Monthly Archives: December 2014

With 2015 just a little bit away, and looking back at 2014, even I’m surprised by what we’ve been able to do this year through the Dynamics AX Companions project, and I thought that I had better pat myself on the back and remind everyone what great things are available for you all now, and also give you all a sneak peek into the changes that are coming in 2015 that you may want to take advantage of.. So let’s start off by looking at the numbers

16 That is the number of books and guides that we were able to publish this year on Dynamics AX for you all to learn from.

11 We were able to complete 11 of the planned 18 books in the Dynamics AX Companions Bare Bones Configuration Guide series which are hands on guides that take you step by step through all of the setup of Dynamics AX, starting off with the creation of a blank company, all the way through the configuration of all the modules, giving you a great jumpstart on learning how everything works. Out of the 11 guides, the first 6 were completed which take you through the setup of all of the financials modules. Throughout the year though we did digress a little by releasing out 5 other guides ahead of schedule at the request of you all including a guide on Project Management and also a guide on the new Warehouse Management capabilities within R3.

9 Along the way we have also been able to publish (and in some cases reformat and republish) 9 Configuration Blueprints and Introduction Guides for you all. Some of these like the Financial Approvals & Workflow blueprint were initially created for a webinars that we were asked to do (in this case it was for MS Dynamics World – thank you Jason Grumpert for being our muse) and then we’ve reused the heck out of it for the AX User Group webinars and live presentations. So if you have missed any of those, you can live through them vicariously through the book J


150+ We published out 150+ tips which we are trying to get loaded onto the Dynamics AX Compansions site within the Tips & Tricks Archive section, but in the mean time you can see all of them within the 3 volumes of Tips & Tricks that we have been compiled – some of you all were lucky enough to let me unload 100 copies of the first volume at Convergence.


3 Thanks to my best friend in Germany – Kurt Mekelburg – all 3 of the Tips & Tricks guides have been translated into German, and we are in the process of translating them also into Russian, Danish, Turkish, and Portuguese. We are still looking for more translators – we would especially like to have a Spanish because it will make Dynamics AX sound alluring 😉


1274 A major milestone was the creation and deployment of the Dynamics AX Companions website which we managed to roll out on a shoestring budget within a couple of days, but as you can see we are still loading in content and also converting content into different formats for you all so that you can have instant access to guides on Dynamics AX. Even though the site has only been up for the past six months we have got a good subscription base with 1274 people becoming registered users, and some of you all even subscribing for the Premium and also eBook services. Thanks especially to you all because you have been keeping the lights on for the hosting of the website.

2015 Looking forward to 2015 we are going to be reworking all of the content that we have been creating to make it even more useful to you all and also releasing out additional versions of the guides that you all can take advantage of to share the knowledge about Dynamics AX within your own company. The guides have always been designed to be training guides, but they need a little more polishing to finish them off. You will start seeing a new version of the guides that is focused on the student – where there will be more information about the steps that they need to work through, sample data for them top reference, summary steps for the power user, as well as detailed steps for the more visual learner, and even scripts that could be used for overview demonstrations. Here are some examples of what we are working on…


To make this a true training resource we are also reformatting the books as PowerPoint presentations that you can use as a trainer to guide the classes, and when used in conjunction with the Student Guides you have a classroom in a box. Here is what we are working on for the training guide presentations:

Watch out for more content to be coming out of the Dynamics AX Companions project, we are definitely looking forward to delivering more to you all and getting your feedback.

Happy New Year.


Atlas is a great product which allows you to grab data from Dynamics AX while your are within the Excel, Word, PowerPoint and even Outlook, so that users quickly create reports without having to rush to the IT department.  It has the added benefit that all of the typical relationships between the tables have been built into Atlas so that you don’t even have to think about how to link data, making it very easy to report off what used to be very complicated table structures.  Additionally with the 6.0 release of Atlas there is a great dashboard designer that you can use with the product to create desktop, mobile, and smartphone enabled dashboards and scorecards.

I especially love this product because you can try out before your buy, and it is super easy to install yourself and you can start playing with it within a 10 minutes or so of downloading the trial software.

So we created the following guide will take you through the download, installation and configuration process for the trial software and then show you some of the ways that you can start using it to report against your Dynamics AX installation.   It covers:

  • Requesting A Trial License
  • Downloading & Installing Atlas
  • Activating The Atlas Services
  • Configuring The Atlas Services
  • Licensing The Atlas Server
  • Creating User Groups
  • Assigning Licenses To Users
  • Assigning User Groups To The Server
  • Organizing The Atlas Tiles
  • Logging Into Atlas
  • Creating Atlas Queries Within Excel
  • Creating Atlas Queries Within PowerPoint
  • Creating Atlas Queries Within Word
  • Creating Atlas Queries Within Outlook
  • Creating Dashboards Within The Desktop Client

If you are interested in checking this out the guide then just become a registered member on the site (no paying subscription is required) and you will be able to download the guide by clicking on the link below:


Even as a novice user with this program I was able to do quite a bit, although I know that there are a lot more features that you can take advantage of within the product such as:

  • Functions
  • Filters,
  • Linking of data
  • Merging of tables
  • Combining multiple data sources such as CRM

Hopefully this has given you all a little bit of an idea of what Atlas is and how it you can get your feet we with the product.

This weeks task for the Dynamics AX Companions Project was to complete the Bare Bones Configuration Guide for Accounts Payable, and we are happy to say that it is now available through Amazon, and also for download along with all of the other guides.

This also marks a milestone for the Bare Bones Configuration Guides series because we have completed the first six books that allow you to configure the core Financials within Dynamics AX from scratch.

If you are an eBook subscriber then you can access it right away, but if you have commitment issues with subscribing to all of the books that we have made available – remember that you can just subscribe to this one volume as well. Here is a quick summary of the latest guide and links to see more detail if you are interested in checking it out.

Configuring Accounts Payable Within Dynamics AX 2012


The Accounts Payable area is one of the three foundation financial modules within Dynamics AX that you will want to set up. It not only allows you to manage all of your vendor information, post your invoices, and make in your payments, but also allows you to manage approval workflows, and much more.

It’s not hard to configure either and this book is designed to give you step by step instructions to show you how to configure the payables area, and also how some of the basic transactions work to get you up and running and working with your vendors.

Topics Covered:

  • Configuring Accounts Payable Controls
  • Configuring Vendor Accounts
  • Configuring Invoicing
  • Creating Vendor Payments
  • Configuring Payables Invoice Journal Approvals


We have had some more requests to have some of the Configuration Blueprints to be updated and made available through the Dynamics AX Companions site as downloadable PDF’s, and we have been able to do that for both of the Power* reporting walkthroughs.

Also as a new offering if you want to step through all of these examples yourself and learn how it works for yourself then don’t fret.  We have packaged up all of the examples into a guide especially for you.  If you are a Premium or eBook subscriber then just click on the images below to link to the landing pages where you can download your very own copy of the In A Nutshell guide that will take you step by step through each of the examples.  It is also a great student manual as well if you want to use this for your own training.

Here are links to the guides and a quick summary.

Using PowerPivot to Analyze Dynamics AX Data


Perhaps you have heard about the new tool in Excel 2010, PowerPivot, but wonder how it can enhance your use of Excel.

In this configuration guide we will show how PowerPivot can assist you with advanced data analysis and reporting, making those extracts from Dynamics AX to Excel even more valuable.

Topics Covered

  • Using Pivot Tables to Analyze Dynamics AX Data
  • Using PowerPivot to create Dashboards
  • Adding Timeline Slicers to PowerPivot Dashboards
  • Creating Additional Calculated Columns
  • Applying Filters to your Data Model
  • Creating Joins between Multiple Datasets
  • Using Functions to create Calculated Columns
  • Creating URL and Picture Columns
  • Creating a PowerPivot Gallery within SharePoint
  • Saving PowerPivot Data Models to the PowerPivot Gallery
  • Creating PowerView Dashboards from the PowerPivot Gallery Data Sources
  • Changing the View Mode for the PowerPivot Gallery
  • Setting PowerPivot Data Model Refresh Rates
  • Exporting PowerView Dashboards to PowerPoint


Using PowerBI to Analyze Dynamics AX Data


Everyone has used Pivot Tables within Excel at one point in time to create simple reports against Dynamics AX, and some of you may have also used Power Pivot to create more elaborate dashboards and charts. Recently Microsoft extended out the query and reporting capabilities within Excel with the Power BI suite. In addition to extending the Power Pivot capabilities, they also added three more tools called Power Query, Power View & Power Map, and that means that you have a whole new set of reporting options.

In this blueprint we will show you how you can use all of the Power BI tools to analyze your Dynamics AX data.

Topics Include:

  • Mapping your data within Excel through PowerView
  • Using PowerQuery to Clean up Your Data
  • Using PowerMap to Build Even Better Map Visualizations
  • Using different Visualizations within PowerMap
  • Using PowerQuery to Merge Datasets
  • Flattening Maps
  • Adding Labels to the Maps
  • Using PowerQuery to Integrate External Data