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Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

Well Happy Halloween everyone! It's been a scary month for business, but a lot of treats for Microsoft customers and clients came out of PDC as well.

Everyone have a safe and happy Halloween, or All Hallows Eve!

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Microsoft Azure Cloud Computing Platform

Microsoft yesterday at PDC talked about it's cloud computing platform, Azure. This was what I was talking about when I posted this post, earlier this month: Microsoft's Cloud Computing Platform (Wed. Oct. 1st 2008)
and here RCPMAG: Microsoft's Cloudy Future (Friday Oct. 3rd 2008)

Well now we have Azure, ready for CTP. This is the coming together of projects, technologies, terms, and the alike. In short Azure is a Cloud Platform, the only true one out there, where you will be able to develop on the cloud, for an Application that will be deployed to the cloud, to run and be ran in the cloud.

What is different about this platform, is it allows for Hybrid application to be developed as well, were half the solution or bits and parts could live and be developed in the cloud while others live hosted elsewhere, and still others live on site at a customer. This Hybride Software+Services+Cloud Approach. And that is how I see this impacting Dynamics AX in the future, until ERPLive.com goes live.

There is a great attempt to really explain this, by Mary Jo over at ZDnet: Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform: A guide for the perplexed

In this Mary Jo takes and: "Here’s my attempt to explain it.

Microsoft layed out its “Azure” foundational infrastructure for the cloud during the keynote kick-off on day one of the Professional Developers Conference (PDC) here in Los Angeles. The goal of Azure is to provide developers who want to write applications that run partially and/or entirely in a remote datacenter with a platform and set of tools."

I recommend you read it, and also read the comments. There is quite a bit of confusion, as well as great questions that is surronding this one blog entry by Mary Jo. There is good reason for that too. This is the next thing. This is the next platform.

Microsoft is a Platform company, and this is the next step for that Platform. Now is the time to understand it, as Dynamics ERP (ERPLive.com) will be heavy in this platform, on this platform, developed with and for this platform.

Look at this:

As you can see Microsoft Dynamics CRM Services is there. What do you think is next? Dynamics ERP Services and ERP Live.

So this is what we have been talking about, and waiting for. We all knew this was coming, and now we need to learn how to embrace it, improve it, develop for it, and do this all for the sake of our clients and customers. To give them the edge, that's why they hire us as Solution Providers. We take the platform from Microsoft and deploy the end solution for our clients. This is no different from that aspect, but very different from almost every way in the technial of the "how".

I for one am very excited about what this means. I know that I said I would be writing about Dynamics AX in economic down turns, and I plan to later this week, but this must have attention from us. This is our future, and it's just on the edge of being here... check back soon!

I leave you with this, the offical Microsoft home page: www.azure.com

Azure means clear blue sky, or implies that from it's word meaning. Funny huh? Microsoft's Clear Blue Sky Cloud Computing Platform. Pun here?

Update: Here is the MSDN Azure link, thought this was handy. It for sure is filled with a lot of information to go through: MSDN: Azure Services Platform

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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Friday, October 24, 2008

Microsoft publishes case study on Sunrise's work with Layered Tech, a leading IT-hosting company

Microsoft has just published another great case study, that happens to be a win from Sunrise Technologies, Inc.

Here is the link to the PR from Sunrise:
Microsoft publishes case study on Sunrise's work with Layered Tech, a leading IT-hosting company

And from the PR:
""Layered Tech is a growing IT-hosting company that provides on-demand
servers for customers in over 120 countries. Deploying Microsoft Dynamics® AX helped the company consolidate operations into an agile, scalable, business management solution." Layered Tech worked with Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, Sunrise Technologies, to deploy the system."

The full case study can be accessed by going here: Download Layered Tech case study

It really is a great case study and really highlights why companies are flocking to make Dynamics AX their Business Platform. Way to go Layered, Microsoft & Sunrise on a great win for everyone involved! Check back soon...

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

MSDW: Boost Sales During A Recession

There is a new white paper over at MSDynamicsWorld.com, and it's something that I suggest you check out.

Direct Link: Boost Sales During A Recession: The Growing Importance of Qualified Online Sales Leads

From the white paper description:
"Just because the economy is struggling, doesn’t mean ISVs have to.

Find out why it’s more important than ever that you begin the sales process with the best possible leads. Qualified leads improve your chances of reaching prospects backed up by serious and committed budgets—prospects who are prepared to make decisions…and to do all this with you rather than with the competition."

Thanks MSDynamicsWorld.com! And check back. I plan to talk about, over the next series of post, why Dynamics AX is generally attractive to companies looking for an ERP, and even more so in a tough economic session.

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Sunrise Technologies, an ERP Reseller, Demos Microsoft Dynamics AX at ERP Vendor Shootout

Sunrise Technologies, just announced the other day they have been selected to represent Dynamics AX at the 3rd Annual ERP Shootout. This means that Sunrise will be presenting to several different groups, scripted functionality of Dynamics AX. Other ERP vendors will be there as well, and this is a honor and a great possibility for Sunrise.

From the PR:
"Sunrise Technologies will be participating in a side-by-side comparison of their Microsoft Dynamics AX solution, competing with six of their toughest competitors in the 3rd ERP Vendor Shootout in Philadelphia, PA on November 13th 2008. Technology Evaluation Centers (TEC) of Montreal, Canada will serve as the moderator of the event while several ERP Resellers present their product. Seven Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions will be presenting to companies who are looking to select an ERP Software Partner. This event provides an opportunity for companies to build their short list to find an ERP system in a quick and less costly method.

The targeted audience for this event is small to mid-sized manufacturing and distribution companies who are considering an ERP software selection or upgrade. The goal of the event is to simplify the ERP software selection process. This event alleviates some of the painful inefficiencies of the selection process by coordinating onsite software presentations and delivering them in a one day event. End-user attendees will participate in a series of scripted demos from resellers, gaining a side-by-side, comparative view of product functionality, user interfaces, and overall usability. Attendees can also visit breakout sessions hosted by industry experts that cover topics pertaining to the selection and implementation processes."

To find out more about what the ERP Shootout is, go here: www.erpshootout.com

Also the full PR: Sunrise Technologies, an ERP Reseller, Demos Microsoft Dynamics AX at ERP Vendor Shootout

I am sure Microsoft and Sunrise will be well represented at this event. Check back soon!

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Why upgrade to SQL Server 2008 with DAX 2009?

So some of you may be wondering, why should we be pushing Dynamics AX 2009 on SQL Server 2008? What would be the big gain of moving from SQL Serve 2005 to SQL Server 2008 or even from SQL Server 2000?

Well one of the biggest reasons for clients, is if they have already a Dynamics AX install base, with a database that keeps growing and growing.

In SQL Server 2008, they will gain performance but also have the ability to compress their database by 40-60%, and still keep those performance gains! This was benchmarked some time back and recently again via Microsoft information.

So for those wondering, yes there is a very great reason, well several: Performance and Compress, just to start.

Check back soon!

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Map Object Sorting - a real issue


So I am sure everyone has used Map objects in writing X++ code before. Map's are part of Collection classes that exist inside Dynamics AX.

Well one of the strangest things about this Collection class, is that it's lack or sorting methods. It does not have any. You can't sort a Map object by values or Keys, and if you can, it's buried so deep that no one has wrote about it or found it.

What kind of sorting I did see today, with my partner in crime Derek Pate, was based on the Type for the Key value of the map.

For example, say you have:


as values. Now if these values are integer based from the source your pulling from or you convert to, and you take and insert these values as listed with some form of while loopping on the object that carried these values for you, sorted in the above way, you would expect these to appear in the object your inserting too, in that same sorted order. Right?


If you are trying to insert the above values, of type integer, into a Map of Types::String, Types::String you will end up with the following sorted values for that Map's value elements:


So even though there is not a known / published sorting method or built-in function for sorting a Map, it tries to automatically sort the values for you based on type, even though you inserted those values into the map object the order desired.

This is one of those strange things that exists, that should not actually. The ability to sort, and sorting to exist for the developer at hand. Not a guessed sorting order, based on type.

Maybe an improvement suggestion? Have you seen this before? Do you have a sorting method you like to use for Map Object Values? Let me know here... and check back soon!

Update: I have had some really good comments on this entry, that point out the fact this is actually documented behavior. And based on that documented behavior, and the Key Type for the map, this is working as expected. Still it would be nice to have the ability to do your own sorting, with some kind of method of off the Map Class itself.

Here is the information pointed out:
"The order in which the elements occur during iteration is defined not by the sequence in which the elements are inserted, but the ordering of the elements: Elements with lower keys appear before elements with higher keys. The usual ordering for the types is in effect. However, for if the keys are objects, the addresses of the objects are used to supply the ordering, and no specific ordering may consequently be inferred: The addresses of the objects are transient by nature"

Thanks to the following:
Palle Agermark, Jan B. Kjeldsen & Torben for adding the comments.

Honestly, I have just nevet ran into this before, as the Types:: for the key value was always ok and the odering / sorting was never an issue. Thanks again!

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Dynamics AX Sustained Engineering

Well I have a new Dynamics AX blog to tell you about. It's the Dynamics AX Sustained Engineering Team blog.

From the blog:
"Welcome to the Dynamics AX Sustained Engineering Team’s blog. Our goal is to use this blog to interact with customers regarding patching and servicing of released product. The posts to this blog are intended to address and discuss issues pertaining to Dynamics AX Servicing with customers and partners who work with Dynamics AX. We plan to share information regarding the methods in which the Dynamics AX product is serviced as well as helpful hints or recommendations for some common issues we see. We will post periodically regarding different topics\challenges people are facing and hope to have some good discussion regarding these items. Our goal is to post topics on at least a monthly basis but you may find that posts may occur more or less frequently based on our availability."

You can find a link to there blog here: Dynamics AX Sustained Engineering - Team Blog

They have an already interesting post: Dynamics AX 2009 Patching

Thanks to the team, and lest wish them luck and encourage them to post! As always check back soon!

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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Friday, October 03, 2008

RCPMAG: Microsoft's Cloudy Future

Over at RCPMag.com Lee Pender asks the question at the end of her Post: 'Does Microsoft get cloud computing?' (from here blog entry found here: Microsoft's Cloudy Future - By Lee Pender)

I left a comment on this blog entry, but I wanted to also answer this question here. See my last post on Wed. (Microsoft's Cloud Computing Platform) I brought up the fact that Microsoft was going to be launching it's cloud computing platform at the PDC event at the end of this month.

I talked about how this is the first true platform. In much respect I got a comment from someone that has a lot of experience in other technologies and platforms, and I respect their thoughts. However I still stick to my statement, this will be the first 'true' platform for cloud computing. The first 'PaaC' or 'Platform as a Cloud' (yes I just TM'ed that!).

So to answer Lee and to the comments, does Microsoft get it? Short answer: Yes. Microsoft gets it, because Microsoft is it.

This will be the first Platform as a Cloud, that will offer to VAR's, Enterprise, Student Developers, Freeware developers, Consumer facing software companies, all a single platform to launch many different solution with, connected to, a part of and from. That will allow distinct and different business models for those different types of developers / architects.

Sure there are integration, data services, private clouds, custom clouds, some based on java, ruby, php and more. Still none of these are a true platform... only bits and peices of one. And yes you can tie several together, when done right... but that might friend is not scalable, and for sure leaves you wondering how secure. (bite back I know on the secure part... It's Microsoft.)

With Microsoft's PaaC or Cloud Computing Platform, now a true single platform will be there. Ready for your development needs, via the technologies you know, trust, and that your users already use. Microsoft one's.

So again, to answer... does Microsoft get cloud computing? Yes.

Check back soon!

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Microsoft's Cloud Computing Platform

Well late this month, at the Professional Developers Conference, PDC for short Senior Vice President Bob Muglia from Microsoft is set to unveil Microsoft's 'cloud computing platform.'

This is already causing a small uproar with Amazon.com as they announced today that via their EC2, customers will be able to run Windows and SQL Server instances. (See here: Amazon launches pre-emptive strike against Microsoft’s planned cloud platform)

This is very exciting news, as this will be the first cloud computing, true platform that will exist. Others can say I am crazy, look to Salesforce.com, and Amazon... are they not platforms? No. They are services, trying to become a platfom. Microsoft is a platform, offering itself now via the cloud computing buzz word.

Reality, this is a hosted platform, in which Microsoft developers, customer, etc. all can develop solutions that are hosted and live full time in the cloud. These solutions can and will be developed via .Net and Visual Studio. This means that now cloud computing can really start to see an in-road into the enterprise, as enterprise and company developers start to take advantage of these offerings for company level projects, along with Microsoft VAR's, consumer facing products, and niche level solutions.

Just last month, Mary Jo over at ZDNet, wrote this following: Piecing together Microsoft’s cloud-computing vision which can give you some good insights into what will begin to be offered with this.

I am most excited about this, as the possibilities of developing solutions that surrond, make use of, expose and are a part of Dynamics AX solutions for customers. You could actually see VAR level offerings of solutions that enter the cloud before core Dynamics AX modules do. And that's a good thing, for customers, VAR's and client's a like.

All in all, I am ready to start designing solutions that involve cloud computing as part of them. This is an exciting new era, and possible solution offerings for customers. If your not looking into this, now is the time.

Check back soon!

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