About Kurt Hatlevik

Greetings. I appreciate that I can be a part of this worldwide blog community—as a consultant working from Norway, the blog lets me share more than 16 years of experience with Microsoft Dynamics AX. Along the way, I developed PDA/RF, barcoding, masterdata sync, Kitting and WMS-solutions for Dynamics AX. My blog focuses on my deepest interests and expertise: along with a 360 degree view of warehouse management topics, I welcome opportunities to dive into retail and intercompany supply chain automation, logistics, and production—everything that is moving around in a truly connected enterprise. As executive consultant for Dynamics AX, I specialize in strategic development and planning for corporate vertical solutions and works to build international networks that increase knowledge and understanding for Dynamics AX. As an advocate for both providers and customers, I'm committed to ensure that customers meets constantly changing needs, and I see community as key for increasing expertise.

Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations On-Prem

Now the On-Prem system requirements are available : https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=55496

To get it running the minimum recommended requirements are:

Total Number of instances(VM/Machines) : 21

Total number of CPU cores : 104

Total Memory : 408 Gb

This minimum configuration will estimated be able to support 240-1200 users.

To sum it up: Go Cloud . Much smarter.

Localized Dynamics 365 documentation

The transitioning from ax.help.dynamics.com to http://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/operations is going great. One of the benefits is that we now have localized documentation.

So if you prefer to look at the documentation in Chinese URL : https://docs.microsoft.com/zh-cn/dynamics365/operations/

If you like Norwegain try https://docs.microsoft.com/nb-no/dynamics365/operations/

D365!

Dynamics 365 CSP; What happens when a customer is not paying their monthly bill?

Disclaimer: In this blog post I would like to share my understanding on what is happening when customers no longer pay their bill for Dynamics 365. Please consult with your partner or Microsoft to get the actual and official interpretation.

First some definitions; Most mid-size customers will buy Dynamics 365 through a partner that is a CSP (Cloud Solution Provider). Larger corporations will have the opportunity to buy Dynamics 365 directly from Microsoft through a EA (Enterprise Agreement). The information here is related to the CSP way of purchasing licenses.

When buying Dynamics 365, most customers will receive a monthly bill from their CSP partner. But the great thing about the CSP, is that you may adjust the number of users for the next period. Dynamics 365 have a low limitation of 20 licenses, but above this the customer may make changes.

But keep in mind that even though you receive a bill for the upcoming month, there is still a commitment for the base subscription period. For Dynamics 365, the subscription period is normally 12 months. I think I finally understood why the name is Dynamics 365; The reason may be that you have to buy it for at least 365 days

As stated earlier the customer normally receives a bill each month. But what happens when the customer stops paying the bills?

1. Well first the normal procedure is that the customer is notified by their CSP that payments are missing that follows the normal procedure.

2. The next step is that the CSP partner will suspend the subscription. This is done when by changing the status on the subscription to “Suspended”.

3. When a subscription status is changed to “Suspended”, this puts the subscription into a “data retention” mode. This means that end-users will not have access to any services, but administrators will still have access to the data associated with this subscription.

4. At the end of 60 days after a subscription is Suspended, the subscription is moved to a “de-provisioned” state. At this time, all data is removed.

The conclusion is therefore; Pay you bill or lose your data.

When I think of it…… it’s just like paying your electric bill.. no pay…no power.

 

 

Dynamics 365; New VM type cut your Azure bill

When deploying your Azure based VM’s the most common VM Size is D13 with 8 cores and 56 GB RAM. This VM costs approx. 924 USD per month according to the pricing calculator.

Microsoft have made some new sizes available :

https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/price-reductions-on-l-series-and-announcing-next-generation-hyper-threaded-virtual-machines/

The new size is named D13 V2 Promo, and will cost 749 USD. If you have MSDN the costs are further reduced to 429 USD/Month

You cannot select this size in LCS, so you must log into your azure portal after deploying, and change the size there.

Nice

Dynamics 365 ideas

Microsoft have released a new site for posting and voting on ideas to the Dynamics 365. https://ideas.dynamics.com

It is assumed that this is replacing all other forum and sites, like connect, yammer etc for suggesting new and exiting functionality. It covers the entire Dynamics 365 stack, and the concept is that each person can suggest and vote on up to 50 suggestions per forum. Microsoft have also created statuses on each suggestion, and additional comments can be added by registered participants.

A small suggestion to Microsoft on the site; Allow us to use our ADFS login, and not just our Live-ID login. (I guess I have to create a suggestion for this)

 

D365FO Channels, Insiders Preview and Update Policy

As announced with the update 4, Microsoft will release monthly updates so that new and existing environments can stay up-to-date with the latest innovations with a click of a button. Hopefully this make it easier to stay on the newest platform. We are also assuming and hoping that this approach in the future will extend to also cover business functionality (eg ApplicationSuite). A faster update cycle also results that there are more versions currently used in at customers. As seen here are all the official releases that Microsoft have made available for Dynamics 365 for operations. With a monthly update cycle the list will be extended quickly. Keeping track on versions does not give any actual customers value. But in a SaaS approach, creating faster and simplified updated on business functionality will require a better and more visible release policy, not based on build numbers.

We need to make this upgrade and update experience easier to understand and easier to follow. The work that the Microsoft Office and Windows team have done is a great example that I think is something we also should have for Dynamics 365: The introduction of release channels.

Update channel

Primary purpose

Feature updates

Platform updates

Security Updates

Preview Channel

Provide users to evaluate the newest features of Dynamics 365 as soon as possible. The channel is only available through an insider program, and is not deployable into a production environment.

Weekly

Weekly

Weekly

First Channel

Provide users with the newest features of Dynamics 365.

Monthly

Monthly

Monthly

Current Channel

Provide users with the released and stable features of Dynamics 365.

Every 3 months

Monthly

Monthly

Deferred Channel

Provide users with new features of Dynamics 365 only a few times a year.

Every 6 months

Monthly

Monthly

 

What channel you would like to have should be a setting in LCS, and the customers can switch between the channels as wanted. Visually the release and update schedule could then look something like this.

With the introduction of Microsoft AppSource and for ISV’s this would mean that they could commit to a specific channel, and “front-runners” like myself would have early access to the newest and hottest. Some customers are deadly serious about stability, and new features could potentially cripple business processes. In this way customers can for them self’s decide their speed for adding new functionality.

Dear Microsoft; Can we have something like this also for Dynamics 365?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

D365FO – Test & Feedback

Visual Studio Team Services Marketplace contains a ton of jewels, and one add-in I like a lot is the Test & Feedback extension to VSTS:

When installing it, you get a small icon in Chrome, where test and feedback can be given.

When setting it up, you just point to the VSTS site :

And then you are ready to start giving feedback, and to collect backorders, bugs or tests.

Let’s say I wanted the implementation team to know that some changes are necessary on the “All Customers” form. I then click on the feedback button, and click on “start recording”

While navigating and taking screenshots, notes and video, it all gets recorded, with URL, time etc.

When done with my recording I want to create a bug, test or create a test case:

In this case, create a bug, and while I’m typing I can even see that there are one similar bug already reported.

After saving the bug. I see that a bug have been created in VSTS:

I now have a complete bug report in VSTS, that the consultants can start to process and to identify if this is a bug or an “as designed” feature

This means that in a Dynamics 365 project where VSTS is the central element, the feedback and testing just got simpler.

The feedback and Test extension do contain a lot more, but the rest you have to explore for yourself. Try out video recording . That is really cool.