What is new in General Ledger Module – Top 5 enhancements in the New Dynamics AX (AX 7)

What is new in General Ledger Module – Top 5 enhancements in the New Dynamics AX (AX 7)

Hello Everyone,

Hope everyone participated in the virtual launch of the New Dynamics AX on 9th March and got to learn more about the new fully cloud based ERP.

In today’s post, I will explain the top 5 enhancements that I witnessed and tested under the General Ledger area in the New Dynamics AX.

  1. Financial Dimension Activation
  2. Global General Journals
  3. Global Fiscal calendar management
  4. Dedicated Process driven Workspace for Financial Period Close
  5. Account structure related enhancements

Let’s get straight into it and see some additional details.

1. Financial Dimension Activation: Starting with the new Dynamics AX, new financials dimensions will now need to be activated by a specific role, which has the privilege assigned for dimension activation or by System administrators. The intention here is to simplify the database schema for financial dimensions so that the reporting and data extraction becomes easier.

  • When a new Dimension is created under GL > Dimensions > Financial Dimensions is created, it will be in “Inactive” status by default.
  • Before users can start using this new dimension, it needs to be activated, which can be only done by either a System Administrator or by a role which has the privilege for dimension activation.
  • When the activation is run, system will add the new dimension across all applicable tables in the database and the database schema will change. See screenshot below for reference.

Finnancial Dimension Activation

2. Global General Journals: This new feature will allow accounting team members to create and manage general journals in multiple legal entities staying in one entity, without having to change the legal entity each time when they create or edit the journals.

  • The new global general journal is located under General Ledger > Journal Entries > Global general journals.
  • When you create a new New journal, you can select the Legal entity and the journal name of that entity for which you want to create the journal entry.

Global General Journals

  • You can then continue to create the journal lines inside the current entity and you can directly Open the journal in the other entity if you wish to, or you can complete the entire journal entity, validate and post in the current entity and the unmoral entry will be created and posted in the destination entity.

Global General Journals 1.jpg

3. Global Fiscal Calendar Management: This feature will enable finance controllers and other related users of the accounting team to manage the the fiscal period status and Module level accesses for multiple entities which share the same Fiscal Calendar.

  • Navigate to General Ledger > Ledger Setup > Ledger Calendars.
  • Select the Fiscal calendar and the Fiscal year to see all the Periods under them.
  • Notice that you will now see all the Legal entities listed in separate rows , which share the same fiscal calendar.
  • You can change the Period status and Module level access for the required modules for one or more or all legal entities at once.

Ledger Calendar

Ledger Calendar1

4. Dedicated Workspace for Financial Period Close: The new Dynamics AX brings in a a new dedicated workspace for the financial period close tasks. You all must be very familiar with what workspaces in the new AX are. The purpose of this workspace is primarily to help the corporate accounting team and Controllers to manage their fiscal period closing more effectively and make the process more transparent, get real time insights with the status of closing and get more timely insight into your business.

  • Controllers can create Period Closing schedules and templates.
  • Under each template and schedule, they can create breakdown of the tasks for the period close.
  • Tasks can be assigned to to different team members with required due date and times.
  • Can be done for multiple legal entities.
  • This workspace helps the corporate accounting team to collaborate and update the status of tasks assigned to them and enables controllers to view the status of closing is real time and take required actions.
  • Explaining this topic will become a separate blog in itself. I will try to explain sometimes later in future with a new post on this. Screenshots below shows a quick snapshot of how this workspace looks like.

Closing schedule

Closing schedule 2.jpg

5. Account Structures related enhancements: In the new Dynamics AX, the over all view and arrangement of data fields and tabs on the account structure form makes it more intuitive and easy to use. You can see which entities are using the selected account structure staying in the same form. Most importantly you can now export Account structures to Excel. This allows you to make edits easily in bulk and push it back to AX from Excel.Export to ex cel

Export to ex cel 1

There are a few other minor enhancements under the GL area too, which I will leave up to you all to explore:)

That is it for this post !! Keep DAXing..

Regards,

Sandeep

 

 

 

Dynamics AX Tip: How to Personalize forms and workspaces in New Microsoft Dynamics AX (AX 7)

Dynamics AX Tip: How to Personalize forms and workspaces in New Microsoft Dynamics AX (AX 7)

Hello Readers,

Until AX 2012 version, personalizing the forms and adding/removing data fields on them was a very important and widely used feature used by customers.

This quick post will help you understand how “Personalizing” looks in the new Dynamics AX. Let us take a look one by one.

When you are on a form or a navigation page in the new Dynamics AX,  you can bring up your favorite Personalize options using the “Right click > Personalize:Form section” option. For example, I navigate to the Accounts Receivable > All Customers > Customer Details form/page > General fast tab and right click on it.

How to add a new data fields on a form/page:

  • Navigate to the form that you want to Personalize.
  • Right click > Personalize: Form section, i.e Personalize:Customer

Personalize Form

  • Click + Add a Field to load the field list form.

Add a field

  • Select the data fields you want to add and click Insert button.

Select Data Fields

  • Another way of adding a data field on a form is to select “Personalize this form” option after right click and Personalize.
  • Note that you can also launch the Personalization pane by navigating to Options > Personalize this form button.

OptionsPersonalize

Personalize this firm

  • Click the + button to load the data field list form. Select the data fields you want to add and click Insert button.

Personaliation Pane

How to change properties of a data field:

  • Once you are on the Personalize form screen, select the “Arrow’ button to enable the property changes for various data fields on the form.

Data Field Property

Data Field Property 1

Hide: Mark this to Hide the selected data field on the form.

Include in Fast Tab Summary: Mark this to show the value of this data field on the Fast tab header summary of the fast tab, under which the data field is present.

Skip in Tab key sequence: Mark this to skip this data field on the tab key sequence.

Don’t edit: Mark this to block editing of this data field.

For example, let us mark the Include in fast tab summary for the  Classification group field and see that it appears on the fast tab Summary.

Data Field Property 2

How to rearrange or move around data fields on a form:

  • Once you are on the Personalize form, select the MOVE option on the Personalization pane and just drag and drop fields to move them around on the form as shown in screenshot below.

Rearrange Data Field

How to show/Hide data fields on a form:

  • On the Personalization pane, Select the Hide/Show button.
  • Now mark the data fields that you want to Hide/show.
  • If you had already made a field hidden, when you try to Hide/Show next time on the form, you can see those fields as marked for Hidden.
  • For example if I want to hide the ABC Code field hidden on the customer details form, I can mark that and upon refreshing the form, the field will be hidden.

Show Hide Data Field

How to add fields to show on the collapsed fast tab summary:

  • On the Personalization pane, Select the Summary button.
  • Now mark the data fields that you want to add to the fast tab Summary when collapsed.
  • For example, I have added the Language data field on the General fast tab.

Add Field to Summary

How to change the display name of a data field:

  • On the AX form/page on a specific data field, right click and Personalize.
  • You can type in the name that you would like to see as the display label for the data field.

  • For example, I have renamed the Search name field to My Search Name on the Customer details form.

Change Display Name

How to block editing of a data field:

  • On the form Personalization pane, click the Edit button.
  • Mark all the data fields that you would like to be shown as Non-editable fields.
  • For example, on the Customer details form, I want the Classification group field to be shown as non-editable.

Block Editing

Block Editing1

How to Reset/Clear out all my Personalization:

  • If you decide to clear out all your form/page personalization,  click on Manage > Clear button on the form Personalization Pane.
  • Reload the page.

Reset Personalization

Reset Personalization1

How to add form data as a Tile onto a workspace:

  • You can also add a filtered data view, i.e. data on a particular form as either a Live Tile or as a list on any workspace you like.
  • For example, I can add the Timesheets for my review as a Live tile to the Manager Self-service workspace.

Add to workspace

Tile on MSS

Additionally, you can also Import and export form personalization using the Manage > Import/Export option on the form Personalization pane.

Export Import Personalization

So, that’s it for today’s quick tip on the new Dynamics AX !!

Regards,

Sandeep

What is New in Business Intelligence in the New Microsoft Dynamics AX (AX 7)

What is New in Business Intelligence in the New Microsoft Dynamics AX (AX 7)

Microsoft Dynamics AX ERP has evolved over several versions starting from AX 2.5, AX 3.0, AX 4.0, AX 2009, AX 2012 and all the way through the New Dynamics AX (Aka AX 7). In each of these versions, this ERP from Microsoft , has undergone several changes and enhancements in terms of architecture, technology, depth of functionality and support for industry verticals etc. The journey from the Client only AX 3.0 version to the fully web enabled version (The New Dynamics AX) has been phenomenal.

As the technology behind the application kept on evolving, so did the Business Intelligence (Analytics) framework for each of these mentioned versions.

In this post, we will discuss a little bit on the evolution of Analytics/Business intelligence framework in Microsoft Dynamics AX and we will also discuss about what are the various Analytics options we have in the most recent release, which is the New Dynamics AX.

The picture below shows a quick snapshot of the evolution of analytics framework in Dynamics AX.

image.png

In the initial releases with version 4.0, the concept of “Perspectives” was introduced which basically presented the ERP data schema to the end uses in a format, that they can use to build analytics. In AX 4.0 the SMDL Model along with the SQL Report builder was primarily used for business analytics building.

Then in AX 2009, Microsoft introduced the SQL Server Analysis services, which basically had the SSAS Projects/ CUBE Projects built for all the major areas of the ERP applications. These CUBES were then utilized to show data on the various pre-built dashboards on the role center pages. In AX 2009 you could also use Microsoft Excel to connect to the SSAS server and then build your own analytics.

In AX 2012, the SSAS Cubes framework was taken a step forward and Microsoft basically used the same technology and concepts, but developed several additional dashboards for the various role centers that were shipped out of the box. One of the major enhancements to the analytics framework in AX 2012 was done by introduction of Power View. Using Power View, you could simply leverage the analysis cubes and build dashboards, graphs, charts, tables, bars and any sort of analytics you wanted.

In the New Microsoft Dynamics AX (Aka AX 7) the analytics framework has evolved further and much better. In the new Dynamics AX, analytics can be primarily of 2 types.

  1. Real time built-in analytics on the workspaces
  2. Power BI analytics and integration with Dynamics AX.

1. Real time built-in analytics in the Work spaces:

Starting with AX 2009 till AX 2012 R3 release, most of the out-of-the-box analytics were contained in the Role center pages, which was basically the Home/landing page for the users when they launch AX client or Enterprise portal. In the new Dynamics AX, you will see something called as the “Workspaces”. You could compare workspaces with role centers, but the work spaces are designed keeping in mind a more process oriented approach.

  • The built-in analytics comes out of the box , as part of standard AX across various workspaces covering all major modules.
  • You can customize these further and create your own analytics in any of the workspaces.
  • One of the examples of such analytics is present under the Cost Administration workspaces. You can find these across all major business areas in the new Dynamics AX.

Cost Admin Dashboard

  • You can furhter click on the analytics to drill down on data right from the analytics and research the data further.

Drill Down.jpg

  • You also have additional option of presenting the data on the analytics by different parameters. For example you can view Top 10 Production variances by Production order number or By Produced Item Name.

Dashboard Options.jpg

  • Below screenshot shows all other workspaces that are available out of the box in the new dynamics AX which has built in real time analytics built-in.

Other Workspaces

2. Power BI and integration with Dynamics AX:

The second (and I think the most powerful and hopefully will be widely used too) analytics option in the new Dynamics AX is, the integration with Power BI, which is Microsoft’s business intelligence platform.  Below are some of the key highlights of the integration of Power BI and new Dynamics AX.

  • You can use Power BI Online to build complex data analytics from your Dynamics AX database. Using Power BI online, you can also connect to Azure SQL Server data base and build your content packs and  publish them with required permissions.

PBI Online

  • You can use Power BI Desktop app and also mobile apps to connect SQL server database of your Dynamics AX application and then build any analytics. For example, the screenshot below shows a simple analytics of sales by customer groups. I have built this using the CustInvoiceJour table. You can use the advanced reporting options of PowerBI to build complex queries and joins.

PBI Desktop 1

PBI Desktop 2

  • After creating analytics in Power BI Desktop, you can publish them into the Content packs in Power BI online.

PBI Desktop 3

  • Once you have your content packs are ready, you can Add power Bi analytics as tiles onto the workspaces in the new Dynamics AX.

Pin Tiles to AX

Auth PBI to AX

  • With the RTW release of the new Dynamics AX that was released during the Technical Conference (Feb 23rd to Feb 25th), Microsoft has released a few Pre-built Power BI Content packs for Dynamics AX (Primarily around Retail and Finance areas) that customers and partners can leverage for reporting. Partners can also build their own Content Packs as their intellectual properties, and make them available for consumption by customers. To access the Pre-built content packs provided by Microsoft for the RTW release of new dynamics AX, Sign in into your Power BI online account, Or launch Power BI desktop app.

PreBuilt Content PacksLong enough  post !!!! Smile

Note that this was not a Power BI specific blog post. I just wanted to highlight the key business intelligence options we have available in the New Dynamics AX and a very brief on how Power BI looks to be treated as a first class citizen inside the new Dynamics AX for BI and reporting. Stay tuned for future posts on How to build analytics for Dynamics AX using PowerBI and how to consume Content packs published by Microsoft or other partners.

Till then….Have a great time !!

Regards,

Sandeep

 

What is new in Project Planning and Resource management in the New Dynamics AX (AX 7)

What is new in Project Planning and Resource management in the New Dynamics AX (AX 7)

Hope everyone is getting their grips tight on exploring the various possibilities in the new Microsoft Dynamics AX and also hope you all are having a great experience at the Technical Conference in Seattle. The journey of AX 7 from Preview, CTP 7, CTP 8 all the way through RTW has been phenomenal. The Dynamics AX team at Microsoft team has done a commendable job in getting the New Microsoft Dynamics AX out to the market !!

In today’s post, I will explain some of the key enhancements and changes that I think are important and will be beneficial for customers.The enhancements are primarily around 3 key areas of the Project Management module as described below.

Project Work Breakdown Structures:

Starting with the CU7 release of AX 2012, the work breakdown structure functionality for the projects introduced several key enhancements that made it more usable for industries who’s projects are driven by stringent cost controls , such as Construction and Engineering. In the new Dynamics AX (i.e AX 7), there has been certain changes/enhancements introduced in the WBS area. Let us take a look what are those changes.

  • Ability to create and review WBS changes before publishing them.
  • After you have created the WBS, it will not come into effect until you Publish it.
  • If you make changes to a Draft version of the WBS, you can discard the Draft changes to get it back to the earlier version.

Project WBS

  • You can now create and view the Cost and Revenue estimates on one screen which makes it easier to view the estimates without having to toggle a lot between the WBS node and the Estimate lines (as it used to be in AX 2012).

Project WBS 1

  • Cost and Revenue estimates can be established for Project Roles, instead of actual workers.

Project WBS 2

Project Roles and Pricing setups with roles:

Project roles concept was introduced in CU7 release of AX 2012, which basically allowed the project managers to generate and configure project team based on the roles and not actual workers. In the New Dynamics AX, this functionality is extended further which will open up new possibilities on how this functionality can be used.

  • You can now setup Project Hourly Cost and Sales prices for project roles, along with the other criteria such as Customer, contract, project, employee, category etc.
  • The system will then use this price data automatically when you create and setup Cost/Revenue estimates for the WBS tasks using project roles, in scenarios where you setup the project team using project roles instead of actual workers.

Project Roles Prices

Project Resources Management:

  • AX 2012 allowed to designate only workers (Employees & Contractors) as project resources. Other Operations resources of the organization which are created and managed under the Organization Administration Module were never allowed to be designated as project resources and could not be scheduled and used for projects. The New Dynamics AX will allow to designate the organization’s Operations resources as project resources and schedule them on the project and tasks under the project.
  • This new functionality also lays the foundation to be able to schedule non-human resources of the organization in the projects, such as location, Tool, Machines etc. which will be available in future releases.

Project Resources

Project Resources 1

  • We now have the ability to view and manage the Planned resources on a project and compare planned Vs. actual resources. The new Dynamics AX allows to auto-generate project team based on the resource requirements. Dummy resources are created and assigned to the project tasks and you can replace those with actual resources when you are ready.

Auto Generate Team

  • The new Dynamics AX has introduced the concept of Booked Vs Assigned Hours. You can think of Booked hours as a high level booking of a resource on a project, where as the assigned hours are the number of hours which the resource is booked on actual tasks of the project in the work breakdown structure of the project.

Booked Vs Assigned

  • The new dedicated Resource Fulfillment page allows to view the the resource requirements for all the projects and view available resources and their assignments all in one central location.

Resource Fullfillment

Till Next Time…!!!

Regards,

Sandeep

Business Intelligence and Reporting using Power View in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2/R3

Business Intelligence and Reporting using Power View in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2/R3

Most of us must be already aware of the new Power View reporting capabilities which is now fully integrated with Microsoft Dynamic AX 2012 R2, starting with the CU6 release.

Getting real time access to your key business data anywhere, anytime, in any device is the real key to success and can help manage your business more efficiently by allowing the staff and executives to take more informed business decisions on time.

Furthermore, the capability of being able to create, modify and view key business reports online anywhere in any device, can prove to be a real differentiator, in how your staff react to business situations, by getting most recent data from their Dynamics AX ERP system with few clicks.

With Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2(CU6 Onwards) and R3, Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services Cube and the Power View tool, your organizations BI reporting capabilities just got much easier.

In today’s discussion, we will take a look at the three key scenarios of the Power view reporting.

View a Pre-built Report in Power View online:

Once a Power View report has been designed, it can displayed on the employee role centers. Additionally, employees can add quick links to the Power View reports on their role center pages.

For this demonstration, I will use one of the Region Wise Sales Performance Report, which was already built and is displayed on my role center as well as I have added a quick link to the report on my role center page. Follow the steps below.

  1. Launch Enterprise Portal and navigate to the My Links area of the home page.
  2. Click Sales Performance report.

image

3. Notice that system launches the Region Wise Sales Performance report online in Power View. The report shows the different regions of sales in Bing Maps and the details of the sales are displayed on the right hand side, by customer group, sales category etc.

image

4. The screenshots below shows another layout of the Sales Performance report in different layouts which the Power View tool allows to configure.

image

image

Create or Modify a Report in Power View online:

  1. If you are provided with the required access and security permissions, you can create your own reports using the existing cubes or by adding additional data source as you need. Additionally, you can click the Analyze date button most of the list pages in AX rich client, which will launch the Power Viewer report designer and you can design your own reports by selecting the fields, design layouts, and several other options.
  2. In this case, I will select the Project Accounting cube and design a simple report of comparison of Project actuals vs budgeted by project category.
  3. Select the Project Accounting Cube and Launch Power View tool. You can create the design layout of your report by simply selecting and arranging the data fields you want. Refer to screenshot below, in which I have prepared the simple actual Vs. budgeted amounts by project category for each of the Projects.

image

4. From AX client, you can navigate to any list page such as HRM > Workers and click Analyze Data button on the action pane, to launch the Power View Report designer tool. In the screenshot below I have designed a very basic report of the worker skill/education details by launching the Power View from Workers list page.

image

Short and simple for today’s post. Till next time !!

-Sandeep

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 Launched – A Step Forward for Cloud First, Mobile First Strategy

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 Launched – A Step Forward for Cloud First, Mobile First Strategy

Unlock the world of new possibilities with AX 2012 R3.

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 is now Launched. Click here to learn how you can deliver amazing Customer Experiences.

Lifecycle Services for Microsoft Dynamics – More Control over your ERP implementation from Presales to Go-Live

Lifecycle Services for Microsoft Dynamics – More Control over your ERP implementation from Presales to Go-Live

Microsoft Dynamics Lifecycle Services provides a cloud-based collaborative work space that customers and their partners can use to manage Microsoft Dynamics AX projects from pre-sales to implementation and operations.

Based on the phase of your project and the industry you are working in, the site provides checklists and tools that help you manage the project. It also provides a dashboard so that you have a single place to get up-to-date project information.

Click HERE to get started.