Saturday, December 16, 2017

Microsoft Paint 3D - The new Paint?

One of the most valuable tools to me as a consultant is Microsoft Paint. I will use Photoshop or GIMP (open source: https://www.gimp.org/) for more complex image creation/editing, but Paint is about 75% of my time.

MS added a new paint program called Paint 3D. Its being highlighted in the new 3D Holiday campaign so I thought I would check it out. There was always a rumor that Paint was going away and would be replaced by something new. Paint is not gone (nor heard rumor of it going away) but it is replaced by the equally capable and enhanced Paint 3D. It was released in Windows 10 Creator Addition sometime in Q2'17.

Paint 3D is a windows store app (.appx) so it'll have that look and feel. Its nice to have that native feel especially when using the pens in the Surface family. But it'll take a bit of time to get used to I think. 

I haven't done much playing around with it yet outside of the below picture but it does appear to support transparent backgrounds and a (somewhat inaccurate) magic wand. There are predefined objects you can turn 3D as well as build in a 3 dimensional area. 

There is a 3D model search capability built in which appears like a clip art-like place for 3D models. That'll be handy I think. And textures you can use in images right out of the gate. 

I'll post more about this as I find more applications to use it for my work. This is part of what I want to learn in 2018. That and focus on VR/AR. How can this help with business processes and ERP consulting? Probably not much outside of sales and button images but who knows now with new applications and envisioning stores, displays, etc. 

Here is what I made tinkering around with it. You can export things out in 3D or 2D. 

Stay tuned.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations Certification Exams

Microsoft finally has new certification exams out. There are new ones that are usually released without any major announcement or fanfare. You basically have to keep your eyes peeled on their official list to see new ones when they come out.

If you are using Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations Enterprise Edition, you probably noticed there weren't any certifications for that. Microsoft had plenty for the other D365 exams, but nothing for FOEE. 


Here is the official list. Check it often!

currently, these are the exams out there:
  • MB6-894: Development, Extensions and Deployment for Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations [GETTING RELEASED 12/5/2017 apparently]
  • MB6-895 - Financial Management in Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations
  • MB6-896 - Distribution and Trade in Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations
  • MB6-897 - Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Retail





Monday, September 11, 2017

Find product attributes and values for an item in AX 2012 via X++

In the event you need to see what the product attributes are while debugging some stuff, run the below script.

This is for AX 2012 but probably works for D365, I'm not sure. Give it a shot.

It literally takes an item id and gives you the attributes and values in those attributes. Pretty straight forward

static void DAXGetProductAttributes(Args _args)
{
    EcoResProductAttributeValue ecoResProductAttributeValue;
    EcoResAttribute             ecoResAttribute;
    EcoResValue                 ecoResValue;
    ItemId                      itemId      = 'A10021'; // This is a sample Item Id
    InventTable                 inventTable = InventTable::find(itemId);

    while select RecId from ecoResProductAttributeValue
         where ecoResProductAttributeValue.Product   == inventTable.Product
         join Name from ecoResAttribute
             where ecoResAttribute.RecId                 == ecoResProductAttributeValue.Attribute
             join ecoResValue
               where ecoResValue.RecId                     == ecoResProductAttributeValue.Value
    {
        info(strFmt("%1 - %2 - %3", InventTable.ItemId, ecoResAttribute.Name, ecoResValue.value()));
    }
}

Saturday, June 3, 2017

MPOS Error: Creating device token failed

A little nugget of information:
In  Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 MPOS, if you receive an 'Creating device token failed' error when attempting to activate the POS or while doing transactions, you'll be halted from proceeding with what you are doing. The error will also say "- The value of Content-Type on server response is not supported."

A common culprit to this is that there is another terminal being used with that exact same Device profile.

The MPOS application can only be installed and activated on a per user basis, not for all users logging into a machine. So Sally can't log into the PC with her credentials and then the MPOS with her information while Tommy doing the same thing only under his PC AD credentials.

As a best practice, the users should all log into a generic account for that store/terminal where the MPOS is activated and then log into the MPOS under their own IDs.

UPDATE: You can have users log into their own respective accounts and have different MPOS Terminal instances. But they are not the same terminal.

Check the different users and see who is logged into what from a PC (Not POS) perspective as well as anyone in the backoffice or other stores.

Here is a scenario in which this could occur:
Someone may have accidently registered terminal 2 at store 52 as Terminal 2 at store 25, which would cause the store25 terminal 2 to get this error. Also, the person activating the device in the self-service model could've installed/activated the device under THEIR AD account, not the proper stores AD account.

Hopefully this helps!

Friday, May 19, 2017

AX POS Permission Groups and Leading Zeros - Solved!

In my previous blog post, AX Modern POS Retail Channel Reports missing and setup, I discussed an issue I hit where I would go into the Retail Channel Report Configuration form and setup permission groups. These groups would immediately not save the values in the form. The form field is a multi-select field so it won't save invalid values.

The values were invalid as the leading zeros in the POS Permission group were being dropped by the code in Figure 2 below. Changing these names to something other than a value with a leading zero fixed the issue (Figure 1).



Figure 1 - Need to start the POS Permission Group name with NOT a zero

Figure 2 - AX will drop leading zeros

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

AX Modern POS Retail Channel Reports missing and setup

When in the Dynamics AX Modern POS, you have the capabilities to do reporting based on the local store DB. There are 13 canned reports that come out of the box, but a user can add additional as needed or modify the base reports.

Some may notice when entering the POS Reports screen that there may not be any reports in this screen out of the box. Its just blank. Or they get a POS Permissions error. This is because the Retail POS reports are driven off of POS Permissions and may not have any assigned. POS Permission groups need to be added and pushed down to the store for them to be visible (via the 1110 job in Figure 2).

I had an issue where the Retail Channel Reports Configuration would never actually populate the ‘Permission Group’ field after setting it (Figure 1). Setting it would only create a record in the table in the backend with a 0 RecID field value in the POSPermissions field I just tried to set. 

Initially there were no records in the ‘RetailReportPermissionGroup’ field. And the data was never in the POS store tables (hence no reports visible). Only by adding a value to that field would it create a record in this table. And the POS Permission group would overwrite to zero. So it didn't actually work.

My fix to this was going into the AOT and manually set the fields to the POS Permission Groups (Figure 3). If you go back in the ‘Retail Channel Reports Configuration’ form after all the values are set, the POS Permission value in the backend would override the RecID to 0 again.

UPDATE: I solved the issue of the POS Permission groups disappearing in my post here: http://daxdude.blogspot.com/2017/05/ax-pos-permission-groups-and-leading.html

HELPFUL HINT 1
I would recommend that you copy an existing report and modify it till you are comfortable with how the reports run before creating one from scratch. 

HELPFUL HINT 2
As a recommendation, only make the report reports action button visible to people who can actually access the reports. Otherwise it looks like a system bug. 



Figure 1 - The retail channel reports with the missing Permission Group

Figure 2 - Run the 1110 job to push the POS retail reports to the stores

Figure 3 - The 'RetailReportPermissionGroup' table

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Modern POS Navigation Hierarchy Setup

The Modern POS is great. I really like it. But there are a lot of new setups in relation to the previous 'Enterprise POS'. One of these features is the POS navigation hierarchy.

There is only one 'Retail Product Hierarchy' in AX but there can be multiple 'Supplemental Navigation Hierarchy' records you can configure. These supplemental hierarchies can be attached to your store POS.

If you wish to do this, you can do it through the 'Channel categories and product attributes' form. The user should select their appropriate channel and change the 'Category hierarchy' field to the hierarchy of their choice.

Some times you will make this change and switch over to the POS and not see the hierarchy immediately. You will need to make sure to run the appropriate distribution job to push the data to the store, then make sure the store refreshes this hierarchy. If its not done refreshing, it may show up blank initially. Waiting will usually resolve this issue. I am not aware of a way to speed this process up at the moment.

Figure 1 - The Modern POS navigation setup

Figure 2 - The setup for the POS hierarchy

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Dynamics 365 for Operations - Determine table/field/datasource name on form and query of data

Things have changed since AX 2012 R3 in regards to navigation. The days of navigating to the AOT from the front end are over. The fluid connection before front and back has been separated, for good reason. But that has created some challenges in the new navigation.

If you see a field in Dynamics 365 for Operations and need to navigate out to it, you can do the process in Figure 1 below. You right click on the field of interest, hover over 'Form information' option, and then click the 'Form Name: ....' option.

You'll see the 'Form name' window appear which contains a wealth of information. It shoudl be fairly similar but you will notice a few additions. In Figure 2 below, you'll see:

  • Control Information
    • Datasource = the name of the datasource (not the table name but generally is. The table name 'should' be fairly similar. You'll want to look for the query statement to confirm)
    • Data field = the name of the datasource field (generally table field name)
  • Form Information
    • Form name = the form that the menu item is tied to
    • Menu item name = the name of the menu item as it is in the AOT
    • Menu item display = the type of the menu item (display/output/action)
  • Query Statement
    • The query for the datasource. This is nice to see on the front end. No need to dig for it in the back end with the QueryBuildDataSource in code. 

Hope this helps!

Figure 1 - Navigation to the form information 

Figure 2 - The information on the form information

Monday, March 6, 2017

Dynamics 365 for Operations Error - 'The user is not associated with a Worker. You need to associate the user with a Worker and then try again'

Hello Blogger, my old friend. 
I've come to post to you again. 
Because of issues softly creeping
Left its chaos while I was sleeping
And the anxiety that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of typing...

The issue
I was attempting to create a new catalog in Dynamics 365 for Operations and got the error message 'The user is not associated with a Worker. You need to associate the user with a Worker and then try again' (Figure 1). I had associated my user with a worker identity which is required for the POS activation process but wasn't sure what this was.

The fix
You need to associate a 'person' to your user (Figure 2). So navigate to System Administrator > Users > [your user]. You'll probably notice that the Person field is missing. Enter into your user (as I couldn't edit this from the grid), click 'Edit' in the toolbar. You'll be able to click the drop down of that field and see the users in the system (Figure 3)

I'd recommend that you make this the same user as the one with the associated identity you use in retail.

Hope this helps!!

Figure 1 - The error 'User is not associated...' 

Figure 2 - The missing worker association

Figure 3 - Select the worker

Friday, January 20, 2017

Dynamics 365 for Operations Filtering grid changes from AX 2012

Those who have used Dynamics AX for years may be experts in the ways to filter data via a grid and export to excel for ad hoc reporting. Its a significant value add process which many cannot live without. Then you jump to Dynamics 365 for Operations and its likely blank stares when it comes to filtering...

The client experience has changed dramatically from AX 2012 to Dynamics 365 for Operations (use #D3FO on twitter for this name). From a 32-bit desktop client to embedded web client. That transition required form controls to change and thus how filtering occurs.

So the ultimate question: How do you filter grids in Dynamics 365 for Operations?

Refer to the following documentation for these changes: https://ax.help.dynamics.com/en/wiki/filtering-in-dynamics-ax-7/

This documentation is fluid so please check it out for the latest information. The below is reposted and summarized for point in time reference and quick reference (for me).

Here are the operations for using a the Filter Operator vs the AX Query Syntax method (e.g. "advanced query" or "Crtl+G on grid and 'X..Z'").

Figure 1 - Filter expressions 'Filter Operator' vs 'Dynamics AX query syntax'

Its very important to note that '*' will literally look for an asterisk in the name. So you don't need that. The commands are more literal and in a natural language rather than syntax. It may seem to take longer to adapt but you'll adapt quicker than you think if you go into it with an open mind.

Hopefully that helps!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Dynamics 365 and you for 2017: Helpful hints, insights, and resources

Dynamics ERP friends,

Microsoft is on the move quickly with their ERP systems. Time is changing and so is the Dynamics world. Here are just a few things I want to note for this year. This is my informal, full of information/opinions/suggestions/humor note for 2017. 

Big Milestone
First and foremost, I greatly appreciate everyone who reads my blog even in passing. Its a fun and creative outlet for me to grow and the fact it helps people helps motivate me to keep it going.

I recently hit 1 million page views on my blog. Yay! [smiley face with party hat]. No clue what I'll hit next year but I'm excited to find out.

New Roadmap Portal
For roadmaps in the past, there would be an image that Microsoft would often show at keynotes at Convergence which would get passed around and reposted. It was a static image with Microsoft working being a veil of mystery.

While the above still exists, there is now an interactive roadmap that shows more than just concepts; it provides deep insights into the entire Dynamics 365 suite. https://roadmap.dynamics.com/ You'll want to bookmark this site and keep up to date on what all is going on.

It breaks down 'What's New', 'In Development', and 'Previously Released' features for all of the Dynamics 365 products and modules within those products. Keep in mind there are two editions now: Dynamics 365 Enterprise (D365 for Sales, D365 for Customer Service, D365 for Field Service, D365 for Project Service Automation, D365 for Operations) and Dynamics 365 for Business (Dynamics 365 for Financials [SMB]). The Enterprise/Business is just a way to bundle the products between Enterprise level solutions and solutions for the SMB market.

Searching for things via search engines
Culturally, we have adopted 'Google' for searching much like asking for a 'Kleenex' for a tissue or a 'Coke' for a soda. 'Did you Google it' is significantly more common that 'Did you Bing it?'. I use 'Bing' in my demos and people snicker with the fan boy jokes flying. For better or worse, that's just how it is.   
Rumor has it, you will find more data on Dynamics 365 using Bing vs other search engines due to how Microsoft optimized the search engine and metadata or something. I don't know the details but its what I've heard from multiple people in different departments at Microsoft. My experience over the past 6 months verifies these claims. Maybe I do a side by side analysis post later this year??

Product education resources
While we're on the topic of search results, MSDN and TechNet were great resources for the Dynamics AX products. Give https://ax.help.dynamics.com/ a look. It is where all the newest information is going to be found and maintained. LCS is also a great spot to research potential issues without opening a ticket while also providing valuable tools for the lifecycle of your implementation.

One interesting note is its 'ax.help...' but AX is not the branding anymore, even though it does still cover AX products. I'm ok with that since my alias is DAX Dude and a number of companies have AX embedded in the name. I refuse to become D3FO Dude (pronounced as 'Dee-foh Dude'?). I'm officially DAX Dude, who works on D3FO.

Mobility and resource development
Mobility will be so important going forward. We are already seeing the beginning pushings for it in the Dynamics space. Cloud/browser based ERPs add significantly more value with mobile applications to supplement functionality. 

I'd recommend getting up to speed on how/why companies will use mobility and what technologies to start growing resources for. You can buy great resources for a premium, but if your company wants homegrown experts, the one thing you can't buy is time. Invest in your employees. Give them the resources to grow with the technology and innovate. Its one of the things I really love about the company I work for. Its not cheap but its worth it. Blue Horseshoe is hiring top talent btw ;-) Inquire within

Product Specific naming
Make a resolution to only refer to the products by the full name ('Dynamics 365 for Operations' or some abbreviation like 'Operations', 'D3FO', 'D3 for Ops', 'Ops 1611 (the version)', etc. Just saying Dynamics 365 will not fly. I talked to a sales person last year who really want to talk to me about a great ISV add-in for 'my Dynamics solution'. The conversation was literally: "Great! Which products is it for?" "Y'know, Dynamics... the Microsoft product?" [Looks at me all sketched out] "I'm good thanks! I'll check it out online" [Grabbed branded pen, product flyer, and walked away].

Also, the product should not be called AX 7 or AX when referring to the new version. This is the same transition as from Axapta to Dynamics AX. Now its Dynamics 365 for Operations. All the cool kids are calling it by the new name. You don't want to be the dude who says Axapta 2012 do you? Coincidentally, that's the same guy who orders the gluten-free wine or a gin and root beer with a celery stick at the bar... Don't those sound yummy? Don't be that guy :-)

Thanks everyone and have a wonderful start to 2017!!!

Look forward to seeing old friends and making new ones!


Friday, January 13, 2017

D3FO/AX 2012 Password field display control encryption explanation

I was in an internal meeting where new consultants were discussing functionality in the Dynamics 365 for Operations. One of the 'off the cuff' topics was that they were not sure why the password entered, which was three digits, looked like way more characters. Everyone in the room was assured that the password was saved correctly behind the scenes.

Its important to know why the system is functioning the way it is. Thought I share some info.

The reason why this is the case is that form object masks the password and encrypts it when its entered. The presentation of the field is a generic 'mask' as to not give any indication about what characters there are on the field.

Certain pieces of information can make things easier to hack such as:

  • Number of characters
  • Valid alpha-numeric characters
  • Valid special characters
  • Personal information about the user (birthday, street address, full name, pets, first date location, etc). 
  • Does the person care about security (will have a bad password more than likely...)
To prevent giving any information on the password, its a best practice, which is reflected in the control, to provide as little data as possible to the end user. If the field masked only the characters which were entered, I would know exactly how many characters I need to guess. Now its like playing a more complicated version of Wheel of Fortune with no characters revealed.

Also, you can't just go into the AX DB and pull the data out. Its stored encrypted. Nice try.


Figure 1- Password entered before it is saved into the DB
Figure 2 - Password entered after it is saved into the DB (field is not showing anything about data)