Tuesday, December 4, 2018

D365 Full screen mode for Modern POS (MPOS)

I was working with a coworker today to get the Dynamics 365 Retail Modern POS (MPOS) application to show up in full screen. Back in AX 2012, you had the option to use full screen mode, hiding your cursor, etc in the visual profiles but they're not there anymore.

So as seen below, how can we make this universal windows app go to full screen? Since its a UWP app, we can use the Win+Shift+Enter hot key combo to make it go full screen like below.

Problem solved!

If we need to always open the MPOS in full screen and restrict users from using any other applications or browsers or whatever, explore using Kiosk mode. It can restrict the entire instance to a single or multiple specific apps based on a config.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Dynamics 365/AX 2012 Modern/Enterprise POS 'Speed Scanning' feature

I didn't realize that its somewhat unknown that there is a speed scanning feature in the POS for rapid item entry. I was answering some questions at AXUG for some end users and this was brought up. Then again as a use case for a customer. That prompted a post. 

If you are selling multiple units of something in a store (e.g. 4 bottles of wine) and don't want to scan the product, click change qty, and enter qty, you can instead do this handy little trick. 

USE CASE: We need to scan 4 of the same bottle as fast as possible.

SOLUTION: In the number pad, enter 4 and hit the '*' asterisk button. Then scan the barcode or enter the item. BLAM! That item with a qty of 4. 

Some notes to this: 
  • You need to use the number pad control
  • You can use the keyboard or the onscreen numpad. 
  • You must enter a barcode or the item id either with a scanner or through the number pad
  • Searching for an item will not allow this to work.
  • When you enter the quantity and hit asterisk, the entry field clears out all of the fields. Its still there in the background so enter the item
  • This works for all versions from AX 2012 FTP to D365 F&O 8.1
  • Enterprise POS (EPOS) and Modern POS (MPOS) are supported for this

Rock on!

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Quick tip: Quickly navigate multiple Excel worksheets, much like a table of contents

I recently did an AXUG Session about using the real time integration to Excel. You can build all sorts of reports/metrics and have the data auto-refresh when opening the form.

Its great! And you can really fill up an Excel worksheet quickly...  But for those that really get into it, traversing a massive Excel sheet can get pretty daunting. The resolution to this for some people is to create other Excel files in a static location that all reference each other. That works, and is ok for some purposes, but not always. I would NOT recommend breaking out an Excel sheet into multiple linked Excel sheets just for ease of navigation sake. Once you hit the 4th or 5th linked Excel file and have more than one person trying to figure it out, good luck.

An alternative approach
A little known trick to quickly navigate multiple Excel worksheets, much like a table of contents, is to right click on the arrows in the lower left hand side of the application (to the left of the worksheet tabs). This will open a form called 'Activate'. 'Activating' a worksheet just means that it will be navigated to. Its not really activating or enabling anything. The terminology is a little odd but thats all its saying. This is basically a table of contents for your Excel file!

I had a worksheet with over 50 tabs and could navigate to a specific one in three clicks (right click on arrows, select worksheet, click ok). You might need to scroll to the worksheet if there are a lot but thats easier than the alternatives or a table of contents workbook tab.

Hope that helps!

Figure 1 - The many, long worded Excel worksheets

Figure 2 - Right click on the arrows to see all worksheets

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

DAXDude Top 10 blog posts from last two months

I think its very interesting to read the stats on my blog to see what/who people are doing across the globe on AX/D365. Thought I'd share the top 10 blog posts from last two months. There were ~18k pageviews and about 8.5k unique visitors in the month of October/November as of today.

Overwhelmingly, the top 5 were the most popular in terms of blog post hits specifically. Also, 9 out of the top 10 were all about AX, not Dynamics 365. The one that was about Dynamics 365 was just posted this month and those usually inflate from all of the RSS feeds, twitter posts, etc so its statistically different than the other posts. 

  1. Use X++ wildcard (LIKE and NOT LIKE) in X++ select statement
  2. AX X++ str2Date function deep dive
  3. Dynamics AX 2012 - Reset/Clear your user's usage data
  4. Cycle through container in AX
  5. Compare AX X++ conIns function vs += for container insert
  6. Microsoft 365 vs Dynamics 365 vs Office 365 terminology and branding (hopefully) explained
  7. Retail Modern POS (mPOS) installation and setup via AX 2012 R3 CU8 demo machine
  8. AX 2012 WCF Error: 'The specified client configuration does not contain valid WCF settings'
  9. AX Issue: Cannot edit a record in Sales Orders (SalesTable). An update conflict occured due to another user process deleting the record or changing one or fields in the record
  10. AX Tables: Copy all table data to another table

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Microsoft 365 vs Dynamics 365 vs Office 365 terminology and branding (hopefully) explained

Microsoft brings all of their cloud offerings under the '365' branding. There are many different offerings under 365 but not all of them are truly meant to be used together. What do I mean by that? How do you know what expert is an expert in what product? Do you know what you're licensing? Hopefully this will help explain a little bit more.

When I say Microsoft 365, that technically doesn't encompass Dynamics 365. Microsoft 365 is Office 365, Windows 10, and the Enterprise Mobility + Security. When we say Office 365 then, we're actually saying its part of Microsoft 365. Its a sub-offering under a licensing/branding package.  

When I say Dynamics 365, its all of the Dynamics 365 'for' products, such as D365 for Retail, D635 for Finance and Operations, D365 for Sales, D365 for Marketing, etc. But its also good to know that these Dynamics products are still technically 3 or more 'products' brought together under the Common Data Model which allows all of them to communicate. Its AX, CRM, and new applications such as 'for Talent' if we're looking behind the scenes. Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations and Dynamics 365 for Retail are really the same code base (AX) but licensed differently.  Dynamics 365 for Sales/Marketing/Customer Service/etc are all traditionally CRM. 

So it can get tricky when people refer to Microsoft Dynamics 365 as Microsoft 365 or Dynamics 365 when the terminology really spans so many different titles. And that can be a problem. When going to a trade show and I ask which Dynamics 365 products their XYZ integrates directly into, they say Microsoft 365: all of it. Thats an interesting response that doesn't tell me anything. Especially when we are talking about business workloads. When we talk about things like a tax engine or rate shopping and they say that it will take care of all my worries, I want to know if its going into the Common Data Model and exposed to other mobile apps, is it natively integrated with Finance and Operations, is it a CRM-side ISV, etc. 

These are massive things to consider when evaluating a solution and sometimes the branding can make things a little more difficult. This post is not meant to solve the issues but hopefully raise a little awareness. Let me know down below if you have any questions about the above!

Friday, July 13, 2018

Create an AX 2012 R2 AIF Webservice: Step by Step

Check out my new DAX Dude YouTube channel.

Kicking this off with an old demo of creating an end to end AX 2012 R2 AIF (Application Integration Framework) webservice. https://youtu.be/pjqqDrDxuWQ

The quality isn't stellar but I'll get back to that sometime.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Getting up to speed on D365/AX

For those who may not be aware, the Dynamics space is growing rapidly. For example, in the Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations (FO) area, its had a couple names and several different official twitter handles in the past year or so... Names asided, new modules are being added, upgrades being streamlined, Retail processes and installations optimized, and a focus on proactive over reactive system maintenance are being implemented.

While all that new functionality is great for Dynamics 365 FO, the entire Azure stack and other Dynamics products (Sales and Marketing, Talent, etc) are now pieces of the overall puzzle to your deployment. Ignoring them from your solution is going to be a mistake.

Its near impossible to keep up with it all. You need a solid baseline on the systems (all of them) and then be able to translate the updates that come out to know what is changing on the almost monthly basis. So how can you and your org ramp up in your knowledge as quickly and efficiently as possible? There are a few options and all of them can be used in conjunction with each other:

Option 1: Documentation
You can read all the documentation. Thats a total snooze fest and you'll forget most of it by the time you actually jump into the software. Documentation lacks the application of the concepts and real world scenarios.

Option 2: Dig in. Experience
Roll up your sleeves and dig into the application. Nothing beats getting into the application and making things happen. This can be a bad first step if you are unfamiliar with the application, best practices, typical configs, etc. You can set something up for given business scenarios but what happens when those scenarios inevitably evolve? You don't want to config yourself in a corner... And its easy to do...

Option 3: Conferences and tech sessions
Conferences and tech sessions are a great way to learn from experts and get an understanding of the content. You can ask questions and attend sessions that typically have experience levels for the sessions so you can get the right content. But more importantly, you can network with others. Thats critically important as the community seems very small at times...

There are a few conferences you should try to go to if you're serious about being in the AX/D365 space: AXUG Summit and MS Business Applications Summit.

AXUG Summit is run by users but has become an authority summit for everyone in the community to convene at. Sessions are put on by end users, partners, and Microsoft. It is here where you can get some of the most candid information from everyone from execs to developers. #1 tip is to not go back to your room at the end of the days' sessions. You'll do a lot of networking with great discussions around the hotel and at the restraurants/lounges.

The Business App Summit is new and has never existed. It seems to be a combination of both the old Convergence which was like a sales-y summit with the MS Tech Conference which was put on by the Microsoft product group and had about as detailed information as you could get about the bits and bytes of the applications.

You can register for AXUG here: https://www.axugsummit.com/register 
You can register for the MS Business Applications Summit: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/businessapplicationssummit 

Option 4: Social Networks (and blogosphere)
Subscribe to blogs, RSS feeds, email newsletters from ISVs and partners, etc. There is valuable information in sales materials as well. Remember, there is never an obligation to buy services but you'll get a lot of free useful information as long as you can parse through the sales stuff...

So to round this up and reinterate, the above options are things you should do in conjunction with each other, but are NOT mutually exclusive. Hopefully this helps everyone! Let me know if you're at a conference and want to network!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Export Power BI dataset to Excel PowerPivot

The Power applications are hitting the Dynamics 365 space by storm. Lots of interest there. 

Whether its a customer wanting to set up some Power BI dashboards or trying to figure out how to get data out of my own company's Power BI 'dataset' there can be some hurdles. 

When I jumped into PowerBI, I was overwhelmed. Its easy to create reports when you know the application as well as the data that you need to pull from. Problem is, if you don't know the data, you can't get very far. 

I can figure out how to create BI if I know the table structure and have an idea of what the tables are and how they link together (Figure 1). But if I don't, what now? I can click on these fields one by one and see them in PowerBI UI but I don't have the freedom to copy and paste the data for further analysis. 

I export the datasets to Excel (where I'm more comfortable) and use PowerPivot type concepts through the below. I'll go one by one and see the data and how they interact with the other datasets to really learn what we have at our disposal.

Hopefully this short but sweet technique will help get you up and rolling with your Power BI data. 

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

D365 Retail MPOS login error "The request passed to the service is not valid"

Dynamics 365 for Retail error that occurs when attempting to log in to the Modern POS (MPOS): "The request passed to the service is not valid"

This occurs when an existing shift is trying to be opened by the MPOS but it cannot.
This issue is usually because the user’s shift is open on another terminal and the user can only log into a single shift.

To recreate this, have two POS terminals for the same store. Open a new shift on terminal 1. Then, while the first shift is open, log in to the second shift. If you have your system configured to allow a single user, single shift, it will ask you to resume an existing shift, the one that you have open on terminal 1. The system will give you the error “The request passed to the service is not valid”.

This can also occur if you find yourself in a ‘stuck shift’ issue. That can happen when your system allows for shared shift drawers (hardware profile) and you are switching terminals. I am not sure in what order that you’ll have to do things to receive this ‘stuck shift’ issue, but it will result in your user, and the others who were using that shared shift that is now stuck, to receive that “the request passed…” error. Those users on that essentially hose them from the system. They can’t log in to any POS terminal for that store. Not fun...

For this stuck shift issue, look at the crt.RetailShiftUsersStagingTable and crt.RetailShiftStagingTable tables in SQL Express for the stuck shifts. You may need to do some magic here. Be extremely careful in what you do to fix the issue. While our team was able to resolve the issue, you may want to use Microsoft Support to assist with the issue. Shout out to the team for figuring out this issue! 

UPDATE 6/12/2018 - Check out my buddy Duc Le's blog post about this very issue: http://ducdax2012retail.blogspot.com/2017/02/cant-close-shift-error.html. Duc was a colleague of mine a while back so check out his blog! He focused on retail as well. Thanks for the comment below and miss working with you, dude. Hope all has been well!