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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, 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 :)