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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Microsoft Dynamics Usability Studies at Convergence 2008 in Orlando

Well with Convergence 2008 just around the corner, Rosalind Vazquez - Usability Coordinator - contacted me about some sessions that will be going on at Convergence.

These sessions are all about Usability and Dynamics AX. So with that said here is the list:

  • 18903 - Performance and Scale AX Partners - Focus group on learning how customers troubleshoot today and how we can improve overall total cost of ownership. We will also be sharing our internal approaches to solicit feedback as well as teach them. 1 hour

  • 18826 - Dynamics AX Help Extensibility Roundtable - Partners, Customers, and Super Users of Dynamics AX, come tell us what you like, don't like or wish for, in extending and customizing the AX help system. 1 hour

  • 18861 - Future AX Developer Experience - Focus group on new concepts, validating and ideas for AX 6.0. Must use AX as primary tool. 2 hours

  • 18862 - AX Developer & Partner Tools Workshop - Help us to improve the implementation and development process, this is a Focus Group/Workshop on Developer and Partner Vision 2 hours

  • 18864 - Data Upgrade - Improving the AX Experience - Implementers, Developers and Consultants, roundtable discussion on improving the AX Data Upgrade Experience 2 hours

  • 18872 - Designing a Better Workspace for AX Devs - Designing a better workspace for AX Developers, a participatory design workshop 2 hours

So these all seem like wonderful session to attend, and anyone interested in the future of Dynamics AX could take advantage of these session to help shape and learn about DAX future releases.

If you would like more information, of would like to attend this, below is Rosalind's contact information:

Rosalind Vazquez
Usability Coordinator
Kelly Services at Microsoft
425.722.7834 direct phone
1-888-261-8488(toll free)

Check back soon!

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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Dynamics AX - how scalable?

One of the first things that clients alike ask about is Dynamics AX scalability. Well I wanted to talk a little about this in my post here.

If we look at the latest scalability posted test, which you can find here PDF Link, you will see that the scalability test ran by Microsoft where all the way up to 3,000 concurrent users. This is way more than most any client will need at a given time, and so that number along speaks volumes.

Here is some information from that PDF:
"Performance Improvements and Scalability:

Based on rigorous scalability benchmark testing at the 1,000 concurrent user level, Microsoft Dynamics AX performed extremely well on both responsiveness and throughput while testing tasks in a full order-to-cash cycle, including the creation of purchase orders and entering sales orders. In addition, using the industry’s commonly used benchmarking standards, Microsoft Dynamics AX completed simple scenario orders for 3,000 concurrent users, far surpassing the needs of the majority of upper mid-market and enterprise customers."

So I would recommend to those that want to know more of the details behind this report, you can again find the PDF here: PDF Link

I want to conclude on this note. This was done in 2006, nearly over 2 years ago! Dynamics AX 2009 is coming out this Summer, which is going to be even more improved for performance and scalability. So is Dynamics AX scalable, you better believe it, and the math is there to show it!

check back soon!

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Friday, February 22, 2008

e-Con 4.0 Domains issue

If you ever have to 'move' from one isntance of DAX 4.02, IEM 2.3 / e-COn 4.0 to a new instance, say DAX 4.02, IEM 2.3.1, e-COn 4.0 you might run into some issues.

One of the issues I ran into, was being able to create domains in the new instance. Since this instance was not 'setup' during a normal setup process, like you would in a new instance, there had to be some 'smart' setups done.

The reason is, once we had the new instance up, we could not get all the domains to import over. So we wanted to re-create them. In doing so, we went to the domains menu item:

And the right clicked in the now empty space for where domains are contained, and the left clicked on new domain. When doing this we got the flowing error:

(Object reference not set to an instance of an object.)

So this made me scratch my head a little bit. After thinking this through, and recalling that we did not run through a typical setup, that lead me to the e-Con setup form.

On this e-Con setup form, inside Dynamics AX, there are four tabs. The last tab named 'Repository' is where I went in this form. From there I noticed that there was nothing listed in the Metadata domain model & Metadata model fields. After seing this, I compared to my old instance, and saw that the values: 'MDDOMAINS' & 'MDMODEL' where in these fields.

From here I proceeded to the EConGenericModel table and exported these models. I then imported these models, with expected errors. These errors (so far) are not true errors as they do not stop this process.

Once these models where in the new instance,I then set the field values to these models, pushed 'Crtl+S' to save the record setup, and then went back into the e-COn Studio. At this point I could create a domain.

So, in hopes of helping others (and possibly myself) in the future of dealing with this possible issue, I posted this.

Check back soon for more!

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

MSDynamicsWorld.com - Dynamics 2008 Partner Survery

MSDynamicsWorld.com just posted the results from their recent conducted survey of 23different Dynamics partners.

The survey was based on a series of questions about the state of the Dynamics marketplace and the needs of users. Partners took their own marketplace and client knowledge and asnwered these questions.

The break down of partner focus areas are as follows:
- AX (17%)
- GP (56%)
- CRM (43%)
- NAV (22%)
- SL (22%)

This does not mean a total one to one for these breakdowns. This means out of the 23 responding, these percentages were brokendown by what those partners worked with. Some partners fit into multiple focuses, and cross between AX, GP, CRM, etc. etc.

Some highlights of this survey are as follows:

" - A large chunk of partners credit Microsoft for supporting integration requirements of Dynamics software with the vendors' products-nearly half agree or strongly agree, while 30% are neutral.
- Customers have difficulty communicating clearly their current ERP/CRM/Financials software needs-some 47% agreed this was an issue, with 30% of respondents only "neutral" on this issue.
- But customer demands are clear-about 90% of the responding partners say Dynamics customers are increasingly looking for and expecting vendors to provide end-to-end integrated solutions.
- Where partners and customers run into problems, not surprisingly, is over cost expectations. More than half the partners sampled indicated that customers aren't able to accurately assess the total cost of ownership for software purchases and, as a result, tend not to be satisfied with the results.
- And you can expect to find most partners at the upcoming Convergence conference March 11-14-nearly 90% of respondents said they'll be there, with 52% saying they will be there as exhibitors."

You can get to the post on MSDynamicsWorld.com by clicking here: Link To Post

And the full survey results can be found here: Full Survey Results

I hope you enjoy these findings as much as I have. They can really be used to hape shape the Partner experince, and hopefully drive to better performance across all Dynamics fouces.

Check back soon!

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Product Management ( PDM / PLM ) with Dynamics AX

Would it not be very nice, if you could take an update complex product descriptions, maintain product specifications, along with images, and relations to other products, items, and underlying variants?

And then, have this all within Dynamics AX, maintained and viewed in that fashion --- Plus, have this web based and viewable by your intranet and public internet web site?

You can! And the answer is Dynamics AX + IEM from Sunrise Technologies, Inc.

With IEM for Dynamics AX, you can use a module called Product Center to manage catalogs of your different product lines and products. Have this all managed from within Dynamics AX, and made useful from within your normal ERP business processes. As well as, have this information viewable and accessable over the web to your current and possible customers. All maintained with Dynamics AX, in one place and viewable from multiple places.

For compaines that make advanced products, that have sometimes complex bom's, configuration processes, etc. this is the perfect match for allowing their Engineering and Customer Support staffs to mind-merge on products and product management.

And because this is within Dynamics AX, the full ERP can come into play, from Quote Management, to Project Management, to CAD Integration, through Sales Orders, MRP, Production Orders, delivery, and through to payment. All with a single integrated
platform, called Dynamics AX.

If you interested in finding out more, contact Sunrise here: Contact Us!

Check back soon!

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Sunday, February 10, 2008

AX Solution Outlook: GRC: The Next Big Thing in Dynamics AX 2009

Over on MSDynamicsWorld.com I have another column article. The title is: "GRC: The Next Big Thing in Dynamics AX 2009".

This is a great new article, talking about to upcoming GRC, or ‘Governance, Risk and Compliance Platform' for Dynamics AX 2009. This is something, that will be talked a lot about, as I pointed out in this article I wrote.

From the article:
"...GRC is being talked about a lot by the top level management of Microsoft Business Solutions because of its growing importance in managing corporate governance and regulatory matters. CVP Kirill Tatarinov discussed it at this past year's EMEA Convergence in October of 2007.

"GRC, Governance, Risk and Compliance platform, delivered within the AX product, will be one of the more significant and important" upcoming features, - Tatarinov stated.

This was the first real recorded mention of GRC being slated as one of the more significant new offerings in Dynamics AX 2009..

At Convergence, I would expect the features of GRC in AX 2009 to get a lot of attention-especially in terms of where it fits for Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX), and other possible compliance requirements..."

I recommend you head over now and check out the full article! Feel free to leave comments, and questions as well, and continue to check here, and on my column over at MSDynamicsWorld.com for Dynamics AX related news, technology, future, examples, code, etc. etc.

Check back soon!

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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Microsoft Dynamics AX video - Kirill Tatarinov, MBS Corporate Vice President

[* PartnerSource Required *]

Microsoft released recently a new video from MBS, CVP Kirill Tatarinov. In that video, the long term roadmpa for Microsoft Dynamics AX and the Microsoft commitment to continue and support Microsoft Dynamics AX customers was laid out.

Link here: MBS CVP Video

Some of the highlights are:

  • Dynamics AX as being the flagship GBMS for MBS, or Global Business Management Solution

  • Office like is a key term, for ease of use and adoption in current and future versions

  • Mid Calendar year, of this year, is the set release for 'Dynamics AX 2009' (aka: DAX 5.0)

For the DAX 2009 release this coming summer, the goals for new features include: reducing business process complexity as well as Governance, Risk and Compliance Platform. (GRC is new to 2009).

Also in this video CVP Tatarinov talked about the future development and support for the Dynamics AX brand well past this next release of Dynamics AX 2009.

Well check back soon!

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Monday, February 04, 2008

Dynamics AX SaaS

Sunrise and SolidSpace last week did a PR release about now offering to clients the possibility of using Dynamics AX via the concept called 'Software as a Service'.

Really this offering is very close to that term, or more on the new Microsoft lines of Software+Services. The goal, is for the right sized DAX implementation, to lessen the inital up front cost of a brand new DAX implementation. Instead, this is a rented, by user, by month cost structure. (Along with services for implementing the instance and customizing.)

Some of the highlights from this approach can be found below:

SaaS Benefits:

- A Tier1 business solution at an affordable price
- No need for a complex internal IT staff
- Centralized management and unmatched service
- Microsoft Gold Certified Dynamics AX partner with industry expertise for support
- Leading Microsoft Certified hosting infrastructure partner for support
- Dual Internet connectivity
- 24/7 network monitoring
- Physical security with access control, fire protection, multi-version daily data backups
- Reduced total cost of ownership

SaaS Pricing:

- Monthly prices starting at $500 per user
- Flexible contract terms
- No upfront hardware or software costs
- Implementation fees will apply

This can all be found at the Sunrise pasge, explaining this located here: Sunrise - AX Software as a Service

To give a logical look behind this concept, look at the following diagram:

So for the right sized implementation, and company, this route can be a much better route than having to beef up on your IT, infrastructure, and inital cost for doing such a project. You would depend on the deadicated teams of Sunrise Technologies, Inc. and SolidSpace, Inc.

If your are interested in finding out more, feel free to comment me here, or contact Sunrise directly from the Sunrise website: Sunrise Website

Also check back, as I come back around to office as the front end and talk more about how to make this real in DAX 4.0 & 5.0!

Find a job at: www.DynamicsAXJobs.com

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Friday, February 01, 2008

Sunrise Technologies and SolidSpace partner to deliver Microsoft Dynamics AX software as a service

Well it's a new month today, and with that Sunrise - the Microsoft VAR I am a part of - Releasing some amazing news: Dynamics AX Software as a Service (aka: Software + Services).

The full Press Release can be found here: Sunrise PR

From the Press Release:
"Having implemented numerous business solutions for mid to large manufacturing and distribution companies, Sunrise Technologies saw smaller businesses struggling with the same planning problems. “We are extremely excited to offer a practical, cost effective solution that delivers the full power of Dynamics AX, without the up-front investment normally required for an ERP implementation”, states John Pence, President of Sunrise Technologies."

And continued...:
"“Combining Sunrise Technologies’ and SolidSpace’s expertise brings a cost effective and infrastructure driven form of Microsoft Dynamics AX to the small business market. This software as a service (SaaS) solution gives businesses the opportunity to expand their infrastructure with centralized management, reduced integration times and unmatched support” states Jim Capps, president of SolidSpace."

This is wonderful for companies of Small to Small-Mid sized implementation needs of Dynamics AX. For more information about how Sunrise & SolidSpace can offer this for you, contact Sunrise here: Sunrise Contact Form

Also check back soon!

Find a job at: www.DynamicsAXJobs.com

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