Dynamics AX
  RSS Feed  LinkedIn  Twitter
Want to turn you're data into a true asset? Ready to break free from the report factory?
Ready to gain true insights that are action focused for truly data informed decisions?
Want to do all of this across mutliple companies, instances of Dynamics and your other investments?
Hillstar Business Intelligence is the answer then! (www.HillstarBI.com)

Hillstar Business Intelligence for Microsoft Dynamics AX and NAV on Mobile, Desktop, Tablet

Let us prove to you how we can take the complexity out of the schema and truly enable users to answer the needed questions to run your business! Visit Hillstar Business Solutions at: www.HillstarBI.com

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Dr. BI Tip: SQL Server 2008 R2 & Report Builder 3 for AX 2009

As the title of this post suggest, we have Dr. BI, Michael Stashwick back for another round of tips, tricks and information around reporting with Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 / BI.

For Michael's latest article below, he dives into SQL Server 2008 R2 and the benefits of Report Builder 3 for Ad-Hoc reporting use. This tool is great, and as he will show has great improvements over earlier versions. He also talks us through how to upgrade to Report Builder 3 with SQL Server 2008 R2.


I can’t think of any single subject clients ask me about more than self-service Business Intelligence (BI) and ad hoc reporting. There seems to be no ceiling to the demand that has increased daily for the past few years, and it’s mostly due to the very robust BI stacks available.

Unfortunately, the primary ad hoc tool that comes packaged with Dynamics AX, Report Builder 1.0, is a bit archaic and leaves users underwhelmed. Fortunately, the latest version, 3.0, is rich with functionality and pleases every super user that I’ve introduced it to.

Implementing Report Builder 3.0 requires SQL Server 2008 R2, and the upgrade path, which I’m going to discuss in this article, should be anything but intimidating.

To begin, there is a free downloadable Upgrade Advisor that removes all compatibility guesswork. After running the Analysis Wizard against all installed SQL Server components, the Upgrade Advisor Report Viewer will provide a list of all issues with links to MSDN for assistance. Even in the most perfect situation, there will always be one issue--the custom extensions and assemblies from the AX installation.

This is nothing to worry about and should be expected. Once all else checks out, run the R2 upgrade executable. After a successful upgrade, the first logical verification step is to run Report Manager and a deployed report.

Immediately accessing Report Manager will result in a cryptic error message that you’ve probably never seen before:

"The attempt to connect to the report server failed. Check your connection information and that the report server is a compatible version."

After giving the computer a verbal snarky response, gather more meaningful information by logging into Report Server. You will get an error message that the ‘Microsoft.Dynamics.Framework.ReportsExtensions’ could not be loaded. This is exactly what the Upgrade Advisor warned of in the beginning of the procedure.

The reason this happens is that in the upgrade process, a new sub-folder is made, as opposed to files being appended, in your Microsoft SQL Server directory. The necessary information to run AX Reporting Extensions can’t be located due to this move.

The simplest fix is to re-install Reporting Extensions from your AX install media. Of course, it must first be uninstalled before it can be re-installed.

There is one last step in upgrade process. If you tried to run a report now, it would fail as the system would be “unable to find the file specified.”

Because of this, all reports must be deleted and re-deployed to the Report Server. This realization made me so happy to have Report Libraries in AX 2009, because the countless number of reports, including any custom AX 2009 SRS reports, can be deployed in a single action.

Now, Report Builder 3.0 will launch by default when accessed by Report Manager. The additional functionality provided (compared to 1.0) is staggering, and can be seen in the MSDN article, Comparing Report Authoring Environments. Not every piece of functionality may be relevant to AX, but the UI is grossly improved with the familiar ribbon interface, and more in-depth querying is available.


I would like to thank 'Dr. BI' for taking the time and sharing with us yet another reason why Microsoft Dynamics AX is so powerful.: It's Continued use of the rest of the Microsoft Stack

Also, this ties right into the use of tools like Globe Software Atlas, and Microsoft PowerPivot (Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 and the importance of PowerPivot) for Ad-Hoc and Self-Service BI needs.

That's all for now, till next time!

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Kees Hertogh: The Benefits of a Model Driven Layered Architecture

Yesterday evening, Kees Hertogh, who I have interviewed several times on this blog, did a post of his own in his continued series about Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012. A direct link to the latest post can be found here.: The Benefits of a Model Driven Layered Architecture

From the post.:
"In this post I would like to spend a bit more time on the customer benefits of our Model Driven Layered Architecture (MDLA) which got introduced in the previous post. Although this architecture at first sight might seem beneficial for developers, there are some clear customer benefits to this architecture."

Kees goes on to cover three main points in his post.:
  • Acceleration of application development
  • Higher quality solutions that meets customer unique needs
  • Simplify the application lifecycle

This is a very nice article, and fits really well with all the AX 2012 post's I have done myself.:

I am set to interview Kees again this year while at Convergence, and all of this is building up to a lot of coverage of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 while at Convergence. As I mentioned earlier I also have my next article in the series I am doing for MSDynamicsWorld.com coming out soon for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Development.

That's all for now, a big thanks to Kees and the rest of the Microsoft team that are putting together great information so we can continue our path of learning all the great things that will come with the release of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012!

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

Labels: , , , , , ,

Dynamics AX - SysDatabaseTransDelete

As the years have gone on, more and more professional now exist in the Microsft Dynamics AX Space. With this, some handy things that us old dogs know about sometimes are taking for granted.

So in the spirit of giving, and making sure to bubble up some handy tips and tricks, I thought I would highlight an old dog of a class, with that being of SysDatabaseTransDelete

This is a very handy class, but one you should use with care. The point of this class is to remove, from a given company, all transactional data that has been generated.

So many times, when doing implementations, you generate test data, and need the ability to remove that data and make sure to have a clean slate, while keeping the Master data elements you have setup in tack.

Enter SysDatabaseTransDelete, as this is the purpose of that class. It's been around for a while, since early AX days, and you can customize this if need be, but be careful in doing so and in it's use. A small "are you sure" is all you get and bang! Transactional data goes bye-bye!

That's all for now, I have my next series of MSDynamicsWorld.com article coming out soon, along with a few interviews, Dynamics Community Site, more on AX 2012, and getting ready for Convergence coverage.

Till next time!

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

Labels: , , ,

Monday, March 28, 2011

Check Out Flow International on Dynamics TV

Check out the latest Dynamics TV episode on YouTube with Guy Tucker, as he dives into Flow International and how they use Microsoft Dynamics AX to drive and manage global demand for their water cutting technologies and other products!

Direct link to YouTube Channel.: Dynamics TV: Flow International

Flow International CEO and CIO talk with Guy about Microsoft Dynamics AX, SQL Server, SharePoint and virtualization, and how Microsoft's stack brings true BI to help give Flow International a Dynamic ERP that helps expand and grow their international Dynamic Business!

Thanks Guy and Dynamics TV for a great episode in how real world companies are using the power of Dynamics AX today!

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

Labels: , , , , ,

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Dynamics AX 2009: Hotfix 981339 for Consuming external WCF Web service

I wanted to highlight a specific Hotfix that was released and is part of RU5 and RU6 for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009. This was actually released just before RU5 was compiled and set ready for downloading and installing last year.

This specific KB is: 981339, and you can find a detail list of the latest fixes for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 through PartnerSource or CustomerSource found here.: Hot Fixes Released For Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009

The list was last updated this past March 15th, so it's a list that is keep up with on a regular basis.

Now for this specific hot fix, it addresses the issue to where when you consume an External WCF service from a service reference within Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009, and the communication with the service does not close properly or enters a faulted state.

With this faulted state, before this fix the only thing you could do was restart the AOS. Now with this fix, it addresses the proper openning and closing of the service client the service reference generates, and therefore is closer to how a client in C# would act.

This is a great fix, and one that you can get directly just for that KB through a ticket request through Microsoft Support, or one that you can get through applying RU6.

This is just another example of the value of staying current with your Dynamics AX investment, including looking and reviewing when RU are released. I highlight this in, the case for staying current and upgrading in the following two post.:

Thanks to a fellow Sunriser's John F. & Debra D. for bringing this hot fix to light. I thought it was for sure something that should be posted about, and also help enforce the fact that as a company one of the ways to ensure long term ROI is the continued upgrade and staying current process.

That's all for now, but check back soon as more to come! Till Next time!

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

DynamicsWorld Top 100 Voting for 2011 Started last week

While I was on vacation, the voting for the top 100 most Influential people in Microsoft Dynamics Ecosystem started.

This is hosted by DynamicsWorld.co.uk and has become and interesting social exercise. What I think is also interesting is that they have already had 15,000 unique voters, with 25k votes casted.

Because of this, they refreshed the polls, and counted the unique votes. You can vote by going to the site, or the poll I am on, can be viewed here if you feel like voting for me. ;-)

The Poll I'm on

I've seen all kinds of voting on this, where some had some automated voting setup to where they got like 5k+ votes within a single day! I'm glad that DynamicsWorld is keeping up with unique voters, as it makes it a true picture of the amount of people voting, and from what area they are voting.

So good luck to everyone, and I am just honored to be on the voting for a third year!

That's all for now, check back soon though as more to come! Till then!

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

Labels: , , , , ,

Monday, March 21, 2011

PartnerSource: Microsoft Dynamics ERP - Count Down to the Cloud

Well as the title of this post states, the Dynamics Ecosystem as a whole is getting ready and counting down to the cloud. This officially kicks off on Tuesday, during Convergence in Atlanta, with Microsoft VP Doug Kennedy, who has been interviewed on this blog several times.

Direct link to this event information can be found here.: Microsoft Dynamics ERP - Count down to the cloud

You do need PartnerSource Access to view this event, and have to be a partner to attend. From the post.:

"Join us for this exclusive opportunity to hear the latest update on the Microsoft Dynamics cloud business from Doug Kennedy, VP, Microsoft Dynamics Partners, and then network with up to ten selected Microsoft Dynamics Hosting Partners who can help take your business to the cloud."

Back in Oct 2010, Microsoft published an online learning course, in the MPN called: Microsoft Dynamics ERP Cloud Strategy

You need to be a Partner in order to review this course as well, but it helps set the stage for the details in which Doug will be diving into.

So quick take aways from that published course, is that Microsoft's ERP Cloud play will be in full steam in 2014, and building up to that full on Microsoft ERP in the Cloud, Microsoft also highlights two ways for Partners to use the cloud with AX today.:
  • Extend Microosft Dynamics ERP with the cloud. Being that on-premise, or partner hosted, through Azure hosted composite apps and services.
  • Partner Hosted Dynamics ERP

This applies for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 and Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012. Microsoft does plan to have a total SaaS offering in the future for Microsoft Dynamics AX, hearing that 2014 timeframe for that. Until then, Microsoft Dynamics AX will exist in the Cloud as sitting on top of IaaS, or in a Hybrid cloud mode were AX lives on-premise, while other LOB, Composite Apps / Services live in the Cloud, on Azure's PaaS offering to complete a customers overall solution.

It's great to continue and see Microsoft addressing the cloud question, with current possibilities and also future plans, and so if you can attend this session it will be worth it.

That's all for now, getting back into the swing of things after some vacation. Check back soon as a WHOLE lot more to come. Till next time!

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Friday, March 11, 2011


Well I will be silent for a week on the post. I am heading out on vacation with my family. It is a sad day though, so many lost in Japan due to the recent quake.

We need to keep those hurt and lost, and the families that lost someone in our thoughts and prayers. I know it's something said a lot, but it's the truth, and what we can offer best in a time where there is nothing we can do but react.

I will be back to my normal writings, week after next. Till then!

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

PartnerSource: Get Ready for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012

I wanted to take the time and point out that Microsoft has released, for Partner's, the "Get Ready for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012" Whitepaper.

"Review the latest Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 readiness guide for preliminary details of the training content that is planned, including topic areas, proposed audience, duration, and type (self-study or instructor-led).

This guide also details the Microsoft application platform skills required. The training content will be made available on one of the following websites, depending on the primary audience: Microsoft Partner Network, PartnerSource, MSDN, TechNet or Microsoft Learning."

Please keep in mind that you need access to PartnerSource for this whitepaper. This is the continued plan, in which Microsoft is putting together, that was talked about at DAXCONF11 this year.

As we progress towards Convergence 2011 next month, we will start to see more and more information about training for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2011 for Partners, and I would expect the Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Launch Portal to be highlighted at this years Convegrence, along with a slew of tracks for Dynamics AX 2012.

That's all for now, but check back soon as more to come! Till next time!

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Monday, March 07, 2011

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 and the use of Claims Based Security

While at DAXCONF11 this past Jan. one of the sessions I attended was around security, and what is changing for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012. There is actually a good bit to talk about in this area, and the topic I wanted to focus on for this post is around Microsoft Sharepoint 2010, and it's enabling of Claims Based Security.

The link above is a great resource, that gets to the point of Claims based security. In short, Claims based security is meant to address.:
  • Claims based authentication addresses privacy and other compliance concerns

  • Claims based authentication addresses integration of different systems

Now, looking at how this was demoed at the conference, we actually saw the fact that no longer does an AD user have to exist, for granting role based security rights within AX.

This is actually huge in what it enables. So for example, you can have say Windows Live ID, and make use of that to grant a Windows Live User ID access rights, and role based security for context, to the given Windows Live user id through the new Claims Based Security!

This means that your external customers, vendors and other business partners do not have to have an AD account, instead they could login to your portal and site through Windows Live, A Custome Security Login for your site, and many other third party security.

This is enabled through the use of Microsoft Office SharePoint 2010, Claims Based security.

Now that's the given, but what this also enables is the steps and move towards the Cloud for Microsoft Dynamics AX!

This is a huge step in helping make future AX versions move more securely to the cloud, as well as giving you instant usage with Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 and cloud based properties / integrations.

Take a look at the following Ch. 9 Video, that is also a great overview and introduction to Microsoft Office SharePoint 2010 Claims Based Security.: Ch9: Introduction to Claims based Security

"Claims-based identity provides a common way for applications to acquire identity information from users inside their organization, in other organizations, and on the Internet. Identity information is contained in a security token, often simply called a token. A token contains one or more claims about the user. Think of it as metadata about the user that stays with them throughout their session."

I am sure, in looking at this, you can see that Microsoft is very serious about the use of SharePoint, as well as enabling Microsoft Dynamics AX for the cloud!

Well that's all for now, but check back soon as more to come! Till Next time!

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Dilip Delivers his review of the Latest AX 2009 Admin Book

Well I hope everyone is off to a good week! I know it's a Monday, but lets put a good positive thought into being a new day, a gift, a day in which God has given us!

I must say that I am feeling much better myself, I was really down and out last week, but should get a lot more in this week.

To help kick this week off, I wanted to highlight Dilip's recently posted review of a new Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 Administration book.: Dilip's review of Dynamics AX 2009 Administration Book

From the review.:
"This book is an excellent resource for Dynamics AX Administrators to install/configure Dynamics AX 2009 components into a company's environment topology.

The best thing I like about this book is it has covered the complex topics of installation and configuration of AX Components in a simple and lucid manner with screenshots wherever applicable so that any layman who follows the steps with screenshots can do the installation/setup without much of a learning curve. Also, the chapters are arranged in a logical manner." - Dilip

I would like to thank Dilip for taking the time to give a good review, 4/5 for this new book. He makes some good points on his wish list for such a book as well, so make sure to check it out.

I was actually contact by the Author as well, and so plan on reading the book and giving my own review. Also, Dilip points out he loves the pic on the cover, and that's of downtown Singapore! Awesome building design that is as much art, as it is function.

Well that's all for now, here's to a good week and a lot more post! Till Next Time!

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

Labels: , , , ,

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

The Microsoft Dynamics Community Site Wants to talk with you!

I wanted to make sure and pass along that the folks at Microsoft who run the Official Microsoft Dynamics Community site want to talk with you!

We Want to Talk to You @ Convergence....

"If you are attending Convergence next month and have leveraged Ask the Community (forums), to help solve a problem you had with your solution, we would like to talk with you. We know how much there is to do while at Convergence and don't want to take away from sessions, networking, Hands on Labs, etc......so we are only looking for 10 to 15 minutes of your time to talk about your experience with the community.

If you are interested in talking with us and setting up a quick chat please send an email to Andy, Tweet us @ MSDYNCOMM, Facebook us or leave a comment in this blog."

- Andy Leapaldt | Microsoft Dynamics Community Team

Andy, Nick, Shane and the rest of the team do a great job in helping foster the grow of the overall Dynamics Ecosystem, and would like to find out how this great resource can be improved, how you use it to solve real world problems, and would like to sit down with you if you planning on being at Convergence in Atlanta this year.

Please do let them know if you can talk and share with them while you there!

Also, I do have more post coming, just been killed for time this week. Running out of hours in the day. I will be back, with more on AX 2012, Convergence, and other great topics!

Till next time!

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

Labels: , , , , ,

Copyright 2005-2011, J. Brandon George - All rights Reserved