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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Product Management with Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 - Part II

I thought I would start back my normal post, with the continued guest posting of Brad Edwards, and a focus on Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, Product Management. You can view the first in this series, located here.: Product Management with Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 - Part I

In the second part of this series, Brad dives into the next section of Product Management, with Product, Tracking & Storage dimensions, as well as more.:



"Another key change coming with AX 2012 is the decoupling of Product dimensions from Storage dimensions and Tracking dimensions. See below:
  • Product dimensions: Color, Size, Configuration

  • Storage dimensions: Site, Warehouse, Location, Pallet ID

  • Tracking dimensions: Batch number, Serial number

Product dimension requirements are now defined for the Product, whereas Storage and Tracking dimension requirements are defined for the Released products.
The Product dimension group defines whether or not each product dimension is active, as well as whether or not they are to be used in the price search for trade agreements.



The Configuration technology field specifies which type of product configuration, if any, will be applied to the newly created product.
  • Predefined variant - This type should be chosen if the product will not be configured, but simply rely on the user’s choice of Color, and/or Size, and/or Configuration for each transaction

  • Dimension-based configuration - This type should be chosen if the user will build a configurable BOM that relies on configuration rules to build the Config ID and the BOM lines. (This technology may only be chosen if Configuration is active on the Product dimension group selected for the product)

  • Rule-based configuration - This type should be chosen if the product will use Product builder

  • Constraint-based configuration - This type should be chosen if the product will use the new AX 2009 Constraint based product configuration method. (This technology may only be chosen if Configuration is active and is the lone Product dimension active for the Product dimension group selected for the product)


NOTE: No functionality around configuration technologies will be discussed in the remainder of the document.

Once all fields have been specified, the user simply clicks OK to create a new Product record. There are now two types of Products records (Product and Product master) that will be discussed further:



NOTE: Two additional menu items are accessible from the main module menu for managing products: Distinct products, and Product masters. These two menu items will respectively direct the user to Products of sub-type Product or Product master, and allow the user to manage these specific sub-types separately from one another, if desired.

Product variant creation and management
A large amount of information may be maintained at the Product master level, including, but not limited to:
  • Product dimensions

  • Images

  • Product categories

  • Product attributes

  • Unit conversions

For Product master products, Product dimensions and Product variants are extremely important. Both may be managed from menu items in the ribbons section of the Products form:



Product dimensions allow the user to define color, size, and configuration values (if active) for the product.

Product variants are the AX 2012 version of Item dimension combination, or unique combinations of color, size, and configuration. These may be created for a product by clicking Product variants from the Products form:



Users may manually create the variants by creating a new record, and selecting the appropriate product dimensions for the variant.

Users still have the option to allow AX to automatically create all possible product variants by selecting the Generate variants automatically checkbox in the product details (by clicking Edit from the Products form):



As noted during product creation, Distinct products do not have product dimensions, and therefore, do not have the ability to create multiple product variants. In fact, a Distinct product is actually, itself, a Product variant."


I would like to thank Brad for his continued efforts in giving us detailed insight into the world of Product Management with Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012.

Stay tuned as I have a lot more coming, including book reviews, interviews, deeper dives into Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, and a lot more... till next time!



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