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Dynamics Ax 2012 Reporting cookbook published & 5 reasons why you should go for it

September 30, 2013 Leave a comment

Hello everyone,

I’m very happy to inform you that the Dynamics AX reporting cookbook I authored is now published and available through major retailers online.

amazon-com amazon-co-uk barnes-nobleimages

If you had pre-ordered it through packt then you should already have it in your hand. If not and you are still thinking if this book is for you, here are 5 reasons that tells you how buying this book is a good choice.

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  1. Understand the inners of reporting Framework: This book helps you understand the framework portions like the controller, preprocessing, temptable marshaller to the depth with the help of flowcharts and diagrams. Just because you do it better when you know it better.
  2. Better choice of controllers and data source: The book has one or more examples for all the possible controls including the ones that are not found in the out of the box reports and discusses every possible data source available for the reports with examples. Just because you make a better choice when you know the options better.
  3. Speed up development and testing: Inside the book there are unique techniques that can help you speed up development as well gain time by quick tricks to fasten testing. Just because you get time to be creative when you make your routines easier.
  4. Implementation pattern reference: There are recipes in this book for typical development patterns like validations, defaulting values, building lookups, multi value lookups, inventory & financial dimensions and much more. Just because Google is not your only friend we are here too 🙂
  5. Analyze and Handle issues faster: The book has step by step in detail guidance to approach development issues, upgrades and design. It speaks about additional tools that can help you understand report performance and usage. Just because your mysterious must not remain unresolved.

curious and want to know more before buying ??

Look at the table of contents here  or Download the sample chapter from here

Interested in reviewing this book in  your blog ? Please contact me @casperkamal[at]gmail[dot]com

Interested in learning SSRS – Attend my SSRS session at AXUG see more details here

This blog has more SSRS tips revealed from the book read them here

SSRS Tip: Using labels for dynamic texts in SSRS reports – Dynamics Ax 2012

September 16, 2013 9 comments

Dynamic text in the reports makes them more readable and meaningful. In this article we will see how we can use labels from  AX to construct your dynamic text. The string format option comes handy to help us do this.

Here is how you must specify a string text with labels in it.

Open the report control properties and on the property “Value”, select the expression option and place your text in the format seen here.

=System.String.Format(“This is a label id converted at run time {0}”, Lables!@SYS1560);

You can also use report or data base fields like Fields!CustTable.Value to construct your Dynamic text.

For more tips and learning about SSRS – AX 2012 order the book Dynamics AX 2012 Reporting Cookbook authored by me.

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SSRS Tip: Speed up RDP based SSRS reports testing in Dynamics Ax 2012

September 11, 2013 15 comments

When working on precision designs a lot of time is spent on waiting for the preview to run. If your precision design uses an RDP dataset here is a simple and fantastic tip to speed up.

1. Convert your temporary table to persistent by modifying the TableType property to Regular

2. Now run the report once. Either from Visual studio or inside Ax. This fills the data in the temporary table.

3. Comment the code inside processreport method or simply write a “return” statement on the first line of the method.

That’s it. you are now geared for a faster execution of the reports. Remember to revert back once you are done or wait for the testers to find it 🙂 but don’t let it go to the production.

For more tips and learning about SSRS – AX 2012 order the book Dynamics AX 2012 Reporting Cookbook authored by me.

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SSRS tip: No row message in Dynamics Ax SSRS 2012

September 9, 2013 13 comments

Some sections in your report may not have data but the header sections  might print. In these cases to make it informative for the user a “No data available” message might be helpful since the user is then assured that there is no data for that particular data section. This tip will guide you on how to setup “No data available”.

Select the Tablix/List/Matrix control where you want the message to be available and open the properties window, Find the property “NoRowsMessage”. This property can be filled in with text or for dynamic text using expressions. Type in something like “No data available”

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When there is no data for that particular section SSRS automatically prints the text under “NoRowsMessage”

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For more tips and learning about SSRS – AX 2012 order the book Dynamics AX 2012 Reporting Cookbook authored by me.

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SSRS tip: Take care that VS and AX client are in the same layer for SSRS – Dynamics AX 2012

September 5, 2013 14 comments

Some times when you use configuration files to start your AX client like this in the image and also work on visual studio, make sure your default client configuration is pointing to the same layer as in the configuration file.

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This is because the Visual studio opens in the layer that is specified in the default settings in AX Client Configuration window. Though your AX client is on VAR layer if your default client configuration setting is pointing to the USR layer then the visual studio reporting project gets saved to the USR layer. You end up in deleting and reimporting the entire project. So make sure to verify the layer setup before you start working on reporting projects.

To setup the default layer configuration, 

Open the run window and type axclicfg

In the window that opens create a new configuration or on the existing configuration go to the Developer tab and verify the layer information including the license

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For more tips and learning about SSRS – AX 2012 order the book Dynamics AX 2012 Reporting Cookbook authored by me.

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Book review: Extending Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Cookbook

September 3, 2013 2 comments

Packt recently has come up with good titles related to Dynamics and specifically AX. So here is the new addition to the list Extending Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Cookbook by Murray Fife. Murray Fife is quite popular in the community through his slideshare presentations that are detailed, ready to implement and interesting articles that would benefit you immediately. This book again is a fantastic addition from Murray. You can read the interview with Murray where he discuss his experience writing this book and future plans here. 8331EN_cover The book is simple, crispier and has a good flow overall. It is non theoretical get in to action type meaning right from the first chapter and the first page you have something that can be accomplished out of it be it adding a role center page or publishing your reports to the role center. As you run through the chapters you would be surprised to see how much can be accomplished without getting your hands dirty with programming. The book covers recipes related to SharePoint, Power view, Performance point, Lync, Workflow, Office, Infopath, OData in relation to Dynamics AX. The author has broken down the chapters in to smaller recipes in a manner that at the end of the chapter the recipes together create a meaningful addition to Dynamics AX. My personal favorites have been chapter-3 related to Dashboards, Charts and scorecards and the chapter – 10 related to web service and forms. Find what looks interesting for you here…

 

What the author promises to reveal through the book,

  • Easily create attractive dashboards and reports using Performance Point, PowerView and Excel
  • Improve and maximize the potential of user communication and collaboration with Outlook and Lync
  • Create and configure roles centers for your users
  • Build personal portals and document libraries within SharePoint
  • Create a streamlined organization through workflows
  • Build new help files specific to your business
  • Develop personalized and customized screens

I would recommend this book for lead functional consultants who do implementations, pre-sales consultants, IT administrators and developers who are engaged with end user systems and implementations. The book is definitely worth a buy and is a interesting read. Order it here today. Please read the authors interview about the book here.

Interview: Murray Fife – Author Extending Dynamics Ax 2012 Cookbook

September 3, 2013 1 comment

In this short interview with Murray on his release of book Extending Dynamics Ax 2012 learn more about his experience of writing his book, how this book can benefit users, his future plans and get to know the software tools that makes Murray a productive man in the AX world. I would like to Thanks Murray for offering his time towards this interview.

How is the experience of authoring a book, this being your first book in spite of many publications on the web so far?

Murray Fife ImageWriting the book was thoroughly enjoyable, and was not as hard as I thought it was going to be.  This was partly because I had already compiled all of the content through my past blog posts, and also because I had got into the habit of writing because of the blogging.  One added benefit, I think that writing the book improved by blog posts as well, because I now structure them in a way that I can easily convert them over to more of a chapter format if I need too.

One aspect that was a new experience though while writing the book was the editing and critique.  For the first chapter, I was caught off guard, but after sucking back my pride, and taking an objective look at what the editors and reviewers were suggesting, I soon realized that critique is great, and incorporating their suggestions only made the book better.

 How will readers benefit from this book?

This book is all about doing more with what you already have.  Dynamics AX is a great application, but there are other tools that you probably have laying about within your organization that you can use in8331EN_cover conjunction with Dynamics AX to make it even better.  I tried to make the examples in the book useful enough to be used at least as a starting point for solving common problems that everyone is having.  Once you have mastered a chapter, you may find that you are able to extend out even further than the book does.

Also, there is probably about 20 lines of code in the whole book, and even those examples are simple enough that a non-developer would be able to add them to Dynamics AX.  I did this on purpose, because a lot of the examples are configurable, not developed.  I wanted the power users to take control of Dynamics AX and do more with it.

What tools or software’s that you use to make yourself productive and would recommend other Dynamics Ax community?

Apart from the tools that everyone is probably familiar with like PowerPoint (which is my storyboarding tool), SkyDrive (which allows me to access all of my files from any of my computers), Word (for collaboration and review), and PaintShopPro (for image cropping), I need to highlight one of the most useful tools in my utility belt, which is DuckLink Screen Capture (http://www.ducklink.com/p/free-screen-capture-tool/).  This is free, and is the Swiss Army knife of screen capture.  I don’t know where the name came from, but I don’t care, because I could not live without it.

 What topics are you currently working with respect to Dynamics Ax?

I am continuing to learn the other areas of Dynamics AX – there is so much functionality in the system, and so many gems hidden away that I doubt that I will stop.

 I already have enough content for a second Extensions Cookbook and have submitted it to PACKT for approval.  This one will be a little more functional, and show how you can configure the secondary features that people want to use, but are maybe a little too intimidated to try tackling.  Including Lean Manufacturing, Retail, Costing, Development of new Workflows, and Service Management.  I think that illustrating these examples will show people that they are really not that hard to configure, but still very useful and something to take advantage of.

 A follow on project that I have just started planning out is a guide for configuring Dynamics AX from a blank system.  It may seem daunting to configure a completely new system, but it’s not that hard.  Getting the base data in to a point where you can start running common business transactions is not hard if you don’t over-complicate it.  I am sure that companies just starting to implement Dynamics AX will like the content.

Read the review of the book here