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Monday, April 30, 2007

Microsoft Dynamics Live Site

Alright well what was I just posting about? ERP & CRM Live? Well here is the Microsoft Dynamics Live site which is the front end for the Dynamics Live team. There mission statement is:

"The Dynamics Live team will build the next generation of web services for medium and small businesses. Our charter is to build a platform that enables medium and small businesses to conduct business on the web including e-Commerce sites, online payment processing, Online marketing, etc. The position will involve cross-team collaboration with Microsoft Business Solutions / Dynamics Axapta/Navision and Great Plains, Windows Live, MSN AdCenter, MSN Search and other teams."

This will be done with .Net technologies, and all of the others that I have mentioned before. The link to the site is here: Microsoft Dynamics Live Site

Check it out!

Find a job at: www.DynamicsAXJobs.com

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Friday, April 27, 2007

DAX 4.0 Filter by Grid [Update]

Well take a look at this:

"bskiles has left a new comment on your post "Filter by Grid in DAX 4.0":
I [bskiles] was trying to figure out how to turn the "Filter by Grid" on in code, and I figured it out. Call the .task method on the form with a parameter of 2855 after the grid is selected. Anything that extends FormRun can make the call to .task(2855). Unfortunately, I can't trace it back up to FormRun since that's a system object.
I'm still interested in learning how it actually works so that I can set it up as a user setting per grid. "

It's a comment from my blog entry here: Filter by Grid - Older Post bskiles took the time and was able to find how to actually call the Filter by Grid from code! Very nice work! It's strange that it's such a hidden event / call? Anyway just wanted to report this find, thanks bskiles!

Find a job at: www.DynamicsAXJobs.com

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Microsoft Silverlight


Quick blog entry this morning. After hearing about WPF/e, now called SilverLight, I had to check it out for myself, inside and out. I have both flash and silverlight now on my machine and I will compare.

Here is the link:

Microsoft Silverlight

One might ask why this matters for Dynamics AX and Dynamics CRM? Well this part of the future user interface for Dynamics AX and CRM. This is part of the Web / Enterprise 2.0. This gives a user RIA, or Rich Interactive Application experince over the web.

So this is a Very important peice for someone who implements Dynamics AX / CRM. Hence I suggest more people from our area start to consider this and look at this deeper. I will post about what I find, and even and example of this being used to access and make use of Dynamics AX data now!

Check back soon!

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Sunday, April 22, 2007

ERP Live? "Software plus Services"?

As most everyone should have seen at Convergence this year, a big part of Microsoft's furutre plan is CRM and ERP Live. What this translate into is the Software plus Software, or S+S. This is the "named" version of SaaS or Software as a Service, in the Microsoft world. So the name is different, and what does this mean?

Well if we look at the future, as laid out by the Microsoft Crystal Ball [aka: Road Maps] we will see how all of these convergence of technologies, etc. are being shaped towards the future of the information worker. Let's start with the future front end, for a given information worker. In the not to distant future, most information workers will complete their job on a SharePoint Portal Mashup page, made up of web parts and weblets. These web parts will draw from Dynamics AX, CRM, and other places, and make use of Word Documents, an Excel spreadsheets as web parts.
The Underlying technologies that will enable this can be seen in the newest release of Office 2007 with Form Services, SharePoint 3.0, DotNet [WinFX] 3.0, and so forth. This means that the "FAT" regular windows client will start to slowly enter into it's twilight years as the RIA, or Rich Interactive Application approach [Part of the Web / Enterprise 2.0 jargon] will allow Window application 'Like' interactions over a web front end delivery system. Some of the technologies for this include AJAX, Flash, and the Flash counter part SilverLight [formely WPF/e].

Now We have an understanding of what the front end will be like, SharePoint and Office. What does this means for the business Layer of our ERP / CRM Live? This means the same underlying technologies, that will provide role based user interfaces, will exists for role based, or better process based work flows of data and executed business logic. See with the S+S mashup, the entire cloud is not one single giant service, but rather services interconnecting multiple softwares, to offer up a single sign on, and single user interface, even though the parts of a given workflow could hit:
1.) ERP Live
2.) CRM Live
3.) A legacy system
etc. and so on.

So this means that the ERP Live Cloud [Which from this point forward also could containt CRM Live] is an organism of such, breathing and living in it own process domains, calling out and in from any different amount of integration points, and custom business logic, that flow that water to the end user, even though there could be many levy's, breaks, raise's, lower's,... still the in is one, and the out is one.

Ok let me step back away from the analogies, and talk real world. We live in Dynamics AX and Dynamics CRM. There will be for some time, and even after the Live versions, customers / companies that host their own clouds that make up their solution, and that they control. Adoption of the cloud based system of S+S will take a long time, because it such a different way of thinking, and the ROI is not lowered cost of operation in the short term but gain flexibility in the long term which equates to a companies system adjustablility to it's marketplace and grow as the business grows. This in turn does means a greater ROI in the long term, but a higher investment to reach this critical mass point in the short term. [Long term = 8-12 years, short term = 2-3 years].

In our real world we have Dynamics AX and Dynamics CRM, these are parts [major parts] or the Dynamics brand that are all coming together to eventually make ERP Live and CRM Live products. The flavors of the Live depend on if a companies cloud will be entirly hosted, partially hosted, and not hosted at all. [Most I see will be a hybrid of half / half.] That means that after Dynamics AX 6.0 or 7.0 [Same version for CRM] that will we start to really see the different flavors of Dynamics, ie: AX, GP, SL, etc., come together in this ERP / CRM Live vision and become one product, with different levels of implementation for operation, functionality, and size.

To Not go on to much about this, what I would like to wrap up here with is that ERP and CRM Live are the future of the products we Dynamics AX and CRM professionals support and focus on. This means that we must start to shape our current skill sets to the following:

- SharePoint
- AJAX, RIA, SiverLight [And still Flash]
- Office and it's full compliment of products
- Web services
- .Net 3.0, 4.0 and beyond

For most of us this will be just a continued path of something we are already doing. Like SharePoint, office, Web Serices and .Net 2.0 rigth now, that is needed for the current versions of Dynamics AX and Dynamics CRM. We must start to think about how we will take advantage of these technologies for our current and future client base. ERP Live and CRM Live are coming, S+S will be the prefered implementation method and eventually the only way. Hosted or not, the ERP and CRM marketplace is changing with the changing world around us. We must understand that Software and Services are coming together, to changes Software and products from very much domain based, living indepedant of itself and others, to becoming a living and breathing suite of services and business logic that can adapt and grow as the customers that use it do.

To clost fully, I welcome all comments about this. I realize that this is the future, and sometime off, but if we align ourselves for change then we embrace the change. Check back soon as I dive deeper into the current version of Dynamics CRM and integrating it into Dynmaics AX, as well as all the new integration points that I have been working on, as well as much much more! Check back soon!

Find a job at: www.DynamicsAXJobs.com

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Friday, April 20, 2007

Current work - Dynamics AX and StarShip

Another integration point I have been working on is native integration between StarShip parcel shipping software and Dynamics AX. With this I had to create a .Net Adatper that wrapped all the needed data translations, as well as calls to the StarShip out of process COM object.

This was a very interesting peice of work, but now I am in the final stages of testing and working out the last of the smaller bugs. With this we can now offer native integration between StarShip and Dynamics AX. StarShip is a top line Parcel shipping program from v-technologies. With this you can create Shipments, get return shipment data like tracking numbers, weights, charges, use 3rd party billing, cancel shipments, etc. This also means that from Dynamics AX you can ship with FedEx, UPS, DHL, Some LTL loaders, and so forth!

I am looking forward to the continued development of this integration point as I believe this will offer a lot of our clients, and possible clients, new ability that has not existed natively in Dynamics AX!

Check back soon!

Find a job at: www.DynamicsAXJobs.com

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Current work - Dynamics AX and BarTender

One of the main issues that a lot of companies face is label printing, and having that done in a fast and flexible way. Sometimes the internal reports for Dynamics AX can be very combersome for this task, and therefore I have been working on for Sunrise and a client native integration between Dynamics AX and BarTender so it can be used for label generation.

It was a nice peice of work, and I am still in the making of it, but the concept is good and it's coming along nicely. Basically with this, and using the BarTender and Commander script, not this can be as simple as:

1.) Create a Label format in BarTender
2.) use custom Dynamics AX Forms and Code to map Data fields to the Format Fields
3.) Select the report type for the label as BarTender and select the Format and Printer to use
4.) Start using it!

The other peice to this is the processing code just has to be applied where Labels are needed to be generated. I wrote and designed this using generic code, so that when applied it can be applied quickly, adapted quickly, and mostly it is configuration vs. development.

Anyway I thought I would post about the current integration point I am working on! Check back soon as I write more about performance, S+S, and so on.

Find a job at: www.DynamicsAXJobs.com

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Black Monday for VT


I am sure everyone had heard the new about the poor community that makes up VT. It's sad, and a lot of people have been affected by this. I felt it only right that I post about this. Every day people are hurt, and so we must pray for them! Pray for the community at VT, and also everyone that was hurting, is hurting, or lost.

Here to all you families that are struggle with this, May God's peace and love find you today and always. Three things remain, Faith, Hope, and Love. And the greatest of these is Love.

Find a job at: www.DynamicsAXJobs.com

Friday, April 13, 2007

I am back!


I am back from Vacation, and now I need a vacation from my vacation! :-) I guess that is the way it always works!

Well Today the Lord has blessed me with another day to live, and has found worth in my Soul! I am truly thankful to have the chance to enjoy my family, study and pray with the Lord, and also work and write on this blog!

I hope everyone had a blessed Easter Holy Days! I will be writing back post on a lot of different aspects, one of them includes more post about Dynamics CRM, extending it, and making it work with Dynamics AX!

Check back soon!

Find a job at: www.DynamicsAXJobs.com

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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

2nd Go live, and then some vacation


I am in the middle of supporting my 2nd go live in under a month, and after this I will be on vacation for a little while. So I will post when I am back from vacation again. I just wanted to let everyone know that I am still here, and still have some great post coming up... just super busy, and need some time off, after this busy time.

Check back soon... see you all again around middle of April!

Find a job at: www.DynamicsAXJobs.com

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