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/

How to create a new Workspace with no coding needed in New Dynamics AX(AX 7)

How to create a new Workspace with no coding needed in New Dynamics AX(AX 7)

If you have worked enough on the New Dynamics AX , you must be well aware of the new Workspaces feature by now. The workspaces are basically an aggregation of several business tasks, insights, reporting and dashboards that a business user deals with on a typical work day. These workspaces comes in really handy for end users by providing everything they need to execute their daily tasks, all at one central location, so that they can become more productive and save time to focus on important things.

Workspaces probably are one of the most liked and talked about features of the New Dynamics AX among users, customers and prospects. Some of the examples of the workspaces are ” Financial Period Close”, “Employee Self Service“, “Manager Self Service“, “Project Management“, “Cost Administration” and more.

Standard Dynamics AX already provides several workspaces out-of-the-box for most of the operational areas and departments of your business(Shown in screenshot below), but there might be specific cases where you might want to create customized workspace of your own to meet your requirements. With the release of Update 1 for Dynamics AX in May 2016, you can now create and build your own workspaces without requiring a developer or any sort of coding. Let us see the steps involved in doing this.

 All Workspaces Dynamics AX

Create a new Workspace in Dynamics AX:

  • On the main landing page of workspaces, right click anywhere on the blank area and click Personalize > Tile page container.

TilePageContainer

  • You will notice a new pop-up menu wit several options.
  • Click Add a workspace button.

Add A workspace

  • Come back to the main landing page and notice that a new workspace with a default name “My workspace 1″ will be added. Right click on this new workspace and click Personalize > My workspace 1.

My workspace 1 Personalize

  • Let us now rename this workspace. Let’s say we are creating a new workspace for Fixed Assets Management, which is not available in standard AX yet.

Rename a workspace

  • The next step is to add the different components of this workspace to make it look complete. Let us first add a few live tiles. Navigate to the Fixes Assets Module and go the list pages which you want to add to the workspace. In this case I will add a few of the list pages. On the list page, click OPTIONS > Add to workspace and select the newly created workspace, and click Configure.

Add to workspace

  • Continue the same for the remaining live tiles you want to add. At the end of adding all the tiles, your new workspace will look something like below.

Workspace Tiles

  • Let us now add a few List items on this workspace. Navigate to the “Fixed Assets Transactions” form and click OPTIONS > Add to workspace button. Select the Presentation as List this time.

Add list items

Field List

  • Repeat the same process to add all the lists you want on the workspace. At the end of it, your workspace will look something like below.

Workspace List Tile

  • Next step would be to add the option of adding/removing Power BI tiles for dashboards and reports. Navigate into the new workspace and click Options > Personalize this form. On the Personalization pane, click the Add button and mark “Allow Power BI Control”.

Add Power BI Tile

Add Power BI Tile 1

  • At the end of adding the Power BI tiles option, your workspace should look something like below.

Add Power BI Tile 3

Add PBI Tile

  • The last type of element that you typically add on a workspace is quick links to different menus and reports etc. You can do this by Personalizing the workspace and add the menu Presentation as Link this time.

Add Links

Links

That was all I had for this blog post. The workspaces framework in the New Dynamics AX will evolve for sure with lot of new exciting new possibilities in the upcoming releases. Stay tuned for more..

Regards,
Sandeep

 

MasterCard partners with Microsoft to streamline secured online payments in Dynamics AX ERP

MasterCard partners with Microsoft to streamline secured online payments in Dynamics AX ERP

Today MasterCard announced the integration of it’s “Simplify Commerce” solution, a cloud based payments platform, with Microsoft Dynamics AX ERP solution.

Existing and future customers of Dynamics AX can now take advantage of this to streamline their online and call center payments and will get access to one system that connects their end to end planning with online commercial sales.

Read more on the news HERE.

Regards,

Sandeep

Financial Period Closing in the New Dynamics AX(AX 7) – Get real time status, Be more productive, Close faster

Financial Period Closing in the New Dynamics AX(AX 7) – Get real time status, Be more productive, Close faster

Financial Period Close is probably one of the most important task that the Corporate Accounting team of your organization spends most time accomplishing. Accounting Managers of your organization spend tons of time in creating and assigning various tasks needed to close financial periods and always end up tracking status manually in MS Project, MS Excel or by other means. Today your Financial Period Close and status tracking probably looks something like below.

Fiscal Period Closing Status - Excel

With this, you are not able to,

  • Know who is working on what task and when are going to complete it.
  • How much percentage the closing tasks are complete by operational area.
  • Who is having how much tasks remaining to be completed.
  • Know real time status of closing across all legal entities of the organization.

In today’s post, we will discuss the details of one of the workspaces of the New Dynamics AX, which is the Financial Period Close workspace and see how it can help you be more productive, track status in real time and close periods faster.

Workspaces in the New Dynamics AX are a new way of helping your users gain and do more in the ERP, all at one central location. The dedicated workspace for Financial Period Closing also intends to do the same and help your accounting team stay on top of their tasks for period close and get real time status updates at any time, so that they can act and escalate on delayed tasks.

Let us first see some of the insights into the some of the underlying setups before we discuss the workspace.

Configure Financial Period Closing:

  • Under General Ledger Module > Period Close , navigate to Financial Period Close configuration form.
  • Under the Closing roles tab, create period closing roles as per requirement of you organization. Note that these roles are specific to financial period closing and does not relate in anyways to AX Security roles. These are only required from the Financial Period Closing perspective.

Closing Roles

  • Under the Resources tab, define/select the employees from your employee master, who needs to be involved in the Financial Period closing process. Also you can set “What they will see when they go to the Financial Period Close workspace”. Additionally you can assign one or more closing roles of each of these resources.

Resources

  • Under the Task areas, define the different areas of the tasks for financial period closing. These task areas will be ideally your different areas such as AR, AP, Bank, Fixed Assets, GL, Inventory etc.

Task Areas

  • Under the Calendars tab, configure and set the calendar for scheduling the tasks of Financial Period Closing. Note that these calendars are different than the organization and resource calendars.

Calendars

  • Under Templates tab, create the List of tasks from scratch or from an exiting template. This is your master list of tasks that needs to be executed to complete the Financial Period Closing process. You can set up the Task description, which area it belongs to, when is it due (before the end date of the closing schedule).
  • Then assign each task to a Closing role (Which is linked to employees or resources) and select the Legal entities you want the tasks to be applicable for. Additionally, you can also setup dependencies between tasks and also set direct links to different forms of AX to complete the tasks.

Task List

  • Finally, create your financial period close schedule, select the start and end dates, the calendar applicable for it.

Closing Schedule

Now that we have gone though the setups and configurations, let us see how the Financial Period Closing workspace looks for an employee who is with certain closing roles and see how they can interact with the workspace in completing their daily tasks for period closing.

Arnie who plays the role of AR and AP clerk in the closing process, navigates to the Financial Period Closing workspace.

  • On this workspace, she gets to see filtered and actionable data for her task list in live tiles. She can she how many of her tasks are past due, how many tasks pending to be completed today, how many tasks of her blocked due to incomplete dependent tasks by others and all remaining tasks.

Task List Arnie Live Tiles

  • She also see the Task list that are assigned to her. For each of the tasks, she sees the due date, dependency and most importantly she can navigate to the destination form directly if needed by simply clicking on the task and take required action. For example she can click the Post Free text invoices task to directly launch the Free text invoices form.
  • Once she completes the task, she marks the task as Complete by marking the Completed checkbox.

Task List Details

Let us now see how the workspace looks like for an Accounting Manager, who is managing the status of the Financial Period Close process for multiple entities.

When Phyllis Harris, the Accounting Manager navigates to the workspace, she gets to see real time status updates in terms of % completion of the tasks by entity, task area, by person and more.

Workspace for Manager

  • So clearly, the manager gets clean, real time updates on the status of the tasks for period close. They can see the status by entity or by area and person in terms of how much percentage is completed.

Status by Area

Status by Person

  • She can even drill down to each tasks under each area, person or entity to get more status updates or modify anything as needed.

Task List Details

That’s it for today’s post. Stay tuned !!!

Best,

Sandeep