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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Product Management with Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 - Part IV

I hope everyone had a great long weekend, and that you got a lot of rest, and ready to tackle the short week ahead.

Today, I wanted to post the final part IV, of Product Management with Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, from guest blogger Brad Edwards. The following is a list of the previous parts of this four part series.:

So far, Brad has really taking us into a good deep dive into some of the great new features around Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 for Product Data Management (PDM) / Master Data Management (MDM) for products.

Brad wraps up his guest series, with taking us through intercompany implications, Product management for smaller organizations, as well as some closing thoughts. So, lets here what Brad has in store for us here.:

Intercompany implications

In previous versions, items must be carefully setup to be transacted via intercompany sales and purchase orders. With the release of AX 2012’s product hierarchy structure Released products are tied to one another via the Product number, eliminating the need for Company items setup, or External code setup to link items between companies.

Released products may still have different names in different companies. The Released product’s Item number may be changed by using the Record info > Rename function.

While this greatly reduces the time required to setup products for intercompany use, there are some potential drawbacks. As this is the only way to link Released products for intercompany use, it is no longer possible to link a Released product that is tracked by certain product dimensions in one company to a Released product that is not tracked by product dimensions in another company.

For example, if company A sells t-shirts in red, green, and blue under item number TSHIRT with color dimensions Red, Green, and Blue, and company B buys the t-shirts under the item numbers TRED, TGREEN, and TBLUE, AX 2012 will not support this type of setup. So it is important to consider the implications of the new product structure on intercompany processing for the organization in question.

Product management for smaller organizations

Thus far, all of the information discussed has assumed the creation and management of products at the instance level, and the release of products to individual AX companies. However, this structure would provide a large amount of overhead in smaller, single company organizations. However, the capabilities exist for users to create Released products directly in the Released products form. The user may do so by clicking the New Product button in the ribbons section of the form:

As with products at the instance level, the user must still specify the Product number, Product type, and Product sub-type so that the product may be created in the Products table. This method of Released product creation is much more suitable for smaller organizations that wish to manage products in a simpler manner.

Technical note

Thus far, the entire article has focused on the functional changes to the way in which products are managed. However, for the slightly technical users, there are some important technical changes to note. AX 2012 now makes use of table inheritance. This means that fields that appear on the Products form may not actually be on the products table, but on a parent table that the products table extends. Without going into too great of detail, it is important that functional users reference screenshots rather than table and field names when completing functional specs, to eliminate confusion during development.

Closing note

While this article has merely scratched the surface, its intent is to provide a high-level overview of the changes to come in the area of Product management in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012. It is important to note that the release from which this article was written was based on a public beta instance, and there is still the potential for changes to be made. I hope that you all have found this information useful. Enjoy working with AX2012!

Well I would like to thank Brad for taking us through Product Management review, for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012. It's hard to work in writing to a already very busy schedule, and so thanks Brad!

From here, we will continue to dive into Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, including diving deeper into some of the topics touched on in this series of blog post. For example taking and doing some real comparisons, with impact, for orgazations of varying sizes, and how PDM would be different for each.

That's all for now, but check back soon as more to come! Till next time!

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