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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Upgrade Guide

This week, I did a link to Alex on DAX post, about his journey with the upgrade process of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012. That post can be found here.: Blog Spotlight: Dynamics AX 2012 Upgrade frustrations of Alex

In that post, I pointed out that Connect should be used, for working through any issues. Now, Microsoft has recently also released the Upgrade Guide for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, which can be found here.: Upgrade Guide for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012

I wanted to make sure and link to this, as soon as I saw this is public release of this guide. This will also help Alex in his path, which he recently updated his post, as he got some help already with the issues he was having.

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

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Eventing - a look with X++

This week, I wanted to take sometime and actually dive into Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 ability, within X++ to make use of Eventing!

Now I wrote about this, as an introduction to the idea, at the start of this year, here: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 and Eventing

This gave a good overview of the idea of eventing with Dynamics AX 2012, and gave some of the examples with Pre, Post and Custom Raised Events in mid stream of code.

With that in mind, and for reference, lets take this now a step further, and look at some real X++ code, objects, elements, make up, to help sink this home.

For my example, I'm actually doing straight X++, with no relation to any real world application yet. The idea is to understand what the mechanics are, and then from there apply those in design and in development as needed.

You will notice, in the above project, I have a few classes, called Apples & ApplePicker. I figured, I would make this a little bit more fun, than the standard hello world!

So lets take some time, to examine the Apples class within my project.

Here we see the class declaration, in which I have two variables I'm making use of. A Set, called appleBin and an int called apple. This is setting up, for later use, within the business logic of my Apples class.

Next we move forward to the New method of the Apples class.

With it, we see that I'm setting the variables that we saw in the class declaration, to initialize these variables, for the Set and int types.

Moving forward from there, we go to the next method, called growApple(). This is where some of the fun starts.

Here we see I'm taking the init apple, and adding one to it with the ++; call. Next we move to actually adding an "apple" to our appleBin set, with the int of apple as part of the key.

Moving from there, we see a final, what looks to be a method call, that is the following.:


In looking at this, it would seem as if this was a normal method, and it kinda of behaves as such, however this is not a method, but a delegate I created. We can get a peak, inside the delegate I created, for the Apples class, with the following screen shot.

Notice, that this blank actually, and not doing anything. Its truly a delegate, and looking at this, within the project, we will see that it appears differently, that the rest of the methods within the class.

You can create delegates within the AOT space of a given element, as we see on the Apples class in the above image. You do this, as if you were creating a new method.

What you should also notice, is the fact that below it, we have an event handler subscriber that we have created in the same fashion. These can be created within code as well, which for now we will shelve and come back to in a later post.

Diving deeper into the event handler subscription element, we can see that it has a property page, that allows us to take and set the class, type of, being X++ or Managed, and then the method to call.

Based on this setup for the event handler subscription element, we can then see it's calling a static method, called pickApple from the ApplePicker class.

Now it's very important to point out, that all event handler subscription elements, must be static methods. These are the only types allowed, for create such an event handler subscriber, or event listener.

So, what this is doing then, is when the Apples.growApple() is called, within it, via X++ code, we call to a delegate, of Apples.appledGrew(). This delegate, has a event handler subscription setup, for the ApplePicker.pickApple() method.

Lets now take a look inside that static method, which represents our event subscriber, called pickApple().

As you can see from the method, we are taking a parameter of int appleId, which happens to be the exact method signature of the delegate that is firing this event handler. This method, simply takes and calls to the info log, claiming that whatever the id value, is that apple has now been picked!

Seeing this in action, as part of this class, I have a job, with the following contents.

In here we see a simple job, that takes and creates a new instance of the Apples class, and does a for loop, for 10 iterations, of growing apples. Since our delegate will be called, after an apple is added to he Set, then we see a message similar to the one below, which was fired each time, from the event handler pickApple().

Now moving beyond the mechanics of this process, this can then been applied in several instances of AX. Typically, in other languages, we see such event handlers, as when buttons are clicked, or just before or after a method is fired.

That is actually an option you can do, for any method, you can setup a pre or post event handler subscription for a given method, that will fire on the pre or post processing of another given method.

We can also bring this eventing to a functional level, for say when a Sales Order or greater than $10,000.00 is invoiced, an event is fired that automatically places an order for a pizza party, for the dept. :-)

A little elementary school humor there, but if you really start to think about how this can be used, then the power of such abilities with Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, comes to life.

Whats more, as I briefly mentioned above, is that this can fire into X++ code, or Managed code. That means C# code, that maybe calls into some WCF service, that takes the given Sales Order over $10,000.00 invoiced, and the customer and products to a cloud based Analysis database? Or fires into a WCF service, that is running on Azure, that connects to a gift card program, to automatically order a $100.00 gift card, for the given sales rep.

I'm reaching, but I'm trying to stretch the thought process into not only can this be used in the reference of given technical needs, like button clicks, or specific method calls, but also, could be used to wrap functional, business workflow events.

For your reference, the following link can be used to get the XPO file, that represents the project in AX 2012.: EventingExample_Appls.xpo

Your download and use of this is under your own terms, there is no warranty of any such for the code. It is, as is, so use in a Development environment of AX 2012, to help complete the picture of what this post explains.

That's all for now, and has we move forward, I will come back to this topic, with examples of managed code, showing off the pre and post event handler calls, as well as getting into some real world examples.

Till next time!

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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Monday, June 27, 2011

Blog Spotlight: Dynamics AX 2012 Upgrade frustrations of Alex

I thought I would close out Monday, with a nice spotlight on a great new blogger. His name is Alex, and he is blogging about his adventures, with upgrading an instance of Dynamics AX 2009, to Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012.

A direct link to his blog can be found here.: Alex on DAX

What caught my eye, and the blog entry in which I make mention of, above, is this one.: AoD: Dynamics AX 2012 Upgrade frustrations

What great about the posting, is its open approach of going through this process. The upgrade process, for sure has changed, and a lot of great stuff. There is also a lot of new things, and that means new headaches, specifically that Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 is still considered in beta.

It's to be expected that you run into issues, with such a task, that has a lot of i's to dot, and t's to cross. I would expect, in the current release, to still have issues with the upgrading process, however the Beta team, and connect from Microsoft, are great resources. I would suggest Alex, if you are apart of the TAP program, or Beta program, that you use Connect, and see if there is already someone, who just might have ran into this already.

If not, I'm sure Microsoft would love to have the details of what your hitting, how to re-create it, so that it can be worked through and fixed. That's actually the best advice I can give anyone, who is needing feedback and help through processes, before AX 2012 releases to the public, in Sept.

I would like to thank Alex for taking the time, and sharing with the rest of us, and suggest he continue his writing efforts, and that you take the time to book mark his blog.

That's all for now, but this week, a new dive into Dynamics AX 2012, architect / technical style, as well as partner highlights, and more. Of course, this all leads up to the week of Sunburns & Sandals!

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Learning Plans & The Important 'Solutions Architect' Role

I wanted to take the time and highlight a post from Kevin Machayya, and his blog.: New Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Technical and non-Technical Learning Plans Now Available

Kevin did a great post here, that lists the new roles that should exist when talking about Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 projects.

These are very important roles, and when talking with Kees Hertogh, at Convergence this year, he had this to say about the Solutions Architect Role.:
"This new role [Solutions Arhitect] will be key to the success of any new Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 project. No longer will these 'super consultants' be able to take on the project themselves. This role is a must for any Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 project." - Kees Hertogh, Director, Product Management, Microsoft Dynamics AX

If you look at this role, and from the information provided by Microsoft at both Convergence 2011 as well as the Microsoft Dynamics AX Technical Conference 2011, then we see it as truly a new role.

This role, per Microsoft, is involved at the sales cycle level, and carries over as a high level team member on project implementations. The idea, behind this role, is that it's someone that helps with entire solution planning for a customer. This may mean, then that they will integrate into several LOB applications, make use of CRM, AX and PTC's FlexPLM.

The Solutions Architect role is meant to help define this, with the sales team, maybe prove things out technically, and then be involved on the project as either the same role, or moves into the Technical or Application Consultant role, part time.

This role goes beyond technical design, but must also understand the technical design as well, to be able to help put together the full picture.

Microsoft really sees this as a new role, and it's something that should be considered.

With that said, if you go to the learning plans, pointed out in the post, they were last updated on May 2nd of this year, and do not yet include the training plans, for the Solution Architect Role. That's something still be understood and worked out fully.

However it's something to consider and think about. This maybe already be happening for some of you, that these roles already exists and are just not named the same. However, it's important to at least see if this role is covered within your project or org., if you want to align with Microsoft, and their vision for projects, and then role.

That's all for now, comments? Corrections? Feedback on this? Please, all are welcome!

Till next time!

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Proenza Schouler finds a tailor-made solution with Microsoft Dynamics AX and Sunrise Technologies

Sunrise Technologies, Inc. (www.sunriseconsult.com), just did a press release taking about a great new win for Proenza Schouler with Sunrise Technologies and Microsoft Dynamics AX.

A direct link to the press release can be found here.: Proenza Schouler finds a tailor-made solution with Microsoft Dynamics AX and Sunrise Technologies

From the press release.:
"Proenza Schouler chose Sunrise Technologies as their Microsoft Dynamics AX implementation partner for their extensive experience with the apparel industry. Implementing an ERP system parallels the fashion industry with its flexibility, scalability and tailored functionality to meet the customer’s business needs. With its apparel, footwear and fashion accessories expertise, Sunrise Technologies brings this unique ability to the table with the Sunrise Apparel & Footwear Template for Microsoft Dynamics AX (CfMD). To reduce the total cost of ownership, Proenza Schouler chose Microsoft Dynamics AX Software as a Service (SaaS), allowing the hardware to be hosted at a remote location.

“We chose Sunrise Technologies due to their proven experience in apparel with Microsoft Dynamics AX. The deep industry knowledge of the Sunrise consultants and their ability to deliver Microsoft Dynamics AX software as a service (SaaS) in three months proves their commitment to our business. Sunrise is committed to helping us achieve competitive advantage and a return on our investment," said Shirley Cook, Proenza Schouler CEO.

“We are delighted that Proenza Schouler choose Sunrise and Microsoft Dynamics AX for their ERP solution”, state John Pence, President of Sunrise Technologies. “The combination of the power of Dynamics AX, combined with the flexibility of Software as a Service, is the perfect fit for Proenza Schouler.”"

Congrats to Proenza, and taking that next step in truly enabling their business, with Microsoft Dynamics AX & Sunrise!

More to come this week, with more dives into Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012!

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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Monday, June 20, 2011

Microsoft Azure - Developer On-boarding resource - Azure Enabling Guide

One of the key area's that I see a lot of issues, or lack of understanding, is for finding good information for someone totally new to the idea of Azure and what it offers.

There are plenty of deep dives, into very specific areas of building blocks of the platform Azure represents. However I think this is a well thought about, very specific and to the point, what is needed for someone to get started.: Basic Azure Enabling Guide

If your already an Azure Pro, then you might have helped create some of the content. However, if your wanting to learn, and have a nice, to the point guide in doing so, I recommend the above highlighted post.

That's all for now, but check back soon as more to come. Plenty more of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 that we have to cover, as well as interviews, product highlights, and a whole lot more! Till next time!

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Congrats to Sunrise's own Arthur Corbitt on getting Married today!

I wanted to take the time and say a big Congrats! To a peer of mine, from Sunrise Technologies, Inc. (www.SunriseConsult.com). Arthur Corbitt is getting married today, to Sara Elena Franklin.

A direct link to the press release, about their marriage can be found here.: Miss Franklin, Corbitt to say vows on June 18

Even though both of them attended schools, like LSU and MSU, which are teams that the University of Alabama, beats regularly in football, Roll Tide!, I wanted to wish them the best.

Seriously, best of luck you two, I hope you have a wonderful, and long life together! Congrats!

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 - Type Hierarchy

With the upcoming release of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, one of the rather interesting new elements about this release, is the introduction of table type hierarchies.

When you glance at this, just from a data layer level, it seems to be super normalization. That is actually correct, however, you must look at the total picture. That means, you must take and look at this from the data + application layers, together.

That is the only way, that this concept then actually works. In order to help understand this concept, and how the new data structures live within Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, there is a new tool called the Type hierarchy browser.

You can get to this tool, from any object within AX actually. Classes, tables, etc. For this post, we will focus on tables, and how the tool can help us better understand the data structure.

Lets pick a new structure in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, EcoResProduct. This is part of the new Master Data Management (MDM) / Product Data Management (PDM), that will exists out of the box for this release of AX.

Once we have selected the EcoResProduct table, within the AOT, simply right click, add-ins, and then click on the 'Type hierarchy browser' menu item.

Once we do this, we then see the hierarchy that exists for the EcoResProduct table, which extends from the Common table object.

You will notice, that both Common and the EcoResProduct tables have RecId, revVersions & relationType. You will also notice that, DataAreaId is no longer listed. We will save that for another post.

In here we can see as well that the EcoResProduct table inherits methods, from the Common table object. Fields that exists at the EcoResProduct table, are marked with blue blocks, that exist beyond the Common table. We can also see that, in the tree view on the right hand side of the screen, that the hierarchy make up, that EcoResProduct is a part of.

Extending from the EcoResProduct table object, is the EcoResDistinctProduct, and the EcoResProductMaster. Extending from the EcoResDistinctProduct, is the EcoResDistinctProductVariant table object.

Now, if we step forward in the tree, and select the EcoResDistinctProduct, in the tree view, we should see something that looks like the following.

Now you will notice, that for the EcoResDistinctProduct table, the only fields it has, is the three system fields that we listed above. If you look at the data for this table, sure enough that's all that is there, from the data layer perspective.

What this suggests then, and shows, is that the actual field data that lives for a Distinct Product, vs. a Product, still lives within the EcoResProduct table. The EcoResDistinctProduct table inherits the fields for: SearchName, ProductType, InstanceRelationType, and DisplayProductNumber.

When the table is referenced within a form, or code, the EcoResDistinctProduct table has these fields as possible uses, becomes of the new way AX handles, allowing table structure hierarchy.

This does a lot of things for such structures, it cuts down, big time, on the amount of repeat data, size of databases, and enables the application layer, to be the only true way, of working with the data that lives within a Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 instance.

With using the Type hierarchy browser, provided out-of-the-box for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, one can better understand the new data structures, and be able to connect all the new dots, that will exists with this release.

This is very powerful, and through the use of the application layer, the statement of Powerfully Simple, which is the tag term being used to describe Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, is true!

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

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Welcome Adeaca as our latest Sponsor

I wanted to take the time, and welcome inDynaBuzz.com's latest sponsor, that is Adeaca Corp.

Adeaca Corp was founded in 2007 and has since then focused exclusively on advanced project planning, resourcing and budgeting solutions for Microsoft Dynamics AX and project driven companies.

Adeaca Corp is the market leader in fully integrated project (EPPM) solutions for Microsoft Dynamics AX, with its Advanced Projects™ Solution Series.

Note: Adeaca is pronounced "Adeeca" or "Adeeka".

I have known the President of this company for many years now, Daniel Bevort, and his knowledge and expertise in AX, and in Advanced Projects, including the focus on the EPPM space, in unmatched within this given focus.

I highly recommend you check them out, and I welcome them as a sponsor to the site.

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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MSDW Spring Decisions Virtual Conference in full Swing - AX Day

Today, MSDW Spring 2011, Decisions Virtual Conference is underway. This is the virtual conference event, along with it's fall cousin, that everyone should attend.

It's Free, and you can get plenty of great information from it. There are some great speakers, as well as sponsors of the events from ISV's, VAR's, etc.

Microsoft's Kees Hertogh, which was part of yesterdays interview, Interview with Microsoft's Doug Kennedy & Kees Hertogh, will be accepting questions, open range style, starting at 10 AM ET today. So if you have some burning questions, maybe from the interviews I have done, or maybe of your own that I did not ask, now is the time to shoot them his way.

Also, make sure to check out the lounge, and all the great people that make this event, one of the key events every year.

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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Monday, June 13, 2011

Interview with Microsoft's Doug Kennedy & Kees Hertogh

Well, as part of the new blog launch, I saved an interview that I recently did with Microsoft's Doug Kennedy and Kees Hertogh, just for today!

In this interview, I talk with both of them, about Microsoft Dynamics AX, the Dynamics Ecosystem, Cloud Computing and of Course Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012!

This is actually my yearly interview with Doug Kennedy, in which you can view last years, here.: Interview with Microsoft's Doug Kennedy (2010)

Without any further delay, here is the result of that interview.:

Doug this year truly is turning into the year of the Dynamics ERP Cloud. I had a chance, while at Convergence 2011, to attend the 'Count Down to the Cloud' event with my company President John Pence. With the information we gathered there, as well as the rest of Convergence it seems that truly Microsoft is going 'All-in' for Dynamics in the Cloud. Can you talk about the vision for Dynamics and Cloud, according to Microsoft's point of view, and how it benefits both Partners and Customers?

Doug K: "The computing deployment models that are being widely discussed in the market today are Public Cloud, Private Cloud and Virtual Machines. All of these deployment paradigms offer advantages for the customer, the partner and the software manufacturer. Virtual Machines have been around for well over two decades and the hardware and software advantages to incorporate technology such as Microsoft’s Hyper-V are well understood in the marketplace.

Technology that enables Private Cloud and Public Cloud deployments is relatively new and the associated workloads that can utilize these two types of Cloud deployments must be better understood by partners and customers. Productivity products such as Microsoft Office 365 and isolated workloads such as CRM can more easily be adopted in Private and Public Clouds. Highly integrated workloads, such as ERP, that can typically tie to legacy and home grown business solutions must involve more planning to shift to the Cloud.

Across Microsoft, we are spending a great deal of time working with customers and partners to ensure they understand the benefits and can incorporate the advantages Cloud computing enables. One example of these efforts is the Microsoft Dynamics Cloud Partner Profitability Guide that is available on PartnerSource. This guide was primarily designed to help CRM on-premise partners understand the business impacts of shifting to a CRM online business model but is also includes ERP examples.

Public Cloud should offer customers the ability to lower infrastructure costs and free up IT resources. This will enable CIOs to address their backlog of projects, which should help their company be more competitive and efficient, execute cloud base Proof of Concepts more quickly prior to introducing new business solutions into the company, scale computing power without the latency of asset acquisition and installation, and the give them the ability to rely on third party experts to manage their computing infrastructure.

As ERP adoption for Private and Public Cloud deployments increase, it is critical that the partner who performs the implementation is also the partner that maintains the application’s environment and provides key services such as upgrades, configuration modifications and integrations with adjacent or complementary business solutions.

Also, these partners continue to play the critical role of managing the customer accounts and being the trusted advisor for computing solutions for each customer. These roles are identical to the functions performed today by the Microsoft Dynamics ERP and CRM partners and partners should not be concerned that Cloud will disrupt these vital partner roles."

Another huge topic, and one dear to my heart, is the release of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 into public beta, and also target timeframe of August for GA. Can you talk about the impact this will have as a game changing ERP platform, how it fits into the cloud, and also how it's very much still targeted to be an on-premise install base as well?

Kess H.: "We believe the cloud can provide strong customer benefits, however, customers should not get forced to choose how they provision their ERP solution. They should be able to choose the model that best fits their own IT governance model. This continues to be true with Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, which will be made generally available in August of this year. We’ve made great advances across the application lifecycle in this release, making the solution easier to deploy and manage for both the customer’s IT organization as well as service providers if customers choose to use these.

In order to provide a true generational shift in ERP, based on increased customer benefits, we focused on providing a powerfully simple ERP solution. With Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 we intend to provide a powerful ERP solution that can bring more value faster to our customers, provide a rich set of ERP capabilities across different industries, and financial administrative function, like HRM, Financial Management and Supplier Relationship Management, into one common ERP solution.

Secondly, a solution that enables agility within the organization, allowing customers to more easily pursue new business opportunities while reducing the risk of doing so. We want ERP to be an asset in the face of change for customers, not a liability! We continue to invest in the core architecture, for example through Unified Natural Models and our Model Drive Layered Architecture. And lastly, a focus on providing a simple solution that drives adoption of ERP and provides ‘ease of use’ for all roles in the organization and throughout the application lifecycle of the ERP deployment.

Bringing all this customer innovation together in one ERP product we believe allows us to provide this game changing solution you’re referring to."

With Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, you now have five industry sectors that Microsoft is offering. With the past few years of focus for partners to specialize and go vertical, can you talk about those efforts and the build up to AX 2012 in regard to this, as well as beyond AX 2012?

Kees H: "Yes, the connection between our vertical focused partner strategy and our product strategy has been very deliberate. We started to address common industry requirements in our product strategy for Microsoft Dynamics AX about three years ago. By Microsoft full-filling the common requirements in a given industry, partners can spend their time and investments in meeting the unique requirements within a given vertical in that industry. This will allow partners to build more complete, higher quality standardized solutions for each vertical and provide more value to the customer.

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 is the next iteration in this strategy, where we’ve introduced public sector as a new focus industry and brought together separate industry solution, for example process industry and lean manufacturing, into one common architecture. Our focus now is to bring these capabilities to market with our partners and enabling them to build compelling vertical solutions on this release."

Doug, could you sum up your teams focus for FY12, starting this July, and maybe give some advice to partners in helping them better align themselves with Microsoft vision and changes with the new MPN?

Doug K: "In FY12, the partnering strategy is to ensure partners qualify for the appropriate MPN levels by discipline: ERP or CRM. Additionally, the partner incentives pay for performance model that was announced in October 2011 will take effect on January 1, 2012. It is very important for all partners to understand how we are rewarding partners for new license growth, customer adds, and achieving high BREP revenue recapture.

Both the MPN changes and the new partner incentives are aimed at delineating and rewarding partners for aligning with our objectives to grow the Microsoft Dynamics business. We are certain all partners are striving for the same outcome; to capitalize on ERP and CRM opportunities in the marketplace to grow their business."

I also asked Doug to give some closing thoughts, to help bring everything into focus.:
"Microsoft continues to be committed to enabling our Microsoft Dynamics partners to be successful. We will continue to invest in technical and non-technical trainings, including cloud-readiness training, which we believe are essential to helping partners succeed. We will continue to invest deeply in R&D to provide what we consider to be the best ERP and CRM products in the marketplace. We will continue to invest in the caliber of the Microsoft Dynamics field resources and we will also continue to invest in field and partner tools that are required to enable our partners to succeed.

We know that we will not be successful without well trained and highly motivated partners that are focused on driving growth for themselves and for Microsoft. Microsoft’s investments, and the changes we have made to the MPN program and partner incentives, reflect our goal of being jointly successful with our partners."

I would like to thank both Doug and Kees for taking the time to sit down, virtually be that, and hash out with me some questions I had floating around in my head. I hope, that maybe some of the questions and answers helps you, and helps place together the vision, thoughts, and information from such Executives as Doug and Kees.

I find this information very valuable and I'm glad they are both always willing, when time permits, to sit and talk about this great passion of ours called "Microsoft Dynamics."

That's all for now, but check back soon and often as I have so much more to come!

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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Blog 2.0 - A New Design

Well, I'm sure if your reading this, then you have noticed that I have a new design for my blog. This is an attempt to make my blog content more easily read, with the white space design.

This also, opens new doors, with the creationg of inDynaBuzz.com, in which my blog is now apart of. For now, it's still just this blog, but that will be changing soon, as inDynaBuzz.com covers more and more of the entire spectrum that is the Dynamics Ecosystem.

This also brings new possibilities for sponsoring my blog. I have three area's, in which sponsorship ads can live. The top, right top, and then right vertical ad spaces. If your a company that is interested in this, please contact me, by clicking on the new ad information request button to the right.

I hope you enjoy the new design, as it's meant to be an improvement, and usher in a new era of more and more great topics, coverage, and information all about Microsoft Dynamics.

That's all for now, but do please tell me your thoughts. If you like it, if you don't like it, all comments are welcomed, and thanks for stopping by!

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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Thursday, June 09, 2011

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Readiness Planning Guide - New Version Available (v4.1)

Just a quick post here, I wanted to point out that this week Microsoft has released the new v4.1 fo the Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Readiness Planning Guide.

You can access it, through PartnerSource, at the following location.: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Readiness Planning Guide - New Version Available (v4.1)

Listed on the page of whats new in this release is: "The latest version includes links to additional Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 demo scripts and updated release dates for the Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 official courses."

We are getting closer and closer! That's all for now!

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Excel Add-in

With the release of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, the lines between the Rich Client, the Portal as well as Microsoft Office are going to be blurred. This is out-of-the-box ability, that replaces a lot of older ways for doing things.

One such topic, is the old Microsoft Excel Export / Import Wizard for Microsoft Dynamics AX. You can see this, in the Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 menu system, here.:

With the release of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, this no longer exists! For some, I'm sure this will be a little shock, however this is a good thing.

The older Excel Import, honestly was very slow and if you had any records of any size, then you just really would rather create X++ scripts to import data.

Now, with Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, and the new Excel Add-in for Microsoft Dynamics AX, scripts are a thing of the past. Let me say, this new process is very fast, and is designed so that a developer or architect is really not needed to import a lot of data, into AX.

To help show this process, I have created the following walk through that shoudl give an idea of what it takes to work with the new Dynamics AX Add-in for Excel, and get data into Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 using this new, and great tool!

First, you have to launch Microsoft Office Excel 2010, and of course have the Excel Add-in installed. I'm going to assume this is already in place, and lets say, for the sake of keeping this simple, that I need to add some Delivery Mode data.

This data, lives in the DlvMode table within the Microsoft Dynamics AX AOT. So to get started, lets click on the Connection button, from the ribbon, and make sure we are in the company account and instance we care about.

(Server specific information, blanked out on purpose.)

We see, that we have the ability to override here, and point to what AOS instance we want to connect too, as well as within that what company entity.

Now moving forward from here, lets go and add the DlvMode table, by clicking on the add data, then add table.

Once we select to Add tables, then we can select the DlvMode table, and actually use the Filter field at the bottom, so we only see that table to select. Also notice the fact, that the process created a new worksheet, in this workbook, just for our DlvMode AX table.

Here we can add and remove fields, using the Field Chooser, on the ribbon. Here I've added a few fields, just to give you an idea.

Now moving forward, I will only have the key field Mode of Delivery as it is required, and then Description field.

I then took and added new rows, which gave me three records within the table, of the Excel worksheet. From here, I added my three new DlvModes.

At this point, we now have the data we need, and want to get this into Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 instance. With this, we simply take and Publish Data, then Publish All. In doing this, we could have selected only one record to publish, but for now lets just publish all of them.

With doing this, we see the following worksheet that was generated, that shows the status of the process.

Having this, we can see that everything went great, and was able to upload the data. Also, we now see, on the DlvMode worksheet, that our new data, and the existing data that was already in the DlvMode table, now appears.

Going into Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, we can still hit Ctrl+D, and it will open the new Developer workspace. Here we can expand the AOT, and go to our DlvMode table. Right click, and table browse, and see that our data we just created, exists within Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012.

So with the release of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, a lot fo great new things come as part of it. More native Office integration, with very little effort, and very little technical knowledge needed.

That's all for now, but this is very exciting stuff, and we are just getting starte within the great new release.

Till next time!

Update: I wanted to make sure an update this post, so that you would have the latest information about the Excel Add-in, in case you hit this post, from a search engine. Make sure and check out the revisited post for the Excel Add-in located here: AX 2012 - Excel Add-in Revisited

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