A Tinkerers Notebook

Role Centers are cool, but you don’t have to just personalize them with Dynamics AX information – you have a whole slew of standard SharePoint web parts that you can use to spice up the pages.

An example of something that you may want to do is add a banner image to the role center to display corporate banners or branding information. This is easy to do – all you need to do is create the banner image and then add it to your role center through the personalization.

If this sounds interesting to you all then just read on and learn how you.

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A Tinkerers Notebook

Sometimes the menus within Dynamics AX can be a little overwhelming because there are so many different menu items, and really you just use a handful of the menu items on a daily basis. Also, sometimes to perform a business flow you need to go to a couple of different area pages in order to find all of the things that you need.

You can use the Favorites to create a collection of all the menu items that you use, but if you really want to be clever you can create your own custom menu which will become your go-to location to find everything that you need. This also gives you the option to re-arrange the business processes a little so that they follow a more business process centered flow. You only have to go off the reservation if you need to find a menu item that you don’t usually…

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A Tinkerers Notebook

I absolutely love Power BI, and a couple of weeks ago, Microsoft snuck out a preview product which takes all of the good parts of the PowerBI that we like in Excel (which is pretty much everything – PowerQuery, PowerPivot, PowerView etc.) and packaged it up into a nice little standalone product that they call the Power BI Designer. And you can download it for free directly from your PowerBI portal within Office 365.

You can also post everything that you create within the Power BI Designer to the new and improved Power BI sites within Office 365, and from there you can use Power Q&A to search through your data and then create summary dashboards that combine information from multiple sources.

So when the AXUG asked me to host a webinar for them next Monday I couldn’t think of a better topic – especially since the new Power BI…

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Dynamics AX and Dynamics CRM are two sides of the same coin and together they provide both the front office (sales & customer service) and back office (transactional) capabilities that you need to run a business. But there is a lot of shared information between the two that you need to keep in sync such as Customers, Invoices, Products etc. Luckily this is not a problem, because Microsoft deliver a Dynamics Connector which handles all of this for you out of the box, and it’s a breeze to set up and configure.

Dynamics AX and CRM can live together in harmony and even help each other out.
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You can see them all of Dynamics AX. Fact boxes are a great way to show information relating to the current record that you are in, without cluttering up the main data in the form. Also you can pick and choose if you want to see the information as well. But you don’t have to settle for the fact boxes that are delivered with Dynamics AX, you can easily create some more of your own if you don’t mind getting your hands a little dirty with a little coding.

What a great way to Gamify your customers. Read More

Dynamics AX is great, but when you start integrating it with all of the on-line offerings like Office 365, Power BI, SharePoint Online, and CRM, then it becomes even more powerful. If you are like me though and don’t want to sign up for all these additional on-line offerings if you like and pay the monthly hosting fee just for the demo environment, then don’t worry, there is an alternative for you because Microsoft allow you to provision a fully configured environment for free, that has all of this up and running and as a bonus you get your own demo exchange server that you can link to Dynamics AX to send out real e-mails though.

The only downside to this is that it has a fixed lifespan of 90 days after which you just need to re-provision a new instance. Although this may seem like a little bit of a hassle, when you compare it to what you would need to do in order to have this locally on your demo environment, it’s a small price to pay, and did I mention that it is FREE!

Now you can truly create killer demos.
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Normally I don’t promote to coding scripts within Dynamics AX because it is always perceived as something that a developer has to do. And for the power user, there are so many other ways to tinker with the system that getting your hands dirty with X++ is not necessary. One situation though that it’s sometimes just better to roll up your sleeves and write a little bit of X++ code is when it comes to updating masses of data. I’m not talking about updating 100 or so records because you can use Excel for that, but if you need to update 1,000’s or 10’s of thousands of records then Excel can be a little slow, and a script is so much faster.

Hopefully this worked example will demystify scripting a little and make you feel a little like a Whiz Kid.  Read More

When you implement Dynamics AX the last thing that you want to do is keep the old system around just so that you can access the historical information. One example of this is the sales history which is useful for reporting and trending, and also important when a customer calls up and asks about an order from a year ago. You may think that it is too much work to move all of that information over to your new system, but it’s not so. Using the Data Import Export Framework you can bring all of your historical sales orders over and be able to access them from within Dynamics AX.

You’re one step closer to cutting the cord on your old ERP system.
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 The Data Import Export Framework within Dynamics AX is great, but not completely infallible. When you import Released Products, you may find that the Default Order Settings are blank and there is no way to define a default site for Sales, Purchasing or Inventory. Don’t fret though there is a quick way that you can reconnect the wires through the Excel Add-In so that you can start getting back to work.

Even the HAL 9000 wasn’t perfect… Read More

Let’s start off with saying that Lync is great, and the integration that is built into Dynamics AX that allows you to IM and call other employees directly from their name rocks. If you have it connected through your phone system then it becomes awesome because you can make calls to other phones. The only thing that would make it perfect would be if you could click on a customer’s contact phone number within Dynamics AX and have it call the number without you even lifting a finger to press the digits. Luckily with a wee bit of code we can set this up.

Lync is the Shoephone for Dynamics AX for sure. Read More