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Thursday, May 31, 2007

Quick Tip - Application Object

Have you ever had a need to run some code, or preform a task after each user's logon into Dynamics AX? Well I had just this need this past week and this is best done by using the Application.startupPost() method. In this method you can place code to call, say another class, to preform a task as each logon, better, after each logon into Dynamics AX.

This is the safest and preferred method of doing such a task. Well thought I would pass this along. Mostly a common knowledge thing, but sometimes it's hard to recall things that you have not touched, or even possibly thought about in a while.

check back soon!

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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Microsoft Dynamics AX (DAX): Known Issues when upgrading to Microsoft Dynamics™ AX 4.0 - Arijit Basu | AX MVP

My friend Arijit posted a nice find on PartnerSource about the known issues for when upgrading to Dynamics AX 4.01:

Microsoft Dynamics AX (DAX): Known Issues when upgrading to Microsoft Dynamics™ AX 4.0 - Arijit Basu | AX MVP

Arijit is always on top of things, and a great resource of a blog and person! Thanks Arijit for posting this and passing it on to the rest of us!

Check back soon!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Grounder or PopFly?

Microsoft continues to display the move towards Web 2.0 / Enterprise 2.0 with the Alpha release of PopFly. PopFly was built with SilverLight [Formely WPF/e] and is designed for quickly creating web mashups. This is Very important to understand, because what this means is we could soon offer the ability of non-programming user access and means to create web parts for their mashups on the fly, and have it working with say PO's or Sales Orders? Actually if you think about this, it could be veru useful for executive types to place and create executive dashboards that feed from Dynamics AX, Score card manager, excel, etc. etc.

Check out the links:

ZDNet PopFly Post
ZDnet PopFly Content

This furthermore pushes us into looking at the UI as part of one of the Big pushes for Web / Enterprise 2.0. That is the point with this, taking and allowing user generated or controlled content, and how it is worked with, displayed in the enterprise.

Anyway just something else to watch out for. This was created with SilverLight [Formely Known as WPF/e]

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

e-Con and you!


I am about done with my e-Con training this week. The instructor has been Marijn van Poelje from To-Increase. He is a great guy, has a vast knowledge on the e-Con product and is great to work with. His jokes are some times lacking depth [LOL! Just poking at you Marijn] But really all in all it has been a great class.

For the level that I am looking at I did find the lessons to easy in contrast to how powerful e-Con engine is. It is truly a Business Rules Engine, and it's studio and connectiviness to Dynamics AX (and NAV) is outstanding. I have recommended e-Con before, but I have become an even bigger believer in the product's abilities now. (I am working on something special in regard to e-Con, I will post details later on, if it comes through. Be helpful for Every e-Con user, consultants, customer, and soon to be of each.)

I don't want to spend much time, but I did want to commit on e-Con and Dynamics AX this week. I can see a lot of usage for this for our current customer base, and our future customers. It is for sure a Whole lot more than just a Product Configurator, as any type of Process Workflow can be achieved with this business rules engine. It has the ability to work with most any datasource, work with .Net assemblies, web services, and it has a very easy scripting language to pick up. (If you can manage Excel formula's then your doing good to learn e-Con!)

Well check back soon as I will have much more post about e-Con and e-Con with Dynamics AX!

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Monday, May 21, 2007

e-Con Training this week

This week I will be in To Increase / Dynamics AX eCon training. Therefore I will not have much time to write at all.

I will review the training and the new e-Con 4.0 when I am done next week!

Check back soon!

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Monday, May 14, 2007

More on Enterprise 2.0 and ERP


Since last October I have been rambling on about Enterprise 2.0, RIA, and how this will change teh face, and operation of ERP, in specific, Dynamics AX. Well I thought I would post a link to a recent ZDnet Blog post about this exact thing.

Enterprice Applications: Pay attention to the User Interface

So if you read this, it's exactly what I have been talking about. How the user interface will be a big change, working via RIA from SharePoint [Meaning Silverlight or Flash web parts] interacting with Office platform further, like Excel web parts, etc. etc. This is a great post, talkikng about how the User Interface will change, and given users the ability to get their job done in less application interfaces. I mean that's the point of this, bringing it all together, for a give role, for the most single point of user interface mashups as that can possibly exist for the information worker.

So let's keep pushing this, and keeping learning, designing and deploying technologies like SharePoint, Office 2007 and beyond, Silverlight, Web Services, OLAP, etc. etc.

Check back soon!

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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Katmai and you!

With the next release of SQL Server code named Katmai, due next year and Dynamics AX 5.0 to follow right behind, its time to start thinking about what this means for the Dynamics AX eco-system.

Basically if you read up on Katmai, one of the major goals is Business Analaysis, and tighter integration with the Office 2007 platform, including SharePoint. For Dynamics AX, this means more out of the box ability for Ad-Hoc report generation from Excel, with Dynamics AX data. What comes to mind here is the Business Data Catalog. This will enable Report Models (refernce current perspectives in DAX 4.0) that will allow an end user to select from a given report model set, and drag and drop into Excel, SSRS, and work with that via SharPoint.

Ok maybe I am getting ahead of the ability curve here, but it will be close. This also means that the Business Scorecard manager will become more web part based, and start to turn into a RIA (Rich Interactive Application) experince hosted via SharePoint. This also means the business analysis in Dynamics AX will have more interactivity and interaction abilities with Excel 2007, SharePoint, etc.

So when we look at the overall picture, one of the big pushed for Katmai SQL Server, and Dynamics AX 5.0 is tighter integration with the Office 2007 platform. This means for the information worker, more and more job role responsibilities can start to live back into the Office domain, and less dependant on having to live and work inside Dynamics AX client itself.

Well check back soon!

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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Microsoft Dynamics Real World SOA White paper

[Must have PartnerSource access]

Well I came across the following white paper while looking for information on PartnerSource. Basically this firms up all the things I have been talking about for SOA, Enterprise 2.0, and Dynamics AX, etc. Here is the intro to the white paper:

"Business need to connect processes, people, and information both within the organization and across organizational boundaries. Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) is an emerging architectural style that helps meet these demands. Microsoft Dynamics has made investments in Web services and other SOA technologies across our product lines to help customers take a “Real-World” approach to SOA. Real-World SOA is about taking a pragmatic approach to systems integration where time-to-value is much more immediate. This paper walks you through the tools and technologies that enable service orientation. Check out the success stories of our customers who have taken on Real-World SOA projects to support their business vision.

And here is the Link:
Link to Microsoft Dynamics SOA White Paper

It is a great read, with a Lot of nice resource links, case studies, and a great road map for what and why in the Dynamics ecosystem for SOA. This is something that everyone should be thinking about and in the process of developing for, planning for, and deeply understanding.

The key... Web Services, and this will be the underlying delivery method of the next generation business applications from Microsoft. Understand it now, master the future later!

Check back soon!

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Friday, May 04, 2007

Microsoft Dynamics vs SAP ERP End-User Business Productivity Study

[Must have access to PartnerSource for this]

Thought I would post about this very interesting study done by Harvard Business School. Here is the intro:

"In a field study conducted by Keystone Strategy, working under the direction of Dr. Marco Iansiti, the David Sarnoff Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School, we measured how end users of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) applications describe the impact of Microsoft and SAP applications on their business productivity. This research found that Microsoft Dynamics end users on average rated their experience with Microsoft applications more favorably than SAP users rated their experience with SAP."

Here is the PartnerSource link: Dynamics AX vs. SAP End User Productivity

I would say the entire Dynamics AX experince is far better on All aspects than SAP hands down, but I guess it helps people realize this more when such a study comes out from a name everyone adores! :-)
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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Offbeat DLR. Dynamic Language Runtime!

Alright, so in the Amp It up! Microsoft mega year of releases, I thought I would share in some interesting development item that I came across. I a software engineer at heart. Even though my title states Senior Technical Architect, I still love the write code. With that said I thought I would post about a ZDNet blog entry I came across. I is about the DLR or "Dynamic Language Runtime." I know what your thinking? Dynamics Languages now part as the CLR?! Well not yet... but this is very interesting in that Microsoft is releasing this layer of the CLR for "Dynamic Languages." Check it out: ZDNet Post. DLR.

So a Dynamics Language, in these terms are languages like:

  • Ruby

  • Perl

  • PHP

  • Pyhton

etc. Implmentations of some of these dynamic languages already exist with .Net CLR but Microsoft is trying to make the CLR more attractive to Dynamic language programmers.
This is from Hugunin explantation of Microsoft's Dynamic Language intentions:

"What we're going to try hard to do is, instead of doing a dynamic language specification, provide a dynamic language library and have guidance on how to use it, because I'm a firm believer in whenever you can capture something in code instead of text it's a far better way to capture it. So we're going to try to capture as much of these guidelines as we can in code."

You may be wondering what this has to do with Dynamics AX and CRM? Well as Dynamics AX and CRM are more and more customized and developed in .Net such dynamic development languages can be used to achieve such customizations and development needs, openning up great possibilities for develop cycles, and how things get developed. So I would classify this as an off beat topic, that could pretain to Dynamics AX 6.0. :-) Well check back soon as I dive deeper in Dynamics CRM, as well as Connecting InfoPath 2007 to Dynamics AX 4.01!

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