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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Microsoft Dynamics BI - 'BI for the masses'

By now you might have heard that Microsoft will be rolling PerformancePoint Server into sharepoint. This will start to exists as "PerformancePoint Services for Sharepoint" and will be part of the CAL license for SharePoint.

To find out more about the press release behind this, a good source can be found here: Microsoft folds PerformancePoint Server into SharePoint

From the post:
""We weren't playing to our strengths, and consequently were running into the same glass ceiling of 20% deployment that every other BI vendor is," Kerr told Computerworld. "We thought there was a much better way to achieve our goal of 'BI for the masses,' which is to make these features a seamless part of how they already work with SharePoint, SQL Server or Excel.""

Lets really underline something here: 'BI for the masses'. This is Microsoft's new BI plan and focus. For the past several years now, espcially from the Dynamics AX community, customer and partners alike have complained about not having a true given single platform for BI.

This move is a great move by Microsoft in consolidating the BI efforts, making Office and SharePoint truly the UI for doing this, with Dynamics AX and SQL Server as the backend.

Finally we have a focus starting to come together with this move, and I for one am very excited about this move. And any Dynamics AX customer present or future should be pleased by this move.

If your interested in finding out more, feel free to contact me, and look here for future references to the 'BI for the masses'. Also keep here for more SQL Server 2008 for Dynamics AX 2009.

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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Monday, January 26, 2009

MSDW: Bad Economy or Not, Here Are Ten Reasons to Attend Convergence 2009

Over at MSDynamicsWorld.com, there is a great article posted about attending Convergence 2009 this year. This was wrote by a GP person, but still the reason's apply acorss the board.

Here is the direct link: Here Are Ten Reasons to Attend Convergence 2009

From the article:
"Coming up March 10-13 in New Orleans is Microsoft Convergence 2009. Convergence is Microsoft's premier customer event for the Dynamics line of business, and it's one of Microsoft's largest conventions each year. A few people recently asked me why they should attend, given the difficult economy, and I was surprised that I quickly rattled off ten reasons why they should go. I'm sure that there are more but here are the ten biggest ones I came up with."

I wrote about Convergence at the start of this year, and gave some great links to the different area's of the convergence web site. Here is a direct link to that post: My Convergence 2009 Post.

I highly recommend everyone consider going. I would be there if I could be, but I will be busy this year.

Check back soon!

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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Friday, January 23, 2009

SQL Sever 2008 - Performance with Dynamics AX 2009 - Resource Governor

Alright, so lets get back to the SQL Server 2008 and how it's new features can be used with Dynamics AX 2009 to help with the performance of an instance.

Now with most any instance, the key to performance is in understanding query execution, query plans, and being able to tune these with indexes, and such. This of course is after you have done your benchmark and made sure you have enough RAM, CPU and HD Spindels running for you and correctly running.

These still apply to a DAX 2009 / SQL Server 2008 instance. However as I mentioned before, there are a good bit of new features in SQL Server 2008 to really help an instance out.

On this post, let's look at the: Resource Governor

So lets think of a make believe instance of DAX 2009. Just deployed, with EDI at this company, MRP, and nightly integrations flowing out of DAX 2009. Sounds typical these days for a lot of instances.

Ok, so you have all of this running, you do the normal SQL performance tunning and you notice that the nighlty integrations that flow out of DAX are causing some delays to the MRP process and also the same thing happens all the time with the EDI transactions and jobs that are being ran.

So we have run away query's going on here, and what can we do about it?

Well in SQL Server 2008, the resource governor can be used. This is the first version of SQL Server that you can now differentiate between workloads! What a concept huh?

So now you can take the resource govenor, create resource pools and workload groups, even policies that make use of classifier functions, to limit how much certian, specific incoming spids and their workloads can have access to the SQL Server's resources.

So you can make your MRP and normal DAX SQL traffic have higher priority to SQL Server resources, while placing the integrations and EDI into a resource workload group and pool that could limit the max amount of resources those could ever have. This way you can manage these, and stop these run away queries from ever hurting your normal day to day or high priority Dynamics AX processes.

Of course you should do this anyway, and then get with the EDI vendor and the development of the integrations so they can improve their processes to work better with the limited resources. ;-)

So the resource governor is something totally new to SQL Server 2008, and is a new tool that we can use to help manage and improve our Dynamics AX 2009 instances with.

Check back soon for more!

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Microsoft Dynamics Podcast

I wanted to pass along something I thought was very neat. Below is a link to Microsoftr Podcast, that focus on Dynamics. This includes all Dynamics, and of course Dynamics AX:

Microsoft Dynamics Podcast List

This is actually pretty neat, and if you have an iPod I would recommend getting subscribed.

Of course it's Microsoft generated, so some stuff might not be needed by all levels of people, but if you filter by role, you can get what your looking for.

Well hope you find this interesting as I did, and check back soon as I continue into SQL Server 2008!

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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Friday, January 16, 2009

Layered Adds Automation Platform

Well I had someone send me a link to a very interesting press release about a Sunrise Technologies, Inc. customer: LayeredTech (Click for Layered Home page.)

LayeredTech is in what we would call the Hosting Vertical. This is something that Sunrise really has great expertise in, and really delivered a great implementation for.

The LayeredTech press release talking about the new automation platform that Layered has deployed can be seen here: thewhir.com: 'Layered Adds Automation Platform'

From the Press Release:
"Pozadzides notes that to fully relize this platform, Layered Tech had to lay the groundwork for it by unifying its back-end systems over the course of nine months, using Microsoft Dynamics AX. "Essentially what it did was unify all our separate systems into one so things like billing and accounting are merged together with inventory management, provisioning, CRM, etc.," he said. He added that this is the only company in the industry with this level of integration."

I just want to say, way to go LayeredTech! This is actually pretty amazing stuff they are offering their customers with this. To get great insight into how well this is, and what the goal is check out the Video: GeekBrief.tv Video

Like I said, it's pretty dang cool! What's interesting, and the fact of the mention that Dynamics AX was part of what made this all possible, as pointed out in the above from TheWhir.com press release covering this.

You can read the press release about the LayeredTech Dynamics AX implementation, done by Sunrise Technologies, Inc. (Sunrise Website) here:

And here is a customer comment about Sunrise from Layered:
“Sunrise was critical to our design and implementation of the Microsoft Dynamics AX-based ERP for our specific corporate operations requirements. Their expertise was invaluable in jumpstarting and helping us manage such a mission-critical initiative.” -John Pozadzides, Chief Marketing Officer at Layered Tech

Again congrats LayeredTech on your new offering, and I am just proud to be apart of the company that helped you get there!

Check back soon!

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Looking into SQL Server 2008


Now that Dynamics AX 2009 SP1 has been released, that means that SQL Server 2008 is offically the go to Database server for Dynamics AX 2009.

Of course you can run on SQL Server 2005 still, but I want to focus on SQL Server 2008 for a little while and talk about some of the benefits that it offers.

In this I want to go right to the performance enhancements that comes along with SQL Server 2008. This is where we can really see some real area's that a Microsoft Dynamics AX instance can really get some real mileage out of.

So with performance, let's focus on some key area's. These area's starting out will be:

  • SQL Statement / Query Performance.

  • Management of Resources on the SQL Server.

  • Optimizing Storage with SQL Server

Each of these area's have some new improved items in SQL Server 2008, and I want to go into each. In doing so I also want to talk about how this will benefit a Dynamics AX 2009 instance and what this means for current and future customers.

So check back soon, as I dive into SQL Server 2008 for you, and walk into a new and faster Dynamics AX world!

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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Monday, January 12, 2009

MSDynamicsWorld.com turns One - Interview with Adam Berezin

Well the web portal MSDynamicsWord.com offically has turned one year old this week. So in doing so I want to say congrats to te team over there!

With that in mind, I sat down with Adam Berezin, CEO of MSDynamicsWorld.com. I wanted to pick his brain about the portal, how it's done, it's goals for 2008, goals for 2009 and what this year holds for our Dynamic community.

Below is the interview, I hope you enjoy:

1.) Now that MSDynamicsWorld.com is officially one year old, list a few goals that you initially set out to achieve in the first year, that you were able to achieve and grade how well you think they were achieved.

"We launched MSDynamicsWorld.com to strengthen the Microsoft Dynamics community. We wanted to provide strategic guidance to end-users on how to better enhance their current Dynamics platforms, and in the process create an opportunity for ISVs to gain more targeted market exposure.
Our two major goals…

1. To become the world’s leading, and most trusted, independent online information resource for Microsoft Dynamics end-users, partners, and consultants.

There is always room for improvement, but in just one year, we have been able to reach this goal. My team has worked, and is constantly working, tirelessly on trying to develop and find great content for the site. We’ve been able to retain over 20 executives from leading ISV and partner firms, as well as several people from Microsoft, who contribute strategic articles to the site on a regular basis. In addition, we have provided extensive coverage of major Dynamics events—Convergence U.S. and Europe, along with user group sessions around the country.

In addition to our strategic columns and news articles, we’ve created an extensive library of ISV and Partner white papers, solution brochures, demos, and customer case studies. We have been able to develop great partnerships with Microsoft and Dynamic Communities, Inc. (AXUG, GPUG, CRMUG, and NAVUG), all of which have helped to provide useful content to the community.

2. To become the world’s leading online marketing platform for Microsoft Dynamics ISVs and partners to create awareness, deliver a powerful message, and generate highly-qualified and targeted sales leads.

While preparing to launch MSDynamicsWorld.com, we conducted primary research on the marketing habits and activities of ISVs and Partners. After speaking with about 50 ISVs and partners, we found that they were encountering difficulties marketing to their target audiences. They were using traditional advertising and prospecting vehicles such as conferences and print ads, but both were costing them a lot of money and it was difficult to track return on investment.

We decided that MSDynamicsWorld.com would provide an alternative to these traditional advertising vehicles by offering cost-effective marketing programs with results that could be tracked in real-time. Since launching our targeted programs, we have serviced loyal clients from around the world."

2.) What are the new goals for 2009? Was there any carry over from 2008?

"We want to build on what we started last year. So in 2009, our goals are to continue to expand the breadth and depth of our content, create additional marketing opportunities for ISVs, and develop new strategic partnerships. My team and I feel that there’s a lot more MSDynamicsWorld.com can do to expand our content offerings and enhance marketing opportunities for the Dynamics community."

3.) What is your and your teams take on the Year 2009 and how Dynamics ERP brand will do, specific verticals, and specifically even Dynamics AX?

"No matter how good or bad the economy, organizations still need to increase operational efficiencies and reduce costs. Therefore, the need for ERP platforms will not go away anytime soon. However, given the current state of the economy, companies will definitely be more frugal and cautious when choosing an ERP platform. I believe this could actually help Microsoft’s strategy, as the pricing structure for all Dynamics platforms is extremely competitive, especially when you move up market with Dynamics AX. And the improvements and innovations built into AX 2009 seem to have been extremely well received in the marketplace.

I predict that many large organizations that were originally leaning toward selecting SAP and Oracle will begin to shift their focus toward Dynamics AX, based on the much improved value proposition. And value in this economy will count for ever more.

Microsoft announced at Convergence Copenhagen that it is making a renewed effort to help partners and ISVs focus on a number of targeted verticals, like professional services and manufacturing. That could help marketing efforts over the coming year."

Closing statement:

"In sum, we are optimistic about Microsoft’s Dynamics branding and about the competitive positioning of Dynamics AX 2009. We also believe MSDynamicsWorld.com is up to the challenge of reporting on the exciting Dynamics news developments certain to emerge this year, as well as reaching out to senior-level executives on behalf of the ISV and partner communities. It should be an exciting year."

Well I agree with Adam, this should be an exciting and interesting year. I want to say thanks to the great team over at MSDynamicsWorld.com. They have really done a graet job in becoming a number one site in the Dynamics Web based community. I look forward to working with them to help make it a better portal, and a great 2009!

Check back soon!

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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Thursday, January 08, 2009

Convergence 2009: New Orleans

Well with 2009 in full gear now, and everyone back into the middle of things, that means that March is approaching fast. And what happens in March? Convergence!

This year Convergence 2009 will be held in New Orleans. The link to the home page can be found here: Convergence 2009: New Orleans

This year should be packed with all kinds of great sessions, connecting with others, and of course peaks into Dynamics AX 6.0 and beyond.

Here are some direct links for information from the Convergence 2009 web site:

  • Agenda for 2009 - This is where you can find out about all the great things that will be going on at Convergence.

  • Convergence Connect Tool Site - This is a great way for you to network and connect with others planning to attend Convergence, that have similar interest as yourself.

  • Executive Speakers Page - Here you can find out about who you will meet from the Executive team at Convergence.

  • Volunteerism for New Orleans - This is something different for those attending. If you plan to be there on Monday, you can help re-build New Orleans with this effort.

Of course Sunrise Technologies, Inc. will be there. Here is the information about our booth at Convergence 2009: Sunrise Conferences Page

Well, I hope everyone is off to a great start. You still have a chance for the Early Bird Special on signing up for Convergence, waiting to the last minute will cost you money.

Check back soon!

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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Friday, January 02, 2009

Welcome to 2009!

Well it's been one crazy year in 2008. A lot of Dynamics AX related news has taken place, and currently we sit at Dynamics AX 2009, SP1.

The year 2009 should see some great implementations getting completed for Dynamics AX 2009, SP1, and that means more and more people also getting exposed to SQL Server 2008 and it's amazing speed and compression abilities to shrink huge databases.

Also we should see and hear more and more about Azure, the Microsoft Cloud Platform. I actually, on Christmas day, was sent my trial key to Azure, so I plan on jumping in and doing some work on it, in order to show some examples of how it can be planned to be used with Dynamics AX.

Of course time will tell how much I can get done in that area, as I do have my normal day job, and I am putting in all kinds of hours on that already.

Here's a virtual cheers to everyone! Welcome to 2009! May it be the best year for everyone, and may it find you all blessed, and balanced in life.

Here's to another good year of blogging with some great how to's, future looking, examples, interviews and book reviews as well.

Check back soon!

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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