New Blog On Microsoft Dynamics 365, Subscribe and Stay tuned for updates

New Blog On Microsoft Dynamics 365, Subscribe and Stay tuned for updates

Hey Folks,

I know most of us are probably gearing up for the AXUG summit next week and are eager to get the first look at Microsoft Dynamics 365 on OCT 11, at 11.30 AM PST. Dynamics 365 is the new Cloud ERP, CRM, Marketing and Business Apps Bundle from Microsoft.

Check out this new blog page dedicated for Dynamics 365. Hope you find it useful and informative. Subscribe to the blog and stay tuned for updates on Dynamics 365 !

Blog URL: https://dynamics365.wordpress.com/

Dynamics 365 Blog

Best,

Sandeep

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Dynamics AX Tip: How to control Personalization options for specific users in the New Dynamics AX

Dynamics AX Tip: How to control Personalization options for specific users in the New Dynamics AX

The Personalization options has been a very widely used feature, which is powerful and has always allowed users to personalize various screens based on what they would like the screens to look like. You can learn more on the Personalization options in the New Dynamics AX on my earlier post.

While this is a great feature to allow every users to be able to personalize screens, it is sometimes required to disable this option or even give some users explicit personalization options for certain users, based on what type of users of the system they are.

For example, let us say you are configuring a vendor(External) user in your Dynamics AX environment, to provide them access to the Vendor portal, but you obviously do not want to them to be able to personalize screens to add any data fields which you do not want them to see.

The vendor user is setup as shown below, with Vendor (External) security role.

vendor-user

In the new Dynamics AX, you can control user specific personalization options under System Administration > Setup > Personalization. All you have to do is, select the specific user ID and UNMARK the Personalization allowed checkbox.

personalization-setup

With this, when the vendor user logs into the Vendor Portal, they will not see the Personalize this form option.

personalization-setup-dis

If the Personalization was allowed for this user, they would see this option as shown in screenshot below.

personalization-yes

Cheers !!

Sandeep

Sneak Peek into Mobile Applications Framework of New Dynamics AX/Dynamics 365 For Operations

Sneak Peek into Mobile Applications Framework of New Dynamics AX/Dynamics 365 For Operations

“Can I enter my time and expenses on the go, when I am at an airport, or in a flight” ?

“Can I do my daily tasks of work while I am on the go “?

“Can I inquire the status of a sales order and take some basic action on it, or even add a new customer contact when I am meeting a customer”.

These are probably some of the very common questions we hear from users and customers who are either using an ERP or looking to implement an ERP for their organization. In today’s mobile first cloud first era, it is vital that the users of an ERP system remain productive regardless of their location, the computing device they use. They should be able to complete the key functions of their daily tasks “Anytime, anywhere”.

So what is the story of Mobile applications for Microsoft Dynamics AX ERP, which is the main Operations component of Dynamics 365 Enterprise edition ? Well, traditionally till the AX 2012 R 3 release of Dynamics AX, the mobile applications platform (Windows, iOS and Android) existed and supported basic mobile scenarios, but they were not very significant and the framework had limitations obviously.

Now with the release of the New Dynamics AX (Still widely known as AX 7 among the community), the whole scenario of Mobile applications is going to take a HUGE leap in terms of the quality, usage, configurability, capabilities and more.

SOME KEY HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NEW MOBILE APPS FRAMEWORK:

  1. Support for full Offline/intermittent connectivity mode. You can interact with Dynamics AX even when you are not connected to the internet !!
  2. Inherits of all key artifacts of Dynamics AX (Such as Security, labels and more).
  3. Front end “Mobile experience designer” within AX client, to develop mobile screens/apps with literally less or no coding needed.
  4. Deploy these app experiences to the common mobile app present in Windows Store, App Store(iOS) and Play store (Android).
  5. There is no limit for the mobile app to certain functional areas only like time and expense. It can be used literally for any operational area of Dynamics AX from sales to warehouse and accounting. Very Powerful !!!!!
  6. Microsoft will release several mobile apps out of the box when this framework releases this fall (Around November 2016).
  7. Dynamics Partners will be able to create specific business apps and publish those to app source for consumption.
  8. Will take full advantage of smart phone features like GPS, Maps, Camera and more.
  9. While most of the apps and features will be available out of the box, if you need to make your apps more fancy (Like changing he UI, adding a file upload interface, or some real-time validation in the mobile client), you can do them by writing your own java script.

The 2 significant components of this new mobile applications framework are as follows.

  1. The actual mobile app for Windows store, App Store and Play store. This common app is still in beta testing and not available for public preview yet. I don’t have access to the preview version unfortunately.
  2. The Mobile Experience Designer within Dynamics AX. This is the component I will provide sneak peek into in today’s post. Using this, you can create and configure the mobile application workspaces for different areas of AX the way you want it.

If you have deployed the recent Update 2 release of Dynamics AX that came out in August 2016, then you can access the Mobile experience designer within AX and see what it is all about. Let us take quick ride on this.

  • Launch Dynamics AX  in your browser.
  • After that, Open the Settings menu and you will notice a new menu option called “Mobile Apps”.

mobile-app-menu

  • Click the Mobile Apps option to load the designer experience.

mobile-app-workspace

  • Now, you can create your mobile workspace for any functional area you want. Let us say we want to create a mobile app/workspace for the Projects.
  • Click Add and give a name and description for the app/workspace. You can also select a color for the workspace as well as a default icon (Which is how it will appear in the mobile app).

new-workspace

  • Next, we will add a new page to the to app. This is the page which will appear when user launches the app/workspace in the mobile app. Click Add Page and provide a page title and description.

add-pages

  • Click Select fields button to select the data fields you want to show on this page.

select-fields

  • As soon as you do this, system will automatically prompt the data fields that you can simply select to add to the page. In this case lets add Project ID, Name, Customer Name, Project type and Project stage. Just click the + icon on each field to add them to the page.

select-fields-details

  • Now, click Done when you are done adding all the fields you need.

done

  • Go back to the main page now and you can add ACTIONS on this page if you want. Under action if click add actions and perform all the tasks such as save, submit, edit etc. on a specific form, system automatically record them and present the action in form of a button in the app.

actions

  • Under the CODE tab, You can add custom code (Java script) for additional fancy customizations (such as  UI changes, validation in mobile client and more).
  • Finally , when done, click Done and You will see option to publish this workspace to the mobile app. As soon as this is done, you will start seeing it in the mobile app when you login to the app in your smart phone or tablet.

publish

I am not able to show how this all will actually look on the actual Mobile app on the Windows/iOS/Android smart phone or tablet, since I do not have access to the beta release of the apps and it is yet to be released for public preview. Expect the apps to be available for public preview around November 2016 timeframe, when the Update 3 for Dynamics AX comes out. However, below are some sample screenshots on how the ultimate apps may look like (This is subjected to change when it releases for public preview).

mobile-app-sneak-peak

With that said, one final note to mention. If you have explored the Microsoft PowerApps and Common Data model, which are 2 of the significant components of Dynamics 365, you might be wondering if I can build a mobile application using PowerApps, then how is this built-in mobile apps framework of AX different from that ! Well, the answer is,

  • If you are looking at extending Dynamics AX functions to mobile devices and build native mobile app experiences for those functions, you would use the built-in mobile app extensibility framework, which we just discussed above.
  • However, if you are looking for building a solution that needs to span multiple services, such as Office 365, CRM and other non-Dynamics AX services, you would use Microsoft powerApps and the new Common Data model, to build your mobile apps. You can read my blog posts on “How to build mobile apps using common data model and Microsoft PowerApps” for more information.

I hope this post will give you some idea where the mobile app story for Dynamics AX and Dynamics 365 is headed in the future and the tremendous potential it has to unlock new scenarios of mobile capabilities of a high quality enterprise ERP software, which is Dynamics 365 (Enterprise edition) and Dynamics AX.

Stay tuned for more updates soon!!

Regards,

Sandeep

Dynamics AX Tip: Interact with Dynamics AX Data using Microsoft Excel Online (Office 365)

Dynamics AX Tip: Interact with Dynamics AX Data using Microsoft Excel Online (Office 365)

In AX 2012 release, the Excel Add-in feature introduced additional productivity options and made it easy for end users to interact with Dynamics AX data from within Excel. This feature worked great in many scenarios, but it did not provide that seamless productivity experience for the user, as they had to launch the Excel On Premise app (Win32 app) and then had to connect to the AOS to select tables and data fields to be able to interact with the data. This required the end users to have certain knowledge of the tables/database to complete data exchange tasks with Dynamics.

With the New Dynamics AX (AX 7), the Office Integration framework introduced significant changes in the underlying framework by launching the new ” Excel Data Connector App”. The Excel Data connector app interacts with your Excel workbooks with Dynamics AX OData Services (For publicly Exposed Data Entities) and this made it possible for Excel to become a seamless part of the user experience in Dynamics AX.

Most of us probably know by now how the “Open in Excel” experience works in the new Dynamics AX, where you can launch your data (For example a journal entry) into an Excel On Premise app (Win32 app) with just one click. Once the excel app launches, you can sync data, make updates, add or delete data. The screenshot below shows this experience in the new Dynamics AX.

Open in Excel

Excel Launched

In the New Dynamics AX, it is also possible to open the Dynamics AX data in the Excel ONLINE version (Office 365) in case you do not have the Excel On premise(win32) app installed. The only thing you have to do differently is as follows.

After you click the Office Integration icon > Open in Excel, select Save To > SharePoint.

Save to sharepoint

Then select the SharePoint location (Document library) and Mark the Open file after save option and click Save button.

Save to sharepoint Open

Notice that the Journal entry will now open in Microsoft Excel Online and the Excel data connector app will run in an embedded experience within your browser(Built using Office web add-in framework).

Opened in Excel Online

From here on you still have the same user experience as you would see when dong it in an Excel On premise app. This will come handy in cases where you are away from your desk and using a device that does not have the native Excel on premise app installed. You still have full power of Excel and exchange data with Dynamics AX.

That’s it for today’s quick tip.

Regards,

Sandeep

Dynamics AX Tip: Percentage complete calculation for revenue recognition, based on WBS Work Percentage Complete for fixed price projects

Dynamics AX Tip: Percentage complete calculation for revenue recognition, based on WBS Work Percentage Complete for fixed price projects

Traditionally, the 2 primary methods of revenue recognition for a fixed price project were the “Completed Percentage” and the “Completed Contract” methods. I have explained how these work in Dynamics AX for revenue recognition of fixed price projects in my earlier posts.

With the AX 2012 R3 release (CU 10), the straight line method for revenue recognition was introduced, which I also elaborated in this earlier post.

When you work with the Completed percentage method of revenue recognition, there are multiple ways to determine the percentage completion of a project. Some of these options are,

  1. Manage percentage completion on a manual basis
  2. Use project budgets or forecasts to the system automatically keep track of % complete.
  3. The new method to calculate % completion on a project is based on the WBS percent complete. In this quick post, we will how this works.

The first step for this is to setup the Cost template and select the Completion based on as “Work percentage complete”. See screenshot below.

Cost Template Setup

Once you have that, associate it with the project group. See screenshot below.

Project Group

The next step is to setup the fixed price project and establish the project plan, which is basically the work breakdown structure. Once you have your WBS defined and the cost estimates established, Dynamics AX will automatically keep track of the “Percentage completion” for the project based on the WBS estimates vs the actual transactions. I have setup a very basic WBS for this walkthrough.

WBS

After I have progressed in the project and transactions (Timesheets, Expense reports, Purchase orders, journals etc.), Dynamics AX automatically starts tracking the % complete for the project at each task level of the project. See screenshot below.

Percent Complete

Let us say, at this point you are ready to run the revenue recognition for this project for the Month of August 2016.

Navigate to the Project revenue recognition screen and click Create. You will notice here that “Work progress percentage” is a new option under the “Cost to complete method” dropdown. But we will just leave it as default (From cost template).

Notice that after we have run the revenue recognition, system automatically shows the Percentage completion based on the WBS work percent complete.

Revenue Recognition Percentage

The process after this is pretty straight forward and as you would run the revenue recognition typically for the fixed price project.

NOTE: The intention of this blog post was not to explain the end to end process of revenue recognition for fixed price projects. I have explained these in detail in my earlier posts. This post was specifically a quick tip to highlight the new method of automatic work percent complete calculation.

Adding LinkedIn Content Feeds into Dynamics AX Workspaces

Adding LinkedIn Content Feeds into Dynamics AX Workspaces

Social media today (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Yammer and more) are probably the most important as well as primary source, for one to stay up to date on news , information, updates on what is happening the professional world. Viewing and managing these social media feeds and social media intelligence right in your ERP on which your users spend most of their time on a workday, can open up tremendous new ways of approaching to work for those users and will also help them in certain business decision makings sometimes. That is not the end of it !

In the post below, Murray Fife explains how to make sense of adding and managing these feeds in the Dynamics AX workspaces. A good read!! Thank you Murray.

With Update 1 of Microsoft Dynamics, a new feature was introduced which allowed us to inject social feeds into the Workspaces. Initially this was just for Yammer and Twitter, but with Update 2, LinkedIn was also added as additional feed options, allowing us to add tiles for User Profiles, Company Profiles, Company Insider information and […]

via Adding LinkedIn Content Feeds into Dynamics Workspaces — A Tinkerers Notebook

Check out what is New in Update 2(August 2016 release) for the New Dynamics AX

Check out what is New in Update 2(August 2016 release) for the New Dynamics AX

The Update 2 (August 2016) release for the New Dynamics AX (AX 7) is now available for download in LCS.  Checkout what is new in this release at the URL below and learn how you can benefit from these enhancements.

https://ax.help.dynamics.com/en/wiki/whats-new-or-changed-in-dynamics-ax-platform-version-7-2-august-2016/