Category Archives: D365 Operations (AX 7)

AXUG Summit | Deep Dive Into D356FO Reporting

Scott has a great opening slide for this deep-dive reporting session:


It’s so true that many times BI is described in terms of the final output, but much of the work goes into building the underlying data model. For D365FO, data for high volume transactional reporting is exported to an “Entity store” or “BYOD” database.

Entity Store – A Data Warehouse that Microsoft Manages

The Entity store is a repository for reporting aggegated data. Power BI using Direct Query is the only mechanism to report off Entity store data.

Power BI Embedded in Workspaces is only available using the Entity store.

Bring Your Own Database – A Data Warehouse the You Manage

The alternative to the Entity store is using the Data Management framework to extract denormalized data into an Azure SQL database in your Azure subscription. One of the primary advantages of BYOD is more flexible than the Entity store. 

Data tools possible with BYOD:

  • Power BI using Direct Query or Import
  • SSAS Cubes
  • Consuming data from systems other than D365FO
  • Third party data tools

Reporting tools possible with BYOD:

  • Power BI
  • SSRS
  • Third party reporting tools

Summary

Great session providing a deeper dive into the technical details of using the new D365FO tools. Reporting is a complicated but critical area to understand for any D365FO implementation. 

Presenter: Scott Hunt | SAGlobal

AXUG Session | Data Management

There have been quite a few improvements to the Data Management Workspace released in Platform 11:


The Data Management framework seems to be rounding into shape with some much needed updates. In Platform 8 (7.2) the UI was refreshed, and in Platform 11 we are getting better company copy features. 

There’s still a dependency on having a good definition of the Data entities and sequencing required for the company copy. Microsoft is providing some templates, but it takes a good amount of testing to flush out a solid template.

Presenter: Mike Falkner

AXUG Session | Agile Methodology

I was thrilled to see this session on the AXUG Summit docket. An somewhat agile ERP implementation is generally what will end up happening, because it’s incredibly hard for users to Design an entire system before they are deep into system functionality. Planning a project broken down in smaller chunks helps keep projects flowing and provides a solution better suited to native functionality. 

Jennifer (the presenter) had an interesting way of describing Agile (frequent go-lives) and Hybrid (multiple sprints). A hybrid concept breaks down subsets of functionality and development into multiple short phases, then brings all functionality live at the same time.


One of the drawbacks mentioned was an agile approach requires strong project management skills to deliver. There are a lot of workstreams (Business process, Development, Data migration, etc) the project manager has to align from a timing perspective. Also, end users may not be used to an agile approach, so more methodology explanation is required on the front end of the project.


Excellent session – I agree a Hybrid implementation approach is the best default implementation option. This style of implementation moves the project forward quickly, while giving users a chance to revise and hone their system processes.


Presenter: Jennifer Johnson | @JenJohnson365

AXUG Session | Custom Help

Microsoft’s documentation strategy for Dynamics 365 continues to evolve. Dynamics 365 Documentation is created using a few tools including Doc FX, GitHub, and Markdown files. Doc FX is an open source GitHub based tool for creating a documentation library. Files are created in Markdown format and managed via typical Git pull requests. Basically, it’s a documentation tool for nerds.

Once a documentation site is published, Dynamics 365 FO can serch the metadata from articles and return relevant results. The help pane can be customized (extended) to link into additional help sites or internal Wikis.

Microsoft is working on sharing their solution via the Doc FX toolkit so ISVs or customers can utilize the same documentation technology. 

I’m still trying to get my head around the best approach for public and private documentation. My instinct is that a tool with a wysiwyg editor might be more efficient for a typical user base. My company (SAGlobal) uses a SharePoint Wiki site to manage our internal documentation because it’s simple and accessible for a larger number of users. 

AXUG Speaker: Margo Crandall

FastTrack (D365O Tech Conference)

Microsoft has a generic program called FastTrack which enables direct collaboration with customer projects and initiatives. The D365 Operations group has its own take on this program. The Operations program provides services via technical talks, customer specific workshops, and recurring status calls. Agust Bjornsson, FastTrack Operations EMEA Lead, shared some of Microsofts goals at the Tech Conference. 

The bottom line of the FastTrack program is for Microsoft to enable consistency of implementation across the partner channel, and for customers (and partners) to have a feedback mechanism back into Microsoft if they encounter questions or issues.

I think this is a fantastic concept – these types of programs are so crucial to knowledge and idea sharing between Microsoft, partners, and customers. It’s still a fairly new program, so I anticipate tweaks to the concepts going forward. And to be frank, part of this program’s purpose is for Microsoft to monitor for implementations going off the rails – thereby protecting their future revenue streams. But keeping the communication channels open is a critical part of any long term product investment.

The company I work for, SAGlobal, has participated in this program both for our internal implementation, and on customer implementations. We’ve been happy to have a go-to person for each implementation. Olaf Traustason, Senior Technical Lead, said about FastTrack

I enjoy the Technical Talks because they are to the point and on point. 

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