Spring 2019 Release Notes Deep Dive

Spring is in the air with flowers and rain and 500 pages of Release Notes. I’d like to highlight some of the features I’m looking forward to.

Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations

Expense Client Usability

I’m a fan of any UI refreshes in the application, especially the forms I have to personally use on a regular basis. I can already feel myself getting reimbursed faster.

Simplified View – Templates and Saved Views

These are additional UI improvements for allowing different groups of users to have different Form views. Seems like this will improve productivity; I hope there will be options to deploy the correct query/view from a Workspace or Menu item so users can get the appropriate Default view. It’s also unclear what options will be available via the X++ Development tools.

Enhanced Grid Experiences

There are a lot of forms in the Project module dealing with the Work Breakdown Structure or Subprojects that could benefit from fancy grid controls. Also, there are some “light weight” reporting scenarios that could be lit up using these controls.

Updated Navigation Bar that Aligns With Office Header

I have mixed feelings. I liked the menu path for screenshots and documentation. Hopefully the menu search being obvious is worth the trade off.

Developer Tools and Application Lifecycle Management

Lots of fantastic concepts in this article for developers, especially partners. Developer VMs can become a significant costs for developing for Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations, so reducing this cost is a plus. Also, having a Microsoft managed version of a Tier 1 environment could standardize some disparate processes.

Event-driven Architecture for Integrations

There are so many possibilities when adding Event driven architecture (think Microsoft Flow); the challenge sometimes is imagining and defining good business scenarios.

Finance and Operations, Entities in CDS for Apps

Since CDS was released in the April 2018, F&O has needed a more native integration. This is a welcome addition to the stack.

However, the release notes don’t specify if this kind of CDS integration can be customized using the development tools. I hope that’s part of the experience so we can light up scenarios outside those listed in the article.

One Version Experience

The Embedded Power BI tool looks interesting.

Business Intelligence (Power BI)

New Filter Experience

This is in regards to the Filter bar on the right side. I would guess most report consumers don’t even know this exists. Having a way to have it expanded and formatted will turn those types of filters into viable options.

Drill Between PBIX Reports

It’s been possible in the past to do a version of this using URL formulas and URL filtering. Will be good to have more built in options.

Performance Analyzer for Reports

Excellent idea, especially for DirectQuery based data connections or complicated DAX expressions.

Azure Machine Learning Integration

Nice to get options other than web services to consume Machine Learning models.

April – September 2019 Release Notes For Dynamics and Powers

Check out the latest features for all your favorite Dynamics and Powers!

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/business-applications-release-notes/april19/

Pro tip: The first article in every section contains the Estimated release date. I suggest looking at feature from that article so you also know when to expect them.

For example the F&O article: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/business-applications-release-notes/april19/dynamics365-finance-operations/planned-features

Editing Your Professional Selfie

I’m a big fan of having a good professional picture for LinkedIn, Microsoft Teams, and other work-related online presence tools; as I’ve written about before. Many times people have pictures of themselves they like, but perhaps don’t have a professional background (because of the beach scene behind you).

Recently I’ve run across a couple of tools that within a few minutes can edit that vacation picture into a professional selfie.

Background Removal

I’ve tried to do background removal before in Photoshop, and that experience made me hate Photoshop with the fire of a thousand suns. But I found a free online tool called https://www.remove.bg/ that does the background removal automagically, only keeping a person in the shot! The process is simple, just upload your photo and download the result, sans background.

Remove.bg Screenshot

Note: I’ve noticed this website struggles removing the background between open earrings, but handles hair fairly well.

Background Addition

Now that you’ve removed that beach scene, you need to replace it with something, so you need a photo editor. (No, I’m still not using Photoshop. Still hate it and it’s not free.) For this step there’s a free online photo editor called LunaPic https://www.lunapic.com/.

Upload the photo from the Background Removal step, then navigate to Draw menu > Background Tool.

LunaPic Image 1.png

Then click on “use our patterns or colors“.

LunaPic Image 2.png

Now pick a color. Black, white, and grey are all excellent options. Click the Apply button when you’re happy with the color and save the photo.

Original Photo

Joel Leichty with Busy Background

Updated Photo

Here’s the result after removing the background and replacing it with a black one.

Joel Leichty with Black Background

More Colors

One other idea I had for colors is to use your company’s branding colors for the  background. Here’s the same image as above using SAGlobal Blue.

Joel Leichty with Blue Background

Cropping

LunaPic also has a simple cropping tool (Edit > Simple Crop Tool) – you’ll want to do a square crop and your eyes should be approximately 1/3rd the way down from the top.

LunaPic Image 3.png

Additional Examples

Here are some other photos taken with various cameras and settings showing the possible results. I tried to use some more complex background examples to show the results – in same cases it’s not perfect (my hair is losing some “spike”), but in general I feel this works quite nicely for a small profile picture.

I’m a dork.

Now I’m a dork with piercing eyes.

A recent picture going from a grey background to an SAGlobal theme color background.

 

Good luck; hope to see your smiling faces online!

PUG Summit | Understanding Time Intelligence with Power BI

Presenter: Dan Edwards

Auto Date Fields

Power BI can create automatic date hierarchies, for report and drill down by Year/Quarter/Month/Day. It’s important to consider whether your data model has more than one fact table with a date attribute. If there are multiple facts, or you have already created a date table, it’s a better to use your own date dimension.

“Don’t use auto date/time” -Dan

I love these types of tips and tricks – here’s how it works, and don’t do it!

Creating a Date Table with DAX

It’s possible to use a DAX expression to create a date table. The initial DAX expression looks like this:

Date = CALENDAR(“1/1/2016”, “12/31/2019”)

Use the DAX expression to create a New table in Power BI.

2018-10-17_14-50-22.jpg

Then additional columns can be added to the Date dimension table:

Month = MONTH(‘DATE'[Date])

2018-10-17_14-53-35.jpg

It’s also possible to do concepts like MonthDate where you calculate a Date column with the first day of every month, which can provide flexibility.

MonthDate = DATE( YEAR(‘DATE'[Date]) , MONTH(‘DATE'[Date]) , 1 )

2018-10-17_15-04-02.jpg

Using an Effective Date

One of the scenarios is a scenario where the user wants to pick the effective date – for example a cutoff date or the last 12 months.

Dan mentioned he has a fairly extensive blog post on how to implement this concept.

 

Great presentation!

D365UG Summit | What’s New in Financials and UI

Microsoft presented today at D365UG summit on some of the new UI, Financials, and Production features available.

Presenters: Jason Green, Mike Faulkner, Philippe Jacobsen

PowerPoint (Login Required)

Check the Release notes for the specific estimated release date of these features. Some may be released in early 2019 or beyond.

Web Client

I covered some of the enhancements to the web client released in Platform 20 in a previous post.

What’s Coming

Collapsible navigation in menus will simplify finding a menu item.

Picture2

New options will be available for saved views on forms, which allows for multiple personalizations on a form.

Picture3.png

New grid capabilities will include:

  • Improved scrolling – more data will be held client side so the scroll is more accurate and not paginated
  • Filter/sort on any column including “display fields”
  • Excel-style column filtering – pick filters from list
  • Grand totals on grids
  • Grouping and subtotaling on grids
  • Cross-column search
  • Remove 10,000 record Download to Excel limit – not infinite, probably 1 million records

Picture4

Finance

I’ll be doing an upcoming live AXUG webinar on October 31st called “What’s New in the D365 for Finance and Operations Fall 2018 Release (8.1, Platform 20)” that will cover many of the new features discussed during the session and will include live demos.

Revenue Recognition

The Revenue Recognition features are used when billing is done at a summary Sales Order level, but the Revenue needs to be split out. New capabilities will be added to allow for this split.

Enterprise Credit Management

Ability to put orders on hold and have global credit limits.

Supply Chain

All kinds of Performance improvements.

MVPs at User Group Summit

Looking for some fantastic sessions? Check these out – all led by a Microsoft MVP.

D365UG & AXUG Community General Session & Microsoft Town Hall

MVP Kelly Kane! She’s in charge! #womenindynamics

Kelly Kane @kellylappkane | Tuesday, October 16 | 8:15 AM – 9:15 AM | North Building, North Ballroom

BI12 – Moving From Reports to Business Intelligence

Who, me?

Joel Leichty @joelleichty | Tuesday October 16 | 9:45 AM – 10:45 AM | 122A – North

FIN17 – Understanding Production Cost Accounting for the Best Outcome

Don Riggs @donriggs_mvp | Tuesday, October 16 | 9:45 AM – 10:45 AM | 126B – North

HOL1 – Hands-on Lab: Workflow Part 1-Planning the Perfect Workflow

Rachel forced me to write this post. #UnderDuress

Rachel Profitt @rachelprofitt | Tuesday, October 16 | 9:45 AM – 10:45 AM | 127C – North

HOL2 – Hands-on Lab: Workflow Part 2-Making the Perfect Workflow Even More Perfect

Is there a part 3: “Making the Perfectest Workflow Go to 11”?

Rachel Profitt @rachelprofitt | Tuesday, October 16 | 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM | 127C – North

BI14 – Collecting BI Requirements for an Upgrade or Implementation

Joel Leichty @joelleichty | Tuesday, October 16 | 1:15 PM – 2:15 PM | 122A – North

FIN13 – The New Vendor Invoice Automation in Practice

I’m disappointed I can’t make this session! Looks great.

Ludwig Reinhard @dynamicsaxfico | Tuesday, October 16 | 1:15 PM – 2:15 PM | 125A – North

HOL3 – Hands-on Lab: Workflow Part 3-Finalizing and Testing the Perfect Workflow

LOL I swear I didn’t see this before I wrote my snarky comment above.

Rachel Profitt @rachelprofitt | Tuesday, October 16 | 1:15 PM – 2:15 PM | 127C – North

IND13 – Application Lifecycle Management: Operating Multiple Instances of AX 2012 R3 and D365

Thomas Ejby @powerpappi | Tuesday, October 16 | 1:15 PM – 2:15 PM | 126A – North

SYS07 – Leveraging Excel for Reporting and Data Manipulation

Excel!!! Best ERP on the market, in my opinion.

Justin Carter @DAXDude | Wednesday, October 17 | 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM | 121A – North

LPD04 – From Developer to Leader: What I Learned on my Journey Through the ERP Industry

Justin Carter @DAXDude | Wednesday, October 17 | 3:45 PM – 4:45 PM | 128B – North

LPD05 – The Art of Mentoring a Technical Expert

Don Riggs @donriggs_mvp | Thursday, October 18 | 8:30 AM – 9:30 AM | 128B – North

DEV09 – Flowing With the Common Data Services – Part 1

Rachel Profitt @rachelprofitt | Thursday, October 18 | 9:45 AM – 10:45 AM  & 1:15 PM – 2:15 PM | 122C – North

MFG09 – Ask the Experts: Master Planning

Don Riggs @donriggs_mvp | Thursday, October 18 | 9:45 AM – 10:45 AM | 126B – North

FIN18 – Understanding Revenue and Cost: Inventory and Purchasing Cost Accounting

Don Riggs @donriggs_mvp | Thursday, October 18 | 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM | 128A – North

FIN21 – Not to Fear: Audits, AX, and Beer is Back Again for 2018!

Our fearless leader is back!

Kelly Kane @kellylappkane | Thursday, October 18 | 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM  | 227A – North

POWDC08 – Power BI for Accountants

Belinda will teach you about debits and credits. Most accountants only dive into one other the other.

Belinda Allen @belindathegpcsi | Thursday, October 18 | 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM | 228B – North

D365UG/AXUG Closing Feedback Session

 

 

SAGlobal at AXUG Summit

I wanted to highlight some of my partners in crime presenting at AXUG/D365UG Summit next week. (Ok to be honest I wanted to highlight myself as well.)

BI12 | Moving From Reports to Business Intelligence

I won’t take Excel away until you’re ready. Promise.

https://www.eventscribe.com/2018/Summit/fsPopup.asp?embedded=true&pfp=FullD365UG_AXUG&Mode=presInfo&PresentationID=423650

Joel Leichty | Tuesday, October 16 | 9:45 AM – 10:45 AM | 122A – North

FIN01 | Fixed Price Projects, and Revenue Recognition, and Currencies, Oh My!

Josh is juggling in the session picture – I can only assume he will do this entire session while juggling flaming knives.

https://www.eventscribe.com/2018/Summit/fsPopup.asp?embedded=true&pfp=FullD365UG_AXUG&Mode=presInfo&PresentationID=423657

Josh Knox | Tuesday, October 16 | 9:45 AM – 10:45 AM | 121C – North

PM01 | Data Migration: Isn’t it Just Exporting and Importing?

Sherry won a big AXUG award last year, so I’ll retitle this session “Award Winning Data Migration Information”.

https://www.eventscribe.com/2018/Summit/fsPopup.asp?embedded=true&pfp=FullD365UG_AXUG&Mode=presInfo&PresentationID=423645

Sherry Moran | Tuesday, October 16 | 9:45 AM – 10:45 AM | 121A – North

BI14 | Collecting BI Requirements for an Upgrade or Implementation

I’m co-presenting with Gina Pabalan on this presentation. Fun fact: Gina and I didn’t know each other until we started collaborating for this session. That’s my favorite part of AXUG!

https://www.eventscribe.com/2018/Summit/fsPopup.asp?embedded=true&pfp=FullD365UG_AXUG&Mode=presInfo&PresentationID=423684

Joel Leichty and Gina Pabalan (Edgerwater Fullscope) | Tuesday, October 16 | 1:15 PM – 2:15 PM | 122A – North

FIN03 | Everything About Streamlining Your Project Intercompany Transactions

Should be a good one. And how many presenters do you know that can rock orange pants?

https://www.eventscribe.com/2018/Summit/fsPopup.asp?embedded=true&pfp=FullD365UG_AXUG&Mode=presInfo&PresentationID=423671

Alex Song | Tuesday, October 16 | 1:15 PM – 2:15 PM | 121C – North

APS33 | SAGlobal “Ask Us Anything”

Come to our Partner Showcase where we promise to not sell you anything! Bring your questions, we’ll have experts on hand to answer anything: F&O, AX, CRM, Talent, Power BI, baking at higher altitudes, average airspeed of unladen swallows – we’ll do our best!

https://www.eventscribe.com/2018/Summit/fsPopup.asp?embedded=true&pfp=FullD365UG_AXUG&Mode=presInfo&PresentationID=424349

Wednesday, October 17 | 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM | 125A – North

IND02 | Member Showcase: Implementing Dynamics 365 for Talent

See how our customer, M3, is using Talent.

https://www.eventscribe.com/2018/Summit/fsPopup.asp?embedded=true&pfp=FullD365UG_AXUG&Mode=presInfo&PresentationID=423713

Nancy Graver and Trish Mallon (M3) | Wednesday, October 17 | 11:15 AM – 12:15 PM | 126A – North

IND03 | Project Budgeting for the Service and AEC Industries

Budget your time wisely (#dadjokes) and attend Steve’s project budgeting session.

https://www.eventscribe.com/2018/Summit/fsPopup.asp?embedded=true&pfp=FullD365UG_AXUG&Mode=presInfo&PresentationID=423724

Steve Dobbs | Wednesday, October 17 | 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM | 126A – North

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