Dynamics AX
  RSS Feed  LinkedIn  Twitter
Want to turn you're data into a true asset? Ready to break free from the report factory?
Ready to gain true insights that are action focused for truly data informed decisions?
Want to do all of this across mutliple companies, instances of Dynamics and your other investments?
Hillstar Business Intelligence is the answer then! (www.HillstarBI.com)

Hillstar Business Intelligence for Microsoft Dynamics AX and NAV on Mobile, Desktop, Tablet

Let us prove to you how we can take the complexity out of the schema and truly enable users to answer the needed questions to run your business! Visit Hillstar Business Solutions at: www.HillstarBI.com

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween - 2012!

Well here we are, finding ourselves on yet another All Hallows Eve! Happy Halloween everyone! For me intent means everything, and this is why Halloween is a fun time of year. As in the past, today's post is a recap of this months Freaky Tech Friday series. I really do enjoy trying to mix in the theme's of Halloween, with some value added focuses. It's good to try and be creative, and further help lighten the mood. We all work so hard in this Ecosystem, and so it's good to not take yourself so seriously, laugh, and enjoy the days we have been blessed with.

With that the following frighten list is the full representation of this year's Freaky Tech Friday's!

I do hope you have enjoyed this year's series of post. Further may you have fun with your family and friends today, no matter what you call it, or how you participate. Till Next Time!

Follow Me @:
RSS Feed  LinkedIn  Twitter

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

AX 2012, SQL Server 2012 & AlwaysOn - Issue with AOS Install

I wanted to spend a little time today talking about a specific setup issue I recently encountered with a client in setting up Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 with SQL Server 2012 AlwaysOn technology. The focus around SQL Server 2012, AlwaysOn technology is around enabling an active-active high availability options for AX customers. You can find out more about this, here.: AX 2012 - New High Availability Options with SQL Server 2012

This is a very interesting issue actually, one that does not have much public coverage yet it would seem. Actually not sure what the combination of setup & settings that causes such a state, however this is an issue directly related to setting up an AOS that points to the Virtual Name of a Synchronous SQL Server 2012 - AlwaysOn Active-Active node.

What we run into is, the AOS reports as if the install took place. However in looking at the setup log, you will see something similar to the following.:

"Granting AOS account access to database [DatabaseName] on server [Virtual SQL Server Name.]


Component installation task stopped due to an error.


The network path was not found.


System.IO.IOException: The network path was not found.


Now, the above is not the full error message at all, but it is the keywords that most people would search on, to reach this post - and therefore reach the solution!. When faced with this scenario, it would seem the issue is the installation program running into an issue with the resolution of the Virtual SQL Server 2012 name, to the current primary node of the AlwaysOn Group for the Dynamics AX 2012 Database.

The path around this issue, at least at the time of this writing is to target the node name of the primary SQL Server 2012 instance, for the AX 2012 database. This targeting should be as part of the install process when selecting which SQL Server, and corresponding database in which the AOS should connect to. In doing this, you can then have a successful install of your new AOS.

After having a successful run at installing your new Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 AOS, you can now use the server configuration utility, specify the virtual SQL Server 2012 name, restart the AOS and everything should be working correctly.

There is a community post about a similar issue to this, in error reported from the installation process. You can find that here.: AOS installation issue (Remote Registry service). As the name states, this was directly related to the Remote Registry Service of the targeted SQL Server box not running. This could be the issue your facing, if your not trying to use AlwaysOn for SQL Server 2012, and get the above type errors.

Finally, let me add a recently updated Microsoft TechNet article on supported SQL Server topology for AX 2012.: (TechNet) SQL Server topology [AX 2012]. Here we can see the supported scenario's, in which the Synchronous for SQL Server 2012 is one of those. I do also welcome any further feedback, and specific details if anyone has anything else to add to this topic. At the very least you can use the above to be able to easily get past such installation woes, but still use the desired SQL Server 2012 topology.

Well that's all I have for this post, check back soon as a whole lot more to come, including more focuses around Putting your data to work for you while driving towards Creating Systems of Engagement with Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012! 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.

Follow Me @:
RSS Feed  LinkedIn  Twitter

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

Friday, October 26, 2012

Freaky Tech Friday - Attack of the Resource Vampires

Welcome back Ghouls & Ghost, for this year's Shock-tober final fray into Freaky Tech Friday's! For those are still with us, you are the lucky souls who have traveled along the dark and twisted path. I end this years haunting season with a tale that strikes at the heart of many Microsoft Dynamics AX implementations. What I speak too is Attack of the Resource Vampires!

These resource sucking entities creep into existence, sometimes slowly, and sometimes right away in an instance of AX. They start with a focus around performance degrading as more and more processes are spun up for a customer. Those unknowing, slowly loose their ability to respond fast to process needs. Reports start to creep with on-set of early aging - as it would appear at least.

The major attack for these creepy creatures is typically a customers Microsoft SQL Server Database. This is the heart of performance, and like any good vampire, resource vampires always go for the heart. It's where the life blood flows...

Fear not though, young AX travelers as there is remedy for this lifeless state one might find their instance of AX in. There is hope for battling back the waves and waves of complaints from end users, as the processes & reports they so dearly need, dwindle into performance nightmares.

In order to fight back the unholy horde of resource sucking vampires, one must be armed with the right knowledge and correct tools. The sacred text tells us that the focus must first be on your SQL Server for getting the most out of your AX Investment from a performance perspective. There is a guide to this, once that applies to AX 2009 as well as AX 2012. You may find access to this guide, to the first step into performance enlightenment here.: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 White Paper: Planning Database Configuration. Keep in mind this applies, the same level of needs, no matter virtual or physical.

The idea is to attack the resource vampires foothold, with correct TempDB file settings, having create Disk I/O for Transaction Log commits, and enough RAM to load your entire DB - if possible. Further and beyond that is a focus on indexes. After having your SQL Server set in order, ready to fight, the next level the resource vampires move into is the indexes. They latch onto queries that execute and cause either full table scans or Clustered Index Scans. Both are costly and both can be addressed with equal levels of success. The focus here is around having the concept of "coverage indexes", that is an index that covers the where clause of your queries for the business logic and reports that execute them.

After this the resource vampires start to feel the pressure as your performance story starts to take a turn for the better, instead of one for the worse. Here is where those ugly resource sucking creatures dig in, and latch themselves onto poorly wrote code. We all have sinned in such ways, creating nested while selects that make multiple trips to the database.

The way out from this painful plight is to endure an analysis of the processes being reported as slow, and trace through the code that represents said processes. Find the resource vampires hiding in those nested while selects, or where clauses that have no coverage index. Then address them head on! Take them out, by changing the nested while selects to more complex joins, that reduce the result set being sent from the SQL Server to the end user.

There are other area's that one can look to totally eradicate the evil entities, but the above should be the majority focus for gaining ground and taking control of your instance of AX. Beyond the Server, Database, Indexes and code - sometimes the process has to be reconsidered for desired speed.

Well Ghouls & Ghost, take this warning about resource vampires to heart, and arm yourself's with the knowledge found above to fight back! Further you can download from InformationSource the IDMF tool, that helps with the on-going fight of battling these monters. Further a final warning on this, always stay vigilent in your efforts as performance tuning is a dynamic, on-going process. Let it slip, and before long your knee deep back into resource sucking vampires everywhere you turn!

I hop you have enjoyed this season's gruesome tales of Freaky Tech Friday's! I will leave you with what I looked like after have falling, and becoming a conference zombie. Be warned, the following picture shows the shadow of the man I once was, just before departing for Seattle.

Follow Me @:
RSS Feed  LinkedIn  Twitter

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2 - VM CTP Released

Welcome everyone to another great day in the Dynamics Ecosystem. Either your starting your day, half way through, or well into wrapping it up! Either way I hope it's filled with value added specifics around Microsoft Dynamics!

For those of you who where not able to attend the Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2 Technical Conference you maybe wondering where you can get your hands on this soon to be released on Dec 1st version of AX? Where can you experience all the great things being discussed, like I pointed to a few items in my highlight post here.: AX 2012 R2 & Data Migration Framework Updates.

Well now if you have access to InformationSource then you now have access to a VM image of AX 2012 R2!

This VM of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2 containes SQL Server 2012, SharePoint 2010, Office 2010, and has retail turned on and ready for use. With it you can experience and work with some of the items being highlighted, like PowerView native web parts that can mash together internal to AX and external to AX datasources. Further, you can take the new AX 2012 R2 LINQ provider for a spin and see it's value and use with your own specific needs.

I highly recommend downloading this. It's the first option under Services when you launch into InformationSource.

Well that is all for this highlight. Make sure to check back soon, including tomorrow, as well step back into Freaky Tech Friday!Till Next Time!
Follow Me @:
RSS Feed  LinkedIn  Twitter

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Microsoft Dynamics Help & Resources Spotlight

While at AXUG Summit this year, one of the more interesting fact that I realized was the lack of knowledge about resources like InformationSource. Further I meet with the Dynamics Content team, including Mark & Margo from Microsoft. In visiting with them a very handy guide was presented, and I understand now Margo presented at the Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2 Technical Conference that is taking place right now.

I wanted to make sure and get this information about, and to help with this the content team put together a great white paper that helps guide one through the resources that are available. You can access the great white paper from the following location.: Help and Resources Datasheet for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012

We can see that the sites published and coming together from the content team, are split into different phase's, and use's. How each is meant to enable the total spectrum of needed content, how-to's, help and more.

Being a long standing contributor to the body knowledge that is represented in the Dynamics Ecosystem,it's a night & day difference from Microsoft on valid, valuable content. When I first started writing about Microsoft Dynamics AX (Axapta) there was not a lot out there. Now we have a very dynamic, excuse the pun, set of resources that truly help us enable value added, and timely answers to those burning project questions.

Make sure to check out each site, noting their purpose and expected level of content. If you have never, for example visited InformationSource, add it to your to do list for today! Well that's all I have for this post, check back soon as we continue to focus on BI - creating Systems of Engagement with Microsoft Dynamics AX, AX 2012 R2 and more! Till Next Time!
Follow Me @:
RSS Feed  LinkedIn  Twitter

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Monday, October 22, 2012

AX 2012 R2 & Data Migration Framework Updates

Well I hope that this post finds everyone well rested from last weeks event, knee deep into the AX 2012 R2 Technical conference, and working on Dynamics AX projects! There is a lot to talk about this week, so I thought I would do a kick off post around Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2 as well as the newly updated Data Migration Framework.

First up lets focus on the latter and move into the great new improvements coming as part of AX 2012 R2. There is a great write up from Microsoft on the newly released DMF, which can be found here.: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Data Migration Framework Beta 2.0 is now available on Information source

From the post.:
"Besides the already rich feature set, some of the key new features which have been added in this release are below -
  • ODBC as Source – with this it is possible to import data using ODBC.
  • AX as Source – It supports export/import , copy company for Data migration Framework entities.
  • New entity types – Direct Table and Composite Entity.
  • Parallel execution support from Staging to Target.
  • Service Interface – DMF can be executed by external applications.
  • Error handling enhancements – skipping error rows, and detailed logs.
  • Number sequence support.
  • Removed requirement to install SSIS on AOS.

We can see with the above that the DMF has really increased in it's level of usability. Microsoft is obviously listening to the feedback from those that have tried their respective hands and dove into the current release, building up to what we now see out on InformationSource.

I will cover as more updates are released, including walking through the new version soon myself. Moving right along lets focus now on the on-going Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2 Tech Conference happening all this week.

I'm actually not able to attend, but have been looking and working with AX 2012 R2 for the past few months now. The following is a list of architecture, technical and BI related updates that I would like to give highlights of.:
Data Partitioning in AX 2012 R2 - This is a very interesting move, and one that will further add for support of options when thinking in terms of scale for larger organizations. In short this new concept works as another container option, or segregation option for legal entities. You can now have a spectrum of single instance, to single instance with partitioning, to multiple instance options. Each bringing their own pro's & con's to the table. A great write up already exist about this concept which can be found here.: To share or not to share… Data Partitioning in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2

LINQ Provider for AX 2012 R2 - Here we see Microsoft enabling deeper native access to AX, and the Entity Data Model concept with giving us a managed code LINQ provider for AX 2012 R2. This will further enable and allow the consumption of AX 2012 Business Logic and Entity's (think abstraction of tables here) for greater use from the outside world. A great write up on this topic can be found here.: Code Example: LINQ to AX from C# [AX 2012]

Business Intelligence Improvements for AX 2012 R2 - Microsoft has further made improvements around it's stack offering, the BI elements out-of-the-box with AX 2012 R2. As I pointed out, AX 2012 means you have a BI solution. This is further enabled through the usage of native web parts for PowerView elements, to be placed and used on Role Center pages with the release of AX 2012 R2. Further improvements around BI is more built in KPI's, as well as three new cubes. One of those being that of a new Inventory Cube.

All-in-all there is a lot to cover, dive into and talk about with this new update. What I list above is just the tip of the iceberg. There is deep functional net gains across the board, more localization's like China, as well as very deep functional offerings for Human Capital Management (HCM) for everyone!

That's all I have for this post, check back soon as we dive deeper into these new offerings, and cover the details coming out of the on-going tech conference. 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.

Follow Me @:
RSS Feed  LinkedIn  Twitter

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

Friday, October 19, 2012

Freaky Tech Friday - Invasion of the Conference Zombie's

Welcome back Ghouls & Ghost to another gruesome tale, from the world of Freaky Tech Friday! Today's I will guide you through the Invasion of the Conference Zombie's.

It's such a seemingly subtle process at first really, that of one becoming a conference zombie. Hordes just do not appear from no where, there is a point, in which the scale of infection, creates such hordes as the one pictured above.

It's starts with the arrival to the location, like that of Seattle for this years AXUG Summit. Fresh, ready to go, attending, speaking, sharing and learning. Day one comes and goes, and this is when the infection strikes. It's within the after hours of the normal days process, that first party or after event that we see the creation of our patient zero zombie.

Alcohol, the partaking of spirits magnifies the virus and starts to spread like laughter in a nitrous-oxide plant. The on set is not even noticed, and the unknowing, moving towards the undead continue down the dark path.

Day two arrives, with the blast of the alarm clock, aching feet, heads - and for those speaking the beginning stages of lost voice. This second day is the real acceleration from the living to the Conference Zombie transformation. The action of non-stop sessions, brain retching information, and constant value added connections brings on the full cycle of the Conference Zombie.

Night falls, and are now weary - near drooling shadow of what was once a human only 72 hours earlier, shuffles along, following others of the similar fate as he to yet again try and drown the pain of the process with consumption of beer, wine and whatever drink of choice our now Zombie craves.

All only increase the affects, and at this stage nothing can fill the hunger. "Value! Value! Must seek Value from Conference... ARRGGAGAH!"

Next day arrives, and the body shuffles from bed, to shower, to keynote, to session after session after session. Some totally lose the ability to recognize their fellow Zombie's. Brain functions slowly diminish, and what information and knowledge was gained slips back into the void where our Zombie now calls it's home.

To top this off, this year is even more terrifying as there is yet another value added conference back-to-back, that of the Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2 Tech Conference. This will surely unleash on the world even more conference Zombie. For those poor souls that made the choice of attending both - there is no hope for them to ever recover and return back to the land of the living.

How does one avoid this tragic ending? How does one stay on the straight and narrow. Unlike other past stories from Freaky Tech Friday this one has no redeeming message to share. All hope is lost! The only fact that gives comfort is your not alone, and you can continue to Share, Connect & Learn with your fellow Conference Zombie's till the end of time!

Even those smart patrons of such events, who stay away from the flow of liquid courage - they too fall prey to this sad state and add to the onslaught which is The Invasion of the Conference Zombie's

That's all for this weeks frighten tale. If your one of the lucky Zombie who can still read, and have some form of thought after attending this event and dare to venture back, make sure to check out next Friday's tale as we return for more ghoulish gore in Freaky Tech Friday's!
Follow Me @:
RSS Feed  LinkedIn  Twitter

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Copyright 2005-2011, J. Brandon George - All rights Reserved