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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

Another Cumulative Update 6 For Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2

Another Cumulative Update 6 For Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2

Microsoft continues its commitment to customers success through regular release of cumulative updates.

CU 6 is now released which primarily introduces two types of enhancements and updates.

1. Business Processes.

2. Regulatory Updates.

CU7 is slated to be released during end of OCT, 2013.

Note: Note the change in numbering for the cumulative updates which will be released for AX 2012 R2 going forward.

Read the complete details of the enhancements and updates here on Microsoft Dynamics AX Product Team Blog.

Regards

Sandeep

Delta Airlines takes off with Microsoft Dynamics for Retail and Windows phone platform

Delta Airlines takes off with Microsoft Dynamics for Retail and Windows phone platform

Do not get surprised when you get to see “Microsoft Dynamics for retail” in ACTION in a Windows phone mobile device(Nokia Lumia 820) by the Customer service crew of Delta Airlines on the flight.

It is great to see the major technologies coming together to offer simple and high end platform for customers.

I am glad to be aware of this news and I am sure everyone in the Dynamics community will like this. Thanks to all the technology partners who worked together to make Microsoft Dynamics “LIVE” in the sky.🙂

Read the complete news here on the Dynamics Community blog.

New enhancements in Cash and Bank Management Module of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2

New enhancements in Cash and Bank Management Module of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2

Hello,

Today, I wanted to discuss few of the enhancements which have been introduced in AX 2012 in the Cash and Bank Management module. Most of us must be already aware of these, but I just want to discuss these in this forum as I found these enhancements very useful.

AX 2012 Icon

Follow the points below which describes the major enhancements.

  1. Additional validation on the Bank account number and routing number(USA and Canadian Bank accounts):
  • Earlier in AX 2009, there was no real-time validation on the bank account number and routing number fields and users could enter any random values into those fields.
  • In AX 2012, new validation have been introduced where only valid bank account numbers  and routing numbers are accepted.
  • These validation are triggered based on the “Address” which you select for the bank account. If the Country of the address is USA, then the bank account number and routing number validation are thrown accordingly. If the Country of the address is CANADA, then the bank account number and routing number validation are thrown as per Canadian bank validation.
  • To verify this go to Cash and Bank Management > Common > Bank Accounts.
  • Select USA OPER bank account.
  • Verify that routing numbers and bank account number fields accept random values with no validation.
  • Now specify an address for the bank under the Address fast tab and System will throw the necessary validation errors/warning for the bank account number and routing number fields when you save the record(In Conjunction with routing number type).

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2. Bank Credit Limit check during vendor payments with bank as the offset:

  • We can now define credit limits and credit limit tolerance thresholds for a bank account in AX 2012. These credit limit check gets triggered during making a vendor payment(with bank as offset).
  • System will check for the available balance in the bank account and will throw required tolerance message as per the credit limit specified for the bank.
  • We can define Credit limit related parameters in the Cash and Bank Management parameters form.

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  • Define the credit limit for a selected bank account under General fast tab.

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  • Note that the available balance in the USSI OPER bank(CONTOSO demo data) is $72771678.46. We will now record a vendor payment journal with an amount $7277378.46(Bank balance + Credit Limit) and validate the journal. System will successfully validate the journal and say It is Ok.

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  • So system now allows you pay an amount which is within the (Available balance+Credit limit) range of for the bank. If we try to make a payment for an amount $727737946, this will exceed the credit limit and system will stop us from validating and posting it.

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       3. Inactivate a Bank account:

  • In AX 2009, there was no way to deactivate or close a bank account from the Bank sub ledger. The only way possible was to close the GL account(Cash account) related to the bank account.
  • Now in AX 2012, we can inactivate bank accounts from the bank sub ledger. The steps below explains this change.
  • Go to Cash and Bank Management and Select a bank account.
  • Expand the General fast tab.
  • You can provide a from and To dates for which the back account will be active.
  • Additionally you can set bank account status to 3 different options such as

Active for all transactions – Bank account is active and transactions are allowed.

Inactivate for new transactions – Bank account is inactive and no new transactions are allowed.

Inactivate for all transactions – Bank account is inactive and no transactions are allowed

BankAccountStatus

    

   4. Bank Account Statement Import and advanced reconciliation

  • A much-needed functionality. AX 2012 now allows importing electronic bank statements and then performing advanced reconciliations.
  • To be able to use the back statement import and reconciliation functionality, you will need a series of one time configurations. Below are the high level steps to do all required configurations .
  • The first step is to configure the setup required for the electronic bank statement import which includes the parameters, bank statement format, transaction code mapping and bank reconciliation matching rules etc.

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  • The next step is to set up the required AIF inbound ports(Services) and import formats etc.

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  • After all the setups are done, finally we can import the electronic bank statements(XML/XSLT) formats and perform advanced reconciliation.

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In my next post, I will explain in detail the step by step procedure for setting up bank accounts for statement import and advanced reconciliation  procedure.

Till next time !! keep exploring.

Regards

Sandeep