Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Friday, October 30, 2009

Tips on optimizing primary index in Axapta

Primary index plays an important role in gaining optimum performance in Axapta. The Primary Index of a table is the main index that is used to uniquely identify records in it. No duplicated values are allowed in this index. When caching records, primary index is used as the caching key if it exists.
When you designing a table's primary index, follow these rules:

1.Keep the "width" of your indexes as narrow as possible. This reduces the size of the index and reduces the number of disk I/O reads required to read the index, boosting performance.
2.If possible, try to create indexes on columns of Integer data type instead of string. Integer values have less overhead than string values.
3.Don't use Real data types for primary keys, as they add unnecessary overhead and can hurt performance.
4.Indexes on narrow columns are preferable to indexes on wide columns. The narrower the index, the more entries SQL Server can fit on a data page, which in turn reduces the amount of I/O required when accessing the data.
5.Reduce the size of the index, thus decreasing read I/O during the join process, and increasing overall performance.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

AX 2009 Workflows:

Workflow - "Machine readible code for a business process"
-Feature of Base AX 2009
-Workflow components reside on a Web Server
-Utilizes the Windows orkflow Foundation (.NET 3.0)
-Utilizes the AX Batch framework
-Requires AD User for Workflow
-Requires exclusive site on IIS to function
-The Workflow components on the Web server use the .NET BC to communicate with the AOS using Workflow system account(existing AX user).

Setup (Steps):-
-Setup AD User for Workflow Account & configure in AX
-Setup & Configure IIS on Web Server
-Setup Workflow Component using AX installation option
-Run the Workflow Infrastructure Configuration Wizard {Batch Jobs, Workflow site}
-Configure the Workflow in AX
Workflow Objects:
Workflow templates:

Workflow templates capture information about workflow categories , what business document the workflow will operate over, what workflow elements (Tasks and Approvals) are required in the workflow configuration, which application event handlers will handle the events that are raised as the workflow executes etc.The first step in creating a workflow is to add a workflow Template. A Workflow Template can be said to be the metadata A workflow template provides information on:
• Which workflow document to use.
• Tasks and approvals that can be configured by the user.
• Workflow categories used for assigning a workflow template to a specific module.
Workflow category:
The workflow category determines whether a workflow template is available in a specific module. After a workflow
category is created, it is possible bind the workflow category to a workflow template.
Workflow Configuration:
A Workflow Configuration is bound to a single Workflow Template, and there can be multiple Workflow Configurations
for the same Workflow Template. Only a single Workflow Configuration for each WorkflowTemplate can be the default WorkflowConfiguration. The Workflow Configuration captures what tasks will be executed, who the tasks are assigned
Workflow Query:
Dynamics AX workflow uses a query to set up conditions for a workflow. The query identifies which data is available to workflow users. Queries are bound to Workflow templates. Once the query is created, a Workflow class needs to be created which contains the query name & any calculated fields.
Workflow Tasks:
AX workflow tasks are used to track documents or tasks from the start to the end of a work process. A workflow may contain one or many tasks. Each task contains one step.
Workflow Approvals:
Workflow Approvals are used to track status of Workflow documents. The fixed outcomes are ‘Approve’, ‘Reject’, or ‘Request Change’.
After you create a task, approval, or outcome in a AX workflow, it must be added to a menu item. The end-user can then start the task or approval using the menu item as a part of the workflow process.
Workflow can be activated throughout the various lifecycle stages of a business document: Create, Update, Delete, Post. The Workflow runtime will execute the Workflow and assign Tasks to users. Users interact with theWorkflow through Alerts/Workflow Tasks, from where they can take action (Approve, Reject) or they can navigate to the business document and view all details before taking the workflow action.

What's New in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 for Developers

The following are the Development features that are available in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009:-
• Layers
• Workflow
• Business Connector
• Development Best Practice Checks
• Version Control System Integration
• XML Documentation
• Enterprise Portal
• Reporting Tools for Microsoft Visual Studio
• Reverse Engineering Tool
• Navigation Pages
• Queries and Views
• Time Zone Support
• Composite Query
• Cross-Company Support
• X++ SQL Enhancements
• X++ Enhancements
• Debug a Batch that Runs on the AOS
• Update Cross-reference by Using AT.exe
• E-signature Subsystem Support
• Application Integration Framework
• MorphX
• Business Intelligence
• Documentation Changes

Advantages of ERP

1.Faster inventory turnover
Without ERP, a business may turn over its inventory once or twice a year With ERP to automate processes such as production planning and procurement, many manufacturers and distributors increase inventory turns by tenfold and reduce inventory costs by 10% to 40%. The result is significant reduction in inventory expense, as well as associated transportation, storage and warehousing costs. This, in turn, leads to better cash flow.

2. Improved customer service
To remain competitive, manufacturers are looking to improve their customer-order fulfillment rates. In many cases, an ERP system can increase fill rates to 80% or 90% by providing the information that allows the company to have the right product in the right place at the right time. The result is higher customer satisfaction and retention. Although it’s hard to put a price on lost business, customers will take their business elsewhere if the products they want are not available when they need them.

3.Better inventory accuracy, fewer audits
Some manufacturers physically count inventory each month-in some cases, each weekend often have an inventory accuracy rate as low as 20%. An ERP system can increase inventory accuracy to more than 90%, while reducing the need for frequent physical audits. For many, a comprehensive physical inventory is not only costly in itself, but requires a temporary shutdown of business to count, tag and check stock.

4. Reduced setup times

Manufacturers often spend anywhere from one to three shifts setting up major pieces of production machinery. An ERP system can improve setup time by 25% to 80%-from days to a few hours by grouping similar production jobs together, ensuring coordination of people, tools and machinery, and planning for maximum equipment use and efficient machine maintenance to minimize downtime. Optimizing production in this manner translates into increased capacity, which means you can make more products with the same amount of machinery and people, thus increasing revenue and ROI without having to increase capital expenses.

5. Higher quality, less re-work
In some plants, re-work rates, because of unacceptable quality, may fall between 15% and 40% of production output. The production staff may not realize there is a problem until after the product has been manufactured. ERP software with a strong manufacturing component proactively pinpoints quality issues, providing the information needed to increase production efficiency and reduce or eliminate re-work.

6. Timely revenue collection, improved cash flow
Some companies take up to 90 days to collect on customer invoices. An ERP system can automatically generate a list of late paying customers, send notifications as needed, and "redflag" customers whose credit should be put on hold before more products are manufactured or shipped. ERP systems give manufacturers the power to proactively examine accounts receivable before significant problems occur, instead of merely reacting. Timely receivable equates to better cash flow, freeing up funds for the business to invest in revenue generating assets.

Axapta Implementation methodology

The Microsoft Dynamics AX implementation methodology, SureStep, describes implementation and process best practices for partners working with Microsoft Dynamics AX.
The SureStep methodology is divided into the following phases:

Phase Tasks during phase
• Evaluate a customer's business processes and infrastructure
• Prepare a proposal
• Analyze the current business model
• Produce a gap/fit analysis
• Create the requirements documentation
Design Create documents:
• Feature design
• Data migration design
• Test criteria
• Technical design
• Develop the features
• Test the features and functions
• Create and test the user documentation
• Set up the production environment
• Configure the system
• Migrate data
• Test the system
• Train the end-users
• Bring the system live
• Resolve pending issues
• Finalize the user documentation and knowledge transfer
• Conduct a post-mortem of the project
• Provide on-going support
These are on-going activities that continue after project close and throughout any future involvement with the client.
• Analyze the system to determine how it can be optimized for the best performance based on customer's needs
• Perform the optimization
• Carry out testing
The purpose of this phase is to help the customer optimize the benefit they get from the business solution.
• Review the customer's business processes
• Align the business processes with new functionality
• Put the systems in place to support the upgrade

ERP Life Cycle?

The lifecycle of an ERP implementation begins with the understanding of the critical goals and objectives of the business enterprises in running of the businesses and focusing on the process of streamlining the business processes which are being planned to get integrated technologically.
To start with, while building the Business Case or the Business blueprint, the first focus that is needed, before the initiation of the ERP project is to analyze what the project will be trying to accomplish and at what cost, using what resource in time, money and man efforts, besides also working on the ROI (Return on Investment) details and a communication plan for all strata of the users involved in the implementation that include the Top management , operational management, all the staff members at all levels in an organization who would be the users , stakeholders, sponsors etc.An other very important initial activity involved in the ERP implementations is the designing of the information system for a business, which is an important role of an System Enterprise Architect because unless the requirements are not defined in advance and well understood, the result could be fiasco because the goal of the ERP is application of the technology to what is right for the business and not what are the technology tools that are involved in designing an ERP.
Another salient aspect to be considered in ERP project lifecycle is the prototype based training session with the users which ought to involve the actual business enterprise data in a test environment to simulate the ERP package software running the business. This implies the loading of actual operational data such as bills-of-materials, routings, business partners, customers, suppliers, etc. into a test environment for simulation with the ERP software. This approach provides the business user with an exact look and feel of the information as well as the user interfaces that is used in the business operations and system design respectively and also facilitates to trace the gaps in the business processes. The testing of business processes along with the ERP implementation can plug lot of gaps simultaneously in the development phase.
Normally, a popular approach before ERP implementation is to have a trial run of the existing business processes or pre defined business processes through the new system in a simulated environment using the actual data of the business enterprise. This process is often referred to as the Conference Room Pilot (CRP) and is normally is designed to be the final verification that the new system is set-up correctly to function in the live business environment.
The normal lifecycle of an ERP Implementation Project shall consist of the following milestones:
1. Business Process Study: Regular interactions with the client grow in order to understand the various business processes and the way they are presently carried out.
Setting the objectives of ERP implementation; setting the expectation of the client
2. Pre-Implementation Training: A pre-implementation training, detailing the concepts and features, shall be given to all the end-users at the client site. This shall improve the lead time in collecting the inputs for the preparation of specifications. I don't think this activity will take place in normal ERP implementation life cycle stages.
3. Requirement Analysis: The requirements of the client are collected, using the SRS (Software Requirements Specification) form, to further the process study.
4. GAP Analysis: In relation to Information Technology, this analysis points out the differences or gaps that exist between the standard capabilities of the desired system & the expectations of the client. The deliverable is a GAP Report.
In order to get maximum benefit out of the ERP processes must be re-engineered and then mapped with the redesigned processes
5. BMR (Business Mapping Report): This follow-up of the GAP Analysis should address the identified solution(s) for the gap areas.
5a. Master Data preparation and management: This is perhaps most ill-treated activity which ultimately leads to delays if not addressed at early stages of the project planning. A team must look after these before and after the project to ensure accuracy in master data as this may lead to erroneous results causing panics after Go Live.
6. Project Plan: This milestone shall set the actual plan for execution and roll out for the roles and task allocations.
7. Installation of Software: The Vanilla installation of the complete software should now be carried out to ascertain the infrastructure preparedness at the client site.
8. Customization of Forms & Reports: The Client's requirement as to the customization of forms (user interfaces) and reports (existing as well as new requirements) are addressed here.
The system must be tested for complete processes and each type of transactions so as to check its robustness.
9. Migration of Historical Data: Beyond the opening balance incorporation, if the client desires to bring the historical data, this step will be required to plan the conversion and clean up - prepare the data for the new environment.
10. Design of Routines & Workarounds: Though this is not a milestone, the additional routine and workaround requirements (as identified in the GAP & BMR) shall be addressed through this step.
11. Setup & Configuration: The new environment shall be setup based on the SRS and the software shall be configured (on different deployment methods) fully.
12. Testing Environment: A testing environment (a simulation of the live environment) shall be created in the new software to enable the end-users to acquaint and equip themselves for beginning in the live environment.
13. End-User Training: The next milestone shall be giving training to the end-users on the setup, configuration, transaction processing and report generation. This shall be the post-implementation training phase.
14. System Walk-Through: This milestone requires entry of sample transactions by the end-users in the testing environment.
15. Go Live: This is the Sign-Off phase where the project gets implemented.
16. Post Implementation Support: An immediate support commitment, subsequent to the implementation, and the detailed modes of support, etc., are given to the client.

What is ERP?

ERP (Enterprise Resource planning) covers the technique and concepts employed for the integrated management of business as a whole, from the viewpoint of the effectiveness use of management resources, to improve the efficiency of an enterprise. ERP packages are integrated software packages that support the above ERP concepts.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

New Blog

Hi Friends...