Dynamics AX 2012 Overview

It's quite some time that we have Dynamics AX 2012 into the market and it is no surprise that it's creating history with respect to wide market adaptability and acceptance of the fact that it is truly a global solution. In this piece of article  I present a bird's eye view of Dynamics AX 2012.

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012: Overview

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 is a complete ERP solution that offers comprehensive and core ERP functionality for financial, human resources and operations management. It's truly a global solution that is scalable and agile. The solution is made industry focused by embedding core functionality for manufacturing (process, discrete and lean), distribution, public sector, retail and service industries. 

 Dynamics AX 2012 Functionality

In a nutshell, Dynamics AX 2012 focuses on the following functionality
  • Financial Management & Compliance
  • Business Intelligence & Reporting
  • Collaboration
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Sales & Marketing
  • Production
  • Human Resources Management

Dynamics AX 2012 Modules

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 consists of the following core modules
        • General Ledger
        • Accounts Payable
        • Accounts Receivable
        • Budgeting
        • Cost Accounting
        • Fixed Assets
        • Cash and Bank management
        • Travel and Expense
        • Compliance and Internal control
        • Human Resources
        • Procurement and Sourcing
        • Product Information management
        • Master Planning
        • Project management and accounting
        • Inventory and WH Management
        • Sales and Marketing
        • Production control
        • Service Management
For a detailed description of each of the modules, Click here.


What's New in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 is bundled with plenty of revolutionary enhancements to it's prior version Dynamics AX 2009. Some of the new features what you could get out of this product in brief.
  • Role Centers
  • Role based security
  • Localization support (36 countries)
  • Interoperability with MS Office
  • Enhanced Collaboration
  • Unlimited Financial Dimensions
  • Organization Modeling
  • Graphical Workflow Editor
  • Industry specific out of the box functionality
  • Model-Driven layered Architecture
  • Role based UI – FastTabs and FactBoxes
  • Commerce services Integration
  • Site services that enable users to connect AX to cloud services
  • Payment services out of the box
  • Help server
  • Microsoft Search (MOSS)
  • Upgrade Advisor and Framework
  • Post upgrade Data validation
  • Improved AIF
  • Process Manufacturing – Part of AX 2012 Core functionality
  • Enterprise Portal – Foundation improvements, Treasurer Role center, Enterprise search, UI changes
  • Out of the Box SSRS Reports
  • Budget Register Entries
  • Multiple Time zones
  • Global Address Book (No more hassle to create virtual companies)
  • Product definition
  • Policy framework
  • Inter company Timesheet entry in projects
  • Retail Module

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Licensing

One of the major changes to Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 licensing is the shift away from concurrent user licensing to CAL licensing model. Role centers play a major role in licensing such that each User CAL must be linked to a Role.
1. Server License (AOS License)
2. Client Access License (CAL)
- User CAL
- Enterprise user
- Functional user
- Task user
- Self service user
Device CAL
- Device CAL
- Limited Device CAL
3. Licenses for related software not included (SQL Server, MOSS so on)

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Navigation

Navigation in AX 2012 is as simple as navigating through Microsoft Office Outlook 2010. The introduction of Fast Tabs and Fact Boxes make it more user friendly navigating system. Some screenshots that speak about navigation, look and feel of the UI are given here.




Dynamics AX 2012 Technology

Robust changes to performance of the product have been incorporated in this new edition in terms of architecture to optimize the user experience and ensuring smooth upgrades of the product that only can result in lower ownership costs (TCO) to the companies.
3-Tier Architecture
Extended Architecture

Technology Layers

For detailed information, Go through the Dynamics AX White papers section here.


Dynamics AX 2012 Modules

General Ledger

  1. Dynamics AX 2012 provides robust consolidation of financials for several subsidiaries. It is not necessary that the subsidiary databases must be separate and can reside within the same database.
  2. In Dynamics AX 2012, Allocation or distribution of monetary amounts can be made to one or more accounts or account and dimension combinations based on a preset allocation rules. AX 2012 permits two types of allocations.
    1. Fixed Allocation
    2. Variable Allocation
  3. Settlement of transactions between ledger accounts is available in Dynamics AX 2012
  4.  Year-end closing can be performed within the system so as to update the opening balances for the next year.
  5. Tools for forecasting cash flow and currency requirements to estimate company future cash needs exist in General ledger functionality of Dynamics AX 2012.
  6.  Financial statements can be extracted from within Dynamics AX 2012 or using Management reporter tool.

Accounts Payable

1. In Dynamics AX 2012, vendor groups, vendors, posting profiles, various payment options, parameters regarding vendors, charges, deliveries and destinations, promissory notes, and other types of Accounts payable information can be setup
2. Vendor invoices can be entered manually or received electronically through a service, or vendor can enter the invoices through enterprise portalPayments or credit memos can be settled for invoices

Accounts receivable

  1. In Dynamics AX 2012 customer invoices are created based on sales orders or packing slips.
  2. For other miscellaneous invoices that don’t require creation of a sales order, a free text invoice can be created.
  3. Centralized payment location can be create


  1. Budget register entries for the original budget, budget transfers, and budget revisions can be created in Dynamics AX 2012 budgeting.
  2. Encumbrances can be created for both planned and actual expenditure.
  3. Budget register entries can be created automatically when budgets are transferred to the general ledger from other modules such as Project management and accounting or Fixed assets.
  4. Budgets can be controlled for financial dimensions also. Status and history of budget register entries, budget control statistics, actual versus budget amounts, budget details, and budget funds are available

Cost Accounting

With Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, you can use the following different costing methods:
  1. Normal costing
  2. Standard costing
  3. Absorption costing

Fixed Assets

  1. Dynamics AX 2012 enables setting up and enter acquisition information for fixed asset records, and then manage fixed assets by depreciating them and setting a capitalization threshold to determine depreciation
  2. Calculate adjustments to the fixed assets, and also dispose of them.
  3. When you use General ledger with Fixed assets, you can view the current value of all fixed assets.

Cash and Bank Management

  1. Maintain the legal entity’s bank accounts and the financial instruments that are associated with those bank accounts with Dynamics AX 2012.
  2. These instruments include deposit slips, checks, bills of exchange, and promissory notes.
  3. Reconcile bank statements and print bank data on standard reports.

Travel and Expense

  1. Create an integrated workflow where payment method information can be stored, import credit card transactions, and track the money that employees are spending when they incur expenses for the company as part of Dynamics AX 2012 Travel and Expense Management functionality
  2. Define expense policies and automate the reimbursement of travel expenses.

Compliance and Internal control

1. The Compliance and internal controls module of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 includes Environmental sustainability and Audit functionality.
2. The Compliance site provides a central location for users in your organization to manage the internal controls, business process content, and reporting for your organization's compliance program.

Human Resources

Human resources for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 help to fulfill the potential of workers, while minimizing the cost and complexity of administrating worker and organizational information.

Procurement and sourcing

  1. Create purchasing policies to control the purchasing process.
  2. Identify suppliers, onboard suppliers as new vendors, maintain vendor information, create agreements with your vendors, order items and services, maintain purchase orders, and confirm receipt of products.
  3. Analyze spending and vendor performance

Product Information management

  1. Define and create products and product variants.
  2. Products of the types Item and Service are used in the sales, purchase, and operational processes in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012. When products have been defined and created, authorize the products for use by releasing the products to individual legal entities.
  3. When you have defined a product master in Product information management, you can create product variants manually or you can use configuration technologies such as the Product Builder and the Product configurator to configure the product variants.
  4. You can also use the Product models form to build product models and attach item numbers to the product models.

Master planning

Use Master planning to perform the following business processes in Dynamics AX 2012:
  • Run forecast scheduling to calculate gross requirements for forecasted demand.
  • Run master scheduling to calculate net requirements for items to fulfill actual demand.
  • You can process the action messages and futures messages that are generated during master scheduling. You can use this information to modify planned orders.
  • You can process planned orders and kanbans.

Project management and accounting

With Dynamics AX 2012, the following can be accomplished in Project Accounting:
  1. Customer-focused projects can be set up on a time and materials or fixed-price basis.
  2. You can also use the module to manage costs for internal and investment projects.
  3.  You can create project quotations that can be converted to projects. For flexible project planning, you can integrate the project management and accounting module with Microsoft Project Server.
  4. You can create and monitor project budgets for cost control.
  5. You can create service industry-focused projects that consist primarily of worker services by drawing on features such as contract management, quotations, budgeting, project policies, project parameters, and categories.

Inventory and warehouse management

  1. Use Inventory and warehouse management for inbound and outbound operations, quality assurance, warehouse activities, and inventory control.
  2. Keep track of expected items and you can use arrival journals to register receipts.
  3. You can set up quality inspection and quarantine of products as an automated process by using quality associations or you can manually set products on hold in various stages of the order process cycle.
  4. Process shipments for complete orders, parts of orders or a consolidation of multiple orders and create picking routes or pallet transports based on the contents of the shipment. You can use picking lists and output orders to ship items to production or to the distribution channels.

Sales and Marketing

  1.  Use Sales and marketing to focus on sales personnel, and the sales organization.
  2. The main focus is direct, person-to-person contact with customers. Sales and marketing also makes it easy for a salesperson to create quotations, create and follow up on marketing initiatives, and report on the activities and sales of workers and customer
  3. Obtain selected customer data through Enterprise Portal for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012.

Production control

Use Production control to manage and track production activities. These activities include the following:
  • Schedule production
  • Track material and route consumption
  • Register production feedback
  • Track inventory transactions
  • Track production costs
Production control functionality is a key component in mixed mode manufacturing. Production control provides the opportunity to manage your production activities by using multiple methods. These methods include using the following:
  • Production orders
  • Kanbans for lean manufacturing
  • Batch orders for process industries .

Service management

  1. Service agreements and service subscriptions, service orders and customer inquiries can be managed within Dynamics AX 2012 service management. Also manage and analyze the delivery of services to customers.
  2. Customers can submit service requests through the Internet by using the Enterprise Portal which can then be received, processed and dispatch those requests.
  3. Use the reporting tools to monitor service order margins and subscription transactions, and print work descriptions and work receipts.


Analytical Accounting Transaction Dimension code lookup error

I was confronted with a strange Analytical Accounting error in one environment where Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 with service pack 2 is deployed. Except for "sa" user, the rest of the users get an error whenever they try to open the dimension code lookup window. No results are displayed into the Dimension code.
The error is "cannot drop the table '##Validate TrxDimRelUser.CDB'" where User is to be replaced by the user name and CDB is the comany database ID. There is no issue with the dimension relationships and user security is also taken enough care to be setup properly.
I tried the service pack 3 to see if I can be lucky on this one. Yes, It did resolve the issue and the users could access the dimension code lookup window as normal.


GP2010 Upgrade Error

The GP2010 upgrade from Dynamics GP 10 (SP4 >> 10.0.1368 Build) failed during tables update in a recent upgrade process. The upgrade was failing while updating the following tables.

1. GL10110
2. GL10111
3. GL70500
4. GL70501


This issue is resolved in the following manner

1. As soon as the upgrade fails with the above errors, Drop each of the tables above by going to SQL using DROP Table statement

2. Continue the upgrade

3. When the upgrade comes to the stage of creating views, it fails again because it cannot find these tables based on which certain views are to be created

4. Close the Dynamics GP utilities.

5. You can copy the Create Table scripts from any running GP2010 version for the above tables and create these tables in the current company. If you cannot do that, no issues. Find the download option here for the 4 tables. Just execute the scripts against the company database.





6. After creating the tables, Launch the Utilities again.

7. The Upgrade should go just fine this time.


Service Call Management Process Chart

A sample service Call Management process chart is provided below

Service call process1