Tag Archives: Functional

Questionnaires: How to create Questionnaires in Dynamics AX 2012

This is the second post in the series related to Questionnaires in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012.

Questionnaires are not difficult; they are just extremely flexible. In an ERP solution, you may think that standard and/or best practices should be part and parcel; but Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 offers some features that are not only extremely flexible, but they allow for a huge amount of creativity as well!

Do you realize that questionnaires could be used for literally anything? One such example is the little case we had talked about last time; a customer opening form. In a real life scenario, a Sales Person sends a request to an Accounts Receivables Manager to create a customer within Dynamics AX 2012. Some preliminary information is requested from this Sales Person as part of the standard operating procedures.

Let us now see how a questionnaire is formulated:

Step 1: Plan your questions for the questionnaire.

We have three questions we need to ask: Customer Name, Customer Contact Number, Payment Terms.

Step 2: Decide on the Types of Answers that will be received.

Customer Name and Customer Contact Number are simple text fields; Payment Terms would be a radio button.

Step 3: Take the “Choice” Type of questions and formulate your answer groups:

Home > Common > Questionnaires > Design > Answer Groups

Create a New Answer Group: Payment Terms

answer group

Now click on Answers and create your answer list:

We created two answers: Cash, Credit:

Answers

 

Step 4: Now, create your questions and select the different answer groups where applicable:

Home > Common > Questionnaires > Design > Questions

Questions

You’re almost done!

The deal with questions, answers, answer groups and questionnaires is that you create standard solutions for each and then mix and match where required. Say for example, you have several trainings or courses that your company offers. You could create questions that could be mixed/matched as necessary, on several questionnaires to assess these trainings. Makes sense?

Step 5: Now, create your questionnaire for use:

Home > Common > Questionnaires > Design > Questionnaires

Questionnaire

Now click on Questions and add the ones that you had created in step 4.

You’re done!

I used these questionnaires in the Cases that Dynamics AX 2012 has; you could use them for any other purpose.

The above tutorial is very simplistic in nature because of the nature of the work that was needed in the questionnaires. More complicated questionnaires can be created as well to add conditional questions, scoring and evaluation criteria; but more on that later!

Was this tutorial of help? Do leave some comments in case you have any questions.

 

 

Human Capital Management in Dynamics AX 2012

Human resource management in Dynamics AX 2012 is still a little explored field and you will not find many blog posts that will cater specifically to the HCM and Payroll modules in Dynamics AX 2012.

If you are looking for an option on how to help your client to manage talent within their organization, this blog post is for you!

Today, many clients are looking for a single solution for their HR problems including talent management. Talent management however, becomes extremely confusing because many HCM applications and resource planning solutions do not provide Talent Management as an option.

If your client is looking for an end to end HCM solution including talent management, Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 offers a whole pack of features that you can pitch to your client:

Recruitment Module: The HR manager can create an internal project for recruitment, for any sort of job opening. Both internal and external job postings can be managed through the recruitment module, with various types of advertisements to obtain application data. The entire recruitment process can be followed with evaluation of applications, interviews and confirmation of applications.

Competency Management: This area allows definition of specific competency elements, skills, education levels and areas of interest that should typically be part of a job. Based on the hiring process, a certain employee when hired can be compared against these competencies and the hiring or rejection decision can be based on these competencies.

Compensation Plans: Dynamics AX 2012 is extremely flexible in terms of compensation plans. From benefits to earning codes or allowances, and from fixed to variable pay plans, a hiring can be done and specific criteria and pay grades can be assigned in compensation plans.

Performance Evaluations: Goals, KPIs and appraisals all can be managed through the performance evaluation and management module. This module is extremely powerful as it allows the alignment of all employees towards certain goals and KPIs that the organization wants to focus on. Moreover, personal development of employees can be managed as well through personal goals and performance appraisals.

Course Management: Course management is a little explored area even though it can be extremely useful. In course management, the organization can keep track of and manage courses and trainings that employees can take. Arrangements, attendance and conclusion, all elements related to courses can be managed through this module.

Next up, we shall explore questionnaire development and management in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, which will help you to design an employee performance appraisal form and follow the process for collection of information on the form.

Which elements in HCM are you interested in exploring that we can present you with blog posts on?

 

Using button grids to customize POS behavior

Screen Layouts in Microsoft Dynamics AX for Retail POS help to define the visual appearance of the till. One element of screen layouts is the ability to setup button grids. Button grids help to define both the functionality and visual appearance of buttons used to perform different actions at POS, as well as control the flow of actions. For example, you can setup multiple button grids to appear at POS, and/or define sub-menus that appear on clicking a POS button. Multiple layers of sub-menus can also be setup.

Without divulging in the details of how to setup button grids and button specific actions, which can be further read here; let’s see how button grids can be used to complete a business process.

For example, in case of a restaurant business, “Order Taking” is one of most basic and frequent business processes. As this involves a number of steps, a guided order taking menu helps to facilitate POS user or waiter to ensure completeness of the order and avoid missing any step, especially in case of new users which is a common occurrence in service industry due to frequent employee turnover.

Below screenshots demonstrate how this process typically works

User logs into POS, where user is presented a number of menu options. The options shown are part of a button grid, where each button covers a specific function. Amongst these, a “Place Order” button has been custom created.

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Clicking the “Place Order” button takes user to a sub-menu of further buttons.

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In order to place the order, user will select items from “Main Course”, “Toppings” and “Drink”.

User selects “Main Course” and is presented a list of items or meals.

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Selecting “Pizza” (which has been setup as a Master Product having multiple SKUs) gives user a number of options between ‘Flavor’ and ‘Size’.

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User is also prompted to confirm the type of crust, setup as a reason code against the particular meal (pizza).

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This adds the meal to the electronic journal and displays the current transaction totals.

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Similarly, user can select “Toppings” from a list.

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In this way, user can complete the order and add more items as required.

The printed receipt with entire information captured can be passed on to Kitchen Staff for meal preparation, ensuring there is no miscommunication in the order placed.

Now let’s see how the menu options and step-by-step order-taking guidance was setup, using Button Grids.

First let’s setup the sub-menu options that will be displayed when user selects “Place Order” button. To do this, create a new button grid titled “Order Taking” as shown below.

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Once setup, click on ‘Designer’ button in the toolbar. This opens up the design form for the Button Grid. Click on ‘New design’ and define the number of rows and columns (in our case we need a 2 x 2 grid).

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Click ‘OK’ and this generates the grid of buttons.

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Right click on any button to define the properties of that button

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This opens the ‘Configure Button’ form. The ‘Action’ combo contains a list of actions that will invoke when button is clicked on POS.

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Select the appropriate action required and also fill in remaining fields for defining the visual attributes of the button.

In this particular illustration, for the “Main Course” button, we want user to be presented with a list of meals along with feature to search the list. For this purpose, set ‘Action’ field to “Search”, ‘Search type’ field to “Category”, and select the specific retail hierarchy from the list. Once done, drill down to the category level for which a list of products items/meals (products) should be displayed. In this case, the category “Main Course” has been selected.

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Click “OK” to complete the changes. Similarly, define button properties for other buttons.

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Now we need to link the button grid so that it appears as a sub-menu when “Place Order” button is clicked.

Go back to Button Grid form and select the existing button grid “Manager Tasks” and click on ‘Designer’.

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In Designer form, right click on “Place Order” button to modify the button properties.

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In the ‘Action’ field, select “Sub menu”. This will populate a list of options in ‘Menu’ combo. Since we want our custom button grid to appear as a sub-menu on clicking “Place Order” button at POS, select “Order Taking” option in the combo. (This is also why we setup the “Order Taking” button grid before modifying the “Manager Tasks” grid)

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Similarly repeat these steps by setting up button grids as sub-menus for “Toppings” and “Drink”. Run “A-1090” (Registers) job to view changes to POS. Make sure to restart POS for the changes to take effect.

In this way, we can see how button grids can be used to achieve a business process for ordering taking for a restaurant retailer. Buttons grids, along with overall Profile maintenance, can be used to customize the layout and functionality of POS specific to the retailer’s need, which shows just why Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 is a perfect choice for implementing your retail solution.

Understanding Role Based Security in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012

Security has a very important role to play in any ERP implementation. The security aspect of an ERP helps the administrator to control and restrict access of different users to data in the ERP. The administrator can control the rights of access to different modules and forms of different users tailoring the access, based on user groups or each individual user. Microsoft Dynamics AX controls security through a role based security system.

Security Architecture of Dynamics AX

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Role-based security:-

  • In earlier versions of Microsoft Dynamics AX, the IT administrator wasted a lot of time and effort in managing the application security by creating user groups.
  • Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 now offers managing security within the application by using some predefined roles and providing role based access based on these roles.
  • It also provides predefined business-related duties that are assigned with roles and matched with the users assigned to a specific role

Roles:-

  • All of the users must be assigned at least one security role to have access to Microsoft Dynamics AX. By managing the user’s access through security roles, it saves up a lot of time as the administrators only have to manage the security roles rather than each individual user.

Duties:-

  • The administrator in Dynamics AX assigns duties to the role and the administrator can assign many different duties to any role.

Privilege:-

  • A privilege in Microsoft Dynamics AX specifies the access level that is required to complete an assignment, solve a problem or perform a job.

Permissions:-

  • Permissions group all the securable objects and the different access levels that a user requires to run a function. This includes any forms, server side methods, fields or tables that can be accessed through security points.

Benefit of Having Role-based security:-

  • The new concept of role based security in AX 2012 has made it easier to manage security. Roles can be applied across all the companies and so the administrator does not have to maintain separate user groups for each and every company in the organization.

Assigning users to different roles (adding roles to users):-

  • Go to System administration | Common | Users | Users.
  • Select the required user from the user’s list.

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  • From the upper left-hand corner of the user list page, click on Edit.
  • In the center of the user form, click on Assign roles.

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  • Select a role from the list of predefined roles.
  • Select an option in the Role name menu to assign to the selected user.

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  • Click on OK.
  • Click on Close to close the user form.