Minor UI changes in new version…

As we moved to Dynamics 365 for Operations and the system was updated we did see some minor changes in the UI that you maybe didn’t notice.

The top navigation bar did change somewhat, and not only the global navigation elements in the left hand corner like this:

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There was some minor changes in the right hand corner as well. Like the fact that they switched places on the company picker and search button (now not a field) is maybe the most prominent change, but they also swapped the help button and feedback.

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There is also a nice separator and the messages has lost the alert/bell icon. Quite good as there are no alert feature any more.

 

Try out Dynamics 365 for Operations now for free!

With the release of Dynamics 365 you are now able to do a quick demo of the client with a VERY limited set of functionality.

By going to: https://aka.ms/D365OperationTrials you will be able to get your very own company to play around with.

The experience of setting it up is remarkably simple.

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Just add you email addresse in the registration box (Mine was in my native language). You do need to have an Office 365 subscription (or atleast an Azure tennant). Invite some collegues to join you in the demo experience (from your domain) and watch the magic happen.

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Ready to explore

You will then be presented with an environment that is only accessable by you and the people you invited from your organization.

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After the intro the system will send you directly to the scripted Task guide demos.

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You can then click through any of the three scripted demos on your own to experience the Dynamics 365 for Operations web client.

If you want to roam around the application on your own, you can do so. There are however a very limited set of things you actually can do.

The access level is very restricted as you can see in the modules available.

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It gets even more apparent when you look at the individual modules.

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Not much to click on, but the full blooded version might be a bit daunting (as shown below) and this is maybe more close to the actual experience of a simple application user.

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You cannot create a sales order,  but it is however possible to create a new purchase order.

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So this is most definite NOT a feature demo, but a simple demo of the user experience which is pretty awesome. I would assume that in the future there would be more guides demonstrating different business processes, but for now it is mostly a feel for the UI. Contact your Dynamics Partner or Cloud Service Provider to get a full demo of the functionality.

Also check out the AppSource for more industry specific or scenario related application demo.

Dynamics 365 launch – My take

Today Microsoft launched Dynamics 365 and I must say I am a bit surprised on the result. You would expect that they would have a new home page with your dynamics applications running, but it also ties together every other service as well… and I love it!

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So first up the new landing page for Dynamics 365 is: home.dynamics.com. This gives you the range of business applications through your Dynamics 365 subscription. It also is really easy for customers to now go and buy new apps, but I’ll get back to that in a second.
What I really like about the web experience with Office 365 is the navigation at the top and Dynamics 365 merges together with Office 365 to give you that complete Business 365 experience!

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It is the same menu you get in Office 365 in fact. Now monocrome and very pretty looking.

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Clicking the 3×3 menu item in CRM takes you to the Office 365 landing page, but that is the only disconnect I’ve experienced… Otherwise it is seamless to move from Dynamics to Office online.

AppSource

AppSource has been around for a little while, but the thing that strikes me is how easy it is to be a customer and now go shopping for business solutions through a very user friendly experience.

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AppSource gathers applications from both Dynamics 365, Office 365, Dynamics NAV, Azure AND PowerBI and puts it all on display. If you are making or looking for business applications for Microsoft products for a specific task/scenario, THIS is where it is at. If you haven’t started your journey, you’re behind and need to get a move on. I would imagine that once customers get a taste for this it will be like kids in a candy store, but the store is in your home. No more need to go else where to find the goodies. You can just browse around to find what you need to solve most business scenarios.

If you find an application you find interesting, you can request a trial/demo by simply clicking the “Request Trial” button.

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Soon the applications will also show a variety of partners that can assist you in implementing the solutions.

The VAR vs. ISV situation was discussed with Joel Leichty in our podcast that we released today if you want to head a story of a person responsible for an application that is in the store.

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The three pilars and the foundation

The Common Data Model is to be pinacle of the concept of master data managment. A model where all commen concepts of data entities lives and are pushed and pulled through different applications in the pool that makes up your business application suite.

PowerApps, PowerBI and Microsoft Flow is the engines driving and merging a lot of these processe together and will be the customers own tool to solve a lot of their business scenarios without the requirement for costly amendments to their core applications.

Also interresting is the integration from PowerApps, PowerBI and Microsoft Flow to other applications like Google and SalesForce and other direct Microsoft competitors giving any business an opportunity to create own flows and eventually put all ther processes in alignment with their business applications.

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All in all

Not that much has changed in the core part of the individual applications (yet). CRM is still working the way it has always done and Dynamics AX is still the broad multi-tool we know and love. What is new is the way our customers now will interact with the multitude of opportunities that is available and the power to do a lot more self driven business development.

All in all Microsoft just lowered the bar for “Every person and every organization on the planet to acheive more”. I just hope they don’t get lost in the forest and will be relying on good advice from partners who know the terrain.

Welcome to the new world of Dynamics!

#TakeMeHome

New Dynamics 365 communities are available

As the Dynamics 365 now is released it was inevitable that we would see some changes in the community layout as well.

From now there are two new sections on the Dynamics Community: Dynamics 365 Business and Enterprise.

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I do have one concern. The forum topics are now VERY generic. There is now only one topic for the entire operations application. Maybe there should be another more granular level for the forum to be efficient. Like today I monitor the sections in the AX forum that I’m efficient in, but also look through the general stream from time to time.

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In any case it is time to join in and participate in the community. It is both educational and rewarding.

JOIN NOW

 

 

Dynamics AX on-premise /hybrid story for D365 Operations (AX)

We have been waiting for a while to see the on-prem story. It was actually taken off the road map for a while and today it was finally disclosed. It was by no means what we expected an on-prem solution would look like… There will not be an “offline” stand alone on-prem installation running in a local data center by it self. It was so much better!

The new on-premise solution will focus on having individual business processes (Workcenters) available that can live on their own in offline situations, but moving data back up to the Azure hosted solution when available. Giving the solution architecture the possibility of having multiple on-prem installations of different processes on the same solution in many locations.

The offline Retail solution that was disclosed at Ignite 2016 will be available with the launch of Dynamics 365 in November, while the other processes are rolled out during 2017, starting with Shop Floor Control and warehouse management.

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The retail offline architecture.

So you can have an on-prem warehouse solution in LA, Washington and Tampa on site at the warehouses, An on-site project management solution on the off shore platform in the Mexico Gulf, 25 retail store locations across the nation and an on-prem manufacturing solution for your factories in USA, China and Germany … Choose and pick what you need!

On-prem solutions will be self contained offline applications running AX with databases and all the required business logic, but require a pipe to the Azure environment for other data and off cause all the Power BI, Analytics, Management reporter and cloud other stuff. The user experience will be indistinguishable and smooth no matter the status of the locations current internett access.

Watch this video with Christian Pettersen and Sri Srinivasan from 29:30 or get the entire intro with Christian Pettersen from 09:30.
http://www.ustream.tv/embed/recorded/92170675?html5ui

Dynamics 365

So today the new and disruptive Dynamics 365 was launched at the AXUG Summit 2016. It brings together the Dynamics programs like never before and the CRM and AX story will now take a new path together… and NAV as well.

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Dynamics AX is now rebranded as “Dynamics 365 Operations” (I’ll hang on to the AX name a while longer), NAV is now “Dynamics 365 Finance” and will continue its journey together with the Dynamics CRM that has already been split into its different parts with their respective new names as well. Customer Service, Project Service Automation, Marketing + Adobe, Sales and Field services.

We will shortly see similar thing happen to the AX (Operations) application, where each part/module of the solution should be able to work on its own merit and be coupled together with the rest of the Dynamics 365 or other external applications through the Common Data Model.

“Common data model is at the heart of Dynamics 365” – Keynote quote
The CDM is mainly the grown up version of the entity store, a story that actually started in the DIEF (Data Import Export Framework) in AX 2012 R2. There are currently about 1800 entities in Dynamics AX that mainly involve parameters, main tables and master data.

CRM will also have its own entities that are common with AX where it is covering a similar data type. The AX part of Dynamics 365 is just further ahead since it is the AX team that is also creating the CDM.

What this means for customers?

There has been a big interest the Dynamics CRM application by AX customers before, but it has exponentially increased as both platforms has progressively started to become market leaders within their respective fields. CRM and AX was tried coupled together through a data connector with varying results. However this new approach is much more in tune with each application and being a part of a single larger ERP solution we will see a lot more synergy between the individual components as a whole.

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One portal for all your business application needs!

 

Resulting in a solution where customers will have a more or less seamless experience between all the individual Dynamics 365 applications.

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Seamless and unified experience in a webhosted environment

 

Also the customer will be much more empowered to create great business line applications on their own. Scott Guthrie said: “If you know PowerPoint and Excel, you can create a business line application that would work on almost any platform”.

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Example of a Power App

 

AppSource

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This is essentially a merging between the VAR and the ISV. Most VAR partners will strive to create their applications as Apps for AppSource and we will during 2017 see an explosion in business verticals that will be able to be purchased by anyone.

This opens up for a more customer governes approach to the application ownership. The customer can now pick and choose from any of the available solutions world wide to cover their business needs. They will also be able to do trials and pick the best solution for their processes, regardless of the competency or agenda of their partner.

This is the future!

If you have time, please go and listen to Ray Wang talk about Digital Disruption! Blew me away!

Ignite 2016 take aways

This is belated, but I had to reflect on the many points of information shared at Ignite this year. So much that Microsoft had to delay the launch of Dynamics 365? Well maybe… I think it is awesome that AXUG Summit is used as a platform for releasing Dynamics 365.

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The keynote from Satya Nadella didn’t mention AX, but it is clear that AI is a major focus area and will be more and more introduced as a part of the Dynamics processes and work as decision accelerators. AX will use Cortana analytics for Product suggestions in Retail and Product forecasting at first, but I think we’ll soon see a lot more areas supported by this.
And talking about the analytics part… Did you know that with the new hardware Microsoft would be able to translate the ENTIRE English Wikipedia library to another language in half the time it takes a human to blink?! Around 100 milliseconds. Try putting that power behind your forecasting and decision making.

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Intelligence and decision automation

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Arif Kureshy and Arjit Basu had a fantastic session on the road map. This really was in the spirit of the new Microsoft where current and near-future feature development was disclosed. If you have one hour, I suggest using it on this video

Localization
Mike Ehrenberg talked about the localizations approach. GER (General Electronic Reporting) is a new tool that solves the export of files and documents and will cover both reporting and electronic integration scenarios. You can through LCS now subscribe to updates to localizations and the install process is being improved and automated.

Retail news
The retail app is launched for iOS and Android and a hardware solution (“Scale”) has a POS and an offline on-prem server functionality. In addition to the advanced warehouse solution that is meant to cover the processes for warehouse wholesale stores like building material and equipment stores/warehouses.

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Data independency
Data centers are to open in Canada and Germany. The German will even be governed by Deutsche Telecom and the be subject to German law. I’ve heard rumors of a similar case for China. Data will also be able to encrypt at rest by customer owned keys.

 

Integrating, Reporting and Entities
The AX operational database is getting more and more unreachable (which is mainly a good thing) and interaction with data is now to be done through two replicated databases. One almost real time (seconds delayed) and one Entity store (minuted delayed). The entity store is currently around 1800 entities, mostly master data and parameters. There is a focus on creating more transactional ones in the near future. A Data entity wizard and script (for automated creation) will be available soon.

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Upgrade and on-boarding story
Migration tool for AX 2009 is in preview now and will be public this year. Upgrade path for AX 2012 is to be released early next year. The on-boarding process will be continually updated and they showed quite a lot of large companies world wide running AX7 with an on-boarding of ONLY 60-90 DAYS!

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Onboarded in 60-90 days!

Mobile app
The Mobile app is finally revealed! An iOS, Android and Windows phone app with offline features that users can build them selves through a guided experience in the HTML 5 client. Extendable through Javascript and with access to local resources like camera and GPS.

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Trial-as-a-service
A new trial-as-a-service was shown where potential customers get a company of their own in seconds with a restricted application feature set available. Partner recommendations will be there and a potential customer can HIRE partners to do demos. This will also be available for third party applications and the Dynamics App source will have partner recommendations, so customers can find an integration partner with knowledge of the solution quickly.

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Other cool stuff
Customer self service is put on the road map!
AX – CRM connector is coming at the end of the year!

New Power BI content packs in the making:
□ Project & Practice
□ Cost Accounting
□ HR Manager (Coming very soon)
□ Hiring Manager
□ Purchase Management
□ Credit Management

And there is more…
All in all a lot of information… But the also continuously referred to the Launch on 11.October. This will be the launch of Dynamics 365 and also the hybrid cloud story will be unveiled. Check it out by going here: http://www.axugsummit.com/

All the videos from Ignite?
Check out the videos from Ignite on here!

Dynamics AX URL tips

There are some cool stuff you can do with the Dynamics AX URL that you should be aware of. Knowing these tricks will be beneficial during sales work, configuration and even in your daily work routine.

Attributes

A URL is built up of a domain, folder, webpage and attributes.
Like: www .domain.com/folder/folder/webpage.aspx?attr1=value1&attr2=value2

The Dynamics AX URL doesn’t need folders or webpage (underlined), but it does contain some attributes that are worth getting to know a bit better. Here are my favorite ones…

Calling the domain without any attributes gives you the DefaultDashboard and the company selected in your user options.

Select a form (“mi=[menuitem]”)

This is one of two attributes is always present. Decoding this can make you swiftly go directly to a desired form. Storing URLs in favorites on your browser will give you direct access to a form.

Example: “mi=CustTableListPage

Select a company (“cmp=[legal entity ID]”)

This is the other attribute always present. This shows the legal entity that you want to access. No information and the system calls the one that is selected in your users options. However it is great if you’re working with multiple companies to store different menu items that starts you off in one company or the other.

Example = “cmp=DAT

Select a language (“lng=[lang]”)

The default language is the one that is selected in your user options. To work in an environment with another language you would normally make you go change parameters and reload the application. This is a REALLY fast way to just look at another language quickly. Great if you work in your local language and want to run through a tutorial or guide in another language… Like this one: dynaxtips.com/ax2012ta/

Example = “lng=nb-no

Restrict navigation (“limitednav=true”)

In some cases you might want to restrict access to a navigation. This is really nice for the manufacturing execution terminals or a simple dashboard, customer information etc.

Another great way to use this is if you want to limit your navigation in cases where you do cross company lookups. So if you want to go in to another company and don’t want to run around doing other stuff once in that company. That could be a good damage control functionality.

Get to your data!

To get to your oData feed from the entity store… Simply write the folder: data after the domain. This will list all your entities. Adding the URL in the listing will give you the result. Try adding this to your Excel oData query to REALLY simply get to your data.

Example: https: //[yourdomain] .cloudax.dynamics.com/data/Customers

Ignite 2016 Videos

There where a lot of new information revealed at Ignite 2016 about Dynamics AX. This is my favorite way of consuming new information about the application.
Most of the content is released on Youtube and you’ll find it all here. Hours of fun!
There are even videos not tagged with AX on the Ignite website.

I’ll kick if off with a very exciting Keynote by Mike Ehrenberg. Enjoy!