The phase out of Business Portal — What now?

By - July 22, 2014

There are a significant number of Microsoft Dynamics GP users who have used the Business Portal application for entering things like Purchase Requisitions and Time Sheets. While it provided a browser-based interface experience for the end user, it provided significant challenges to maintain. Although it interfaced to Dynamics GP, it was fundamentally a separate application, requiring separate maintenance and log in.

With the new functionality in Dynamics GP 2013 R2, key functions that used to be done with Business Portal have now been moved to being integrated parts of Dynamics GP. The result is the ability to use a browser-based web interface to enter time cards, project time and purchase requisitions while being able to use newly added work flows that are now resident in the Dynamics GP application to manage the process.

Additionally, users will be completely managed by Dynamics GP, instead of having separate user set ups for Business Portal and Dynamics GP. Users who are only doing basic entry, such as Time Sheet entry, can be limited users as opposed to full users.

Work Flows

Business Portal used to rely on using Sharepoint workflows to manage approval processes. This meant that there was additional set up in both Business Portal and Sharepoint in order to handle time sheets and requisitions. Dynamics GP 2013 R2 now has four new workflows that are within the Dynamics GP application itself. This means that approval work flows can be easily set up in Dynamics GP and managed from there.

The four new work flows are as follows:

  • Purchase Order Approval
  • Purchase Order Requisition Approval
  • Payroll Time Card Approval
  • Project Time Sheet

Work Flows are easily set up in Dynamics GP through the use of the Work Flow set up screen. You also have the ability to set up work flow calendars in order to customize how time parameters are treated when you set up work flows. Additionally, the email messages that accompany work flow steps can be customized in Dynamics GP.

The Phase Out of Business Portals 1

Purchasing Requisitions

A new Purchase Requisitions screen has been added to Dynamics GP in order to enter requisitions directly into the Dynamics GP application. This used to be done in Business Portal, but can now be done directly in Dynamics GP either through the traditional application or the web interface.

The Phase Out of Business Portals 2

Time Sheet Entry

Time sheet entry is also available in Dynamics GP through either the web interface or the traditional Dynamics GP interface. Time sheets entered in this fashion update both Payroll and HR information.

The Phase Out of Business Portals 3

Project Time Entry

A window for Project Time Entry is available in the Project module. As with all the other entry windows, this is available both through the web interface and the traditional Dynamics GP interface.

The Phase Out of Business Portals 4

New Home Screen Information

Along with the new workflows and input screens, R2 now has the ability to add customization features to the home screen to view requisition, PO and time card information. When you customize the home screen, there are two new selections available in order to do this.

The Phase Out of Business Portals 5

When you enable these, your home screen will now include new sections with relevant information. The advantage you have from adding these to your home page is the ability to access entry and inquiry screens directly from the new home page sections.

The Phase Out of Business Portals 6

In Closing, as time goes on, more features will be moved directly into Dynamics GP from Business Portal and new work flows will be added to support them. Once all the applications that are currently in Business Portal are moved over to Dynamics GP, Business Portal will be discontinued.

The result of the move of Business Portal functionality to Dynamics GP is something that is much easier to customize and manage on a day to day basis, as well as a much more uniform experience for end users.

If you looking for a partner to support your Microsoft Dynamics GP solution, RSM offers access to help desk and phone support, dedicated account management and on-going education through events, newsletters and webcasts.  Contact our professionals at erp@rsmus.com or by phone at 855.437.7202 to learn more.

By:  Peggy Evleth – Colorado Microsoft Dynamics GP partner

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