Category Archives: Dynamics AX 2012 R2

Lifecycle Services for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012

Microsoft launched the new lifecycle services for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012. Microsoft Dynamics Lifecycle Services (LCS) is designed to manage and optimize customer implementations, upgrades and maintenance activities in a collaborative workspace environment. In these cloud-based workspace customers and partners can work together to improve the lifecycle of the Microsoft Dynamics AX environment during the design, deployment, operational maintenance and future upgrades. This blog will give an overview of the available services and collects released information.

Watch this video for further explanation:

In this first release, the following services are provided to the industries Public Sector, Retail, Manufacturing, Distribution, Professional Services and other:

  • Project workspace
  • Business process modeler
  • Usage profiler (beta)
  • License estimator
  • Customization analysis
  • Upgrade analysis
  • Issue search
  • System diagnostic services

Collaborative Project workspace
Within this workspace a new project can be create from several project types, like:

  • Implementation, Upgrade and Maintenance types for Customers
  • Pre-Sales and Learning types for Partners

In general these workspace can be used to define a project team, create a project plan, manage project documents, use and modify checklists, model business processes, track issues, analyze customizations. Furthermore system diagnostic service tools are available to help administrators monitoring and understanding the health of one or more Microsoft Dynamics AX environments.

Business process modeler

The Business process modeler lets project teams create, view and modify standard business process hierarchies and flow charts inside Microsoft Dynamics AX. It enables standardization of process flows, alignment of Microsoft Dynamics AX processes with industry standard processes as described by the American Productivity & Quality Center (APQC), and enables project teams to identify fit and gaps between their needs and the functionality that Microsoft Dynamics AX provides by default. Business processes can be adapted from earlier projects, a corporate library or the global Microsoft library for the mentioned industries.

The business modeler interacts with:

  • Microsoft Visual Studio Team Foundation Server (TFS) – generate a consolidated list of gaps and import them manually into TFS as work items that include a reference to the process flow.
  • Microsoft Word – generate documentation for business processes.
  • Microsoft Visio – export business process maps to Visio files.

In Microsoft Dynamics Lifecycle Services, project teams can record information about custom business processes by using an updated version of Task recorder (KB2863182). Each flowchart includes then the detailed steps and a video that were created by using the Task recorder.

Watch this video for further explanation:

Watch this white paper for further explanation of the task recorder:
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=39353

Issue search

Issue search enables project members to find existing solutions and workarounds for known Microsoft Dynamics AX issues. You can see which issues have been fixed, which have been resolved as “won’t fix” and which issues a fix is not yet available for. Developers can also use the Issue search to subscribe to email notifications for hotfixes in particular areas of Microsoft Dynamics AX.

Within the search options information can be found easily about resolved issues, workarounds and issues which are known, but not yet solved. Furthermore filters are available to view the issues from the used Dynamics AX 2012 version.



When an issues is selected an explanation is given about the issue, a description of the changed software with reference to the affected objects. Also the hotfix can be downloaded and the code changes can be reviewed in more detail (copy and paste could be easier then downloading a fix).



Watch this video for further explanation:

Usage profiler (beta)

Usage profiler (beta) is a data gathering tool that assists team members in describing their projected or current usage of a Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 implementation. The usage profile generated can then be used for a wide variety of purposes, such as hardware sizing and support.

The Usage profiler (beta) provides you with the following information:

  • A detailed summary of an organization’s modeled usage characteristics, including system configuration, transaction volumes, scheduling information, ISV products, customizations, integrations and reports.
  • A graphic representation of the organization’s peak load profile. This graph in based on a combination of the concurrent user load schedules and the batch schedules. From this graph, the peak load point can be established. You can either reschedule tasks in Microsoft Dynamics AX to mitigate peak load, or accommodate peak load in your hardware sizing estimation.

Information from the usage profile is also used in the project summary report that project stakeholders can use to better understand the plans for an implementation.

Watch this video for further explanation:

License estimator

The License estimator helps project teams estimating the number of licenses required for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012. It provides a shared workspace that enables modeling default and customized positions (Microsoft Dynamics AX roles), and then automatically calculate required Client Access Licenses (CALs). The License estimator is available to partners in Pre-sales projects, and to customers in implementation and upgrade projects.

License estimator provides information that you can use before a customer purchases Microsoft Dynamics AX, before expanding your existing Microsoft Dynamics AX implementation, or before upgrading to a newer version of Microsoft Dynamics AX.

You can define roles and their associated duties in several ways. The application provides the team members with the 93 roles that are included in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012. Any of these roles can be used to define the positions in the customer organization. If a predefined role does not meet the organization’s needs, duties can be added or remove duties to model a custom position. Also a new position can be modelled from the list of available duties. The positions and created duties can not be exported to Dynamics AX 2012.

After the positions in the organization are designed, a report can be viewed that summarizes the information entered. This report automatically estimates the volume and types of licenses that the organization requires. Estimates are based on the CAL levels that are required to perform the duties that are included in each role and the number of people in each role. The license estimation is also based on the way users access Microsoft Dynamics AX, either as named users or through a licensed device.

Watch this video for further explanation:

Customization analysis services

In Microsoft Dynamics Lifecycle Services, Customization analysis offers Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 customers an automated tool that validates the customer’s model files against Microsoft Dynamics AX best-practice rules for tables, classes, forms, and enums. It then generates reports, including a summary report display on the site, a detailed Microsoft Excel report that lists all issues, and a developer report that the developer can load in the Microsoft Dynamics AX development environment.

Watch this video for further explanation:

Upgrade analysis

Upgrade analysis helps the project team to plan their upgrade to Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 by analyzing code artifacts (AOD files) from Microsoft Dynamics AX 4.0 or Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009. Microsoft also provides a Rapid Data Collector (RDC) tool that analyzes existing environment information to helps estimate the scale of the upgrade project.

Watch this video for further explanation:

System diagnostic services

In Microsoft Dynamics Lifecycle Services, the System diagnostic service helps administrators monitor and understand the health of one or more Microsoft Dynamics AX environments. It is a cloud-based tool with a locally-installed component that can be configured to perform the following tasks:

  • Discover on-premise Microsoft Dynamics AX environments (database and AOS instances).
  • Collect data from discovered environments.
  • Run rules on the collected data.
  • Report rule violations on a dashboard.
  • Provide reports.

Data is collected by using jobs that run on predefined schedules.

Watch this video for further explanation:

This blog just summarized the possibilities of the new released Lifecycle services for Dynamics AX. The lifecycle services can be started from  https://lifecycleservices.dynamics.com or  https://lcs.dynamics.com using your partner source or customer source credentials.

How to use inventory postings between HQ and Stores in Dynamics AX 2012 R2?

This blog explains some scenario’s about the inventory postings and procedures between the Retail Headquarter (HQ) environment and the Retail stores (POS > Point-of-Sale). The examples are used from the Dynamics AX R2 VM (drop 1). The procedures are explained with the usage of  the following documents:

  • Purchase order from HQ to Store (real-time)
  • Transfer order from HQ to Store (real-time)
  • Transfer order from Store to HQ (real-time)
  • Counting journal from HQ to Store (real-time)
  • Counting journal from Store to HQ (real-time)
  • POS Sale from Store to HQ (periodically)

Purchase order from HQ to Store

Purchase orders are created at the head office. If a retail warehouse is included in the purchase order header, the order can be received at the store by using Microsoft Dynamics AX for Retail POS. After the quantities that are received at the store are entered, they can be saved locally for additional modification. Alternatively, the quantities can be committed and sent to the head office. At the head office, the quantities that were received at the store are displayed in Microsoft Dynamics AX, in the Receive now field on the purchase order.

Step 1: create a purchase order for the New York store. The inventory transaction linked to this purchase order line receives the “Receipt status = Ordered”. Confirm the purchase order.

Step 2: from HQ point of view the on-hand inventory can be reviewed via the on-hand inventory in path: Inventory and warehouse management > Common > On-hand inventory.

From the POS point of view the current inventory can be reviewed via the “Inventory lookup” form.



Step 3: the transaction service places the new purchase order in the New York POS.

Step 4: select the purchase order and review the details. Receive the quantities via the option “Receive all” or the “Enter quantity” option and select the “Commit” button. The POS is returning the message “All lines were committed successfully”. The order is still available in the order list on the POS, with the status “Open”.

Step 5: after the commitment of the Receipt the “Receive now” purchase order line is updated with the quantities received. Review the purchase order via path: Accounts payable > Common > Purchase orders > All purchase orders.

Step 6: the inventory is not updated yet. Therefore the receipt must be posted on the purchase order. Best is to select the “Receive now quantity” on the product receipt. Post the receipt. The status of the inventory transactions is changed to “Receipt status = Received”.

Step 7: review the inventory on hand on the Head Quarter and in the POS. Both applications will state the updated inventory quantity.

Step 8: review the status of the purchase order in the POS. You will mention that the order is no longer available for Picking and Receiving since all items are received. The order is available during partly deliveries.

Transfer order from HQ / Store to Store

A transfer order may specify that a particular store is a location that items can be shipped to. In this case, the transfer order appears at the store as a receiving request in Retail POS or Enterprise Portal. After the quantities that are received at the store are entered, they can be saved locally for additional modification. Alternatively, the quantities can be committed and sent to the head office. At the head office, the quantities that were received at the store are displayed in Microsoft Dynamics AX, in the Receive now field on the transfer order.

Step 1: create a transfer order for the New York store (path: Inventory and warehouse management > Periodic > Transfer orders). The inventory transaction linked to this transfer order line receives the “Receipt status = Ordered” for the Store location New York. The transfer order lines receives the “Issue status = On order” for the HQ.

Step 2: from HQ point of view the on-hand inventory can be reviewed via the on-hand inventory in path: Inventory and warehouse management > Common > On-hand inventory. From the POS point of view the current inventory can be reviewed via the “Inventory lookup” form.

Step 3: ship the transfer order to the store. Use the posting option “Post > Ship transfer order”. Review the inventory transactions and notice that two new lines are added during transfer.

Step 4: the transaction service places the new Transfer in – order in the New York POS.

Step 5: select the Transfer order and review the details. Receive the quantities via the option ”Receive all” or the “Enter quantity” option and select the “Commit” button. The POS is returning the message “All lines were committed successfully”. The order is still available in the order list on the POS, with the status “Open”.

Step 6: after the commitment of the Receipt the “Receive now” transfer order line is updated with the quantities received. Review the transfer order via path: Inventory and warehouse management > Periodic > Transfer orders.



Step 7: the inventory is not updated yet. Therefore the receipt must be posted on the transfer order. Best is to select the “Receive now quantity” on the product receipt. Post the receipt. The status of the inventory transactions is changed to “Receipt status = Purchased” and “Issue status “Sold”. The status of the transfer order is set to “Received”.

Step 8: review the inventory on hand on the Head Quarter and in the POS. Both applications will state the updated inventory quantity.

Step 9: review the status of the transfer order in the POS. You will mention that the order is no longer available for Picking and Receiving since all items are received. The order is available during partly deliveries.

Transfer order from Store to HQ / Store

A transfer order may specify that a particular store is a location that items can be shipped from. In this case, the transfer order appears at the store as a picking request in Retail POS or Enterprise Portal for Microsoft Dynamics AX. After the quantities that are requested are picked, they are committed and sent to the head office. At the head office, the quantities that were picked at the store are displayed in Microsoft Dynamics AX, in the Ship now field on the transfer order.

Step 1: create a transfer order from the New York store to HQ (path: Inventory and warehouse management > Periodic > Transfer orders). The inventory transaction linked to this transfer order line receives the “Receipt status = Ordered” for HQ. The transfer order lines receives the “Issue status = On order” for the Store New York.

Step 2: from HQ point of view the on-hand inventory can be reviewed via the on-hand inventory in path: Inventory and warehouse management > Common > On-hand inventory. From the POS point of view the current inventory can be reviewed via the “Inventory lookup” form.

Step 3: the transaction service places the new Transfer out – order in the New York POS.

Step 4: select the Transfer order and review the details. Receive the quantities via the option ”Pick all” or the “Enter quantity” option and select the “Commit” button. The POS is returning the message “All lines were committed successfully”. The order is still available in the order list on the POS, with the status “Open”.

Step 6: after the commitment of the Pick the “Ship now” transfer order line is updated with the quantities picked . Review the transfer order via path: Inventory and warehouse management > Periodic > Transfer orders.



Step 7: ship the transfer order to the HQ. Use the posting option “Post > Ship transfer order”. Review the inventory transactions and notice that two new lines are added during transfer.

Step 8: the inventory is not updated yet. Therefore the receipt must be posted on the transfer order. Best is to select the “Receive now quantity” on the product receipt. Post the receipt. The status of the inventory transactions is changed to “Receipt status = Purchased” and “Issue status “Sold”.

Step 9: review the inventory on hand on the Head Quarter and in the POS. Both applications will state the updated inventory quantity.

Step 10: review the status of the transfer order in the POS. You will mention that the order is no longer available for Picking and Receiving since all items are received. The order is available during partly deliveries.

Stock count (scheduled)

Scheduled stock counts are initiated at the head office, which specifies the items that must be counted. The head office creates a counting document that can be received at the store, where the quantities of actual on-hand stock are entered in Retail POS or Enterprise Portal. When a stock count is completed, it is committed and sent to the head office. At the head office, the count is validated and posted.

Step 1: create a counting order for the New York store (path: Inventory and warehouse management > Journals > Item counting > Counting).

Step 2: open the stock counting journals at the New York POS.

Step 3: count the items on the lines and fill in the results in the POS.

Step 4: after the commitment of the counting journal the counting journal line at the HQ is updated with the quantities counted. The status of the inventory transaction is set to “On order”.

Step 5: review the counting journal and after approval the journal can be posted. The status of the inventory transactions is changed to “Issue status = Sold”, because there is a loss of 2 pcs.

In this scenario there is a loss of 2 items. Therefore the financial voucher transaction is created.

Step 6: review the inventory on hand on the Head Quarter and in the POS. Both applications will state the updated inventory quantity.

Stock count (unscheduled)

Unscheduled stock counts are initiated at a store, and the quantities of actual on-hand stock are updated in either Retail POS or Enterprise Portal. Unlike scheduled stock counts, unscheduled stock counts do not have a predefined list of items.When a stock count of either type is completed, it is committed and sent to the head office. At the head office, the count is validated and posted. When a stock count is completed, it is committed and sent to the head office. At the head office, the count is validated and posted.

Step 1: create a counting order in the New York store. On HQ this new counting journal is created.

Step 2: open the stock counting journal at the New York POS.

Step 3: count the items on the lines and fill in the results in the POS.

Step 4: after the commitment of the counting journal the counting journal line at the HQ is updated with the items and quantities counted. The status of the inventory transaction is set to “On order”.

Step 5: review the counting journal and after approval the journal can be posted. The status of the inventory transactions is changed to “Receipt status = Purchased”, because there is a profit of 2 pcs.

In this scenario there is a loss of 2 items. Therefore the financial voucher transaction is created.

Step 6: review the inventory on hand on the Head Quarter and in the POS. Both applications will state the updated inventory quantity.

POS Sale from Store to HQ

The POS transactions are posted via the Retail scheduler in the POS transactions on the HQ. Based on these transactions the statements and the inventory is updated in Dynamics AX 2012 according this flow.

Step 1: create POS transactions and pay via cash.

Step 2: execute the daily work to close the shift and the POS.

Step 3: retrieve the POS transactions in the HQ. Therefore execute the “P-0001 POS Transaction” distribution job on HQ via the option “Run directly”(path: Retail > Periodic > Data Distribution > Distribution schedule).

Step 4: the result is that all POS transaction for the connected stores are synchronized to Dynamics AX 2012. This can be reviewed via the option “Retail store transactions” via path: retail > Inquiries > Retail store transactions.

After all transactions from the registers have been uploaded from a retail store, a statement can be created, calculated, and then posted. The statement calculates the total amount of all transactions that have been created since the last store statement was created, within the statement period that you define. The statement also calculates the payment methods that are counted.

The statement is calculated by using the settings for statements and posting in the Retail parameters form and the Stores form. After the statement is created, you can review the transactions. Then, if the transactions are ready to be posted, you can post the statement. When you post the statement, the system creates accounting entries, updates customer accounts and taxes, and generates sales orders and invoices. Inventory is also updated, so that your point of sale (POS) system always has current inventory information.

Step 5: create and calculate the statement, therefore create a new statement journal and calculate the statement (path: Retail > Journals > Open statements). Post the statement after where the message “The statement was successfully posted” appears.

Step 6: the statement posting process created a sales-order with the status “Invoiced”, what means that the inventory postings are executed. In the back new sales invoices and ledger transactions are created.

Step 7: review the inventory on hand on the Head Quarter and in the POS. Both applications will state the updated inventory quantity.

Step 8: the customer transaction created from the sales order is settled automatically via a customer payment journal. The offset account is Cash – deposit.

Batch processing POS Statements

To keep your on-hand inventory accurate, you should run this batch job frequently. For example, you can set the frequency to match the frequency with which you run the distribution schedule for job P-0001 for each store. To run the statement processes for your stores automatically, based on a schedule, configure the batch process for each stage of the statement process:

  • Configure the distribution schedule to retrieve schedule “P-0001 POS Transactions”.
  • Configure the calculate statement process to calculate the transaction sets for one store or all stores.
  • Configure the post statement process to post the calculated statements.
  • Configure the post inventory process to update the inventory for the stores when the statements are posted.
  • Configure the batch processing of the received transfer orders
  • Configure the batch processing of the shipped transfer orders
  • Configure the batch processing of the received purchase orders
  • Configure the batch processing of the sipped (return) purchase orders

How to use multiple stores in Dynamics AX 2012 R2 VM?

When trying the Point-of-Sale (POS) scenario’s from Microsoft I noticed that multiple stores are created in Dynamics AX 2012 R2 VM and some of these stores are connected to a stand-alone Dynamic AX 2012 POS. The relations are created with the stores:

  • Seattle, POS register 1 and 2
  • New York, POS register 1
  • Boston, POS register 1

When user “Emma Harris” logs in to the VM, she will find 4 shortcuts available on her desktop.

Using these shortcuts will end-up to the login to the specific POS register.

We are using the VM where we setup scenario’s to multiple POS registers in multiple stores. In real life the POS is installed on a dedicated desktop, or launched via Citrix or Remote Desktop. This means that each instance has its preconfigured settings available. In this VM Microsoft is using a trick for that. The POS is installed on the C-drive of server AX2012R2A and is started by using its configuration file. Therefore open path: c:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Dynamics AX\60\Retail POS. Select the file POS.exe (configuration file) and open this file with edit.

In this folder also a few configuration files are created for Boston-1, NewYork-1, Seattle-1 and Seattle-2. These files are copies from the master file and only the storeId, terminalId and DataareaId are different.

Furthermore you can notice that there are several windows batch files created.

These batch files are copying the content of the separate configuration files to the Pos.exe configuration file and start the POS register immediately.

So it is no surprise that the shortcuts on the desktop of “Emma Harris” are shortcuts to these windows batch files and each time she starts the POS terminal the configuration file is overwritten with the settings of the specific terminal. Be aware that if you are not login in with user “Emma Harris” the POS can be started from the start menu and this shortcut will use the latest selected configuration of the POS selected by one of its users.

Best way to solve this for other users is to copy the desktop shortcuts from user Emma to your personal desktop. If you want to add multiple store’s to the desktop its easily to create copies of the configuration file and the windows batch jobs. Be noticed that the distribution schedule in Dynamics AX 2012 R2 can be used to the locations Seattle, NewYork and Boston!

Microsoft launched a new demo environment for Dynamics AX 2012 R2

This week Microsoft launched the first drop of the new demo virtual machine for Dynamics AX 2012 R2. Together with this new virtual machine they announced that the Contoso demo data is completely rebuild and to support demo’s they released a couple of  demo scenario’s to guide you through the demo processes. Besides this, Microsoft announced that the next drop (2) will contain more globalized data, enhanced demo data for Process Industry and new out-of-the-box demo scripts.

This blog “unboxes” the content of this new demo environment.

The new virtual machines can be downloaded via Partnersource and Connect. Therefore you need a partner or customer login to get there. After download you receive the images A, B, C and D which can be deployed in parallel. Image A contains the Microsoft Dynamics AX software environment and related items. Image B contains the integration to Exchange Server 2010, image C contains the Lync server 2010 and image D the e-Commerce solution. To setup all these environments together and in parallel you need a powerfull VM to get there.

I deployed and started the A image (Dynamics AX 2012 R2). When I logged in with the common known administrator credentials, I noticed that the following items where available and installed out-of-the-box:

First Partition (called Initial) containing:

  • Discrete and Process Manufacturing scenario’s in company USMF
  • Inter-company Distribution scenario’s in company USMF and DEMF
  • Retail scenario’s in company USRT and components for POS (30 stores)
  • Service Industry scenario’s in company USSI
  • Consolidation and Management Reporting scenario’s in company GLMF and USMF
  • Several Legal Entities in United States, United Kingdom, Germany and France
  • Several Legal Entities with accounting currencies USD, GBP and EUR
  • Several Legal entities with reporting currency USD, GBP and EUR

Second Partition (called PS – Public Sector) containing:

  • Public Sector scenario’s in company PSUS

General parts containing:

  • SQL Server 2012 (with Power View for Multidimensional Models CTP)
  • One Single Global demo instance
  • Demo data for calendar years FY 2011, FY 2012 and FY 2013
  • Enterprise Portal (SharePoint 2010)
  • Reporting Services (SharePoint 2010)
  • Project Server 2010
  • Analysis Services (16 default cubes for both partitions)
  • Management Reporter 2012
  • Download and Upload to MS Excel 2010 and download to MS Word 2010
  • Support of Power View in List Pages (Analyze data Query)
  • Support of Power View in Role Centers
  • Role Centers (45 role centers in SharePoint 2010)
  • 45 End-to-end demo scenario’s in all mentioned verticals

Expected scenario’s in the next demo environment (around February 2013)

  • Chemical Industry in company USPI
  • B2B Manufacturing to Distribution between companies USMF and DEMF
  • Retail and E-commerce between companies USMF and USRT
  • Retail companies for consolidation (GLRT) and France (FRRT with 10 stores)
  • Service Industry companies for consolidation (GLSI), France (FRSI) and United Kingdom (UKSI)
  • Additional Public Sector scenario’s in company PSGB
  • New legal entities in Japan (JPMF), India (INMF), Brazil (BRMF), Russia (RUMF) and China (CNMF)
  • Several Legal Entities in the accounting currencies CNY, RUB, INR, JPY and BRL

Overall I think Microsoft did a great job in creating this new demo environment, the new Contoso demo data together with the end-to-end scenario’s. The next two months we can work to build and share knowledge in “What’s new in Dynamics AX 2012 R2″. I noticed that there are differences between the new feature list and the what’s new elements presented during the Technical Conference in Bellevue last October. Hope that the new virtual machines contains the new Office 15 and Sharepoint 2013 versions.