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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Product Management with Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 - Part IV

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

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

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

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

Intercompany implications

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

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

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

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

Product management for smaller organizations

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

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

Technical note

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

Closing note

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

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

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

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

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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Thursday, May 26, 2011

.Net Business Connector Not Recommend for AX 2012

Yesterday, I posted the following.: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 - System Architecture Overview

In that post, I gave a link to the following Microsoft TechNet article.: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 - System Architecture

Well one of the things that I did not highlight, but I wanted to have for it's own post was the fact that the following stands out on that article for TechNet.:

Use services and AIF to interact with the Microsoft Dynamics AX application. We recommend against using the .NET Business Connector to integrate with the Microsoft Dynamics AX application.

I think this really needs to sink in for people, and that everyone needs to take special attention to this note. The idea, is that services and AIF, which their end points are services, is the desired goal for how AX with interact with the outside world, and other LOB applications.

So, if you have a LOB application, or custom app that you want to integrate and work with AX, and it's business logic, the .Net BC is not the method that is desired with Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012.

It's still around, and for good reason, supporting all that IP that is already been developed around the .Net BC. However, I believe we can start to see the writing on the wall for this, and the design pattern, in that the .Net BC, I doubt, will exists beyond AX 2012 for such use.

Just an example of how Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 is going to change how we implement, integrate and work with AX.

I think it's a great move, and one that has been the moving direction for a while, make everything SOA / WOA based, through services. Everything connecting through services. This sets up for a whole future of hybrid mix possibilities for where services and software lives within a companies total solution.

That's all for now, however I wanted to point this out specifically, after starting with yesterday post. More to come, as we dive deeper and deeper into different aspects of AX 2012.

Till next time!

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 - System Architecture Overview

As we draw closer and closer to the release of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, I plan to continue and dive deeper and deeper into all area's of the new release.

With that in mind, lets take a look at what resources we have on Microsoft TechNet.: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 - System Architecture

As we can see there is quite a bit of new roles, and also new ways old roles will interact, function, and what they run on.

Starting at the bottom of the diagram, we see that SQL Server of course, plays a major role in a given Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 solution. To this database point, SQL Server, when AX 2012 is released, will be the only Database Software that Microsoft Dynamics AX will run on. Bye-Bye Oracle option!

You will noticed that we have similar databases here before, like SSRS, SharePoint and SSAS. What's important to understand is that the Dynamics AX database, will take and have both the Transactional Data, as well as the model store for which all Dynamics AX Objects live in.

This is where the AOT moved from the file system, and into the database, and reason why there is a new utility for moving .axmodel files, from one instance of AX into another.

Moving up the stack, we have the AOS and .Net, and within that .Net 4.0 applications, AX Services like the Metadata Service, Query Service and more. Here a lot of changes has taking place, and really openning up Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, as was laid out in the past post I did some years back with Lachlan Cash.: WCF: The Enterprise Service Bus for Dynamics AX and the rest of the Microsoft Stack

All of these new blocks you see, mixed in, and being hosted by old one's like the AOS, help enable this vision laid out throughout the series of post, including the one mentioned above, that helped describe what the future of AX held. That future is becoming today, with the release of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 soon.

There is also a lot more to cover with this, and I recommend taking the time and reviewing each section of the system Architecture. Take a deep dive into the TechNet pages that already exist for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012.

How we plan installs, how we do modifications, how we extend AX, all is going to change is some degree or another with this release, and it's important to understand the impact of these changes, and how much they enable for a business that will be making use of them.

That's all for now, I will continue this dive next week, with looking into comparing AX 2009 and AX 2012 in this area, and talking about some of the benefits, from this move being made.

Check back soon, as more to come!

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Why your Brain needs Vacations

With the summer season upon us, and for those in the Dynamics Ecosystem, the closing of the FY for Microsoft next month, it means go time. Everyone is working on several projects, demmand is hot, and work, work, work is the call.

However, I think all to often, especially in the U.S., we don't put enough value on downtime, and how important that downtime is for our families, and of course our brains.

So check out the following read.: CNN Health: Why your brain needs vacations

"Detaching from a familiar environment can help get new perspectives on everyday life, says Adam Galinsky, professor at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Consider that when you get advice from a friend, his or her suggestions are often more creative than what you would have decided for yourself -- and scientific studies have confirmed this. That's because your friend has psychological distance from the situation at hand. When you're in the middle of a problem, it's sometimes hard to untangle yourself from it to think about it clearly.

Similarly, many people have epiphanies when they travel because they can view their life back home from a more detached, outsider's view."

Now I know I've directed this at the Microsoft and Partner level, but this is for you the customer as well. Make sure and take time out, plan a vacation, go through with it, and do not work while on it.

So today, everyone stop for a bit, take a break, think about your vacation coming up, and if you don't have one plan one, even for a 3-4 day get away. It's very important to balance life, and this is something that should be considered of high value.

That's all for now, but I will be back with more AX directly related post tomorrow. Here's to the beach, and much deserved vacations!

Visit Hillstar Business Intelligence (www.HillstarBI.com) in order to truly unlock your data trapped in your Microsoft Dynamics investment. With our value driven business intelligence strategy Hillstar help you transform into a data informed company.

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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Monday, May 23, 2011

Public Sector for Dynamics AX - LinkedIn group Created

Since we are talking about Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 and the Public Sector news today, I thought it was fitting to create a group on LinkedIn, specifically for this focus. So here you are.: Public Sector for Dynamics AX

The idea, is to give a place for Microsoft, Customers & Partners to connect, share, dicuss and foster growth for information, and knowledge around the Public Sector for Microsoft Dynamics AX.

The primary focus will be around Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 for a while, but hopefully this can grow as the AX product, and the public sector offerings do.

Feel free to join, and check back soon as more to come!

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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Microsoft Highlights New ERP Public Sector Capabilities for AX 2012

Well, hope everyone is doing great on this fine Monday! I know I am, and thankful for it. I wanted to kick off this Monday, and hope to get back to my normal writings, interviews and updates for you all. Thanks for the continued prayers and support for those hurt and lost during the storm outbreak at the end of last month. You have no idea how much it helps.

Now to kick things off, Microsoft is talking Public Sector, and talking loudly about it for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 release.

The following is a direct link, released today about this.: Microsoft Highlights New ERP Public Sector Capabilities

I sat down, virtually, with Charlie Johnson, Global Industry Product Director – ERP - Public Sector, for Microsoft to talk about today's PR and to give us a little more depth to this news.

Charlie, while at the Government Finance Officers Association Annual Conference today (May 23rd), the new Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Public Sector capabilities were highlighted. Can you dive a little deeper into some of the highlights that were touched on while there?

"Microsoft Dynamics AX provides differentiating functionality specifically designed for Public Sector organizations. Key features include:
  • Office interoperability & Tailored Role Centers with performance Dashboards

  • Enforces legal appropriation compliance and simultaneously allows lower level departmental budgets with multiple, variable, and hierarchical level budgetary controls.

  • Make organization’s commitment transparent using encumbrance and pre-encumbrance accounting with integrated workflow.

  • Easy and instant insight into your business with fund-based account classification structure. Unlimited financial dimensions and expanded reporting capabilities that accommodate funds, programs, functions, organizations, and grants support government-specific accounting practices.

  • Capabilities for tracking multiple funding sources and automatically distributing funds according to program guidelines facilitate multi-year budgeting, accounting, and project and grant reporting.

  • A flexible departmental billing engine addressing the unique needs of an organization’s departments Travel Expense Management – Pre authorization, Cash advances, expense reporting, credit card reconciliation, and work flow approvals
  • Specialized Year End Closing Features including Purchase Order Rollover and Budget Carry-forward Options to expedite the Year-End Closing process

  • Inter-fund and Treasury Management

  • Environmental Sustainability Dashboard

Key benefits can be achieved including improved departmental user productivity and user acceptance with the familiar Microsoft look and feel experience. With Excel add-in, Microsoft Dynamics can fuel business productivity and enable confident decision-making.

The system provides the flexibility for change. It manages complex budgets and improves the tracking and reporting to meet regulatory requirements. The built for government functionality substantially reduces the need for additional ISV solutions and customization during the implementation process. Overall, Microsoft Dynamics provides financial, budgetary and resource management features to more efficiently operate the unique business needs of the Public Sector organizations."

For the development process, can you speak a little to what all resources where used to help complete the full list of functionality that is going to be included with the release of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012?

"We have built Microsoft Dynamics AX interoperability with other key Microsoft technologies including:
  • Microsoft Office

  • Microsoft SharePoint

  • Microsoft SQL Server

  • Microsoft BizTalk Server

  • Microsoft Lync

  • Microsoft Windows and Windows Server

  • Microsoft .Net

  • Microsoft Visual Studio

Many vendors makes claim they integrate with Microsoft. But don’t forget, we ARE Microsoft. The difference is we don’t just integrate, our products are our foundation and interoperability is far superior than just integration.

The Public Sector customers that participated in our Technology Adoption Program (TAP) included the City of Redmond Washington and Compass Point Business Services Ltd, the new joint shared services organization wholly owned by South Holland District Council and East Lindsey District Council in Lincolnshire, UK.

In July, the City of Redmond will go live with Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, replacing the its old JD Edwards ERP system, which was unable to provide all the public-service capabilities and flexibility that the city needed. As part of an early adoption program, the city closely collaborated with Microsoft product teams and developers to make Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 a powerful solution for the public sector. As a result, many ideas and requests from public servants at the City of Redmond have become part of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012."

Charlie, for companies looking at AX for the very first time, because of this offering, how does it compare and compete with other ERP vendors within the public sector?

"Microsoft Dynamics AX2012 will be highly competitive against the established vendors. When developing MS Dynamics AX2012, we focused on the customer pain points that our competitors struggle to provide within their solutions. Public Sector organizations have specialized unique business requirements such as:
  • Budgetary Control

  • Commitment Accounting

  • Grants Management.

  • Project Accounting

  • Travel Expense Management

With AX 2012, we’ve set out to build a comprehensive out of the box solution for Public Sector. When you look under the hood of the features we built, it becomes obvious that we’ve gone way beyond just the me too features. Let me give you an one example:

Many Traditional Public Sector solutions provide budget to actual comparisons but force users to account and budget at the same account structure level. Not a limitation with our design, In fact, AX actually address four variations of budgetary control complexity, while most vendors struggle just to handle only one condition:
  • Hierarchical – Maintenance Materials – Sand, Gravel, Asphalt

  • Variable – Control at Dept except for Travel Expense Line Item

  • Multiple – Any combination of elements of classification structure or dimensions for budgetary control

  • Simultaneous – Annual Appropriation, and at the same time mange lower level departmental budgets, Separate Grant or Project Budget

From an estimate, do you feel that Public Sector companies will want to use the Microsoft Dynamics Cloud ERP offering, through the partner hosting model with AX 2012, or is the current read still more on-premise for this release?

"On-premise will be the primary deployment. Cloud adoption for Public Sector core business solutions is slowly catching on.

As is true of our solutions today, partners will be able to offer Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 as an on-premise or hosted solution. Having these options lets customers choose how they consume software based on their needs, and can shorten sales cycles and reduce the partner’s cost of a sale."

Charlie also has the following closing statement.:
"With the MS story around technology, simplicity and Lower TCO; we will meet the Public Sector’s demands for a Tier One functionally rich solution with a competitive Mid Market price tag. And that’s EXACTLY what we intend to do!

I’ve worked in the Public Sector industry for 37 years, MS Dynamics AX 2012 is revolutionary, We have a Passion for Success and We’re excited about our new offering!"

Well I would like to thank Charlie and Microsoft for taking the time to dive into this very exciting news, and push into the Public Sector with Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012.

For sure this is going to make up a big marketing push by Microsoft, and rightfully so as this is possibly a huge market segment that will bring more and more users count base into the Microsoft Dynamics Ecosystem.

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, May 17, 2011

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 - BI Team and Reporting

Back in 2010, I did a highlight post here, of the new Microsoft Dynamics AX BI Blog: A new Dynamics AX BI focused blog!

During that time, the BI team behind the blog had posted several Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 Screen cast on Youtube, along with some nice articles.

I think, it's important to bump this back up because they have now AX 2012 Reporting, with screencast, like the following.: AX2009 SSRS 42 - A Preview of Dynamics AX 2012 Report Development

For a list of entire screencast that have been posted by 'dynamicsaxbi', go to the following, which has a lot more than the BI blog has links too: DynamicsAXBI Youtube Channel

There are a lot of great vids, and one I for sure think everyone should view, to get a good understanding of AX 2012 and the Reporting Story that exists, is this video: The BI Story for Dynamics AX 2012

A great way to stay in tune for all the latest and greatest from the Dynamics AX BI team, is to subscribe to their channel.

That's all for now, and I owe this new highlight for this great set of resources, from a fellow Sunriser Audra. She is a peer of mine, and a great Dynamics AX expert, so everyone all at once... "Thanks Audra!"

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

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Product Management with Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 - Part III

I hope everyone is doing well today, and that your thankful for having another day. I know I am! With that, we continue to dive into Product Management with expert Brad Edwards. This is part III in the series, you can read the first two here.:

In this next installment, Brad dives into Product Variants release as well as Release Product Management.

Product variant release
Once product variants have been created at the instance level, they must be released to individual companies before transactions may be performed in the respective company.

Variants may be released from any of the Products forms (All, Distinct, Product masters), or from the Product variants form by clicking Release products in the ribbon section of the form. This launches the Release products form:

The user will first select the product variants that they wish to release. This is done in the Product variants section for Product master releases, and the Products grid for Distinct product releases.

NOTE: before Product variants can be released for a Product master product, the Product master must be released. This is performed by checking Include product master in the Product variants section.

The user will then click Select companies.

Here, the user will select each of the companies to which the selected products are to be released, and click OK at the bottom of the form.

Any errors that occur may be viewed on the Open product releases form, accessible from Product information management > Common forms:

The user has the ability to view and infolog for each release issue. Once issues have been resolved, the products may be released directly from this form, or the open releases may be removed.

Released product management
Up to now, we have discussed management of products at the instance level. Users in all companies will see the same records in the Product master forms.

Once products have been released, they can be managed within the individual companies by going to Product information management > Common > Released products. This is the AX 2012 company specific item master. Here, the user will only see products and product variants that have been released to the AX company within which they are currently working. The form looks similar to the products form, but much more information can be stored for each Released product.

Much of the information that was setup at the Product level can also be setup at the Released product level. However, there are several fields which, if setup at the Product level, may NOT be changed at the Released product level. The most notable cases of this type of behavior are the Storage dimension group, and the Tracking dimension group.

As with the Product dimension groups, Storage and Tracking dimension groups specify which dimensions are active for the Released product.

As mentioned earlier in the article, Storage and Tracking dimension groups are not required at the Product level. However, if they are specified on the Product, they will default each Released product, and may NOT be changed at the company level. This means that if Storage dimension group were specified for our testProduct product such that site and warehouse were the only active dimensions, then these settings will apply to all companies in which the product will be used. If it desired to maintain different Storage or Tracking dimensions in different companies, then these fields should be setup for each Released product in their respective companies.

Before Released products can be transacted upon within a company, several additional fields must be setup for the Released product:
  • Item model group

  • Storage dimension group

  • Tracking dimension group

Item model group may be specified by clicking Edit in the ribbons section of the form, and changing the value in the Administration section of the form:

The two dimension groups may be modified by clicking Dimension groups in the ribbons section of the form:

If these three fields are not setup, a user will receive an error if trying to create a transaction for the newly Released product. This, however, is a nice improvement from previous versions of AX, where it was necessary to specify this information upon creation of the product. In actuality, the product designer may have no insight as to:
  • How the Released product should be costed

  • Whether or not physical updates should be posted to the general ledger

  • Which WMS strategy should be used

  • How reservation logic should occur

  • Whether or not the Released product should be lot traceable or serialized

By eliminating the need to specify this information upon product creation, AX has now opened the window for product creation workflow capabilities that did not exist in the past. For example, a possible workflow may be setup such that product managers or engineers design and create the product, accounting specifies the necessary financial information, the warehouse manager specifies the necessary storage dimension group, and the quality manager specifies the necessary tracking dimension group.

One field that was not mentioned in the previous section is the Item group. In AX 2012, Item group may only be specified at the Released product level. However, Item group is no longer a required field. This is a very important change, as it affects the use of inventory posting profiles. While posting profiles still work in the same manner (Table/Group/All), if the Released product does not have an Item group specified, AX will skip the second option, and revert directly to the All items posting profile.

This means that it is very important to consider whether or not an All items posting profile should be used, as it could result in incorrect postings to the ledger. For example, if an All items posting profile is setup to post to the raw materials inventory GL account, and a user fails to specify an Item group for a newly released finished good, transactions will be incorrectly posted to the raw materials account. While this scenario exists in previous versions in the case where a user specified an incorrect Item group, it may be much more likely to occur, as Item group is no longer mandatory.

Now that all required pieces of information have been specified for the Released product, the product may be purchased, inventoried, and sold as defined by all of the specified properties.

Once again, I would like to thank Brad for the continued effort in giving us great insight into what's waiting for us with Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, relating to Product Management.

This shows off the power of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, around Master Data Management (MDM) & Product Data Management (PDM) concepts. All companies need a good plan for this, and it's a very important topic.

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

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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Friday, May 13, 2011

Top 100 List is out for 2011

Well another year, and another DynamicsWorld.co.uk top 100 list has been posted. To see the entire list, you can go to the following link: Microsoft Dynamics Most Influential People Top 100

This year, I have been placed 23rd, one place up from last years 24th. You can read my specific information here.: 23 Brandon George

I get ragged enough about this by my co-workers, this will only increase I'm sure. For what's it's worth, I am very thankful and honored to be listed among those others who work, and go beyond to help build out our Dynamics Ecosystem and Community.

Also, it's most important to point out all those that live and work in this Dynamics Ecosystem. Microsoft, Partners and Customers. So thank you, to everyone who strives to make the business world a better place, with the use of Microsoft Dynamics.

Thanks again!

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Sunrise re-launches with new site!

One thing that I did not get to cover last week was the re-launch of the Sunrise Technologies, Inc. (www.sunriseconsult.com) site.

The marketing team, as well as the executive, sales and even people from the implementation and support teams all pitched in to help with the design, testing, etc. of the new site.

I for one, think it's a great new design, and I encourage you to check it out.

Having a reconized brand is a very important thing, for any company, and a companies home site is a keystone in that brand. I'm proud to be apart of Sunrise, and so I'm proud of our new home on the web.

That's all for now, I just wanted to take the time and give props to the effort and thought that went into the new site.

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

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Product Management with Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 - Part II

I thought I would start back my normal post, with the continued guest posting of Brad Edwards, and a focus on Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, Product Management. You can view the first in this series, located here.: Product Management with Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 - Part I

In the second part of this series, Brad dives into the next section of Product Management, with Product, Tracking & Storage dimensions, as well as more.:

"Another key change coming with AX 2012 is the decoupling of Product dimensions from Storage dimensions and Tracking dimensions. See below:
  • Product dimensions: Color, Size, Configuration

  • Storage dimensions: Site, Warehouse, Location, Pallet ID

  • Tracking dimensions: Batch number, Serial number

Product dimension requirements are now defined for the Product, whereas Storage and Tracking dimension requirements are defined for the Released products.
The Product dimension group defines whether or not each product dimension is active, as well as whether or not they are to be used in the price search for trade agreements.

The Configuration technology field specifies which type of product configuration, if any, will be applied to the newly created product.
  • Predefined variant - This type should be chosen if the product will not be configured, but simply rely on the user’s choice of Color, and/or Size, and/or Configuration for each transaction

  • Dimension-based configuration - This type should be chosen if the user will build a configurable BOM that relies on configuration rules to build the Config ID and the BOM lines. (This technology may only be chosen if Configuration is active on the Product dimension group selected for the product)

  • Rule-based configuration - This type should be chosen if the product will use Product builder

  • Constraint-based configuration - This type should be chosen if the product will use the new AX 2009 Constraint based product configuration method. (This technology may only be chosen if Configuration is active and is the lone Product dimension active for the Product dimension group selected for the product)

NOTE: No functionality around configuration technologies will be discussed in the remainder of the document.

Once all fields have been specified, the user simply clicks OK to create a new Product record. There are now two types of Products records (Product and Product master) that will be discussed further:

NOTE: Two additional menu items are accessible from the main module menu for managing products: Distinct products, and Product masters. These two menu items will respectively direct the user to Products of sub-type Product or Product master, and allow the user to manage these specific sub-types separately from one another, if desired.

Product variant creation and management
A large amount of information may be maintained at the Product master level, including, but not limited to:
  • Product dimensions

  • Images

  • Product categories

  • Product attributes

  • Unit conversions

For Product master products, Product dimensions and Product variants are extremely important. Both may be managed from menu items in the ribbons section of the Products form:

Product dimensions allow the user to define color, size, and configuration values (if active) for the product.

Product variants are the AX 2012 version of Item dimension combination, or unique combinations of color, size, and configuration. These may be created for a product by clicking Product variants from the Products form:

Users may manually create the variants by creating a new record, and selecting the appropriate product dimensions for the variant.

Users still have the option to allow AX to automatically create all possible product variants by selecting the Generate variants automatically checkbox in the product details (by clicking Edit from the Products form):

As noted during product creation, Distinct products do not have product dimensions, and therefore, do not have the ability to create multiple product variants. In fact, a Distinct product is actually, itself, a Product variant."

I would like to thank Brad for his continued efforts in giving us detailed insight into the world of Product Management with Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012.

Stay tuned as I have a lot more coming, including book reviews, interviews, deeper dives into Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, and a lot more... till next time!

Visit Hillstar Business Intelligence (www.HillstarBI.com) in order to truly unlock your data trapped in your Microsoft Dynamics investment. With our value driven business intelligence strategy Hillstar help you transform into a data informed company.

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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Friday, May 06, 2011

Thank You!

It's been over a week now since the horrible storms of last week, reck havoc across the south, and focused heavily on Alabama.

It's been reported as the worst in over 90 years, and the death toll still keeps rising.

Out of the ashes, and through this event, however, I have personally seen and also heard wonderful stories of people giving. Communities coming together to help their fellow man, total strangers giving time, food, money, and most importantly thoughts and prayers.

So for those that can't say this, for those that are affected, and to those that gave in any form or fashion and are still doing so.: Thank You!

Thanks to those first responders that did everything they could to save people, that dung people out from under the rumble and destruction. Thanks, to those that cared, cried, hugged and prayed with us all. Thank you, for those that donated time, money, clothes, food and advice for those that have lost everything. Thank you to the State Troopers, Medics, Doctors, National Guard, Red Cross, and all those trained to help in such situation for being there, and getting setup fast and ready to serve. Thank you to my clients who reached out, as well as the company I work for Sunrise Technologies. All of you, everyone of you that gave and cared, you are the heroes in this story.

In such events, it brings out the best and also the worst in some people. However, from what I have seen first hand, the good far out ways the bad.

So one last time: Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

-Brandon George

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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Monday, May 02, 2011

Recovering from the Storms

I wanted to take the time and update everyone, and my readers on recent events that have affected my family and those people of my community. By now you have heard about the tornado's and storms that passed through last Wed evening.

This left in the wake of it, a path of destruction that has not been seen in over 90+ years in the state of Alabama.

The death toll rises every passing day it seems, and having first hand trying to help those that have lost everything recover what they can, I can state it's like a war zone.

At least, it's how I would picture a war zone, of just totally having people's homes and businesses wiped out.

My parent were directly hit, and have lost everything, with their house, their store, etc. We worked non-stop for several days in trying to recover what we could. End up, we got a lot more than we thought we could ever find.

The positive note, they are ok, and of course I welcome everyone, if you have or have not already, stop and pray for those affected. You don't know how much it means when you do such an act.

I would like to thank everyone for the outpouring of support during this time. I will try to get back to a normal routine of posted soon, but don't expect anything this week.

If you want to help, donate to the red cross.: Red Cross for Alabama, Tonado's 2011 relief effort.

They were on the ground right away and have been a huge help, non-stop caring and giving.

In times like this, you get caught up in all that is going on, lost, and just overwhelmed with taking everything in and trying to digest it all. What's important is that this could have been a lot worse, and we could have lost a lot more people. It's sad for those that have lost, but it's important that we rebuild that which was destoryed, in honor of those that we did loose.

That's all for now...

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