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Monthly Archives: July 2016

Over the past couple of weeks, I have been working on my Author Tools project, and I wanted to pass along an update just in case you all are interested.

If you haven’t heard about this tool, it’s an add-in that I have written for PowerPoint that allows me to layout structured walkthroughs and notes within PowerPoint, along with structure and different types of page elements like this:

And then with a click of a button, convert it into a Word document with all of the headings, formatting, content, and also images laid out for me so that I don’t have to do all of the leg work:

And also with another click of a button, create PowerPoint presentations from the content with just the information that I want to show, and have it all look clean and consistent:

If you have been following any of the writing that I have been doing, then this is really the secret sauce that I have been taking advantage of in order to quickly organize and structure my content and then let it do all of the hard work.

Writing walkthrough guides are easy.  It’s the formatting of the content that will take you forever to do, especially of you are wanting to repurpose the content into other formats like scripts, blog posts, summaries and even books. 

As I mentioned above, I have been adding a number of bells and whistles to the add in, and also fixing a few bugs here and there and if you have seen previous versions of the add-in, then here are some of the tweaks that I have made lately:

  • Added section names and level numbers to the print from and to lookups
  • Fixed the section lookup find when there were multiple sections with the same name
  • Fixed the walkthrough topics covered to show the heading only if there are topics
  • Added an option to show the title or subtitles in the summary
  • Added language defaults and format tab to allow changing of the section, step, chapter, and part headings
  • Fixed the part titles that were not showing up in the search lookup
  • Fixed the Review slides so that they will show up in the walkthrough as a separate section
  • Fixed the review slide so that it does not show twice in the walkthrough
  • Added the ability to add custom presentation layouts to be used if they exist
  • Added extra CrLf to the speaker notes to make them more readable
  • Added Page + To Section in From and To selection list
  • Fixed Part Page on Presentation only showing first chapter
  • Allow placeholders for Title, Series, Author on non-Title/Cover Pages
  • Added a “Sway” Style
  • Added Subtitles to the Data and Exercise Steps
  • Added a Quizzes Story Board Element
  • Added a Chapter Summary on Parts Pages
  • Allow the merging of Tips and Picture on presentations
  • Automatically copy all master style on refresh
  • Added Section Heading and # for Quiz, Exercise and Data elements
  • Added a new document layer called “Articles” and a new Template “Text”
  • Fixed Part and Chapter Breaks on sections
  • Steps now get created on Parts, and Chapters with no sections below
  • Copy Test, Notes, Captions as RTF to preserve the formatting and font color
  • Added Illustration Slide Group
  • Added Appendix Slide Group at the same level as Chapters
  • Fixed Walkthrough Subheading title display
  • Added an option not to repeat Subtitle on Walkthrough – not needed for lab, needed for step by step
  • Added extra content buttons to the Write ribbon bar
  • Added a “Parent Placeholder” to show the parent title, regardless of the level
  • Added repeating Subtitles to the presentation
  • Fixed Step Numbers not showing because of comparison error
  • Add Picture Placeholder first in presentation to allow text overlay

Yes, I have been busy. I have even started a blog that I have been using to show how some of the features within Author Tools work. You can see it here: http://bit.ly/29FuIaT

If you are interested in checking the Author Tools out then here is a link to the suite of products: http://bit.ly/29CC43n

You can dive in straight away and use the Author Edition, or if you don’t want to make a financial commitment, then check out the Student Edition – it has all of the same features, but is just limited to 25 slide decks. Great for small blogs and walkthroughs.

I hope this is interesting, and remember – Write Smarter, not Harder.

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Dynamics AX 2012 allowed us to create Partitions which were great for demonstrations and training because they allowed you to create new Dynamics AX instances within the same database.

The business data in each partition is isolated from the data in all other partitions in the same installation of Microsoft Dynamics AX.

Business data that is shared among companies is shared only among companies that are in the same partition.

Each Microsoft Dynamics AX client session starts in a partition. The session cannot later be switched to another partition. Instead the user must start a new session and direct it to start in a different partition, if the user is authorized for another partition. The system prevents even the system administrator from accessing data in any partition other than the current partition of the session.

But with the release of Dynamics AX online, the partition function is conspicuously absent from all of the System Administration menu.

This would make you think that the Partitions functionality is no longer available or supported.

This is partly correct. The partition functionality is still available, just not supported any more by development or R&D. A number of important features do not recognize non-primary partitions. Data entities, MR reports and attachments to name a few.

That doesn’t mean that we can’t take advantage of Partitions within non-production environments and create training environments and test cases. Also if you want to create new companies from scratch, then this is a great way to do this without having to fire up a new Dynamics AX instance and pay for all of the hosting charges.

Accessing the Partition Administration Form

The first thing that we will want to look at is how we can access the Partition Administration form which will show us all of the Partitions that we have configured within our environment and also allow us to create new partitions.

Even though the menu item is not available within the System Administration menu, that doesn’t mean that it’s gone for good. The menu item is still available, and if we want to hack the Dynamics AX URL then we can pull up the form.

But what is even more interesting is that even though the menu item is not there, you can still get to the Partition Administration form through a URL hack.

All we have to do is update our URL and add the following qualifier to it to tell it to open the PartitionAdministration menu item:

mi=partitionadministration

The full URL will look something like this:

https://yourservername.cloudax.dynamics.com/?cmp=USMF&mi=partitionadministration

When the page refreshes we will be taken to the Partition Administration form and we will see that in addition to the initial partition, there are a couple more that are waiting to be accessed.


Switching between Partitions

Now that we know what partitions are available, we can switch between them.

To do this we just need to add a new partition qualifier to the end of our Dynamics AX URL to specify the alternate partition that we want to use.

Here is the secret code that we would add:

&prt={partition}

For example, if we wanted to switch to the Public Sector partition within the demonstration database then the URL would look something like this:

https://yourservername.cloudax.dynamics.com/?prt=ps&mi=DefaultDashboard&cmp=DAT

When Dynamics AX refreshes we will see that our companies have changed to the Public Sector organizations.

And also all of the demo data is now Public Sector data.


Creating a new Partition

Taking advantage of the standard demonstration partitions is pretty neat, but the major benefit that we can get from the Partition functionality is that we can actually create our own new partitions that could be used for training or for testing setups.

To do this all we need to do is return to the Partition Administration form and then click on the New button in the menu bar.


Then we can enter in a new Partition Key and a Description and then click on the Save button in the menu bar.


Now that we have created our new Partition key we can hack the URL and specify our new Partition by adding the &prt= qualifier to Dynamics AX URL


When Dynamics AX refreshes we will be in our new Partition and we will see that it just has the DAT company.


Also, if we look at the users in the new Partition we will see that the Admin user has been set up already.

All we need to do now is start building our data.


Summary

Although this is not an officially supported feature within Dynamics AX, it is still there for us to take advantage of. Just be warned that not everything will work when it comes to integrating some of the more advanced features, but it is good to know that it is there.

About the Author
Murray Fife is an Author of over 25 books on Microsoft Dynamics AX including the Bare Bones Configuration Guide series of over 15 books which step the user through the setup of initial Dynamics AX instance, then through the Financial modules and then through the configuration of the more specialized modules like production, service management, and project accounting. You can find all of his books on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/author/murrayfife.

Murray is also the curator of the Dynamics AX Companions (www.dynamicsaxcompanions.com) site which he built from the ground up as a resource for all of the Dynamics AX community where you can find walkthroughs and blueprints that he created since first being introduced to the Dynamics AX product.

For more information on Murray, here is his contact information:

Email: mcf@blindsquirrelpublishing.com
Twitter: @murrayfife

Facebook: facebook.com/murraycfife
Google: google.com/+murrayfife
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/murrayfife

Blog: atinkerersnotebook.com

Docs: docs.com/mufife
Amazon: amazon.com/author/murrayfife

If you are like me and having to study up on the MB6-892 Microsoft Dynamics AX Distribution and Trade content so that you can get your certification, then I may have something that you all would be interested in. After creating the master study guide for the course this week I decided that it would be a good idea to reformat all of the individual courses that are recommended as study content into mini study guides, and also add in a little more content for you all as well.

As a result, I have finished the first study guide for the 80740AE: Manage Customer Relationships in Microsoft Dynamics AX course and have released it for you all to take advantage of.

80740AE: Manage Customer Relationships in Microsoft Dynamics AX Study Guide Contents

This module shows how to create and maintain customers, manage customer pricing for trade or sales agreements, set up customer groups and post profiles, and configure credit limits.

Topics Covered

  • Lesson 1: Customers
  • Lesson 2: Customer Trade Agreements
  • Lesson 3: Customer Groups
  • Lesson 4: Credit Limits

This guide is more comprehensive than the master study guide and has all of the walkthroughs documented:


Additionally, all of the walkthroughs have detailed walkthrough steps that show you each screen shot so that you can follow along with the guide visually:


Also the Exercises include the sample data in a format that is much easier to follow than what is in the original documentation:


And of course there are all of the sample Questions, and also the Answers so that you can quickly test your knowledge:


Disclaimer: I have to admit, I didn’t write all of the content, I just made it usable, so if you want to do all of the legwork yourself, then all of this information is publicly available – apart from the screen shots which I had to do manually.

The guide has about 95+ pages all told so there is a lot of information for you all to help you with your studies.

If you want to check it out then here is the link to the download location: http://bit.ly/29zbhRR

I have to get certified on MB6-892 Microsoft Dynamics AX Distribution and Trade this year so I started looking at all of the prep guides that are available, and although there is a lot out there, it really isn’t in a format that is easy to sit down and study. So over the past few days I have been compiling all of the information that I can into something that is a little more useful for anyone else that is wanting to get certified on Distribution and Trade for the new Dynamics AX.

The Study Guide Contents

This study guide contains all of the exam prep content, including walkthroughs, practice exercises and sample Questions and Answers for the following core courses that are recommended for the MB6-892 certification.

  • 80740 Manage Customer Relationships in Microsoft Dynamics AX
  • 80741 Manage Products and Services for Sales in Microsoft Dynamics AX
  • 80811 Enrich Product Data in Microsoft Dynamics AX
  • 80835 Control and Manage Sales in Microsoft Dynamics AX
  • 80836 Manage Sales Commissions in Microsoft Dynamics AX
  • 80837 Create Sales Quotations in Microsoft Dynamics AX
  • 80838 Perform the Sales Process in Microsoft Dynamics AX
  • 80839 Process Outbound Delivery and Invoices in Microsoft Dynamics AX
  • 80816 Customer Payment Receipts in Microsoft Dynamics AX
  • 80819 Bills of Exchange in Microsoft Dynamics AX
  • 80840 Manage Vendor Relationships in Microsoft Dynamics AX
  • 80841 Manage Products and Services for Procurement in Microsoft Dynamics AX
  • 80842 Control and Manage Purchases in Microsoft Dynamics AX
  • 80843 Create Purchase Requisitions in Microsoft Dynamics AX
  • 80844 Create Requests for Quotations in Microsoft Dynamics AX
  • 80845 Perform the Procurement Process in Microsoft Dynamics AX
  • 80846 Receive Products and Services in Microsoft Dynamics AX
  • 80808 Vendor Invoicing in Microsoft Dynamics AX
  • 80813 Vendor Invoice Journals in Microsoft Dynamics AX
  • 80815 Vendor Payments in Microsoft Dynamics AX

Disclaimer: I didn’t write all of the content, I just made it usable, so if you want to do all of the legwork yourself, then all of this information is publicly available. And also there were about 5 courses that didn’t have the best content, so I did the best with what I could.

The guide has about 500+ pages all told so there is a lot of information for you all to help you with your studies.

If you want to check it out then here is the link to the download location: http://bit.ly/29Gozi7