How to Add the GP Word Template Add-in for multi-users environment?

Foreword: The purpose of this blog post is not to teach you how to install & use the Word Add-in for GP, as this is well covered in the Report Writer User Guide (yes.. not the GP system setup guide), but to explain how to fix some oddities with this Word add-in (and other add-ins in general) when using a share environment like Citrix or Terminal Server.

This week I had a very strange case.. It started with a very common request to have the Dynamics GP Word Template add-in installed for a customer. The IT staff wasn’t sure about how to perform this and didn’t wanted to break anything, so I jumped in.

Easy Peasy you say ? Right! when the installation is performed on your own computer and with your own local GP client, then it’s not a real big deal. All you have to do is pull the Dynamics GP DVD setup and select the proper option:

Run thru the Word add-in setup and off you go. Fire up Word and you should now see the new add-in within the Developer toolbar in Word:

If you don’t see it, it means that you haven’t enabled the Developer toolbar in Word. Go to Options > Customize Ribbon, and make sure the Developer options is checked in the right list.

So far, so good! you can check the proper installation of the DLL files into the program folders by checking the Add-ins section in Word’ Options:

The user account under which the setup was performed will usually have no issues with the Add-in showing up in his/her Word… But where it starts to become interesting is that any other users sharing the same computer (in this case a Terminal Server), they would not see the new add-in in Word.. no matter how hard they try! Even an attempt to manage the “COM Add-ins” manually and try to add the .vsto file from the program folder fails miserably with an invalid plugin error message..

DISCLAIMER: I have no idea how the Office 2016 was installed on that server, as it was performed by the local IT staff. So your mileage may vary with the solution.

Word add-ins are usually managed on a personal user preferences basis, as I found out in this forum thread (HKCU stands for HKEY Current User), and as such the add-ins information are stored on a per user basis in the Windows System Registry.

To make sure I wasn’t missing anything, I used the help of Microsoft’s SysInterals tool ProcesMonitor (as the old RegMon had been deprecated many years ago) to track any changes in files & the registry while the installation was performed. It confirmed what I had found out, that new entries are created in the Registry under the Current User profile (HKCU).

Without those entries under the current user’s profile in the Registry, Word wouldn’t even acknowledge the existence of the add-in from the program folder.. So how do you fix it ? simple indeed, you just have to grab the entries from the current users, save it as a .REG file and have other users that need to access the Dynamics GP Word Template add-in on the same computer import those settings under their own current profile.

To simplify the task, I’ve replicated the .REG here so you can just copy / paste it into a Notepad file and save it as a .REG file.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00 [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\Word\Addins\Microsoft.Dynamics.GP.BusinessIntelligence.BITemplateMapping]

"Description"="Enables Microsoft Dynamics GP Template Mapping."

"FriendlyName"="Microsoft Dynamics GP Add-in for Microsoft Word"

"LoadBehavior"=dword:00000003

"Manifest"="C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Dynamics\Report Templates\Microsoft.Dynamics.GP.BusinessIntelligence.BITemplateMapping.vsto|vstolocal"

To apply the settings, the user would just have to double-click on the .reg file and confirm the import of the file. That’s it and when starting Word, the add-in should now show up in the Developer tab. The best way to test it out to see if it works is actually to start a Dynamics GP session, head over to Administration >> Reports >> Template Maintenance and select any one of the Word Templates from the list. Click on the Modify button from the menu bar and it will open Word with the typical layout of XXXXXX’s all over the place as placeholders for each field. From there you can start customizing your report. Refer to the Report Writer guide on how to do this.

Note: you cannot modify reports that have a ‘*’ at the end of the name, as those are the built-in default Templates for GP. You have to duplicate them first and give them a new name.

Here is a link that might be useful if you have questions around the Office 365 tools & compatibility of various GP releases :

https://mbs.microsoft.com/customersource/northamerica/GP/support/hot-topics/msdgpoffice365comp

Hope you find this useful and feel free to share it. Until next time,
@GP_Beat

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