Queries are like mining for gold, because everyone is searching for the motherload of data that is hidden within Dynamics AX, and once they find it, they mine it until it dries out and they have to start prospecting again. Also, the secret maps to that data are hidden away, usually on someone’s own personal hard drive, and are rarely shared with other prospectors. Office 365 and Power Query changes that because it allows you to share any of your queries with everyone within the organization, allowing everyone including the non-technical users that would never create a query.
No more claim jumping, there is enough data out there for everyone to mine.
If you want to publish out data to the users so that they can create their own reports, or run their own analysis, there is in a simple and secure way built into Dynamics AX. You can register your queries as Document Data Sources and then they automatically become available through the OData service within Dynamics AX. Additionally, all of the default security that you put in place around the data will be respected by the service because you are using Dynamics AX to create the query.
No more ODBC connections, or even worse… unsecured Access databases.
Every one knows that you can now edit your Dynamics AX projects directly in Microsoft Project, but the integration gets even cooler then that. If you have an existing project plan that you want to turn into a new project, then you can create it directly from Microsoft Project itself.
This is a super easy way to migrate all of your old projects over to Dynamics AX.
You probably have already used the Dynamics AX add-in within Excel to access data, but don’t forget that you can also do something similar within Word as well in order to create templates that will merge in data directly from Dynamics AX with the push of a button. But it doesn’t stop there, you can then save the Word templates back to a template library and Dynamics AX will make it available to everyone through the client itself.
This is a great way to create lightweight reports or commonly used templates for correspondence that you have instant access to.
Use Lync to Track People Down Directly From Dynamics AX
Lync is a great way to communicate with all of the people that you work with since you can easily see if people are available, and then instantly start an instant message, voice call, or a video conferencing session. It is also fully integrated with Dynamics AX, allowing you to start Lync communications without even having to search for the person within Lync.
This is a great tool for the users because they can instantly connect with other people in the company, especially when you are researching a problem, or want to ask questions about something that was entered into Dynamics AX by someone else. All you have to do is click and call.
Create Reports directly off the Dynamics AX Cubes through Excel
Excel is probably the number one reporting tool because it is on everyone’s computer, and also because it is so easy to manipulate the data and create your own analysis, charts and tables. In the past though, the more technical users have had a slight advantage over the general users because they knew the secret table combinations that allowed them to piece data together directly from the database, giving them better insight and reports, whilst the less technical users had to resort to cutting and pasting data, or transcribing pieces of information from other reports into Excel which made their reports tedious to build and also prone to errors.
Those days are over though because Dynamics AX comes pre-delivered with a set of reporting cubes that have already simplified and summarized the data from you and you can connect to it directly from Excel. This makes reporting so much easier for everyone, and also makes sure that everyone has the same results when they create their reports.
Exporting Data to your client version of Excel when using Remote Desktop
Just because you are using a remote desktop to access Dynamics AX, doesn’t mean that you have to do everything there. One example of this is that you can choose to export data to your local version of Excel rather than to the version of Office that may be running on your remote desktop. All you need is to change one of the options within the Dynamics AX client.
This allows you to work with the exported data after you are disconnected from the remote desktop, it allows you to use any additional extensions that you may have installed on your local machine within Excel, and most importantly saves you the hassle of having to cut and paste the worksheet from the remote desktop over to your local machine.