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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

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year 2010

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 Programming: Getting Started

Another book on Microsoft Dynamics AX 'Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009: Getting Started' has been released. Its good to see more and more books on Dynamics AX. This is the second book after 'Inside Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009'. Presently I'm reviewing this book and will publish a review soon. The book is available from Packtub Publishing. Click on the image below to visit the site (Available in .pdf and Hard Copy).

There is also a sample chapter available for download and you can view it by clicking on the link below:
Looking forward to review this. Well since version 3 onwards there have been few books on AX and MSDN is primarily the developer source for learning. However more books on AX will really help the developer community. Developers would want to get a copy of this book.
Happy DAXING :-)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Sure Step 2010

The latest version of Sure Step 2010 is now available from Partnersource. Click on the image below to download.

Happy Sure stepping :-)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Statement of Direction for Microsoft Dynamics AX

The updated SOD for Dynamics is now available on Partner Source/Customer Source. The document comprises of four main sections:

  • Future direction of the product
  • What is our current offering (Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 SP1)
  • What is Microsoft Dynamics AX ‘6’
  • Customer Support and Maintenance Policies

The SOD will contain information about our development plans through the year 2018.

Click here to download from Partner Source [Login Required]

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Microsoft Product Support Index

During AX implementations it becomes necessary to view the support lifecycle policies of the related products like SQL, MOSS. Here is a nice link to the MS Support Index where you will find the support roadmap for all MS Product versions. I found it extremely useful. Click on the image below to view the site.

Happy DAX-ing

Sunday, November 15, 2009

AX Application Launcher v2.1

I received some quick feedback on the UI color ;-P. I have changed the UI color to something that will hopefully be pleasant to the eyes :-). [Lemme see if I can create something like a theme...]. The new UI is as:

The installer files are attached below:

Thanks for the feedback :-)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

AX Application Launcher v2

Sometimes back I created an application "AX Configuration Launcher" which helped distribute AX Configurations enabling users to open multiple configurations easily. I made some improvements to the earlier application as:
1. New User Interface
2. Ability to sync from a centralized network share
3. Ability to configure the application (Advanced users, config stored in a XML file)
The screenshot is as follows:-

The video to install and use is displayed below:

The installation files & video are shared in the link below.

I tested it out on my local machine as well as at my client. It working fine. The network shared folder must have read access to all users using this tool. In case you use this application, do give me the feedback.
I will publish the source code in Codeplex (Im working on this now to get a license in Codeplex)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

SQL Database Performance Monitoring- Nice Tool

"There is some problem with the database server..." is a very common term I hear often from clients who face performance related issue with AX. Well database tuning is very important and impacts performance but is not the only thing that needs to be looked. Some other things are:

Recently I was investigating some DB related issue by using SQL Native tools like DMV's, Activity Monitor, DTA etc and also looking for some other utilities which would provide some dashboard view of the AX Database and hit upon a nice tool 'SQL Sentry'.
I decided to take it for a spin on the AX 2009 database and the results were kind of impressive. The Performance Advisor for SQL Server Dashboard and the Disk Activity were nice. Really gives a nice overview to the DB Admin for monitoring and troubleshooting. Nice tool to complement with the native SQL Server tools. Attaching some screenshots I did on AX and SQL Sentry. Basically I had the test data in AX 2009 and ran some resource intensive tasks like Master Scheduling, Multiline journal posting and monitored them using this tool and was pretty impressed with the output. The counters are nice and highly informative(DISK IO).
Activity Dashboard:

Disk Activity:

You may like to take it for a spin :)
Happy DAX-ing

Monday, October 12, 2009

SharePoint 2007 on Windows Server 2008 R2

An interesting post by a fellow MVP Michael Nemtsev [MVP, Web Developer and SharePoint Consultant based in Sydney, Australia.] regarding MOSS 2007 & WIN 2008 R2. Definitely a reference if you want to install & configure EP on WIN 2008 R2.
Click here to read.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Dynamics AX, BING & Language Translation

I was doing some R & D on BING API (Search & Translate) and hit upon the idea of data translation in AX using BING Translate services. Presently when a user changes the AX Language, the Labels change but data does not. It would be nice if this data could also change based on the language change. To do a simple POC, I did some R&D as follows:
1. Create a .NET APP which would consume the BING Translate API to translate text. The simple UI is as follows and works great :-)

2. Replicate this feature inside AX to translate a text inside AX using the BING API and add it as a WS reference . The POC worked and it the simple UI I created is as follows:

3. Now inside AX, create a form and a tmp table and use the API to translate data on the form. I have created a simple UI with 2 Buttons for 2 languages (en) & (ar). When I press the (en) button, the data is displayed in English and when I press (ar) the data is shown in Arabic. I have used a simple Customer Table query for an example. The Screenshot shows the same form side by side with different data translated :)


This obviously is not related to day to day work but just an idea which hit me and I just wanted to explore whether it works. Definitely to achieve this in real life would require architectural changes. Something similar to the UTC DateTime features where the DateTIme is stored in UTC in DB and the AU UI changes based on User settings. ence this POC is just to explore data translation possibilities only. The POC has worked :) and I'm sharing this as is. For creating new data I id not consider, just view. Again this was for some good fun.
To use the BING Apps, you need to create an APP id. Some important reference URL's are:
BING Developer Centre:
Search WSDL for BING :
Translation API for BING :
BING DEV App id:
1. Add the WS ( inside References Node:
2. Sample Code
Static Server Str TranslateData(Str _text = "")
Translation.LanguageServiceClient ls;
Str AppId = "Your BING APP ID";
Str FromL="en",ToL="ar",SourceText="";
Str Lang[];
Str Value="";
new InteropPermission(InteropKind::ClrInterop).assert();
ls = new Translation.LanguageServiceClient();
Value = ls.Translate(AppId,_text,FromL,ToL);
throw error(AifUtil::getClrErrorMessage());
Return Value;
This POC was created just for some serious fun :) . To be taken on the lighter side :)

Click here to see a real implementation of my experiment. This site is in Spanish. Im really happy :-)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Microsoft Dynamics Salary Survey 2009

A Dynamics Salary Survey from NIGEL FRANK.

Nigel Frank International would like to invite you to complete what is to be our annual survey of Microsoft Dynamics salaries worldwide. The survey will only take a couple of minutes to complete and your response and any personal details will be kept strictly confidential. The survey is available in the following languages for your convenience; English, German, French, Dutch, Danish, Spanish, Italian, Norwegian, and Finnish. As a thank-you for your contribution we will send you a PDF report of the results once they have been compiled. This will give you an insight into the salaries, opinions and demographics of your Microsoft Dynamics counterparts worldwide. Please find a link to the Microsoft Dynamics Salary Survey 2009 below:

Microsoft Dynamics Salary Survey 2009

Your response will be greatly appreciated and will help to give everyone in the Microsoft Dynamics community a greater understanding of their profession.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Interview on DynamicsWorld UK

I had been extremely busy since the last few weeks due to multiple personal & official engagements. However I had a little time to respond to an interview by DynamicsWorld UK.
Click here to read it :)

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 Quick reference Guide

Hi all, the new Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 Quick reference guide is a nice brochure showcasing the modules and features of AX 2009. Nice to distribute to Customers & Partners.

Click on the link below to download.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Managing Lean Manufacturing using Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009

Scott Hamilton is back again with his new book 'Managing Lean Manufacturing with Microsoft Dynamics AX '.

Book Summary

An integrated supply chain management (SCM) system represents a critical success factor for effective implementation of lean manufacturing. The software functionality must be able to manage variations in lean scenarios as well as changes associated with continuous improvement efforts and the maturity stages of lean manufacturing.

This book explains the software functionality to support lean manufacturing scenarios, as defined by functionality within the latest release of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009. It also covers the traditional approaches to these same scenarios. It explains the incremental conceptual differences between the lean and traditional approaches, and helps those readers with a traditional SCM/ERP background to understand the new vocabulary and conceptual models. The targeted reader includes those individuals implementing or considering Dynamics AX to support their lean manufacturing initiatives, as well as those providing sales and implementation services.

Click on the image below to pre order from Amazon.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

AX Email & URL Validation

All of you are aware that Standard AX does not carry out any validations on EMail addresses and URL's present in the contact details of BR/Cust/vend etc. However sometimes it becomes necessary to validate EMail addresses when they are entered in AX [DirECommunicationAddress] table. I was involved in a AX CRM implementation where it was required to validate email id's of contacts, BR when they are entered. Well if you consider the email validation piece, there are 2 parts:
1. Check if the EMail address is well formed
2. Check whether the well formed EMail id is valid.
For checking well formedness, you can use Regex (shown in this example) and for online validation of these emails, you can use any of the online email validation tools/ web services. For using online email validation web services, you can refer the whitepaper on 'Consuming external Web Services' by Helmut Wimmer
Well as for checking Well formedness, I created a small demo which validates email id's using regex:). The code is as below and is pretty simple. In this example I have used regex to validate email id's and URL's. The sample project is also attached as a download.

The small tool looks like this. There is a class in the project file which has 2 static methods that validates the input email/ url parameters using regex. You can change the regex match pattern.

The XPO and a small video is available for download below.

Well the main trick is to ensure that all emails entered in AX is validated, so just go ahead and check the method '\Data Dictionary\Maps\DirECommunicationMap\Methods\initCommInfoFromDirParty()'
You can extend the same to this method also and if you want have an online validation here as well.
Happy DAX-ing :-)

Friday, July 3, 2009

AX EP Role Centre inside Outlook [Short n Sweet :)]

I was just playing around with Outlook and AX trying to see see if the Role centre could be got into outlook as a default homepage. Well the simple way is to add the EP link as the defailt homepage , but it didnt look to good , with the menu etc. However if you append '&RUNONCLIENT=1' at the end on the EP RC URL, the menu's get chopped off and you see the Role centre real cool. Say if the URL is 'http://arijit:150/sites/DynamicsAx/Enterprise%20Portal/RoleCenterCEO.aspx?WCMP=CEU' then append '&RUNONCLIENT=1' at the end of the url [http://arijit:150/sites/DynamicsAx/Enterprise%20Portal/RoleCenterCEO.aspx?WCMP=CEU&RUNONCLIENT=1] and the heads of the MOSS/WSS site get chopped off. Pretty kool. See the screenshot below from my Outlook default homepage with AX CEO RC :)

Happy DAXing :-)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

AX Intelligent Data Management Tool : Inside look

After a few hitches I've managed finally to get the IDMF started up and running and the results are pretty nice. One prerequisite is that you must have XRef done on your DB (Production :-(). Also during the post install steps watch out for the windows application log coz that goes full and you have to clean it up. However after you complete the post install steps and have executed the batches, the results are nice. To avoid the XRef* tables occupy the top tables in terms of rows and size, do not run the full XRef, just XRef the data model. Here are some screens (Done on AX 2009 SP1; WIN 2003 R2SP2,SQL 2008 ENT).

Analysis Dashboard:
Dashboard Closeup:

Analysis Details:

Data Purging (Visual XRef):

The IDM is not for Production use and should be only used in a Sandbox/ Dev environment. This is a Pre Release version . The Production build will have some more features :) like application log control...
Happy DAXING :)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Microsoft Dynamics Top 100 Influential People 2009

Dynamics World has published the “The Microsoft Dynamics Top 100 Influential People 2009" list. This list is intended to provoke thought and reward those that have achieved something extraordinary within Microsoft Dynamics. Click on the link to view the top 100.

The Microsoft Dynamics Top 100 Influential People 2009

Monday, June 22, 2009

"Inside Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009" is now available

"Inside Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009" book is now available at AMAZON. :) Click on the link below to order.

You can also download the sample codes used in this book and download the bonus content : Upgrade to AX 2009 from MS Learning website.

Happy DAXing :)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Intelligent Data Management Framework for Microsoft Dynamics AX

The Intelligent Data Management Framework for Microsoft Dynamics® AX helps administrators optimize Dynamics AX database layout by intelligently monitoring index usage, index layout, fragmentation and query patterns thru indices. The framework allows reduction of the database size by purging transaction records from a set of related entities, while maintaining the consistency and integrity of production data. The Intelligent Data Management Framework provides customers and partners the ability to identify and discover related entities based on Microsoft Dynamics AX metadata and to determine the purging criteria for entities and transactions. The Intelligent Data Management Framework also analyzes the production database to determine current usage patterns and assesses the health of the Microsoft Dynamics AX application.
At RTM, this Framework will include “Archive to Offline” Instance Support.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Inside Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 has RTM'ed today :-)

The 2nd book from Microsoft Press on Microsoft Dynamics AX has RTM'ed today and is available on Amazon to preorder. As per sources, this book will be available from June 10th onwards. I had a small involvement in this book and I recommend this to all AX 2009 developers. This is a must read if you want to get your fundamentals cleared. Lots of detailed information on AX 2009 Architecture, EP & Role centre, Workflows, AIF, Performance and so on. Click on the image below to preorder.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

AX 2009 & Office Business Applications [OBA]

A small example of Dynamics AX 2009 , OBA, .NET BC & Web Services (AIF). I found this OBA thing pretty interesting and did a simple demo which enables a developer to use VSTO to customize Excel which connects to AX 2009 using 2 ways (.NET BC & AIF WS) and retreives the customer list and populates the excel sheet.

A very simple example with great potential. Basically the demo consists of customizing the Ribbon in Excel 2007, adding buttons which fetches the customer master from AX 2009 using .NET BC & AIF WS. The sample code (VS 2008) is also uploaded. You can download this and customize it. I have used the base AX CustomerService Service as a sample WS. You need to change the Web Reference in the project file.

The sample project file is uploaded below.

Happy DAX-ing :)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

AX Application Launcher

I have often seen that it becomes difficult to manage AX Configurations in an implementation. Considering the fact that one has multiple instances in any implementation like Development, test, UAT, Pre Production, Production, Training and DR, it becomes quite confusing to centrally manage these and at the same time distribute these to end users. Also asking end users to manually select configurations sometimes becomes quite confusing to end users. Moreover deploying .axc and .url files to all end users becomes quite a pain :-(. To relieve this pain in one of my implementations, I came up with an AX Launcher which can be installed on each users machine . It creates 2 local folders , one for .axc files and other for .url files . This launcher then shows all the files in groups to the user. These 2 folders can now be remotely updated/ synched by the admin so when new configurations are available, it is dropped into these folders and end users can access them. Also when existing configurations are no longer used, they can be remotely removed from the folders :)
The Application looks like this...

There is an installer which I created which can be installed in users PC/Laptops (I tried with WIN XP and WIN 2K3).
You need .NET 3.0 framework to install this. The Installer created 1 root folder "AXConfig" in C:\ of the users PC and inside that folder creates 2 folders "AXRichClient" and "AXWebClient". You need to have Admin privilidges to install this. In the "AXRichClient", drop some .axc files and in the "AXWebClient" drop in the EP shortcut files - .url". The application is set to autosync with this folder every 10 mins. However the sync can also be done manually. I have attached the video on how to install the files and how to use it.

For testing purposes, I have uploaded the installer files [LauncherSetup.msi & setup.exe] as well as the video file. Please see the video file before installing. In case you want to try it out, please download these 2 files into the same folder and run setup.exe. Please do this in a test environment :). In case of any bugs, let me know.

Happy DAX-ing :)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Managing Your Supply Chain using Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009

Scott Hamilton has released his book on AX 2009 SCM. Like his previous title, this edition for AX 2009 is a must read for all AX SCM Consultants who are implementing AX 2009.

"Managing Your Supply Chain addresses the need for an overall understanding about using Microsoft Dynamics AX to manage manufacturing and distribution businesses. The targeted reader includes those individuals implementing or considering Dynamics AX as their ERP system as well as those providing sales and implementation services. Firms involved with a system selection process may be considering Dynamics AX as a candidate package, and this book can help reduce selection risks, evaluate system fit and needed customizations, and provide a vision of an integrated system. The book can help businesses involved in implementing and using Dynamics AX by accelerating the learning process, reducing implementation time and costs, and reducing user resistance to change. It suggests changes that can improve system usage and revitalize a wayward implementation. For firms providing sales and services related to Dynamics AX, this book can accelerate the employee learning process for providing knowledgeable customer service in sales, support, and professional assistance. "

This book has received very good reviews and is available at Amazon for pre order. Click on the image below to Pre Order your copy.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

AX goes Green with envi :)

The AX 2009 SP1 Environmental Sustainability dashboard & functionality was released for AX 2009 SP1 on 1st Feb 2009. It is available for download at partnersource and increases the AX dashboard count by 1 :)

The Environmental Sustainability Dashboard and functionality for Microsoft Dynamics AX will help companies understand, many for the first time, what their energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions are so that they can:
• have greater visibility to environmental costs and potential risks,
• find opportunities for significant cost savings,
• determine a definitive measurement against which reduction goals can be measured,
• make better informed decisions.
The dashboard is shown below:

Click here to download the Dashboard along with related documentation.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

MSDN Ramp Up : Learning

Hi, looking at the solution scope of AX 2009, it has become essential for developers to learn up WSS/MOSS and Visual Studio 2008. For the developers of X++, skill upgradation is required at a very fast pace. There is something called "Ramp up" from Microsoft, which offers free courses on MOSS & VS 2008. Ramp Up is a free, online, community-based learning program that will help you build professional development skills. U just need to register. Hope you all sign up and enjoy the benefits. Click on the image below:

Happy learning :)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

AX 2009 Document Management & MOSS / WSS

Recently I was re looking at AX 2009 Document Management capabilities (Which is pretty limited) and trying to find some way to extend it. Since AX 3.x, the AX Document Management has hardly undergone any major changes. I was doing a POC on AX 2009 Document Management capabilities & MOSS. Since MOSS/WSS is an integral part of AX 2009, it would be a nice idea to integrate these so as to be able to take full advantage of the document features of MOSS/WSS. However there were challenges like Security, referential integrity etc which posed a challenge. However I did some R & D and created a POC which lets users attach documents to a MOSS Document library along with AX Metadata using the base AX 2009 Document handling functionality. Although its not complete and far from perfect, it opens up a new vista for developers who want to extend AX Document handling to MOSS.

If you are aware of the basics of WSS/MOSS, there are Web Services [_vti_bin\] (Specially copy.asmx) which lets u programatically upload documents. Other than that Microsoft,Sharepoint.dll also has some interesting methods which let u do the same .

The first step was to create a MOSS Site (Document Centre template - MOSS 2007 SP1). Now I needed to store documents of various AX Modules so I created subsites for the different AX modules like CRM, Projects etc. Then the next step was to create a document library, add some extra columns to store metadata from AX (I created columns for RecId, Company, Remarks). Then save this docu library as a template for reusability :-).

Since the plan was to have separate Sites for AX Modules and separate library for different kinds of documents within a module ( Say in CRM Module, the different types of documents required to be uploaded are case Studies, Brochures etc), I needed to create some parameter tables in AX which stored the parameters per module and per document category. See attached screens. I also had to tweak the basic docuview table and form as well as the Document handling functionality.

Then I created a C# Class library which accepts parameters and uploads the document to a specified URL, Site & Document Library and returns the URL of the attached document. See code snippet below:
using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Linq;
using System.Text;
using System.Web;
using System.IO;
using System.Net;
using Microsoft.SharePoint;
using System.Collections;

namespace DynamicsAX2009
public class MOSSDocumentManagement
public String uploadDocument(String _URL,
String _Site,
String _Library,
String _File,
String _AXID,
String _AXCompany,
String _AXRECID,
String _AXReference)
String sUser = "mossadmin";
String sPwd = "H@lloom24";
String sDomain = "MVP";
System.Net.NetworkCredential NC = new System.Net.NetworkCredential(sUser, sPwd, sDomain);
string SiteURL = _URL + _Site ;// "http://arijit:150/AXCRM";
String Library;
SPSite sp = new SPSite(SiteURL);
SPWeb site = sp.OpenWeb();
Library = _Library;
SPFolder folder = site.GetFolder(Library);//Case Studies ; Solution Brief
SPFileCollection files = folder.Files;
FileStream fStream = File.OpenRead(_File); //path of the file to upload
byte[] contents = new byte[fStream.Length];
fStream.Read(contents, 0, (int)fStream.Length);
Hashtable MetaDataTable = new Hashtable();
MetaDataTable.Add("AX-ID", _AXID);
MetaDataTable.Add("AX-Company", _AXCompany);
MetaDataTable.Add("AX-RECID", _AXRECID);
MetaDataTable.Add("AX-Reference", _AXReference);
_File = _File.Substring(_File.LastIndexOf("\\") + 1);

SPFile currentFile = files.Add(_File, contents, MetaDataTable, true);

if (currentFile.CheckOutStatus != SPFile.SPCheckOutStatus.None)
currentFile.CheckIn("New Version from AX");

return SiteURL + "/" + currentFile.ToString();
catch (Exception err)
return ("
" + err.Message);


Then I deployed the dll in the \Client\Bin folder of the AX Client and added as a reference. Then write a few lines of code (See Project Screenshot) in the base AX Document Handling Functionality (Forms\DocuView) which let users upload documents into MOSS Site Library and store the URL in AX :-). Pretty kewl. However security remains still a challenge. I was hoping to use the Target Audience features of MOSS for Record level Secirity but didnt have time enuff :(.

Attaching a small video. Lemme know if anyone has any suggestions.

Uploading the video . Click on link below:

HAPPY DAX-ing :-)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

AX 2009 :Cubes & Security Documentation

I was kind of very busy with an AX 2009 SP1 GDL Cons Implementation and really had some tough time configuring the cubes when country configuration keys were switched off :(. Well I gathered some nice documents regarding this . Click on the link below to download these.

Happy DAX-ing :)