History and Overview of Microsoft Dynamics GP (formerly Great Plains)
Great Plains corporation developed this ERP software from DOS in the 1980s to Windows in the 1990s. Great Plains Software purchased Solomon and RealWorld software prior to its acquisition by Microsoft in 2000-2001. Great Plains discontinued new sales of RealWorld almost immedately. Microsoft renamed the products from Great Plains Software Microsoft Dynamics GP (Great Plains) and Microsoft Dynamics SL (Solomon).
Strengths of Microsoft Dynamics GP
Great Plains enjoyed a large market share prior to the Microsoft acquisition. Microsoft's purchase of the company gave Microsoft an instant intalled base in the mid-market ERP space. Microsoft Dynamics GP supports industrial distributors, wholesalers, service companies, and manufacturers well. It is a horizontal package, with partners that have developed add-on modules to provide vertical market functionality. Since GP is a well-accepted product with a history in the US, there are many of these products to choose from.
The current GP product provides a variety of API products to assist developers who need to extend the product in exporting and importing data. This includes a web service API as well as traditional export / import.
Weaknesses of Microsoft Dynamics GP
As with many products developed primarily in the US, many observers considered the multi-currency and international support in the product weaker than other competitors in the market space. Dynamics GP was developed in a little-known (except among its followers) language called Dexterity. It has a reputation of being somewhat difficult to develop in.
Customization of the GP product by the end user is limited. Microsoft has moved the GP look and feel to the RTC (role tailored client) model introduced in 2009 with Dynamics NAV.