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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

Friday, August 6, 2010

Managing Process Manufacturing using Dynamics AX

Scott Hamilton has released his 6th book on AX - 'Managing Process Manufacturing using Dynamics AX'. Like his previous titles, this one also gives a great functional insight into the ProcessManufacturing concepts and Dynamics AX.
Book Description:

Managing Process Manufacturing explains how Microsoft Dynamics AX supports the unique business practices of process manufacturing, including hybrid scenarios involving discrete and process manufacturing. The targeted reader includes those individuals implementing or considering Dynamics AX as their ERP system, as well as those providing consulting assistance. The book content provides a complete walk through of functionality related to operations and supply chain management in process manufacturing.

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 for running the business using AX. The book can help businesses involved in implementing and using Dynamics AX by accelerating the learning process, supporting gap/fit analyses, and reducing implementation time and costs. It suggests changes that can improve system usage and revitalize a wayward implementation. For firms providing consulting services related to Dynamics AX, this book can accelerate the employee learning process, especially for those not yet familiar with the new functionality related to process manufacturing.


Click here to pre book the title from Amazon.
Download the TOC from here:

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Dynamics AX 2009 Rollup 5

Dynamics AX 2009 Rollup 5 has been released to Partner Source and Customer Source. RU-5 carries all the content that has been released in previous rollups (RU-1, RU-2, RU-3, RU-4).
Click on the link below to download (Requires Authentication):
AX 2009 SP1 RU-5

Happy upgrading :-)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

SQL Server 2008 R2 Best Practices Analyzer (BPA)

This is nothing to do specifically with Dynamics AX :-) but this is something that caught my attention and I decided to try it out and share it and this can definitely be used in an AX environment to conduct a health & BP check on the AX SQL Database. The SQL Server team has released the SQL Server 2008 R2 Best Practices Analyzer (BPA) tool.
BPA is designed for administrators who want to determine the overall conformance of their SQL Server instances and topology with established best practices. BPA examines your SQL Server instance for system events, reviews login permissions, scans your SQL Metadata for advisable settings, and recommends solutions to items that do not conform with established Microsoft best practices.
There is an AX Security Hardening guide available from Microsoft but this is something extra which can definitely be used. I tried it on my AX Environment and it provided some nice results.

 Happy DAX-ing :-)

Friday, June 18, 2010

Microsoft Dynamics Salary Survey 2009

The Microsoft Dynamics Salary Survey 2009 is now available for public consumption. This salary has been compiled by Nigel Frank. Contains detailed statistics for all Dynamics products (AX,NAV,GP,SL).
Definitely should be interesting :)
Please click on the image below to sign up and get the report.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

TFS 2010 and Dynamics AX 2009 VCS

Recently the technology landscape is going rapid changes. New products/ releases like VS2010, SQL 2008 R2, Office 2010 Suite etc have changed the technology scenario a lot. All these have opened up tremendous opportunities for the developer as well as the customer. Its really an amazing time to be in technology :-). I was present for the India VS 2010 Launch and immediately dived in :-). One of my task was to evaluate TFS for our AX projects. As we had been using TFS 2008, it was an interesting R&D to see if this worked with TFS 2010.
Installation of TFS 2010 went of perfectly and I was able to configure a single server TFS 2010 environment. TFS 2010 comes with tons of great features and you can read it here.
TFS blog of bHarry

Well after creating the project in TFS 2010 I set out to configure it for AX 2009 but was greeted with an error as shown below.

On closer examination i saw that the assembly version was creating the issue. Version was for TFS 2008 and AX was looking for that. So the next step was to see if TFS 2008 Team Explorer could be used to access TFS 2010. One interesting link I found helped me overcome that.
TFS 2008 Team Explorer to access TFS 2010

The steps to follow are:
1. Install & Configure TFS 2010
2. Install Team Explorer 2008
3. Install VS 2008 SP1
4. Install the Forward Compatibility patch (Visual Studio Team System 2008 Service Pack 1 Forward Compatibility Update for Team Foundation Server 2010
5. Open Team Explorer and Connect to TFS 2010

Now configure VCS inside AX 2009 SP1 as shown below and it should work fine.

Well it appears to work fine. AX 2009 SP1 does not support out of the box integration with TFS 2010 but this workaround helps you to work with TFS 2010 VCS. Microsoft may/may not release a fix/patch for AX 2009 but AX '6' should definitely support TFS 2010 out of the box. I have done some basic tests and they appear to work fine. However more detailed testes need to be carried.
The Dynamics SE team should put some update on this.
Happy DAX-ing :)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Visual Studio 2010 Launch & Dynamics AX Perspective

Well you all know Visual Studio 2010 RTM'ed on 12th April. I had attended the Launch event at TechEd 2010 Bangalore and the launch was done by Somasegar himself. It was a great event to attend :-). VS 2010 opens up new vistas for developers.

Well whats VS 2010 got to do with AX? Brandon posted a compatibility report on AX & VS 2010 . I thought I would wait for RTM :-). The Dynamics AX Sustained Engineering Team has completed the  compatibility tests for the new releases for .NET 4.0, VS 2010 & Office 2010.
Click here to learn more.
Looking forward to play with VS 2010 & AX 2009.

One good thing I got to see @ TechEd 2010 India was the Windows 7 phone :-). Awesome.

Happy DAX-ing :-)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

DynamicsWorld - 2010 Top 100 - Voting

Dynamicsworld started a  Microsoft Dynamics Top 100 Most Influential People List . The criteria include the number of years experience, MVP status, those that run blogs, forums and Dynamics based sites, and those with senior positions within organisations, as well as those that have created products and modules for Dynamics.
Click on the link below to vote:
2010 Nominations

Friday, April 9, 2010

AX Environment Information on UI - Simple & sweet tweak.

I've ofter observed that during implementations where there are multiple environments it becomes difficult to identify which environment a form belongs to especially when there are multiple forms open form different environments (Live, Test, Prod, Training etc). I made a very simple tweak which highlights which environment a form belongs to. Very similar to the AX 2008 Workflow band. This was successfully tested in AX 3.0, AX 4.0 and AX 2009. Its really very simple and effective. See screenshot below.

The XPO is attached below. This XPO is for AX 2009 SP1 and the SysSetupFormRun class was modified.

Happy DAX-ing

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

TechED India 2010

TechED India 2010 starts next week in Bangalore India. Lots of exciting events planned as well as release of VS 2010. This TechED will also feature a community track where MVP's will be taking sessions on latest technologies. I'll be taking a session on Dynamics AX . Drop in in case you want to know more about the power of Dynamics AX 2009 and how businesses can derive value.
The session list is:

Saturday, March 20, 2010

AX Tools Blog

The Developer & Partner tools group of Microsoft Dynamics AX has published a new blog. This blog will give you the roadmap for the current & future productivity & development tools for Dynamics AX. Keep watching this blog for more updates on the future of AX for Developers :-)

Happy DAX-ing

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Company Profile, Social networking inside Dynamics AX 2009

I was working on an AX CRM implementation where the need for social networking & company profiling came. Requirement was that BD people should have access to social networking information, stock informations for applicable Business relations which would help them do a profiling of the BR. With the widespread use of social networking like twitter, linkedIn etc, some feature need to be inside AX. Well I like such challenges and did a small POC to show stock information inside AX. Integration to LinkedIn is in WIP :-).
I added a flag in BR for the BR the sales people wanted to track.

Then I built a small and simple form to show the flagged BR. The user would have to add the ticker symbol (careful as these are case sensitive) and then can view stock information for the BR . I've used Yahoo Financials for the charts and can be used to see for multiple duration as shown.

The integration to LinkedIn is in WIP and will try to complete that when I get some time :-(. I've also added a small video and have uploaded the XPO. This was done in AX 2009 SP1 Vanilla. I've modified the smmBusRelTable so take care to import the XPO. It would be great if we could have such information inside Dynamics AX :-)
The Video is here.

The XPO and the video is also uploaded in SkyDrive . You need to have internet connection to make this work.

Happy DAX-ing :-)

New Dynamics AX Spanish Site

My friend Antonio Gilabert Plaza started his new Dynamics AX site. This site is entirely in Spanish. Do drop in. Another site added to the growing DAX community :-)

Happy DAX-ing

Friday, March 12, 2010

ERP Implementation Strategies – A Guide to ERP Implementation Methodology

When implementing an ERP, one important decision which needs to be made is on the implementation rollout strategy. Will it be Big Bang, Phased, Agile etc. A lot depends on this strategy.
Big bang - Implementation happens in a single instance. All users move to the new system on a given date.
Phased rollout - Changeover occurs in phases over an extended period of time. Users move onto new system in a series of steps.
Parallel adoption - Both the legacy and new ERP system run at the same time. Users learn the new system while working on the old. is currently running a survey regarding these strategies. Please click on the link below to take the survey.

Happy DAX-ing

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Dynamics AX 2009 Bulk Data insert using SSIS

Recently I was working on a POC which required me to insert 1,00,000 records into AX 2009 from an external LOB application and post these lines in AX. Well that got me thinking since it was a huge amount of import. .NET BC would be very slow, excel import would not be feasible. Direct SQL inserts seemed to be the feasible solution but I had to deal with RecId, RecVersionId & Company. Well after much R&D I hit upon using SSIS and some custom scripts to get the data inside AX. My test environment was:

Environment: WIN 2008 Enterprise 32 Bit, 4 GB RAM, MSSQL 2008 Developer SP1, AX 2009 SP1.

Test Dataset: 1,00,000 records into a table in a separate database in SQL 2008.

Objective: Insert these records in AX 2009.

Results: Inserted 1,00,000 records inside AX 2009 in 13.6 seconds (along with RecId, RecVersionId & DataAreaId). Used SSIS to bulk insert the records.

So how I went forward??

1. Created a sample database & sample table and populated with demo data.

The script for sample table create is as follows.

USE [Database]



CREATE TABLE [dbo].[tbl_PortalTrans]( [TransactionId] [nvarchar](20) NOT NULL, [TransactionReference] [nvarchar](30) NULL, [TransactionAmount] [numeric](28, 13) NULL) ON [PRIMARY]

The script for sample data in the above table is as follows.

declare @counter int

set @counter = 0

while @counter <>


set @counter = @counter + 1

insert into tbl_PortalTrans values ('TRID-'+cast(@counter as char),'Transaction Ref : ' + cast(@counter as char),




2. Created a sample target table & form in AX 2009.

This would be the ultimate target of these 1,00,000 records from the source table. The source xpo is attached in the download url.


3. Created a SSIS package to extract, transform & load data in AX 2009.

This was the meat of the application. I creates a SSIS package which reads the source tables, uses a few transformations to add extra columns to the data, use the custom script to generate the recid’s on the fly and finally push it inside AX 2009. I have also uploaded the VS 2008 SSIS package.

SSIS Control Flow objects.


SSIS Data Flow objects.


I’m also attaching a video on how this works :-)

The source files are present below at Sky drive. In case you want to use the package, you need to have a good understanding about SSIS 2008 in order to modify the package. To use it, please modify the package. The upload also contains the AX 2009 XPO files and scripts for creating the Source Table & demo data. The files also contain a detailed video.

Happy DAX-ing :)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Book Review : Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 Development Cookbook

This is one book I wish was published a few years back when I was learning Dynamics AX. During that time there was a real crisis for AX related literature that I had to learn everything the hard way and it would have been really good had I got this book then :). This book is the first one of its class in the Dynamics AX Technology Books family and is a must read resources for new or experienced developers.
Mindaugas has done a really good job of compiling technical 'how to's' in this book. It has 6 chapters and each chapter focusses on how to do simple things in X++. What I like most it apart from just X++ codes, it also explains how it works and some sections on 'There's more'. The book covers the following chapters:
Chapter 1: Processing Data
Chapter 2: Working with Forms
Chapter 3: Working with Data in Forms
Chapter 4: Building Lookups
Chapter 5: Processing Business Tasks
Chapter 6: Integration with Microsoft Office
My favourite is Chapter # 5 which explains and demonstrates the Ledger, Purch & Sales API's which helps a developer to integrate with base AX. This is one area where I have seen developers struggle and this chapter does a good job of demonstrating the intricacies.

You can also view a Free Chapter here.
Code Download for the book is available here.
Click on the image below to go to Packt Site.

This is a really super(); book and I recommend it for new developers and also for advanced developers as a ready reference guide. I hope in the next release of this book (AX 6) additional topics like .NET integration, Reald world X Platform integration , AIF samples are also covered. Great work Mindaugas.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

BI Persona Presentation for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009

A new presentation has been released which can be used when meeting with customers and prospects who need to explore the Business Intelligence capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009.

"With this presentation you will be able to present the BI concept and examples of how Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 supports the BI needs of 10 specific roles – from the CEO, accounts payable coordinator to the order processor, Environmental Manager etc. You will be able to present how the different roles with Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 have access to the information they need when they need it, and in a format that makes sense to them."

Click on the image to download (Requires Partnersource Logon)

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Review of: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 Programming: Getting Started

I had been super() busy since the last few weeks so i was unable to do some serious blogging. I however got time last week and read through the new AX book 'Inside Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 Programming: Getting Started' by 'Erlend Dalen' and post my feedback.

"This is a very good book for beginners who want to explore the technical side of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 as well as for Functional consultants who want to know what goes behind the hood. The language is simple and easy to follow and there is a case study which can be referred and the solution to the case study 'Carz Inc.' is unravelled as you move through the chapters. One good thing I like about this book is the plenty of sample code and step by step guidance which will help novice AX developers to understand the concepts and apply in real world scenarios.

Chapter # 8 (Integrate with Standard AX) is also very nice and provides some information regarding the important API's which are required for Xmodule integration. There is plenty of sample code and entity diagrams for integration guidance. Considering the real world implementation scenario, this is an important chapter and has been well written.

Chapter # 9 (Creating a New Module) is also good for developers who want to create a new module in AX , just like the other AX standard modules and it walks the developer through number sequences, parameters, security aspects.

Chapter # 11 (Web Services) however deals with the old version of creating a web service (.asmx). In AX 2009 this framework has significantly changed to use WCF. You may want to refer to the latest AX 2009 SDK for AX 2009 AIF & WCF concepts. "

Overall this is a very nice book for new developers. Its definitely worth reading this book. Kudos Erlend.

Friday, January 15, 2010

AX on Cloud 9

Lately there has been a lot of activity related to cloud computing with introduction of Windows AZURE. It truly is an interesting technology providing businesses wider opportunities. Well I decided to explore AZURE a bit and did a small POC on AX integration with AZURE. Well I hit on many roadblocks but was able to overcome them. In my POC I have created a simple WCF service on AZURE Platform and I'm calling that service from AX. The steps are as follows:

1. Setup and configure the AZURE Development prerequisites.
AZURE Account can be obtained at
It is important you download the AZURE Platform Training Kit from MSDN. Really helpful.
2. Create the AZURE WCF Service using Visual Studio 2008 or 2010.
I created a very simple service which accepts employee code and returns the credit rating.

When I went to deploy the service, I got an error and on further investigating I found that SQL Express is required . I was on SQL 2008. Well there is a workaround for this in case you are on SQL 2008. Open AZURE SDK Command Prompt and key in the following as shown and press enter. This will allow you to use SQL Server 2008 for your AZURE Developments.
DSInit /sqlInstance:. /forceCreate

3. Deploy the Service on the Cloud.
Use the demos and the instruction in AZURE Platform Training Kit to deploy the service in the cloud in the Production instance.
Browse the service by providing the service name on your browser. You will be able to see the service.

One important thing to notice here is that service name marked above in red.
This is something which will give you issues when you want to generate proxy using wcftestclient or svcutil and also with Dynamics AX :-). There is a hotfix available from Microsoft KB971842 . I could however not use this hotfix as I got an error while trying to install. Im on WIN 2008. Nevertheless the show must go on. My service was up in the cloud and I needed to now access it from AX.
4. Consume the service from AX 2009.
As with general wsdl files, in AX when you go to add a service reference using, you will get an error as shown. There is a issue with AZURE wcf services and proxy generation :-(

Well the workaround is to use your local service http://localhost:50026/Service1.svc to generate the proxy in AX 2009 and then configure the Service Reference using the MS WCF Service Configuration editor to change the service reference. See the screenshot below.

This will change the config file in the Service References folder in your AX 2009 Application Instance folder.
Now write some code to call the service. I created a small form where I pass an employee code and get the credit rating of the employee. Just to be on the safe side, I shut down my local IIS server just to ensure that I was really referring to the cloud.

The code sample is as follows in AX 2009.
And it was working. Really cool. I was consuming a AZURE WCF Service from Dynamics AX. There is a lot of potential in this. Maybe in next generation AIF , developers will be able to generate Cloud AIF directly from AX :-).
I had also created a Windows Application to test this out in similar ways and it worked nicely.
Happy DAXing :-)