Today I got a question from one of my colleagues… The needed to sent a complete AIF port specification to an external service provider and the XSD (XML Schema Description) the could find only contained the internal AX Types and it specifically lacked the information about maximum length for the fields.
Since I am not a developer and I am not that knowledgeable in the AOT I reached out to a couple of out developers. Thet is when I learned about Shared Types Schema . This contains the complete list of types and it also acts as sort of a translation table for the regular XSD and which is merged the exploring the service.
Not to self (once I forget this): The reason for having all the extended types in the original XSD is because we are able to change the field setup in AX and having it propagate to the entire system.
To get to the XSD for the AIF port you go to the port (System Administration – Setup – Services and Application Integration Framework). Select the port, verify that Customize Document is checked and clock Data Policies
Click on View Schema
Here you can see the XSD for the port. If you click Imported Schema you will open up the Shared Types Schema. Save both the regular Schema and the Shared Schema and send it to whoever needs it
One of my customers have set up DualWrite in their DEV environment and after some tweaking it worked OK. With that done they wanted to move the entire solution into TEST and verify that it worked. We packaged all the mappings into a Solution, exported it from DEV and moved it into TEST. We started enabling the Mappings for Legal Entity and a when we looked in CRM/CE we had a bunch of empty lines. We had the same number of lines but all of them were empty.
If we changed the data on one of the Legal Entities it synced over just fine but all the rest were still empty.
When we looked into the DMT files for the data project for the initial sync the files looked “good” to me… they contained data
Some of you might already see the issue 🙂 (don’t spoil the surprise) When contacting Support they told me then there is a problem with the text qualifier in the file… the strings should be enclosed in ” instead of |
It turns out that someone had changed the default format CSV-Unicode in Data Management Framework to this:
I changed it back to this:
After cleaning out the records from CRM/CE and rerunning initial sync everything works again…
Yesterday I looked into an issue for one of my customers. In one of their environments they where not able to activate Data Events for any of their entities. The Activate button was completely grayed out and the “Active Data Events” and “Inactive Data Events” tabs did not exist
This is an environment where we are currently running a PoC for DualWrite so I just “assumed” that I had configured PowerPlatform correctly (you know what we say about assumptions)
Turns out I had not followed my own advice and done the PowerPlatform configuration from LCS… Instead I did the linking from within FnO, in the DataManagement workspace.
The solution was to go through the linking wizard in LCS and then the tabs showed up
Note that the change to the Business Events Screen is not instant… I had to have it sitting over night to have the tabs show up
This is a (probably the first) post to try to sort out my experiences around setting up a DataVerse connection to a Finance and Operations environment and figuring out how this interacts with Power Platform Admin Center, LCS and DualWrite.
DualWrite is Microsofts go-to solution for integrating Dynamics 365 CE and Dynamics 365 FnO. It uses Dataverse and PowerPlatform extensively which means that we are, in all essences, merging two separate products into one, which creates some challenges.
Since Microsoft is in the middle of a “Convergence” transition when it comes to managing these things I realize that this is a moving target at the moment, which is why I will need to come back to this this eventually.
This article will address some of the challenges that we have experienced, setting up DualWrite.
Since my primary focus is FnO I will start there.
There are a lot of clues to the fact that Microsoft sees PowerPlatform and DataVerse as an integral part of Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations. The first one you will notice is that you get the option to create a Power Platform environment when you create a new FnO environment. Another lead is that none of the microservice add-ins that you can deploy from LCS are available to deploy it you have not connected your environment to Power Platform.
There are two different ways to create the DualWrite setup. Setting up a new, empty Environment when deploying a new FnO environment or linking your FnO environment to an existing CRM/CE environment. Please remember that, if you have an existing CRM environment with existing customizations (of a highly customized FnO environment) you should probably think about setting up a proof of concept to evaluate how to handle customizations. Keep in mind that the out-of-box mappings for DualWrite are created for vanilla environments.
When setting up a new Finance and Operations environment you get the option of also setting up a new connected DataVerse environment. You will not get the option to connect an existing environment. You are able to opt out of this setup at the time of deployment if you want.
Regardless of what you choose the environment will be created and connected from the Power Platform side. On the LCS side there is no indication of any DataVerse environment.
Connecting to PowerPlatform
NOTE: This decision is IRREVERSIBLE. Once you have linked your FnO environment to a Power Platform environment there is no supported way to unlink it.
Once the environment is set up LCS offers an option to set up the DataVerse Connection. You can use the one provisioned for you, if you are not using CRM or if you are not planning to use DualWrite to interface with CRM, or you can link it to your existing Dynamics 365 for Sales (CRM) environment. Even though the connection is done to your existing/live CRM environment the operation should be safe since the Power Platform are being deployed to another “partition” of the environment. I know, the message in the upper right corner looks a bit scarry…
This operation only enabled the install of add-ins, DualWrite still needs to be set up from within FnO when you are ready for it.
Since Microsoft is currently moving the management experience of Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations environments to the Power Platform Admin Center, all of this is a changing scenario and I think what we are seeing is a transition to what is about to come.
Do a gradual rollout, starting with some entities
If there is data that does not need to be synchronized, a different solution such as virtual entities or PowerApps could be an idea
I have learned that it is important to read the fine print… otherwise you will miss things. This happened to me and a colleague the other day.
In Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, Microsoft add new features all the time. These are controlled in Feature Management workspace where you can also read up on the new features to understand important impact.
A cool feature is that there is a Data Entity in the Data Management Framework which exports and imports the feature set for a given environment and enables moving feature settings from one environment to another making easier to manage the lifecycle of your features and sync them with for instance releases
Now comes the part that I completely missed (which in hindsight is quite obvious):
There is a column called Enable Date, which I thought meant “The date the feature was enabled”, what it actually means “The date the feature is enabled”… notice the subtle difference?? I did not 🙁
What the column actually does is to set a schedule for when the feature will be enable. When you use DMF to import a list of feature settings with this field set means that you will schedule the enablement of the feature. It is a great feature but might cause some issues if you are not aware of it. Especially for features that can not be turned off.
I need to confess something… Sometime I do not read all of the release notes as thoroughly as I maybe should. This was made clear to me the other day when I tried to set up a batch job and make sure it was executing in a new Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations Production environment. Or maybe I read it, but did not really understand it…
Before, you were able to create a batch group and add servers to it. This was used in for instance AX 2012 or D365FO to control execution and divide resources in an optimal way between batch jobs. Especially when you were dealing with large, time consuming, batches that you needed to ensure ran correctly while not starving smaller (time critical) jobs of resources
Starting with version 10.0.29 the default behaviour is that all Batch Servers are assigned to all Batch Groups. Each Batch Group has a scheduling priority set to either Low, Normal, High, Critical or Reserved Capacity and the batch jobs are then assigned to the Batch Group meaning that you will (almost) always have load balancing over all servers. The exception to the rule is if you choose Reserved Capacity.
Reserved Capacity means that you on an environment level can exclude a percentage of the total batch capacity (aka Batch Threads). The setup is done in System Parameters – Batch global settings. The default setting is “No reserved capacity”, meaning that all batch servers threads are available to the load-balancing. You are able to change this to Low, Medium or High (10, 15 or 25 percent) which will then exclude batch capacity from the pool. Worth knowing is that when no batch jobs with Reserve Capacity are executing the reserved batch threads will be sitting idle.
Yesterday a colleague contacted me about missing all of the reports in Financial Reporting (previously Management Reporting). After looking around a bit and doing the mandatory reset of the DataMart (which did not help) I found this article mentioning the minimum steps needed in a new legal entity for it to appear in the Financial Reporting UI.
Today one of ´my colleagues had an issue on her customer laptop. The issue was that she was not able to use the “Open in Excel” funcitonality in Dynamics 365 for Operations and Supply Chain. Apparently someone had blocked the Office addin that was required to make it work.
There are 2 options to handle this… the easiest (and less secure) option is to allow the user to run and install Office Addins. The setting resides in the Office Admin Center and requires an Admin to change it. If some one has disabled it, go the Office Admin Portal – Setting – Org Setting – User owned apps and services and enable “Let users access the Office Store”
The second option is to provision the specific apps to the users that need them. This is also done by an admin in the Office Admin Portal.
In the Office Admin Portal, go to Settings, Integrated Apps and click Add-ins
Click Deploy Add-in
Click Choose from the Store
Seach for Dynamics and click Add next to the Microsoft Dynamics Office Add-in
Now you will get the option to set which users will get the add.in deployed. You have the options of Everyone, an Azure AD Group (preferred) and just you. The last option is used for testing and you will later in the wizard get the option to change.
Note: If you are logged in ad Global Admin, that is the user that will get the add-in. You should preferably not use your “regular user” to manage your organizations infrastructure. If you are curious, google Tiering…
Verify that your deployment was successful
You are now done. If everything works, now you get another option to assign which users should get the app.
You can click on the add-in and adjust the deployment scope.
In Dynamics 365 For Finance and Supply Chain we rely heavily on Azure DevOps for managing aspects of our projects, especially development and deploying packages.
Today a customer told me that they hit the roof on the free/included alotment for parallell build in Azure Hosted Pipelines. They wanted to understand what it had been used for. I found a very handy new preview feature called Historical Views for Pipelines.
To turn it on you you click on the settings icon in the top right corner and click Preview Features. The feature can be turned on for single users or entire organizations.
This feature will help you understand your usage.
The first thing you need to in order to purchase more parallel jobs is to set up billing for your Azure DevOps organization. Go to Organization Setting – Billing. The billing options are the same ones that you are using for “regular” Azure.
After you have set up billing, go to Organization Settings – Parallel Jobs and select Purchase Parallel jobs.
The pricing for additional paralell jobs are $40/month which gives you 1 paralell job with unlimited minutes.
A while ago Microsoft launched an e-Commerce platform for Dynamics 365 and they keep release updated versions in line with the OneVersion vision. Since I have not had the opportunity to work a lot with the solution I thought I would write down some learnings… if nothing else for myself. In this article I will look at how to update.
The first step is getting the update from Microsoft. As usual we start in the Asset Library. From the D365FO environment page click Manage to go to the Management console for e-Commerce.
Select the e-Commerce tab
Go to the Assett Libabry
Go to e-Commerce Packages and click Import
On the Import screen, note that all of the packages have notification marking the mail FnO version. Choose the latest package with your FnO version and click Pick.
When you are back in LCS, select the imported package and click Release Candidate
Once the package is set to Release Candidate it will show up in package deploy of the e-Commerce Management. To deploy it, click Apply Extension