Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Top 24 Dynamics AX 7 search suggestions with comments

I think that harvesting social data to see what people are searching for in regards to a specific topic (e.g. Dynamics AX 7) can be very telling for what is going on and what people are interested in. One of the best ways IMO is to look at search engine suggestions with things like Bing and Google search suggestions. For those that don't know, search suggestions are the things that show up when you start typing in the search window of a search engine (Figure 1 below).

Figure 1 - Example Bing search suggestions

Below is a raw list of the search suggestions that I've compiled from various sources  in bold and added some commentary as to why people may be searching for them. Its obviously not THE reason for the searches but I'll try to add some insight into why I would be interested in that.

Top 24 search engine suggestions for 'Dynamics AX 7'
  1. dynamics ax 7
    • Its new. Its what I searched for...
  2. dynamics ax 7 release date
    • The release date has been speculated during 2014 and 2015 as well as who can implement it and its changed a bit over time as new features are added. We generally say 'Generally Available' (eg. GA'ed) instead of 'released'.
  3. dynamics ax 7 preview
    • Often new releases are available for people to preview before they upgrade or if an organization wants to get up to speed on what is changing so they can prepare for those changes in their current implementation. Or partners want to start getting ready. They're probably adding to this.
  4. dynamics ax 7 release
    • See 'release date at #2
  5. dynamics ax 7 wiki
  6. dynamics ax 7 training
    • Yeah... People will need training on this. Even the people who know current versions of AX.
  7. dynamics ax 7 visual studio
    • In pre-AX7, MorphX, the integrated development environment (IDE), was used for all AX development. In AX 7, you will be using Visual Studio. Big change!! Check out this video on YouTube for more information: AX7 Development with Visual Studio
  8. dynamics ax 7 hr
  9. dynamics ax 7 blog
    • There are a lot of AX blogs out there (see mine and all my friends blogs in the right panel of my blog), but there is also an official Microsoft blog which has official information around AX. Check it out for the latest statements from Microsoft about Dynamics AX: Inside Microsoft Dynamics AX: The Microsoft Dynamics AX product team blog. It's different from other blogs in that its from Microsoft. 
  10. dynamics ax 7 saas
    • SaaS = software as a service. Its a software licensing and delivery model in which software is licensed on a subscription basis and is centrally hosted. Basically, you could have and use AX like you would Office 365or another online software where you don't have to manage hardware or installations. You don't have to go this route with AX 7, but software in general is trending that direction.
  11. dynamics ax 7 news
    • Who doesn't want to know what is going on with AX 7? There are a lot of things that are changing day to day so you should keep checking your news feed!
  12. dynamics ax 7 reporting
    • Some new enhancements in the SSRS reporting in the headers and footers
  13. dynamics ax 7 x++
    • AX's coding language which is now an official .NET language
  14. dynamics ax 7 mdla 
  15. dynamics ax 7 public preview
  16. dynamics ax 7 features
    • There are a bunch of features in AX but ppl are generally searching for new features in a release. more info here: What’s new or changed in Dynamics AX 7. Or the searches are new or potentially future users of AX. There might be giant lists of AX functionality but I can't think of one giant sheet of features as ERPs are loaded with features. So its a good search!
  17. dynamics ax 7.0
    • 7 or 7.0... same thing
  18. dynamics ax 7 RTM
    • RTM=Release To Manufacturer. There are multiple builds and iterations of software and hardware (e.g AX CTP builds) but the 'RTM' build is the final build that will be released when the product goes Generally Available (GA'ed). ADDED 1/22/2016: Updates for things like LCS use the acronym RTW or Release To Web. A lot of software that is in a SaaS model have RTWs
  19. dynamics ax 7 roadmap
    • 'Roadmaps' are plans of direction for Microsoft. They typically tell high level where things are going with the software and there are announcements about them usually premiering at conferences like Convergence. The existing 'Long term commitment' diagram goes out to AX 8 but not past that.
  20. dynamics ax 7 preview technical conference
    • The annual Microsoft technical conference held in Seattle. Register here. Its the best conference to go to IMO as there is so much information there with presentations by various Microsoft people. Come hang out with me there :-) It is held in Feb and used to have a bad habit of starting on the super bowl sunday so I'd fly in early so I wouldn't miss it. This year its not thankfully!
  21. dynamics ax 7 infrastructure
    • The infrastructure has changed significantly in AX 7 from previous versions. Its web-based. The AX end user experience is totally different. And with that, obviously the backend has changed too.
  22. dynamics ax 7 azure apps
    • you can leverage Azure apps to build cross-platform scalable enterprise-level applications that connect to data both in the cloud as well as on-premise systems. More information here Everyone loves apps :-)
  23. dynamics ax 7 cloud
    • AX 7 is really the first step in AX being a true cloud leveraged platform in a SaaS model. The 'cloud' is normally Azure but doesn't have to be. It can be Amazon or a private hosted cloud solution as well. I recommend Azure.
  24. dynamics ax 7 upgrade
    • Currently Microsoft is generally not allowing upgrades to AX 7; only new implementations of AX.

Note: As I'm a musician, I have to thrown this in bc I think of it everytime someone says AX 7. In your search results, if you don't say Dynamics, you may see references to Roland's AX-7 Keytar. (Figure 2) Its a keyboard that is held like a guitar, hence keytar. Its a popular one and the only one I've ever played. Yeah. Enjoy that.

Figure 2 - Roland's AX-7 keytar

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Helpful tip: Strategy on how to debug an AX form/report when you're at your last straw...

Here is a helpful tip for debugging an AX form or report (and sometimes other objects):

Sometimes when I'm at my wits end with a form or report that I can't seem to debug, I have a little strategy that allows me to quickly 'sledgehammer' out the problematic area. It also is helpful if people are testing a certain form or report and I want to debug at the same time without interfering with their operations.

I duplicate the object (Figure 1 below) and do my testing on the 'CopyOf[OBJECTNAME]' object that is created. Sometimes doing this allows me to make major changes like just deleting a datasource(s) outright if I feel it can help me get to the root cause.

For example, there was a situation where there was a very highly complex form with 25 datasources and complex joins and one of the grids wasn't showing data someone was expecting. We felt it was a query issue so I was looking around in the code a bit but nothing jumped out at me. I had a hunch a something was wrong with one of the datasources whether it was a join, missing data, wrong relationships, etc. From there, you can usually hack away at that sucker until you find an indicator that a change worked. This allows you to delete that copyof object, recopy the original and then go in and more strategically look in that area for what is wrong.

In the even you get close again, you can make a copy of the CopyOf object and keep the cycle going :-) Just delete all your objects when you are done!!!!!

It won't always work but it will a majority of the time and is a good way to jar you from being stuck on something.

Hope that helps!!!!

Figure 1 - Duplicate the AOT object