Decision Support

Updated KPI’s

Key performance indicators (KPIs) are business metrics, such as total revenue, gross profit margin, and current ratio. These business metrics help you track your organization’s progress toward specific performance goals. The following enhancements have been made to the way you display KPIs in the Business Overview Web Part in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2.

 

  • Apply multiple filters to KPIs
  • Filter by relative dates or actual values
  • Display the individual elements that the whole KPI is made of

 

Business Overview web part

Business Overview web part

Power View

Power View, a feature of the SQL Server 2012 Reporting Services Add-in for Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 Enterprise Edition, is an interactive data exploration, visualization, and presentation experience. It provides intuitive ad-hoc reporting for business users such as data analysts, business decision makers, and information workers. They can easily create and interact with views of data from data models based on PowerPivot workbooks published in a PowerPivot Gallery, or from tabular models deployed to SQL Server 2012 Analysis Services (SSAS) instances.

Power View is a browser-based Silverlight application launched from SharePoint Server 2010 that enables users to present and share insights with others in their organization through interactive presentations.

 

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2 - Power View
Power View

Global Reach

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2 increased its global reach with this update. There are new localisations for 11 new markets (Brazil, Czech Republic, China, Estonia, Hungary, India, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Russia), extending the reach for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 to support 36 localisations worldwide.

 

Localisation for 11 new markets
Localisation for 11 new markets

Simplify Application Life Cycle

  • A cloud based service that allows uploading code as XPO/Model. The models are analyzed to give you detailed reports on the quality of the customization changes.
  • Can be accessed through information source
  • You can compare models against different versions
  • Since it is a cloud tool takes no resource from you, that you can upload leave it and wait for the results to be back
  • Bench mark metrics on Performance, Quality (More to be added before the release)
  • Excel report on table without indexes, Forms and the data source count, Charts on various quality factors by table group, Top errors in the application etc.
  • A consolidated HTML report that gives you statistics on new components by their type like table, classes. Deprecated key word in code, Best practice warnings etc.

Diagnostic Services

  • The Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Diagnostic Framework, also called DiagFX, helps administrators diagnose the health of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012.
  • The framework assesses the health of Application Object Server (AOS), Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services, and Analysis Services.
  • It can be configured to collect data from Microsoft Dynamics AX servers, Execute rules on the collected data, Report rule violations on a dashboard interface, and Provide reports based on collected data.
  • The Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Diagnostic Framework also helps administrators mitigate problems by providing information about issues, and also links to sites where suitable information is available. Users can add new modules and rules.

Data Migration Framework

Data Migration Process
Data Migration Process
 
  • ODBC as Source – with this it is possible to import data using ODBC.
  • AX as Source – It supports export/import, copy company for Data migration Framework entities.
  • New entity types – Direct Table and Composite Entity.
  • Parallel execution support - from Staging to Target.
  • Service Interface – DMF can be executed by external applications.
  • Error handling enhancements – skipping error rows, and detailed logs.
  • Number sequence support.
  • Removed requirement - to install SSIS on AOS.

Data Partitioning in Dynamics AX 2012 R2

To share or to isolate data? Multi-divisional organizations now have the option to do either in a single instance deployment.

Multi-divisional organizations welcomed the introduction of “global data” in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012. This R2 release extends the concept of sharing data and processes across legal entities to gain business process efficiencies and simplify managing master data. The planned release of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2 will include 36 country-localizations in a single instance deployment. This is an opportunity for organizations with operations in these countries to further increase IT and operational efficiencies.

What are the options and benefits of sharing data?

A single instance deployment provides the IT-side of the house with the opportunity to share IT infrastructure between the legal entities; this could drive down costs of the deployment. In addition to IT efficiencies, business operations benefit by sharing data and business processes across legal entities. Business efficiencies and benefits include:

  • Management of vendors, customers and employees can be handled centrally, streamlining these relationships on a global basis
  • Management of product information is centralized, including release management of the products to the individual organizations
  • Intercompany business is automated for processes including sales, purchasing and the corresponding financial transactions
  • Services, including central AR, AP and procurement, are shared

How does this work? What data is being shared and what is not? Organizations in a single instance deployment use the same code base and system settings. These organizations have shared application data including parties, products, and locations. The transaction data such as sales orders or customer and vendor data is specific to each legal entity.

When is it beneficial to isolate data?

In certain, specific cases, organizations do not want to share data and processes between all companies. But these organizations do want to achieve IT efficiencies by running on a shared infrastructure. This scenario is typical in holding organizations with divisions that have little in common, yet have a strong identity, and are supported by a central IT organization. Sharing data between these divisions would not lead to efficiencies.

Data partitioning gives organizations the best of both worlds and is planned to be available in R2!

In the planned R2 release, I am glad that organizations now have a choice with data partitioning. Data partitioning helps IT leaders realize IT operational efficiencies because the installation and system data are still being shared. And, data partitioning makes it possible to divide application data into partitions of organizations. You will be able to share application data and processes between organizations within a partition but not across partitions.

 

Data Partitioning in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2
Data Partitioning in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2

The table below illustrates the differences between three deployment alternatives: single instance, single instance with data partitioning and multiple instances. In the last scenario, you could use data partitioning as well.

 

Entities/deployment Single instance Single instance with partitioning Multiple instances
Application data and processes Shared across all Legal Entities (LE) Shared across LEs within a partition. Isolated across LEs in separate partitions. Shared across LEs within an instance. Completely isolated across instances
Master data management Global master data such as parties, products is shared across LEs Global master data such as parties, products is shared across LEs within a partition  Global master data such as parties,  products is shared across LEs within an instance. Completely isolated across instances.
Meta data and customizations Same across all legal entities Same across all legal entities  Unique per instance
IT infrastructure (includes servers, middle tier) Single Single  Multiple
Database Single Single  Multiple
 
Comparison between deployment alternatives
 

With the inclusion of data partitioning in Microsoft Dynamics AX we have enriched the alternatives to model organization’s real-life operations. That CIO and others like him, who want flexibility in sharing and isolating data, will soon have a solution.