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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Roll Tide!

Alabama 36

- Auburn 0

I realize this has nothing at all to do with Dynamics AX, however it must be shouted on the mountain tops. Glory has come back to Bama! Roll Tide! Alabama killed Auburn 36-0. It was an amazing game to watch, if you are an Alabama fan.

This is the house divided game. Were bothers and sisters choose different sides, along with mothers and daughters, and sons and fathers. This was the iron bowl, and for 364 days, we Alabama fans ride high on beating the daylights out of Auburn 36-0.

Roll Tide!

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Well another Thanksgiving week is upon us. It's time for gathering with friends and family. To talk and share our lives with on another. There's traveling to parents, in-laws, grandparents and such.

Turkeys, ham's, dressing, pumkin pie's, sweet potatoe pie's, etc. etc. It's a very distinct and food centered time of year.

So being thankful:

I am thankful for...
- The spirit and salvation that exists from my Creator, that is extended to all of us.
- My wonderful wife and two little girls.
- Our family on boths sides. Both Mom's, Dad's and brothers and sistes, etc.
- Having a wonderful work family called Sunrise.
- Being able to provide for my family.
- Having this blog to write and talk with all of you!

It's a great time to reflect... to enjoy those that are new to our families, and you keep in our hearts those that have went on from this world and on to the next.

May you have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

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Monday, November 24, 2008

Migration Tool for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 - Release

Microsoft has released for public use on PartnerSource the Microsoft Dynamics AX Migration tool.

The download can be found here: Migration Tool for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 (PartnerSource Login Required)

From the release:
"The Migration Tool is a .NET application with client/server architecture. The client provides a user interface for managing data migration tasks such as configuring a project, staging data, managing exceptions, loading data, and reviewing results.

It also provides features such as comparing the schema of the current Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 database to the standard schema of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 (RTM). The client can be disconnected from the server during the execution of a pre-existing configured project.

The migration process is managed using:
- Groups of Microsoft® SQL Server 2005 Integration Services (SSIS) packages, combined into prerequisite check, source, target, and validation adaptors.

- A staging database.

- AxMT classes. These are X++ classes that are used to validate and to migrate transactional data from the staging database to the Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 database."

Out of the box, not many adapters for moving data over exists, but this is very customizable:
"Out of the box the Migration tool for Microsoft Dynamics® AX 2009 delivers Source adapters for Epicor iScala 5.1 SR13 SP14; however the migration tool is customizable and can be extended to handle multiple source adapters. "

I wonder why the focus on Epicor and not many others, like MAS 90, 200, etc.? Either way this tool is a long time coming, with all of us that have ever done a project writing our own import scripts, tools and processes. I am really wanting to see how well this work and how flexible it really is.

Just by looking at the documentation on it, it seems it would not take much at all to have your very own custom AS/400 adapter for that in house app your replacing. Or to write one of the Oracle or other data sources.

This is great news! Check back soon as I post more...

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Friday, November 21, 2008

Microsoft Publishes Case Study: Selecta, with Microsoft Gold Partner Sunrise Technologies

Well Microsoft just published a new case study about a Sunrise Technologies Customer Selecta, aka: "Dickies Medical Uniforms" and "Dickies Underwear".

From the Case Study:
"Now, we’re able to process orders faster and give customers better information on the status of their orders. That enhances customer retention and helps us expand our market share.
- John King, Senior Vice President of Operations, Selecta"

"The solution enabled us to meet the stringent labeling and on-time shipping requirements at Wal-Mart. In the near future, we expect our Underwear division to expand to other big-box retailers as well.
- John King, Senior Vice President of Operations, Selecta"

And again:
“We sat down with the project team at Selecta, mapped out their ideal warehouse workflows, and then built the supporting functionality and interface,” explains Elif Item, Consultant at Sunrise Technologies. “We implemented inbound shipment processes, wave management, fulfillment-order management, picking, packing, and shipping into Microsoft Dynamics AX.”

Get the full case study here: Selecta - Greater Supply-Chain Control Increases Distributor’s Shipment Accuracy to 98 Percent

And the offical press release from Sunrise Technologies, Inc.: Microsoft publishes case study on Sunrise's work with Selecta, wholesale distributor of medical, chef, and hospitality uniforms and men’s underwear under the Williamson-Dickie brand.

Way to go Selecta, Microsoft and Sunrise! And Check back soon as I have a slew of new and great post coming out soon.

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Dynamics AX 2009 - Service Pack 1 Released

Today Microsoft released Service Pack 1 for Dynamics AX 2009. A list of issues and enhancements are a part of this SP.

The link: (Requires PartnerSource Access) PartnerSource Link for DAX 2009 SP1 download.

From the post:
"Microsoft Dynamics® AX 2009 Service Pack 1 (SP1) contains the complete set of updates that Microsoft has issued since the June 2008 RTM release of Microsoft Dynamics® AX 2009, as well as a number of enhancements and new features to improve the product’s functionality and user experience."

And also I noticed that with this, offically Dynamics AX 2009 is fully supported to run on SQL Server 2008.

Let me say, looking at the what's new, a lot has been done with this SP release. I recommend you download and read it, as I am sure those who have implemented or currently implementing DAX 2009 can really benefit from this right away.

One of the smaller things, that might go un-noticed possible is the addition of XML documentation to X++.

"XML Documentation
You can now write XML documentation in X++® source code to document classes, class methods, and table methods. This XML documentation can be extracted from the source code to create an XML documentation file."

This is similar to how you can do so with Visual Studio for C# code, etc. This is a nice new feature, that will really help with documenting objects, who developed them, what they are used for, and easily share this information when this is used correctly.

Again please read it over it, as there are several Technical and Functional improvements with this SP1 release.

Check back soon!

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

MSDW: Microsoft Moves Aggressively to Ease Recession's Effects on Dynamics Products, Via 0 Percent Financing

Well this write up over at MSDynamicsWorld.com, fits exactly into what I have been posting about for the past several post. That's Microsoft Dynamics AX in a recession.

Well this week Microsoft launched a new financing option, 0% financing! This, I think speaks very loudly to the tone in which the market is echoing. Times are tough for companies, but they still need the ability to grow, lower cost, offer value, and do all that from one platform.

Check out the full write up from MSDynamicsWorld.com: Microsoft Moves Aggressively to Ease Recession's Effects on Dynamics Products, Via 0 Percent Financing

From the write up:
"We are working closely with our customers and partners to proactively enable them to preserve their capital resources to ride out the current economic situation, while making an important strategic investment in their future," said Kirill Tatarinov, corporate vice president of Microsoft Business Solutions. "Microsoft Dynamics ERP and CRM solutions are business assets that pay off in the near term and over the long haul by helping companies drive productivity, maximize efficiency, and adapt and grow their business in today's fast-changing market."

Notice what I bolded. It exactly what I was pointing out in my previous post, and plan to contiue to dive deeper and deeper of into. Dynamics AX is the business platform that customers need to grow their business, while lower cost and bringing tons and tons of value to their company and their customers.

Check back soon for more!

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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Friday, November 14, 2008

Working on my 4th year of posting!

This past October came, and is gone. It happened so fast, and I have been so heads down, I did not realize that it means another year for this blog. I am now working on my 4th year of blogging about Dynamics AX!

I can't believe how much this blog has grown over that time frame, and how much the Dynamics AX community has grown.

We have seen all kinds of new technologies, releases, integrations. We are for sure a good long ways from the Axapta 2.5 and early Axapta 3.0 days that I started on.

Thanks to all you who read this blog, and find some help it. I hope that I can continue to write things that matter to this community.

Check back soon!

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Dynamics AX - Why it's good: Value point two, "The Stack"

To continue our talks here about why Dynamics AX is good, and even more so in a recession, lets look at the next value point:

The Stack
This is refering to the stack of software that Dynamics AX sits on top of, is a part of and is surrounded by.

Lets look at what Dynamics AX sits on top. If you look at the core parts that make up Dynamics AX: Fat Client, Web Client & Parts, AOS & Database.

Fat Client
This is the normal, everyone is used to using standard front end to the Dynamics AX solution. This client is actually being moved more and more into managed code, but as of right now is built using C++ for it's core. These C++ codes are developed using Microsoft windows core Libs and OS abilities. So the Fat client sits on top of the core Microsoft Windows OS.

This client also has the ability to interact, via X++ Code calls, to .Net assemblies, therefore openning up to the side stack that runs as part of the client experince.

Web Client & Parts
Use to, this was just called web client in my mind, but that has changed with the release of Dynamics AX 2009. This is because Role Centers are being used, and Microsoft Office SharePoint Services are being used to host the Web client and it's many possible and customizable web parts.

This is extending the to the next level of information worker that is actually becoming more commonly used than the Fat client. This, as I already mentioned sits on top of Microsoft Office SharePoint Services, which rides on top of the Microsoft WIndows Server OS.

This part also has access to .Net assemblies / managed code and therefore can be really extended.

AOS or Application Object Server
This is the serving part of the Dynamics AX solution. A company may have many AOS instances working to serve a single Instance of Dynamics AX based on user demand and size. This part is also written right now in C++ but more and more is being ported to be wrote in managed code, or better refered to as .Net.

This sits on top of Microsoft Windows Server OS, and has access to the .Net assemblies / managed just like the others mentioned so far. This means it too can really be extended, even beyond the core possibilities of X++.

This is the heart and soul of a Dynamics AX instance. If you have this running right, tunned and optomized, then you have happy users. This runs on top of Microsoft SQL Server, which itself runs on top of Microsoft Windows Server OS.

With the release of Microsoft SQL Server 2005, SQL Server from Microsoft became a true enterprise level RDBMS. This is the work horse, and offers all kinds of things from just being SQL Server, including: OLAP, BI, SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) and much more.

As you can see, just looking at the core parts of Dynamics AX and what it sits on and is closely coupled with, this is truly a business platform. The great thing is, it can be extended, customized and used by people who are already familiar with the Microsoft product stack. That means as a customer, you can take and capitalize on your existing employees knowledge of SQL Server, Windows, .Net, C# SharePoint, Office and so on.

This Value point builds on top of tha last, of being Dynamic, in that the stack is very important. It's important for: Value, Cost, Ability to learn, Flexibility and scalability.

All those are key words into why the stack should matter, and why it's our second value point of discussion for Dynamics AX as a Business Platform.

This leads into our next topic: Platform Check back soon, and see you then!

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Dynamics AX - Why is it good in a recession?


So you heard me state on my last post that Dynamics AX looks good to possible new customers, even during a recession. But what makes Dynamics AX look good?

Well as I mentioned in my last post, the value that Microsoft Dynamics AX brings to customers just can't be touched by other companies like SAP or Orcale. What does this mean though? Value?

Value in Dynamics AX, obviously different for different implementations and customers, comes in several general area's of offerings. Like I stated here, specific value ranges depending on the need of the customer, which leads us to our first point of value that Dynamics AX brings:

Dynamics AX is for a lack of a better word, Dynamic
Truly the name itself is a very correct statement, a word that really describes the solution / platform that is Dynamics AX. This value point really touches with all implementations, no matter need or even size of implementation.

This Dynamic is the fact that DAX offers the ability for a customer to grow and have it's business platform change and grow with it. This is a most wonderful aspect of the platform, and means that a company is not forced to change it's processes to fit into some dreamed up template that only fits a certain slice of a given vertical, and barely at that. (*cough* SAP *cough*).

This of course can be a a bad thing, if not managed right. Having a good partner is where that comes in, to help setup, install, train and manage the solution for you or to help you with doing so.

So today's value point for Dynamics AX is: Being Dynamic.

Just think if you had a very high price business platform, *like the other guys*, that was inflexible and your faced with downturn. You need a Dynamic platform that can offer you the ability to have quick access to data, and quickly adapt your business processes to help you to continually effect your bottom line in a positive way.

Check back soon as we continue other points of value Dynamics AX brings. Also feel free to leave comments as well! See you then!

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Thursday, November 06, 2008

Dynamics AX in a Recession


So we are in the R-word (Recession) in the U.S. Even though the big wigs, mostly will not say it, we are. Proof's in the pudding. And it may be that the world is in a Recession, or most major world economies.

So what does this mean for Dynamics AX. Well Let's say, what does this mean for a company looking for a new ERP / Business Platform? It means that Dynamics AX is better positioned that any other ERP platform on the market for bringing your company Value for the money spent, along with a deep functional paltform to boot.

I mean you can get a price list from Dynamics AX and compare it to SAP and see huge price differences. You ask businesses what they are looking for in a new ERP / Business Platform, and they will tell you:

- Something that will save the company money.
- Something that will help bring value to the company.

These two major points, are what Microsoft Dynamics platform was already offering, well before a recession was declared. This is why Dynamics AX, even in a recession, looks to be a great deal.

Lets be honest with ourselves here, in that Dynmaics AX was already one of the top choices for an ERP / Business Platform. The key word is 'Platform'. SAP does not have it, and Orcale pretends to have one. Salesforce.com is for very small, hard to customize implementations of CRM, and the rest of the names are just packages.

We are talking about a true platform. One in which ERP, CRM, Supply Chain management, BI, all are functional area's of this given platform. They are not hodge-podge, ad-hoc packages, web sites or applications. They are interconnected, and run on top of, connect into and are customized with this same platform.

So Dynamics AX in a Recession, is the same great platform, it just happens to already bring the two major things that companies are looking for right now: Lower cost & Value at the same time.

Just keep in mind for those that shake their head at you and tell you what I am saying is not true. 'Proof is in the pudding' Microsoft's pudding is it's platform and the price to implement it. (Price includes full implementation cost)

Alright, this starts the down turn / recession posts. I want to take and really look into the details of how Microsoft Dynamics AX can bring value to you. How it can be used to lower cost, change processes, can valuable BI insight into sales for positioning products, etc. etc.

Check back soon!

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Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Vote today! (2008)

Make sure and go to the polls today and Vote! Offically, this blog does not endorse any party, and for sure not Democrat or Republican. Personally I think they are the same, different heads to the same ugly beast.

So don't feel like you have to choose between one or the other, you can choose from several others, and even write in. And that's exactly what I did. I wrote in my Brother, Chris George for President, and my Wife Amy George for Senator.

Just because you write in, does not mean you waste a vote either. Do not let people tell you that! You are using your right to vote, and that's what matters. So I guess you can say this blog endorses Chris George for President and Amy George for Senate Seat in Alabama!

Check back later this week for more Dynamics AX posting...

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