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To contact me for any clarifications regarding any posts / information, please mail me at arijit [dot] basu [at] gmail [dot] com

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Microsoft Dynamics Customer Evidence Gadget for Vista

There is a release of the Microsoft Dynamics Customer Evidence Gadget. You can now view customer evidence on your desktop using Windows Vista Gadgets. Slice and dice the information you need to find by filtering for newly published case studies, case studies by industry, country and much more. Real cool :)

Click here to download {Requires Partnersource Login}

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Microsoft Dynamics Client for Microsoft Office and SharePoint Server

Microsoft Dynamics Client for Microsoft Office and SharePoint Server package will help customers extend the power, insights and process control of their Microsoft Dynamics ERP application to all employees via familiar Microsoft Office business productivity tools. The package contains a collection of up to 12 self-service applications that are built in Microsoft Office and SharePoint, as well as a license for Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007.

Additional resources are available at Partnersource.

Click here to download { Requires Partnersource Access}

"Everyone Gets It" Campaign for Microsoft Dynamics

The “Everyone Gets It” digital marketing campaign is the first campaign of its kind for the Microsoft Dynamics business, providing a unique, role based online experience for the five key business roles relevant to Microsoft Dynamics – Marketing, Sales, Finance, Operations and IT.
Click the link/ Pix below:

Everyone Gets It (Link)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

AX 4 AOS Basics: [Level 100]

You are well aware that AX 4.0 has gone some serious Architectural change . If we consider the "Chart Of Accounts" as the functional heart of an ERP system, then the AOS is the technical heart of AX :). Its a very important pece in AX and it has undergone significant changes in 4.0. I'll point some major ones for techie folks who are new to AX.

AOS changed to Windows service
The Dynamics AOS is now a True windows service and can be viewed in Services.msc window. It also means that AOS Exceptions is available in the Windows event viewer. In case of any issues regarding AOS errors, the same can be viewed in the Windows Event Viewer.Also the 2-Tier configuration has been removed. All connections via 3 Tier AOS Authorized only :)

Dynamics Server$instance-numberAOS-instance-name.
AOS Service:

AOS Logs in the Windows Event viewer:

Session management
Session info moved to database - No more .udb file in the application file folder which means no more writing the user sessions in the .udb file. The user session management has been migrated to the database making it possible to manage all user and business connector sessions from one console. It also makes it possible to view all AOS sessions from 1 console which was not available in AX v 3.x.User specific information is now stored in the database.

Active directory integration
All users must use AD Authentication to access the AOS. Also no more ‘sa’ / ‘bmssa’ authentication. Normally when we install the AOS, the default User is NT AUTHORITY\NETWORK SERVICEThis is not recommended in a production environment and the AOS must have separate Domain accounts with adequate rights and privileges.
The AOS account must be a user in the database and be assigned to the following database roles
• db_ddladmin,
• db_datareader, and
• db_datawriter
Also the AOS user must have execute rights to the following stored procedures in the AX Database
• createserversessions
• createusersessions

Normally when we install AOS, we select NT AUTHORITY\NETWORK SERVICE as the AOS Startup account. Later when we go to services and want to change the startup Account, the changes must also be made in the database for the new AOS User account.

Other Improvements

You can easily restrict number of sessions for an AOS. You can now restrict the nos. of connections an AOS can accept from the AOS Server Manager utility in the main page.

Load Balancing - You can now dedicate an AOS instance as a “load balancer”. For this you do not need a high end server. This piece will access all incoming requests and distribute to the available AOS Servers. Kind of useful in TS scenario. Also now we have NLB clustering features available.

• You can easily drain stop an AOS before removing from a cluster. It is useful for maintenance mode and during upgrades. This reduces downtime of the application.

The proprietary AOCP (AX v 3.x) has been replaced by RPC. Improved Client Server calls.

Enhanced server API securityLot of work has been done regarding security API & CAS.
Lot of new security API’s are available. (For reference see the whitepaper by MFP – “Writing secure code in Microsoft Dynamics AX

Secured write access to the AOT & table permissions framework AOS
Table permissions framework helps avoid unauthorized access to AX system tables. Normally when we use the .NET BC / COM connector by validating against a AD User, the AD user Security (Set in AX) is bypassed :(.
This is security vulnerability. In AX 4.x, the table permission framework has been introduced to counteract this issue. It also means that now we can secure access to the AOT Tables. In the Table property sheet, we have a new property called AOS Authorization with the following values as shown. By default its set to ‘None’ for all tables except the System Tables (See table SysUserInfo where this property has been set to “CreateDelete”).

The AOS Authorization property helps us to enable security @ the server tier. In simple words, it tells to validate User Permissions for any CRUD operations on that table. The options for this property are shown above. If we select “Create Delete” then it will enforce User Permissions for Create & Delete operations on that table. If we select “CreateReadUpdateDelete” then it will enforce User Permissions for all operations on that table. That’s smart :).You also have this at the table level for specific user levels. There are 4 new methods in a Table.

AOS authorization – All authentications via Active Directory.

• 64 Bit Table Level RecId – Now no more worrying about running out of RecId’s :)

HAPPY DAX - ing :)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Copenhagen Convergence Review | Episode II

Well Copenhagen Convergence was a nice event for me as I came across the AX Product team, saw AX 5.0 in action and learnt about the related technologies and ISV solutions for Dynamics AX. If you have been following the AX Technology wave, most probably you must have realized that X++ knowledge alone will not guarantee 'bread n butter' :) in the future. Some of the related technologies for AX Developers which must also be looked at ( at least some basic conceptual
knowledge according to me) are:

.NET [Preferably C# / ASP.NET / VB.NET and the Visual Studio IDE :)],


Some conceptual / basic knowledge of XML & BTS for the AIF,

Some basic knowledge about Web Services,

Understanding WSS/MOSS basics would be definitely helpful for the EP,


Some knowledge about Business Intellegence - PerformancePoint Server

Some knowledge about MS office 2007 [ Word, Excel, Infopath ]

The Above list is NOT meant to scare anyone.

Its just a roadmap for the future. Its better to be prepared. Knowledge can never be thrown away and we will
definitely find use for it, someday, somewhere. Considering the way technology is progressing, keeping pace with it has become a challenge. However a clear roadmap, plan and preparation will definitely help.In case you have not visited, microsoftelearning, see the link below.
There are great e learning tutorials.

Apart from related technologies, there were some nice ISV solutions for Dynamics AX:

ISV Solutions - AX Vertical solutions

thy:data and TARGIT has a nice solution on BI for Dynamics AX.

bi4Dynamics also has a nice solution on BI with Dynamics AX

FSB Development has a great feature in AX called Inventory II. Its really interesting.

LS Retail with .NET POS for Dynamics AX

Hapy DAXING :)

Friday, November 2, 2007

Copenhagen Convergence Review

Hiii. Im back from Copenhagen Convergence. It was a wonderful event where I got to meet some very important people from the Microsoft AX team and partners. It was a great experience . There were some good sessions on future of Dynamics AX, Dynamics AX 5.0 and related technologies. The event DVD will be put up at the following location:

Its a really good resource for people who missed the Convergence.
Some of the people from the Dynamics AX team I met were:
Bo Teilmann Petersen - Senior Program Manager AX Projects

Michael Fruergaard Pontoppidan (MFP) - Chief Architect Dynamics AX
Palle Agermark - thy:data
David Probst - Program Manager AX Service Management
Vijay Kurup - Program Manager Dynamics AX AOS Server
Jacob Nielsen - Director UX Team
Akshey Gupta - Program Manager Dynamics AX Manufacturing
The Dynamics UX Team consisting of JJ Guajardo, Hans Have, Allen Prier, Claus Råe

... and many other stalwarts of Microsoft Dynamics AX

It was great to meet these folks and learn so much.
I also had the opportunity to meet and work with other Dynamics MVP's.
Please see the album below for some moments @ the Convergence 2007 Copenhagen. I will be posting more on the events .

Convergence 2007 Copenhagen