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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Well Halloween, or All Hallows Eve, is upon us! I actually love this time of year, and love carving pumpkins with my girls, telling ghost stories and having fright-fest movie nights.

Something about a creepy good scare to make you laugh and have a good time. With that, ZDNet has post some scare-tech things to watch out for! My fav, is the Smartphone Zombies! 2010 Top Scary Trends in Tech

I would also add to this list hungry tech Ogers!

What I am talking about is the big boys gabbing up and swallowing whole smaller tech companies. There are a lot of factors that is building up to this, but I think you will see this pick up speed, and also even in the Dynamics Ecosystem. With the recent changes to the MPN, it seems as though smaller partners will need to align or get bought by bigger partners to continue to be a player in the ecosystem.

Well hope you all have a fun, safe, scary and Happy Halloween / All Hallows Eve!

I will see some of you, virtaully, on Monday for Decisions 2010, AX day!

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A Focus on Performance with Robert Boone

On Monday I did a highlight of the upcoming Decisions Fall 2010 - AX Day, Virtual conference. You can find that post here.: Decisions 2010 - Next week!

As part of that highlight, I did a spotlight on sessions including one by one of my peers at Sunrise, Robert Boone.

In order to build into that upcoming session, Robert wanted to spend a little time on some performance tips around Dynamics AX, and with that below is his first guest article on this blog.:


Dynamics AX Performance Quick Tips - Robert Boone

There is a good bit of information out on the blogsphere, MSDN, and other sources. A lot of this in contained within whitepapers, about Dynamics AX performance. For me however, when I am dealing with Performance and Dynamics AX, the following is my top three list of resources and tools for resolving performance issues.:

1. Pre-Implementation Planning Stage - Database Hardware

Dynamics AX is a great fit for a wide variety of businesses. For many, the hardware requirements may be very relatively minimal. But for larger implementations, those with many users or very intensive processing requirements, do not skimp on database hardware. Larger implementations especially need to plan for enough dedicated disks to follow the recommendations of the Performance Team listed at the bottom of the following checklist. Checklist link.

Final note on this, it is almost always much less expensive to get adequate hardware than to expend effort later on extensive optimization.

2.) During Implementation - Test - Use SQL Server DMVs

Make sure you've got representative data well before go-live and test. This is key to what DMV's can tell to a build up to production go live, and post go live performance expectations.

Know what's happening in the database. Know what your longest running queries are. Do they have reasonable query plans? Any missing indexes? What kind of wait states do you have? These are relatively easy things to see with SQL DMVs.

This is also a great top 10 list for Dynamics AX/SQL performance: SQLCat.com Top Ten Tips.

3.) To Quickly Identify Issues, use the Dynamics AX Trace Parser!

First a big thanks to the Performance Team for releasing this! Trace Parser is invaluable if you need to look at some Dynamics AX process to find out exactly where it is spending time. All of the above database tools, skills, and processes should be in place. With the combination of those and Trace Parser you should be able to identify and resolve any issues that do come up.

On Trace Parser, a couple of tips: Use this on a system that's not busy. Ideally, when tracing you'll be the only one in that instance. This is probably obvious to anyone who has used Dynamics AX tracing, but trace for them minimum amount of time necessary to capture the problem as trace files can quickly become huge.

Finally, I will be leading a session, as Brandon as highlighted on Batch Framework in Dynamics AX 2009, for the Decisions Fall Virtual Conference next Monday. What's important to understand, is that if you hit processes that nothing else seems to work, maybe it's time to look at worker processes or multi-threading a process. This is best suited for the session I will be leading, on the Batch Framework in AX 2009! (Link to session information)


I would like to thank Robert for taking the time to do this guest post, and look forward to many more as we approach AX 6, and beyond!

Make sure to check out Roberts session, and get deep insight into what all the Batch Framework can help you do within Dynamics AX 2009!

Till Next time!

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

New Guest Column on MIcrosoft Dynamics Community Site

With the release of the Dynamics Community Site, v2.0, a new set of guest columns for that site were created. (Coverage here, on new site)

The new columns are meant to have a broad depth, and range of coverage, that live and breathe on the Community site. I am honored that Microsoft has asked me to head up one of those guest columns, titled: 'Microsoft Dynamics AX Today and Tomorrow'.

I actually meant to post my AXUG Summit entry, as the first entry in this new column, but by mistake posted it into my syndicated feed area from this blog. Almost creating an infinite loop! Well not really... but I have since fixed that, and now my AXUG Recap is in the right spot, as my first entry of my column on the Dynamics Community Site.

My plans are to post a monthly entry there, in which of course I will link to from my normal blog here.

I plan on keeping those post to be at the high level, CEO, COO, CIO, Director, Management, etc. of focus around Microsoft Dynamics AX / ERP.

That's all for now, a big thank you to the Dynamics Community Team for working so hard in creating a great resource with the new site, and also for allowing me to ramble on about Dynamics AX in a new medium.

Till next time!

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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Monday, October 25, 2010

Decisions 2010 - Next week!

Well, now that AXUG Summit is over, as well as Convergence EMEA is wrapping up - its time to look to Nov 1st and Decisions 2010 - Dynamics AX - virtual conference by MSDynamicsWorld.com

This has become a great event, and one of the best things is you can attend right from your desktop. No need to fly, leave. You can develop, or work your job for a couple of hours, then attend specific sessions, and chat with others focused in the Dyanmics AX Ecosystem.

Sunrise Technologies, Inc. is a sponsor once again, and is also well represent by Robert Boone, Senior Technical Architect.

Robert is a peer of my at Sunrise, and also a counted Alabama football fan, here is a little bio about Robert.:
"Robert Boone is a Senior Technical Architect with Sunrise Technologies focused on Microsoft Dynamics AX. Robert has over 15 years of IT experience in Supply Chain Management (SCM), Business Intelligence Systems (BI), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), and transactional systems. He has hands-on implementation and customization experience in Software Development, Database Design, and SQL Server. His extensive experience in programming, systems analysis, systems design, and configuration, allows him to interact with people from various business areas and levels. Robert has successfully lead the technical implementation aspects of several Microsoft Dynamics AX implementations."

He will be focusing on deliverying a great session, titled: Microsoft Dynamics AX Batch Processing Deep Dive. (Session Link)

I think this is most likely the least understood technical area with Dynamics AX 2009. This is not just about batch processing in AX 2009, but what all the Batch Processing Framework has to offer. Think worker processes and thread safe processes.

There are also some other big names that will be speaking at Decisions 2010 - AX:

There are actually some other great sessions, and it's going to be hard to attend them all. To see a full list, you can check them out here.: Decisions Fall 2010 - Speakers

This is really a great event, and a great way to wrap up / extend what was covered in AXUG Summit as well as Convergence EMEA 2010. This is also just two months before the Microsoft Dynamics AX 2011 Technical Conference, in which a lot more information about AX 6 will become public.

That's all for now, check out Decisions 2010 and get registered, as well as Roberts Session. Till next time!

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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Friday, October 22, 2010

AX and the iPad - Media coverage

In my AXUG summit re-cap post yesterday, I talked about the session I lead on "AX and the iPad". This session focused on the three area's of accessing Dynamics AX from the iPad.

  • RDP via Jump RDP

  • axPad Sales - Native App that connects with AX through SOA, developed by Sunrise

  • HTML5 - Web based applications

The most coverage was around the axPad app itself, and what it can do. David Gumpert, Editoral Director was there for the presentation and did a great write up covering the session, and capturing the fact that people are using, planning to use and are wanting to us AX functions and data on the iPad.

Here is a direct link to the write up.: Here Comes the iPad for Microsoft Dynamics AX: More Microsoft Users Seeking Sales and Demo Applets

There are just two small clarifications I wanted to point out from this post.

1.) It's XCode IDE, not IDF. XCode is the IDE used on a MacBook for example, to develop in Objective-C and to work with the iOS simulators and Devices.

2.) When I stated it took me 80 hours, and now roughly could do the Same App functionality as the axPad Sales app offers in around 35 hours of work. Just clearing the fact that just like all development, it depends on the scope of work, for how long it would take. The point I was trying to make here, is that now I am passed a certain level in the iOS development learning curve, it would not take me as long to do create something like the axPad Sales app, as it did this first time around.

Other than those two clarifications, it's great coverage. I think MSDynamicsWorld.com coverage really catches the fact that Microsoft Customers of Dynamics AX are wanting the iPad. They are wanting to use the iPad, and more than just a consumption device.

I will have some detailed coverage of the axPad Sales soon, along with other great post. I would like to thank MSDynamicsWorld.com, for being at AXUG and giving all the sessions they attended great coverage!

Till next time!
"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

AXUG Summit was a huge hit!

AXUG Summit was a huge hit! I just got back, and did my recap over at my column on the new Dynamics Community site. You can find a direct link to that post here.: DCS: AXUG Summit a hit (Updated to point to Guest Column)

I have a lot more coming, and a lot of deep dives, webinars, as well as build up coverage to Decisions Fall 2010, happneing on Nov. 1st!

Check back soon!

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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Monday, October 18, 2010

Heading to AXUG Summit!

Well I am heading to the AXUG Summit, down in Orlando today! Should be a great event, and I am looking forward to seeing everyone there. When I am not in session, or talking with customers, I will do my best to give the event some good coverage with my twitter account.:


I will also have some articles come out of the event as well, which of course will be placed right here.

Hope everyone has a good week!

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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Friday, October 15, 2010

Microsoft Dynamics Reinforces the Dynamic Business Vision at Convergence Europe

Microsoft kicked off its Convergence 2010 Europe roadshow in London this week, where Kirill Tatarinov, corporate vice president, Microsoft Business Solutions, opened the event with a keynote address that reinforced how the company is delivering on its Dynamic Business vision for customers.

Announcements made during the keynote include:

  • A new global launch promotion for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online at a price of $34 (€31) per user, per month for the first 12 months of service

  • 22 new markets where Microsoft Dynamics AX for Retail will be available as of Feb. 1, 2011

  • General availability of the Microsoft Dynamics ERP two-tier connector that accelerates deployments between Microsoft Dynamics AX across subsidiaries, divisions or branch entities, and SAP Business Suite at the corporate headquarters

  • The Environmental Sustainability Dashboard for Microsoft Dynamics AX has been certified by Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), verifying that the reporting of GRI content within the dashboard is compliant with the GRI standards. This recognition makes the Dashboard one of only four software applications and the only midmarket ERP solution with the GRI certification in the software applications category to date.

The roadshow will continue in London tomorrow (Oct 15) and then move to Prague (Oct 18 – 19) and end in The Hague (Oct 20 – 21). For more information regarding these announcements and to join the conversation, please review the full press release below or visit any of the following throughout the event:

This is all really great news, and other places have covered some of these topics deeper like the Microsoft Community Site, as well as MSDynamicsWorld.com.

This information is exciting not just for European based companies focusing on Dynamics, but the entire Dynamics Ecosystem world wide. I would like to thank Microsoft for their continued efforts in help growth and foster the Dynamics Ecosystem through events like these.

There are two more great events coming up, as mentioned in my last post AXUG Summit is next week, and also MSDynamicsWorld.com, Fall Decisions 2010 - Dynamics AX day in on Nov. 1st! So a lot is going on, and plenty of places for customers, partners and Microsoft to connect, learn, share and grow!

That's all for now. Hope everyone has a blessed weekend. I will be covering the AXUG summit next week, Tues-Wed, while I am there, so look for that as well. Hope to see some of you there!

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

AXUG Summit next week!

The AXUG Summit 2010 is next week! This year it in wonderful Olrando, FL, at Seaworld. Of course, not a lot of time to check the sites, and shows there, and so many great sessions, training, customer events, etc. will be taking place.

With that, I asked a few of those that will be presenting at the AXUG summit to share a little about themselves, their sessions, and their thoughts on the AXUG summit and it's value.

First up we have John H. Smith, Software Engineer for Smith Technologies. Here is a little bio about John.:

"John H. Smith is a resident of Indiana holding a professional engineer license and proprietor of Smith Technologies. For the past 8 years, he has specialized in software engineering for Dynamics AX."

And the following are John's sessions while at AXUG Summit this year.:

  • “AX Code Change Control Roundtable” in the development track, DEV04, double session, 10/20/10 8:00 am to 9:00 am and 10/20/10 9:30 am to 10:30 am. - "[John will] be leading this development track discussion on code management. We’ll be exploring what practices users are following when changing their code. Come prepared to pickup a few tidbits that you can make your own, or to offer up a few gems of your own. This session is not a presentation but an interactive exchange of ideas."

  • “The AOT and AX – Understanding how the three letter word can help you out” in the development track, DEV03, 10/19/10 5:00pm to 6:00pm. - "[John will] be leading this development track round table diving into the application object tree and its relationship to AX development. As the backbone of AX development, it’s vitally import to understate the AOT. We’ll be sharing experiences working with the AOT. This session is not a presentation but an interactive exchange of ideas."

And here is what John, has to say about the AXUG Summit.:
"What a great place to come together, meet follow DAXers, and exchange knowledge."

Now moving forward, I have another person that will be presenting at AXUG Summit this year, who name is Kris Pavlovsky. Here is a little information about Kris:

"Kris is a Senior Dynamics AX Architect with DENTSPLY International. With 10 years of experience implementing large enterprise applications. Kris' favorite quote is “Perfection (in design) is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but rather when there is nothing more to take away.” –Antoine de Saint-Exupery"

And the following are Kris' sessions while at AXUG Summit this year.:

  • Managing AX in a Global Environment (RT) 10/19/2010 11:00am – 12:00pm - "This session represents a great opportunity to connect with other individuals facing the unique challenge of managing a global ERP implementation. We anticipate a nice blend of technical and non-technical content to surface. A roundtable session of this nature often lends itself to very collaborative discussion and sharing of valuable lessons learned.
    Session Link

  • Best Practices for Managing the AX Development Environment (PR) 10/19/2010 2:00pm - 3:00pm - "Often, this is the fastest hour of Summit for Technical people like myself. Some of the topics we plan to cover include: Managing Environments – Everything from the AOT to the AOD and in between is fair game. Managing Development – How make successful changes to the AX application. This session is geared for moderate to advanced technical individuals" Session Link

  • Role Center Setup and Administration (HT) 10/20/2010 9:30am – 10:30am - " Role Centers are new feature of AX 2009 and provide the unique opportunity to push otherwise static data forward and enable your end users to be more productive. Out of the box Role Centers provide a lot of easy to use functionality which will be demonstrated. This session promises to cater to all areas of interest in Dynamics AX." Session Link

  • Best Practices for Role Centers and Dynamics AX2009 (RT) 10/20/2010 8:00am – 9:00am - " If you have ever gone to personalize a Role Center and asked yourself, “What’s a Web Part anyway?” This is your session. This session will provide content for both technical and non-technical alike. Bring your questions!" Session Link

  • AX Infrastructure Best Practices in an Enterprise Installation (RT) 10/21/2010 4:00pm – 5:00pm - "This session is a must for anyone tasked with maintaining a growing AX implementation. Every year the AXUG member base gains more knowledge on how to build, deploy and maintain large AX implementations whether local or over the WAN. This will be technically driven discussion." Session Link

  • Understanding the Global Address Book (GAB) in AX2009 (PR/RT) 10/20/2010 2:00pm – 3:00pm - " GAB is another new feature introduced with AX 2009 allowing companies to share various types records across multiple Dynamics AX companies. This session will provide a lot of great information on how to implement and maintain GAB’s within Dynamics AX. This session will provide content for both technical and non-technical alike." Session Link

And here is what Kris, has to say about the AXUG Summit.:
"Acquiring “Real Life” answers to “Real Life” problems have continued to make Summit a must attend conference for me. Many of the people I have met at past Summits are now friends. Quite often, we will continue to work through tough problems uncovered during the sessions long after Summit has ended. This type of collaboration opportunity makes the trip worth it every time."

Looks like both John and Kris are going to be busy, and covering / leading some great sessions! I hope to get the chance to visit as least one of them.

That leads me to finally what I will be presenting at AXUG summit. I will be leading three different sessions, which are.:

  • EXE02 - Cloud Computing - What is It and is my Company Ready to Move into the Cloud - "Wondering what cloud computing is? Is your company considering moving some IT applications out to the cloud in a hosted environment. If so, please join this presentation where an overview of cloud computing will be covered."

  • TECH05 - The Technical Side of Cloud Computing - "So you understand the cloud, but are wondering exactly what can be done to integrate the cloud with Dynamics AX. In this presentation session, geared towards the technical folks, learn what technical tools are available and how they can be deployed with AX to extend your Dynamics AX installation into the cloud."

  • Sunrise Partner Showcase - AX on the iPad - " Innovative ways to extend your AX investment with the iOS platform."

All in all, this is going to be a great summit! If you still have not registered, there is still time. This is the yearly event I always recommend customers to attend. With so much knowledge focused around existing customers and install base of AX your surely to walk away with how to improve, extend and get the most out of your Dynamics AX investment.

This is also a great event for those just starting, or thinking to start down the road of a Dynamics AX ERP investment. Plenty of ways to connect and learn!

That's all for now. I will be covering the event while I am there with my twitter account Twitter: DynamicsERP.

Check back soon as more to come!

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Microsoft Dynamics Community Site 2.0 released

I wanted to take the time and point out that the much awaited Microsoft Dynamics Community Site, verion 2.0 has been released.

By now, hopefully, most of you have noticed the new site and what all features it has. I actually covered this, in a beta preview of the changes, and this new 2.0 version, in a blog post this past summer, which you can find here.: Microsoft Dynamics Community site set for major improvements

Also, over at MSDynamicsWorld.com, there was a great article last week covering this as well.: Community 2.0: In Final Shift from Newsgroups, Microsoft Dynamics Community Site Adds Customer Service, Upgrades Search, New Layout

I think this is a great move, and really will help continue foster growth in the Dynamics Community / Ecosystem.

The Offical Microsoft Dynamics Community portal, is a great resource, that has all kinds of ways to learn, share, understand and get help with all the different Dynamics ERP and CRM products.

I would also like to thankn the Dynamics Community Site for spotlighting my new guest column that I will be starting soon. My plan is to write once a month on that column. Below is a description of what I will be targeting.:

"Microsoft Partner and Senior Technical Architect Brandon George's column is focused primarily on the high-level architect, CIO and CEO roles within Microsoft Dynamics Partner and Customer organizations. Brandon reviews topics ranging from Microsoft Dynamics AX, general trends in technology, and how it can help solve business domain issues today and tomorrow."

That's all for now, but check back as we approach AXUG Summit next week! I hope to see some of you there, and if not, I will make sure to have some good coverage, and follow up articles about the summit.

Till next time!

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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Wednesday, October 06, 2010

PTC Flex PLM and Dynamics AX - Dynamics Duo

Ok, so I admit the title is a throw back to the early Batman shows / cartoons. With that said however, I believe it's a good fit.

What I am talking about here is PTC's Flex PLM Solution. It's their flagship Product Lifecycle Management package, and it integrates well with Microsoft Dynamics AX ERP software. I have actually integrated this before, creating BOM's in AX from the output of the PTC Flex PLM package.

What's interesting about me talking to these two great packages now, is that Sunrise Technologies, the great VAR I am a part of, is now focusing efforts to sale and implement PTC Flex PLM!

Check out the offical press release about it here.: Sunrise Technologies to Resell PTC’s Leading PLM Solution for Customers in Retail, Apparel, Footwear, and Consumer Goods

From the PR.:
"Winston Salem, North Carolina – Sunrise Technologies a leading provider of Microsoft Dynamics AX for manufacturing, distribution, and retail, announced today that it has joined the PTC (Nasdaq: PMTC) Partner Program as a PTC Channel Advantage – Enterprise Solution Provider. Sunrise will resell and implement PTC’s FlexPLM® solution as part of the Windchill® PLM platform to customers in the retail, apparel, footwear, and consumer industries.

The integrated PTC FlexPLM solution can help address both industry-specific challenges and everyday business pressures. FlexPLM offers a high-performance, Web-based platform that brings together globally distributed teams and provides line planning, specification management, merchandizing, and other essential PLM capabilities for managing your company’s complete assortment of products. Sunrise Technologies’ deep knowledge of the retail, apparel, footwear, and consumer industries processes are complimented by the ability to now provide customers with a comprehensive PLM solution that enhances the value of their Microsoft Dynamics AX ERP solution."

And, from PTC about Sunrise.:
""We believe that customers who choose to use Sunrise Technologies in conjunction with PTC's FlexPLM solution will benefit from increases in overall product development efficiencies and as a result improve time-to-market, control costs and drive competitive differentiation" said Rod Walters, Senior Vice President, Enterprise Partner Program, PTC."

This, I believe, is a great move and I am glad to see we will be offering this as a product, and services around this product to Dynamics AX customers, and also standalone customers needed just PTC Flex PLM.

Flex PLM really is a great fit with Dynamics AX, and helps extends Dynamics AX investment for companies that need a true and proven product lifecycle management package, and it 100% integrated with AX!

Look here for more about this in the future, and check back soon as next week will be filled with more post, more interviews, and continued coverage of Dynamics Ecosystem!

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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