New Features in Power BI From June 2017 Release

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Figure 1 – Explanation of Power BI from https://powerbi.microsoft.com

On June 12, Amanda Cofsky, Program Manager for Power BI, provided an overview of the new reporting features available as of June.  The link to download Power BI is…. http://powerbi.microsoft.com/desktop?WT.mc_id=Blog_Desktop_Update.

Here’s the complete list of June updates from Cofsky’s blog posting.

Reporting
  • Data bars for new table & matrix (preview)
  • Markers on line, area, & combo charts
  • Accessible reports
    • Consume Power BI reports with keyboard navigation and screen reader support
    • Create accessible reports
  • Visuals font family setting
  • Horizontal Image Slicer
  • Combo chart formatting updates
    • Force zeros to align between the two axes
    • Shade area of the line
  • Bing maps improvements
    • Map themes
    • Improved geo hierarchy experience
  • High density line sampling
Data connectivity
  • Custom Data Connectors support
  • Power BI service Live Connect to On Premises and Push streaming datasets
  • Impala connector is now generally available
  • Amazon Redshift connector is now generally available
  • SAP BW connector – DirectQuery support (beta)
  • IBM Netezza connector (beta)
Query editing
  • “Add Column from Examples” enhancements

You can watch a video of the new features by clicking on https://youtu.be/YlNVE5dgcSI (Power BI Desktop Update – June 2017).  Remember that YouTube links can change from time to time so this link may change over time.


Three Excel Tricks for Lining up Data for Import into Dynamics NAV, GP, AX

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Recently, I have had to import lots of different data for clients.  They give me Excel worksheets that are full of names, numbers and telephone numbers.  If you are working with Dynamics NAV or GP, you know that some of the fields can be very fussy in the import.  Dynamics AX is more forgiving.  I clean up the data, and get it ready. 

Most clients ask me how I clean up columns, especially phone numbers. If you use Excel a lot, you will know these formulas or tricks.  This post is for those who do not have to do this very often, and need some help.

1. Using Excel to change Words from All CAP to All lowercase, or to PROPER

    • you can use the UPPER, LOWER, or PROPER functions to automatically change the case of existing text to uppercase, lowercase, or proper case.
    • First, insert a temporary column next to the column that contains the text you want to convert
    • In the temporary column, for example,  cell B2, type =PROPER(A2)
    • The other choices are  =UPPER(A2) or  =LOWER(A2)

Now, all of the names, countries, states, provinces, etc. can have standardized type.

2. Removing spaces and symbols in a phone number

    • Often we get a list of telephone numbers that look like this

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    • To get rid of the (, ), –, Ext. 0000, use the find and replace function
    • To get rid of the space, use the find and replace, using the space bar
      1. Press Ctrl + Space to select all cells in a column.
      2. Press Ctrl + H to open the “Find & Replace” dialog box.
      3. Press Space bar in the Find What field and make sure the “Replace with” field is empty.

3.  Filling in the extension on a phone number

    • Now  you want to add trailing zeroes to make all the numbers with a fixed length, such as 14 digits for a telephone number in Canada and the US
    • Create a blank column right of the existing phone number
    • Use the EXCEL function =A2&REPT(“0”,14-LEN(A2)) where “A” represents the column with the telephone number in it
    • The results are

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      And, the number now becomes easy to import.

Dynamics AX 2009 Support Ends in October 2018

 

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There are several different articles in different blogs that talk about the looming date of October 2018 which brings the end of Dynamics AX 2009 support.

Well, lots of Microsoft software have pending dates when support will be ending. Windows 7 is one of the software packages that no longer has support. Yet people still use it.

You wonder, then, why there is so much concern over Dynamics AX 2009. The answer, for me, is in Henrik Marx Larsen’s article https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/dynamics-ax-2009-out-support-2018-you-ready-henrik-marx-larsen.

I think the main idea presented is that companies are going to need to start thinking about their short term and long term strategies for business infrastructure. The questions are:

Do we prepare for moving to the cloud now and get ready for the change before October 2018? Or, do we wait until into 2018, and see what the organizations in our industry are doing, and then make a decision?

It is a tough set of questions. What is your organization going to do?

Microsoft offers free Windows Server 2016 licenses to VMware switchers

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The title above is also the HEADLINE for Mary Jo Foley’s blog of August 25 … you can see her blog here http://www.zdnet.com/article/microsoft-offers-free-windows-server-2016-licenses-to-vmware-switchers/?ftag=TRE624278d&bhid=24421659496900511552450458228080

This is great news for Microsoft Partners and clients that wish to set up data centers.  Here is the feature differentiation comparison from the article.

Check it out to see if this will make a difference to your organization.

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Now Available – CU 10 for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3

 

CU 10 for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 has been released.  Dann Maurno of MSDynamicsWorld.com has published a blog that describes all of the new features.  Check out his blog at  http://msdynamicsworld.com/story/cu-10-microsoft-dynamics-ax-2012-r3-available-what%E2%80%99s-new.

The piece that I found interesting is the listing of features now available for Transportation Management.  The list below comes from Dann’s blog.

Transportation Management Enhancements

  • Create scheduled routes. Scheduled routes can now be generated from a route plan, where the segments of the scheduled route correspond to the hub configuration associated with the route plan. A batch job is used to create the scheduled routes depending on date range, particular days of the week and a load template.
  • Improvements to auto-release to warehouse process. When using the auto-release to warehouse process it is now possible to consolidate multiple transfer orders based on To warehouse and From warehouse into the same shipment.
  • Integration to project. It is now possible to plan transportation for purchase and sales orders linked to projects. It is possible to access the load planning workbench from the item requirements screen.

Great article, Dann!

PowerShell–Who Has Access To This Directory?

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Moving forward in the Microsoft Windows Server world, one sees that Windows PowerShell is being used more and more.  I have been learning that there are some sweet things you can do with it.  Here is a blog about “Who Has Access To This Directory?” by MVP Thomas Rayner, from CANITPRO (Canadian IT Pro Connection).  Thanks Thomas, for posting this.  Everyone else –  enjoy!

http://blogs.technet.com/b/canitpro/archive/2015/11/03/powershell-tips-who-has-access-to-this-directory.aspx

Get Some Information on Windows Server 2016

 

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Figure 1 – picture from Microsoft Virtual Academy, from the course “What’s New In Windows Server 2016 Preview”

Microsoft is releasing a lot of new technology between June and December 2015 including Dynamics AX 7.  All of the new releases are built to work together in the cloud. 

Some of us don’t need to install Windows Server, but would like to have an understanding of the features and how the features might be used to support what we are doing in ERP or CRM.  Microsoft’s course in the Virtual Academy gives an overview of some cool features.

  • Explore enhanced virtualization functionality.
  • Explore  automated processes and configuration to help you spin up compute, storage, and networking resources faster.
  • Preview new features that reduce system downtime.
  • Find out how rolling upgrades can help you adopt updates and operating systems faster for Hyper-V and Scale-Out File Server.
  • Learn about the zero-footprint, cloud-optimized Nano Server technology, along with scripting with the new PowerShell Desired State Configuration features.

Other resources:

Dynamics AX 7

 

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Dynamics AX 7 Release Info

The following information comes from the Blog at 365freelance.com (http://blog.365freelance.com/).

The final version of AX 7 is expected be announced at Convergence 2015 EMEA in Barcelona S (between November 30th and December 2nd). The pricing model will be announced as well.  General availability will follow Convergence.

At first, AX 7 will only be deployable on Azure through Lifecycle Services (LCS). This means that Dynamics AX consultants who haven’t used LCS yet will need to become familiar with it.

A list of resources referencing Dynamics AX 7 as of today:

Note:  Remember that links can change over time as servers and connections change.