAMICS database for ease of data access.  Your company may have moved on, but this data if locked in time.

Don’t let your IT tell you that they are snapshotting the server and you don’t need SQL backups.  With full recovery model, you must have both Full and Transaction Log backups to keep the database healthy and keep size and performance in check.

One additional word on Server Snapshots, particularly virtual server snapshots.  If you are running them for Disaster Recovery, DO NOT run them during the work day.  SQL interprets the snapshot scan of the live databases as a disk freeze and any transaction which may be taking place during the few seconds of snapshot scans will likely be corrupted and could require extensive repair of the database if not caught quickly.

One other common error is to have the database set to Full Recovery Model, then let other backup software do the database backups.  This is fine AS LONG AS it also is capable of running Transaction Log backups.  If you only back up the database and not the log, it never truncates and will both cause serious performance issues and finally fill up the disk at which point the database (and GP) shut down.  Know your recovery model, backup type, and frequency.  We can work with you IT staff to develop a plan that works for you.

Test your backups!  Even the best of us can fall into that trap.  The backup looks good, but if you can’t restore it, you might as well not have one.  That’s why my comment on on-disk backups above.  If you need to restore to a point-in-time, have your transaction logs backed up to disk, but your full backup is on some tape somewhere, you’ll be down for as long as it takes to recover the backup media and get it mounted.  Keep several recent backups and relevant log backups on disk for speedy recovery.

There are some non-SQL files that should be backed up regularly as well.  That includes modified reports and forms dictionaries, FRx SysData folder (if you’re still using FRx, and if you are, why?  …but that’s another topic), Integration Manager database, signature files, Mekorma Stub Library, etc..  CAL usually has these under a server ‘GPShare’ folder, so include that in your backups.

Several final notes and frequently misunderstood items:

  1. Backing up your DYNAMICS database does not back up your data. The DYNAMICS database is the GP system database, but only contains system-level information – users, registration, security, etc.  The actual transactions are in your company database.
  2. When you add a company to Dynamics GP, make sure the company database is included in the backup. I usually set the backups for ‘all user databases’ – that way, if a new company is added, it’s automatically included in the backup.  If you use ‘all user databases’, you’re also covered for Management Reporter and SQL Server Report Server backups.
  3. Check your SQL System backups – Master, Model, and MSDB. With those you can recover your GP SQL users in the event of a rare, but possible, SQL application crash.  Without them, you will have to create new users in SQL to tie back to the GP users.