3 Things to Know About Dynamics 365 Business Central

Just got done with two days of learning about Dynamics 365 Business Central at the Microsoft Center in New York City. Before the training, my main focus was on how to use it with Power BI. This was my first training related to Business Central and the trainers, Craig, @craigcrescas, and Tom did a great job!!

Dynamics 365 Business Central is an all-in-one business management solution that’s easy to use and adapt, helping you connect your business and make smarter decisions. Built on functionality within Microsoft Dynamics NAV and adaptable to extend business applications to other Microsoft Cloud Services such as Office 365, Microsoft Flow, Power BI and PowerApps.

In this post I’m going to discuss some of my biggest take a ways – Ready To Go, Built to Develop and Office 365 and Power BI integration.

Ready To Go

If you haven’t found it yet, go to http://aka.ms/readytogo. There you we find information on:

* “Ready To Go” online learning

* “Ready To Go” coaching

* “Ready To Go” platform

“Ready To Go” online learning

The “Ready to Go” online learning catalog is an extensive library of training materials, hosted on the Dynamics Learning Portal. You can find the “Ready to Go” online learning catalog here.

This catalog contains readiness information for marketers, business decision makers, architects, and developers. The content addresses the needs of both reselling partners of Dynamics 365 Business Central as App builders who want to provide Apps on Microsoft AppSource. Currently there is over 15 hours of online learning. Here are some of the catalog categories:

Online learning catalog

“Ready To Go” coaching

The “Ready to Go” coaching is executed by Microsoft Development Centers and Master VARs, which are independently owned and operated. They bring technical services and coaching to market and have industry specific knowledge that you can contract and leverage when developing your offerings. Over time they have developed lots of best practices by supporting multiple partners, they also have strong ties with Microsoft’s R&D teams and are always up to date on the latest strategy and product innovation.

The “Ready to Go” validation workshop is offered by all Development Centers and Master VARs at fixed price and is designed to coach you in bringing your Dynamics 365 Business Central offerings to market faster and with less friction by providing individual coaching. This 8-hour workshop helps partners make the right decisions and is based upon a unified checklist and set of training materials. The workshop validates and coaches the partner’s readiness on their go-to market business model, marketing plans, architectural plans, app Development and internal readiness.

Where needed the Microsoft Development Centers and Master VARs have more offerings to support you. We recommend reaching out if you want more information.

“Ready To Go” platform

To support you in App development, testing and learning scenario’s, the “Ready to Go” platform is a place where you can find current, upcoming and daily builds of Dynamics 365 Business Central. It also holds a way to provide feedback to the Microsoft engineers working on Dynamics 365 Business Central. These builds are made available to you on the Microsoft Collaborate platform. To get access to the “Ready to Go” platform, you need to go through these steps:

  1. Register on Microsoft Collaborate using your AAD Global Admin account.
  2. Contact us, once registered on Microsoft Collaborate. Your company’s Azure Active Directory (AAD) global administrator should contact us to complete the on-boarding. We need to manually assign you to the right programs and engagements. Expect a response from us within 1-2 business days.
  3. The Ready to Go team will notify you and confirm your registration.

Built for Development

Dynamics 365 is a flexible business platform that can be scaled to suit and meet your business needs in terms of size and complexity. There are three ways that the system can be customized by either using – Personalize, Designer or Visual Studio Code for al language development. Personalize can be done by the Business Central end user by simply navigating to the gear icon in the top right corner of the window/screen you are on and selecting “Personalize”.

Personalize Screenshot

For me, I’m on the Sales Order window. I now select the Sales Order line detail section and select the “Field” option in the top gray bar. From there you will get the “Add Field to Page” section on the right of the below screenshot. Use the search function and type in “Bin”. Now drag the Bin Code field over the Lines section of the Sales Order. Select “Done” to complete your personalization.

Screen Personalization

Designer is a little more work in the customization process but is applied globally instead of at a personal level. First you will need to create a Sandbox. A sandbox environment (Preview) is a non-production instance of Business Central. Isolated from production, a sandbox environment is the place to safely explore, learn, demo, develop, and test the service without the risk of affecting the data and settings of your production environment. Here is the link to how to create one. Once you’re done, you should see “Sandbox” in the black tool bar on the top right of the screen. Selecting the gear icon once again will bring up the additional “Designer” option. Both the Designer and custom al language option should be handled by a developer or more technical user. You can read more about these option in the “Ready To Go” online learning Technical catalog categories discuss above.

Power BI Integration

Getting insights into your Business Central data is easy with Power BI and the Business Central content packs. Power BI retrieves your data and then builds an out-of-the-box dashboard and reports based on that data.

You must have a valid account with Dynamics 365 and with Power BI. Also, you must download Power BI Desktop if you wish to create your own Power BI reports. Power BI content packs require permissions to the tables where data is retrieved from.

How to Connect

  1. Select Get Data at the bottom of the left navigation pane. You may also get starting from within Dynamics 365 Business Edition. From the role center, navigate to Report Selection in the Power BI Role Center part. Select either Service or My Organization from the ribbon. When either of these actions are selected, you will be taken to either the Organization gallery in Power BI or to the services library in Power BI, which will also be filtered to only display content packs related to Dynamics 365 Business Central.Get Data
  2. You may also get starting from within Dynamics 365 Business Edition. From the role center, navigate to Report Selection in the Power BI Role Center part. Select either Service or My Organization from the ribbon. When either of these actions are selected, you will be taken to either the Organization gallery in Power BI or to the services library in Power BI, which will also be filtered to only display content packs related to Dynamics 365 Business Central.
  3. In the Services box, select Get. This will open a window with the AppSource and Apps for Power BI apps.Get Services
  4. Select Apps from the Apps for Power BI apps tab, search for “Business Central” content pack that you want to use, and then select Get it now for the App you want to load. I choose “Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central – Sales. Dynamics 365 Business Central Apps
  5. When prompted, enter the name of your company in Dynamics 365 Business Central. This is not the display name. The company name can be found on the ‘Companies’ page within your Dynamics 365 Business Central instance. Company Name
  6. You can find the Company Name in Business Central by searching with the magnifying glass and typing in “companies”. Your screen should look like the below screenshot. Business Central Companies screen
  7. Once connected, a dashboard, report and dataset will automatically be loaded into your Power BI workspace. Power BI Business Central - Sales Report
  8. When completed, navigate back to Business Central’s home page and down to the bottom right corner. Click on the Ellipsis, “…”, in the top right of the Power BI section to Select Report and enable the reports you just deployed. Select ReportEnable Report
  9. You should now see your report and you can use the Previous Report and Next Report menu options to view all reports available.

Stay tuned for more on Business Central and Power BI

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Power BI Dynamics GP Sales and Inventory Analysis Report Modifications

Recently, I’ve made some updates to my Power BI Sales and Inventory Analysis Reports and wanted to share those with you. On the Sales Analysis report, I’ve added the ability to segment my sales revenue by growth rate and compare that growth rate to the previous period selected. Here are the steps I used to add the changes to the report.

  1. First, I clicked on the “Enter Data” icon from the Home tab in Power BI Desktop and then entered the following information.Power BI Create Table
  2. I then created a DAX Sales Growth measure with the following code.
    Sales Growth = DIVIDE([Sales CY],[Sales LY],0)-1
  3. Next I created a SAX measure to segment the data based on the Sales Growth Groups that we created in step 1.
    Sales per Growth Group =
            CALCULATE (
                [Sales CY],
                FILTER (
                    VALUES ( Customers[Customer Class] ),
                    COUNTROWS (
                        FILTER (
                            'Sales Growth Groups',
                            [Sales Growth] >= 'Sales Growth Groups'[Min]
                                && [Sales Growth] < 'Sales Growth Groups'[Max]                     )                 )                     > 0
                )
            )
    
  4. Next, I modified my Product by Sales and Customer Class by Sales visuals to use the new Sales per Growth Group measure by dragging the segment from the Sales Growth Group table into the Legend field, Sales Growth measure into the Tooltips and Sales per Growth Group measure into the Values field.Screenshot of field wells
  5. Below is a screenshot of the end results. You can now clearly tell which segments are performing better or worse than last year.Power BI Sales Summary Report

My next modification was to my Inventory Order Analysis report. This one was just a small change by adding one DAX measure to calculate slow moving inventory and a Table visual to view the results.

  1. First, I added a DAX measure for slow moving inventory
    SM Inventory Value = 
    VAR SumOf = 
    CALCULATE(
        SUMX(
            Inventory,
            Inventory[Quantity on Hand] * Inventory[Unit Cost]
        )
    )
    VAR Range = DATESINPERIOD(Dates[Date], EDATE(TODAY(), -12), -24, MONTH)
    RETURN
    CALCULATE(
        IF(
            COUNTROWS(
            INTERSECT(
               VALUES(Inventory[Last Sale Date]),
               Range)
           ) > 0, 
           SumOf, 0
        )
    )

  1. Then I added the following columns and measure to a table visual to show my slow moving inventory.Table Visual Field Wells Screenshot
  2. Below is a screenshot of the modification to the Inventory Order Analysis report.Power BI Inventory Order Analysis

Until next time, Enjoy the code and Happy Analyzing!

How to Create a Better RMA Dashboard For Mammoth Saving

OK, maybe not mammoth saving but controlling quality and costs during the Return Material Authorizations (RMA) process has a multiplicative effect for growth in a company. Finding new ways to improve perfect order performance continually reduces RMA and increases customer satisfaction leading to more sales.

RMAs are a direct measure of product quality and a products’ nonconformance to customers’ specifications and requirements. They are issued for a wide variety of reasons. The RMA module within Dynamics GP is designed to provide detailed traceability for both customer and supplier returns. Before we get to designing our Power BI RMA dashboard let’s look at Dynamics GP RMA module.

Return Material Authorization Module

The Returns Management module for Microsoft Dynamics GP enables you to meet customer and vendor demands for product and part returns by streamlining tasks and improving your responsiveness to customer queries and complaints. Generate returns from historical customer invoices, service calls, or manually. Return an item to a vendor to fix it within your company and automatically transfer items from the returns warehouse to the main warehouse. Give your customers up-to-date information about the status of their returned items.

You can use Returns Management to enter, set up, and maintain your RMA and Return To Vendor (RTV) documents. If Returns Management is integrated with Service Call Management, an RMA is created automatically from a returnable parts line on a service call. If Returns Management is integrated with Sales Order Processing, you can select items directly from the historical Sales Order Processing invoice that was generated for a specific customer.

Dynamics GP’s RMA Life Cycle

When operating a returns warehouse, you sometimes interact with customers who need to return equipment for various reasons. When they bring you a part, you complete one of a few tasks: issue a credit, repair and return the item to the customer, or replace the item. You also may be accepting the item in exchange for an item you already provided to the customer. Once you’ve completed your transaction with the customer, you have a few more options: repair the item and return it to your inventory, return the item to the vendor, or scrap the item.

The following diagram outlines the life cycle of RMAs, from entry through completion. When Returns Management is integrated with the other modules of the Field Service Series (Service Call Management, Preventive Maintenance, Contract Administration, and Depot Management), many new options and paths become available.

RMA Life Cycle

You can create RMAs from two different points of access throughout Field Service:

  • Manual entry in the RMA Entry/Update window
  • From return lines for returnable items on a service call

Entry in the RMA Entry/Update window is the method described in this manual. Refer to the Service Call Management documentation for more information regarding service calls and returnable items.

RMA types Inside Dynamics GP

RMA documents are used to track an item return from your customers. The available RMA document types are as follows:

  • Credit – Provide a credit to your customer’s account in Receivables Management for the value of the items the customer returned to you.
  • Replacement – Provide the same item, or a similar item, as a replacement to your customer. You must receive the original item from your customer before you send the replacement item on a new order document in Sales Order Processing.
  • Advance Cross–ship – Provide the same item, or a similar item, as a replacement to your customer. You can send the replacement item using a new Sales Order Processing order document prior to receiving the original item from your customer.
  • Repair and Return – You, or your vendor, will repair the item that is received from the customer. Your customer will receive the item after it’s been repaired.
  • None – The customer’s original item is picked up by your field service technician and returned to your returns warehouse. This type of RMA document was designed to integrate directly with Service Call Management.

Analyzing Our RMA Data with Power BI

With all the RMA data we will be using the following three visuals and associated measures:

  • Rate of Return – This is an incredibly useful KPI in a distribution center, especially when segmented by cause for return. Identifying causes for returns — damage, late delivery, inaccurate product description, wrong item shipped, etc — helps warehouse managers address underlying issues, and make necessary improvements.Number of Units Returned/Number of Units Sold = Rate of Return.
  • Perfect Order Rate – This KPI measures how many orders your warehouse successfully delivers without incident: the correct item, shipped on time and received in good condition by the customer who ordered it. Lean practices help identify errors or inaccuracies before orders leave the warehouse.Orders Completed Without Incident/Total Orders Placed = Perfect Order Rate
  • RMA Pareto Analysis – Done on the top 20% of factors that drive 80% of the returns. This will make cause troubleshooting more efficient, leading to permanent solutions to problems that may be causing RMAs to begin with. I’m not going to go into detail on how to build this chart in this blog post. You can find the steps on how to complete it here: https://powerbi.tips/2016/10/pareto-charting/.

First, we need to get our Dynamics GP RMA data into Power BI and we’ll do that with the SQL script below:

WITH CTE
AS (SELECT
  300 AS Company_Key,
  b.RETDOCID AS [RMA Document ID],
  b.LNSEQNBR,
  a.Return_Record_Type,
  b.RETREF AS [RMA Reference],
  b.RETSTAT AS [RMA Status],
  b.RETTYPE AS [RMA Type],
  a.COMPDTE AS [DocDate],
  a.USERID,
  b.OFFID AS [Office ID],
  b.LOCNCODE AS [Location Code],
  a.CUSTNMBR,
  b.SOPTYPE,
  b.SOPNUMBE AS [Invoice Number],
  b.SVC_RMA_Reason_Code AS [RMA Reason Code],
  b.SVC_RMA_Reason_Code_Desc AS [RMA Reason Code Description],
  b.ITEMNMBR,
  b.QUANTITY,
  b.UNITCOST AS [Unit Cost],
  b.EXTDCOST AS [Extended Cost],
  b.[Credit_SOP_Number]
FROM dbo.SVC05200 b (NOLOCK)
JOIN dbo.SVC05000 a (NOLOCK)
  ON b.RETDOCID = a.RETDOCID
WHERE b.QUANTITY > 0
AND b.COMPDTE >= DATEADD(yy, DATEDIFF(yy, 0, GETDATE()) - 4, 0) -- Didn't want everything so limiting to last 4 years of RMA data 
AND a.COMPDTE >= DATEADD(yy, DATEDIFF(yy, 0, GETDATE()) - 4, 0) -- Didn't want everything so limiting to last 4 years of RMA data

UNION ALL

SELECT
  300 AS Company_Key,
  b.RETDOCID AS [RMA Document ID],
  b.LNSEQNBR,
  a.Return_Record_Type,
  b.RETREF AS [RMA Reference],
  b.RETSTAT AS [RMA Status],
  b.RETTYPE AS [RMA Type],
  a.COMPDTE AS [DocDate],
  a.USERID,
  b.OFFID AS [Office ID],
  b.LOCNCODE AS [Location Code],
  a.CUSTNMBR,
  b.SOPTYPE,
  b.SOPNUMBE AS [Invoice Number],
  b.SVC_RMA_Reason_Code AS [RMA Reason Code],
  b.SVC_RMA_Reason_Code_Desc AS [RMA Reason Code Description],
  b.ITEMNMBR,
  b.QUANTITY,
  b.UNITCOST AS [Unit Cost],
  b.EXTDCOST AS [Extended Cost],
  b.[Credit_SOP_Number]
FROM dbo.SVC35200 b (NOLOCK)
JOIN dbo.SVC35000 a (NOLOCK)
  ON b.RETDOCID = a.RETDOCID
WHERE b.QUANTITY > 0
AND b.COMPDTE >= DATEADD(yy, DATEDIFF(yy, 0, GETDATE()) - 4, 0) -- Didn't want everything so limiting to last 4 years of RMA data
AND a.COMPDTE >= DATEADD(yy, DATEDIFF(yy, 0, GETDATE()) - 4, 0)) -- Didn't want everything so limiting to last 4 years of RMA data

SELECT
  b.*,
  rs.STSDESCR AS [RMA Status Description],
  iv.ITMCLSCD AS [Item Class]
FROM CTE b (NOLOCK)
LEFT JOIN dbo.IV00101 iv (NOLOCK)
  ON iv.ITEMNMBR = b.ITEMNMBR
LEFT JOIN dbo.SVC05500(nolock) rs
  ON b.[RMA Status] = rs.RETSTAT
WHERE b.QUANTITY > 0

With the data now loaded into Power BI Desktop, I created relationships with my Inventory, Date and Customer dimension that I already had in Power BI Desktop from my previous blog posts.

Creating Our Measures

Time to build the Rate of Return Measure. Rather than create one big DAX measure we will be building several small measures that build upon each other. Here are the DAX formulas that we will be using for the Rate of Return measure:

  • Return of Lbs CY
Returns Lbs. CY = CALCULATE(
    ABS(
        SUM(Returns[Total Return Lbs])
        )
)
  • Lbs. CY

Lbs. CY = SUM(Sales[ExtendedWeight])

  • Rate of Return
Rate of Return = DIVIDE 
    ([Returns Lbs. CY], [Lbs. CY], 
    Blank()
 )
  • Monthly Average Rate of Return
Monthly Avg. Rate of Return = AVERAGEX( 
    DATESINPERIOD( 
        Dates[Date] , 
        LASTDATE( Dates[Date] ),
        -30,
        DAY),
    [Rate of Return]
)

With our calculations now complete, we create a line chart with Date on the Axis and Monthly Avg. Rate of Return for the Value as seen in the bottom left line chart visual of our Returns Analysis report screen shot below.

Up next, our Perfect Order Rate measure. Once again we will build several small calculation and add them together to create our Monthly Avg. Perfect Order Rate. Here are the DAX formulas that I used for this:

  • Total Invoice Count – Since my data includes line level detail for each Sales Order type in the Sales Table I’ll count all lines invoice and evaluate each line later to make sure it was a perfect order.
Total Invoices Count = CALCULATE(
    COUNTROWS('Sales'),
    FILTER('Sales','Sales'[SOPTYPE] = 3)
    )
  • Perfect Order – Now we will determine if the order was fulfilled before the customer’s required date.
Perfect Order = CALCULATE(COUNTROWS
    ('Sales'),
    FILTER('Sales','Sales'[SOPTYPE] = 3),
    FILTER('Sales',[Document Date]<='Sales'[Req Ship Date])
    ) 
  • Perfect Order Rate
Perfect Order Rate = DIVIDE(
    [Perfect Order],[Total Invoices Count],
    BLANK()
    )
  • Monthly Average Perfect Order Rate
Monthly Avg. Perfect Order Rate = AVERAGEX( 
    DATESINPERIOD( 
        Dates[Date] , 
        LASTDATE( Dates[Date] ),
        -30,
        DAY),
    [Perfect Order Rate]
)

With all of our DAX measures complete, we can create the visuals needs to Monthly Average Perfect Order Rate and Monthly Average Return Rate of Lbs. Here is what my final Returns Analysis report looks like.

RMA Dashboard

Until next time, Happy Analyzing!

3 Secrets To An Awesome ERP System!

Part of being a Microsoft Dynamics Consultant is seeing all the inventive ways clients use the software we deploy and take that knowledge and provide best practices to everyone! Here are just some of the things to enhance your system processes:

  • Best Practices
  • Customization and Modifications
  • Reporting Enhancements

Best Practices

Customization, Modifications and Third Party Add-ins

  • General Ledger, Sales Distribution, and Payables Distribution intercompany Excel paste – James Lyn’s Excel Paste add-in. is great at extending Dynamics GP’s out of the box functionality. While you’re on his site, check out his other add-ins like GP batch attach for Payables.
  • Create Dynamics GP Marcos or use PowerShell scripts to automate tasks – i.e. Macro to log into Dynamics GP and run inventory reconcile process or reboot your web client servers to remove hung processes.
  • Custom workflows and reporting – reporting to provide detail information on current/open and historical/approved workflows. Find out how to do that here.

Reporting Enhancements

Dynamics GP comes with some good reporting capabilities:

  • Management Reporter.
  • Excel refreshable reports.
  • SmartList.
  • Jet Express for Dynamics GP.
  • Solver’s BI360.
  • Power BI.

With Dynamics GP 2018 you can now deploy Power BI GP content pack or embedded Power BI visual inside of Dynamics GP. So what do the Power BI content pack visuals look like and how do we get them installed? As of Microsoft Dynamics GP 2018, the GP OData service was updated to OData version 4. This redesign also brought on paging and filtering of OData requests. This will create a more stable and robust platform for delivering Microsoft Dynamics GP content to authenticated users. The Power BI content pack features sample reports for Financial, Sales, Purchasing and Inventory data. Each report utilizes relationships built between GP tables and various Filters that can be used to display the information that is important to you. You can also review the included Calculated Columns as examples for including calculations on your Power BI reports such as Net Debit/Credit, Profit, and Item Sales amounts.

In order to use the Power BI Content Pack with Dynamics GP, install OData Services. Once this is complete, you will have to publish the following Data Sources inside Dynamics GP. (Administration > System > OData > Data Sources) The following Data Sources will need to be published for the GP content pack.

  • Accounts
  • Account Transactions
  • Customers
  • Inventory Sales Summary Period History
  • Inventory Transactions
  • Item Quantities
  • Purchase Line Items
  • Purchase Requisition Lines
  • Purchase Requisitions
  • Receiving Line Items
  • Sales Line Items
  • Vendors

The Power BI Content Pack will also have to be configured to point to you’re existing Microsoft Dynamics GP OData Service. This can be done by modifying the existing Data source in Power BI, or by creating a new data source and configuring the content to use the new source. The screenshots below show what the GP content pack sample reports look like.

Finance Dashboard

Finance

Sales Dashboard

Sales

Purchasing Dashboard

Purchasing

Inventory Dashboard

Inventory

Enhancing Our Dashboards

These GP content pack reports are a good starting point and can speed up the process of implementing a Power BI solution. With a little work from your Microsoft Dynamics Consultant, we can provide you so much more. In February of 2017, I started a blog series that provided a “how to” on building a Finance, Sales, Customer, Product, and Inventory dashboard. Since my main goal was to show an update of the Excel multi-company dashboard, I choose to first build a small DataMart and integrate the data from Dynamics GP databases before building my visuals. Follow the links below to find out how I built each one of the enhanced dashboards.

Enhanced Finance Dashboard

The finance dashboard, from the blog series, now provides a summary profit & loss statement that you can drill down into line level detail. Additionally, you see total sales by inventory class and customer class and a weekly moving average.

Enhanced Finance Dashboard

Enhanced Sales Dashboard

The sales summary dashboard provides an analysis of sales by inventory item class, customer class and weekly moving averages for total sales dollars and transactions. The report also includes a cumulative sales and cost comparison.

Enhanced Sales

Product Performance and Inventory Reorder Dashboard

In the product performance dashboard, I’ve added to compare total profits and profit margin, cost by warehouse and ABC segmentation analysis. Additionally, there is a weekly moving average cost comparison chart at the bottom of the report.

Enhanced Product Performance

For my inventory reorder analysis report, I’m using some discussed by Belinda Allen in her, Inventory Item Reorder Dashboard. I converted it to Power BI to help your procurement manager evaluate what’s on hand, allocated to open orders and items sold within a given time period.

Enhanced Inventory Dashboard

Future Developments

Returns are generally thought of a loses and return percentages can be dependent both the type of product and the company’s returns policy. While the average industry rate is four percent, consumer durable goods can range from two to 10 percent and apparel can be in excess of 20 percent. There are several reasons for merchandise returns and tracking the costs and reasons associated with them can increase revenues, lower costs, improved profitability and enhanced levels of customer service. Using Dynamics GP’s RMA module can help and analyze that data in Power BI is one of the things that I’m currently working on. Below is a screenshot of that analysis and a subject of a future blog post.

Sales Returns Dashboard

Ready to Do Even More with Dynamics and Power BI?

Stay tuned for more help in lead your organization into becoming data-driven organization by exploring your Business Intelligence, BI360, Power BI, Microsoft Dynamics GP journey.

How to Enhance Dynamics GP’s Inventory BOM Report Using SSRS

During a recent project for a client they want to enhance their custom inventory BOM report made by another vendor. Not having access to the original code, I proposed modifying the Bill of Materials Maintenance window to add a print button and developing the report in SSRS.

Modifying the window

1. Log into Dynamics GP and open the Bill of Material Maintenance window in the Inventory Module.

2. On the window navigate to Tools>>Customize>>Modify Current Window. This will open modifier.

Dynamics GP BOM Window

3. Inside of Modifier, click on the “OK” button from the toolbox on the left and drag it onto menu bar of the Bill of Material Maintenance window. As shown on the below screen shot.

BOM window in Modifier

4. Open the Properties of the new “OK” button and change the text for the button. I changed mine to “Print BOM”. Save the changes and Exit Modifier to get back into Dynamics GP.

BOM window in Modifier 2

Adding VBA code to our window

1. With the Window now modified, we need to navigate back to Tools>>Customize>>Add Current Window to Visual Basic. We also need to add the “Print BOM” button and Bill Number field to Visual Basic by selecting the “Add Fields to Visual Basic…” menu.

Add BOM window to VBA Project

2. Now open up Visual Basic Editor, Tools>>Customize. We need to make the button functional by adding some VBA code.

BOM window in VBA

a. First let’s add the References that we need for the project by navigating to Tools>>References from the menu bar. Add or verify that the following References are selected: Visual Basic for Applications, Microsoft Dynamics GP VBA 18.0 Type Library, OLE Automation and Microsoft ActiveX Data Objects 2.1 Library.

Dynamics GP VBA project references

b. Before writing our VBA code we should verified that the window and both fields were added to the VBA project. We can do that by click on the dropdown menu where you see “(General)”. Your screen should look similar to my screen shot below.

VBA project windows and fields

c. Add the following VBA code Object Browser. You will need to change the highlighted VBA code based your SSRS server name, folder location of the report that we will be building and the name of the SSRS report. In the VBA code below:

i. XXXXX – would be my SSRS server name

ii. TWO – is the Folder that I saved the report in

iii. BOM Indented is what I named my report

Sub window_Open(strLocation As String, Menubar As Boolean, top As Long, left As Long, height As Long, width As Long, resizable As Boolean)

With CreateObject(“InternetExplorer.Application”)

.Visible = False

.top = top

.left = left

.height = height

.width = width

.Menubar = Menubar

.Visible = True

.resizable = resizable

.Navigate strLocation

End With

End Sub

Private Sub PrintBOM_BeforeUserChanged(KeepFocus As Boolean, CancelLogic As Boolean)

Dim IBOM

Dim IE As Object

IBOM = CStr(BillNumber)

window_Open “http://XXXXXXX/ReportServer/Pages/ReportViewer.aspx?%2fTWO%2fBOM+Indented&rs:Command=Render&BOMItem=&#8221; & IBOM & vtype, False, 10, 10, 750, 1250, True

End Sub

Creating the stored procedures for the SSRS report.

Now the tricky part, dealing with the undefined amount of levels that a BOM hierarchy can go down. With the help of Google, I found this forum post – https://community.dynamics.com/gp/f/32/t/39209?pi53330=2#responses. Original credit and thanks to Beat Bucher and Tim Foster for the post and original SQL code. I have modified the original stored procedure to fit my client’s needs. Here is the stored procedure code that I used:

SET ANSI_NULLS ON

GO

SET QUOTED_IDENTIFIER ON

GO

CREATE PROCEDURE [dbo].[usp_BOM_Level_Details] (@current char(31)–, @BOMType smallint

) AS

/*

DROP TABLE #result;

Drop Table #stack;

*/

–DECLARE @current char(31) –> use the 2 lines here to test directly in SQL Studio Mgmt

–SET @current=’BB00069E0000BT9′

SET NOCOUNT ON

–if @current is null set @current = ‘BB00069E0000BT9’

DECLARE @lvl int, @line char(31), @Qty numeric(19,5), @ORD1 int, @UOFM char(9), @comptitm char(31)

CREATE TABLE #stack (item char(31), comptitm char(31), Design_Qty numeric(19,5), ORD1 int, UOFM char(9), lvl int)

CREATE TABLE #result (lvl int, item char(31), comptitm char(31), Qty numeric(19,5), ORD1 int, UOFM char(9),

ord int identity(1,1))

INSERT INTO #stack VALUES (@current, ”,1,1,”,1)

SELECT @lvl = 1

WHILE @lvl > 0

BEGIN

IF EXISTS (SELECT * FROM #stack WHERE lvl = @lvl)

BEGIN

SELECT @current = item, @comptitm = comptitm, @Qty = Design_Qty, @ORD1 = ORD1, @UOFM = UOFM

FROM #stack

WHERE lvl = @lvl

— SELECT @line = replicate(‘-‘,(@lvl – 1)) + ‘ ‘ + @current –> spacing by level

–PRINT @line –> replace this print with an INSERT to another table like #BOM

INSERT #result SELECT @lvl,@current, @comptitm, @Qty, @ORD1, @UOFM

DELETE FROM #stack

WHERE lvl = @lvl

AND item = @current

INSERT #stack

SELECT CMPTITNM, ITEMNMBR, Design_Qty, ORD, UOFM, @lvl + 1

FROM BM00111 –> I edited this for GP

WHERE ITEMNMBR = @current and Component_Status = 1 –and BOMCAT_I = @BOMType –1 –> added BOMCAT for MFG(1) or ENG(2)

ORDER BY ORD –Order by Part Number as in GP Reports CMPTITNM

–ORDER BY POSITION_NUMBER ASC –Order by Position Number–other sequence in GP

IF @@ROWCOUNT > 0

SELECT @lvl = @lvl + 1

END

ELSE

SELECT @lvl = @lvl – 1

END — WHILE

drop table #stack

;WITH CTE as (select ITEMNMBR FROM BM00101)

SELECT T1.lvl,

CASE WHEN T1.lvl = 1 THEN ”

ELSE RTRIM(T1.item)

END as item,

CASE WHEN T1.lvl = 1 THEN RTRIM(T1.item)

ELSE RTRIM(T1.comptitm)

END as comptitm,

T1.Qty, T1.ORD1,

RTRIM(T1.UOFM) as UOFM,

T1.ord

,T2.ITEMDESC

,T2.STNDCOST

,CASE WHEN T1.item in (select ITEMNMBR FROM CTE)

THEN 0

ELSE T2.CURRCOST

END AS CURRCOST

,CASE WHEN T1.item in (select ITEMNMBR FROM CTE) THEN 0

ELSE (T2.CURRCOST * T1.Qty)

END as [Ext Cost]

FROM

#result T1 INNER JOIN IV00101 T2

ON T2.ITEMNMBR = T1.item

ORDER BY ord;

DROP TABLE #result;

GO

Building our SSRS BOM Indented Report

SSRS (SQL Server Reporting Services) is a server-based reporting system from Microsoft and part of the SQL server stack. It can be used to prepare and deliver prints through a web site. You can build your reports with either Report Builder or Visual Studio. For this project, we are going to be using Report Builder. Let’s start creating our Indented BOM report using a wizard.

Creating the Data Connection

1. Start Report Builder either from your computer or the Reporting Services web portal. Select New Report in the left pane and Table or Matrix Wizard in the right pane.SSRS wizard

2. Specify a Data Connection in the Table Wizard

A data connection contains the information to connect to an external data source such as a SQL Server database. Usually, you get the connection information and the type of credentials to use from the data source owner. To specify a data connection, you can use a shared data source from the report server or create an embedded data source that is used only in this report.

3. Click the New Button to create a new Data Source and then build on the Data Source Properties window that opens.SSRS Data Source

4. Enter your Connection Properties for the SQL Server and Dynamics GP company database.

SSRS Data Source connection

5. Click the General tab again. To verify that you can connect to the data source, click Test Connection.

The message “Connection created successfully” appears.

6. Click OK.

Creating our Datasets

1. Right click on your new Data Source to create a Dataset.

2. Choose to use a dataset embedded in my report and a Query type of Stored Procedure. Choose the stored procedure we created earlier. (usp_BOM_Level_Details)

SSRS Dataset

3. Add a Parameter for the Dataset Properties. I named mine @BOMItem

Organize Data into Groups in the Table Wizard

When you select fields to group on, you design a table that has rows and columns that display detail data and aggregated data. To start organizing your data into groups:

1. Navigate to the Insert menu, click on the Table icon and select Table Wizard.

SSRS Table Wizard

2. On the New Table or Matrix window drag the lvl, comptitm, item, ITEMDESC and UOFM to the Row Groups section. Drag the Qty, CURRCOST and Ext_Cost fields to the Values Section.

SSRS Table or Matrix Wizard

3. Click Next and de-select Expand/collapse groups.

Table Wizard step two

4. Remove the sub-grouping totals, format the numbers to the forth decimal place and change the row height to 0.025. Your table should look like the below screen shot when your complete.

clip_image030

5. Change the Tablix Properties for the Row and Column Headers to Repeat on each page.

Tablix Properties

The Final Product

Once complete, you should have a Dynamics GP Bill of Materials Maintenance window like the below screen shot and when you select a Bill Number and click the Print BOM button the SSRS report will open and produce the results in the second screen shot. You can download zip file the stored procedure, Dynamics GP package file and SSRS rdl report from here.

Modified Dynamics GP BOM Window

SSRS Indented Inventory BOM Report

Ready to Do Even More with Dynamics and Business Intelligence?

Check out my other blog posts that can help your company become data-driven organization by exploring your Business Intelligence, BI360, Power BI, Microsoft Dynamics GP and CRM.

Powerful Dynamics GP Field Service Reporting with Power BI

On August 23, 2017, Microsoft announced the release of the Power BI solution template for Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Field Service. The template includes a set of reports designed for field service professionals. The solution template offers a very fast guided experience to create compelling reports on an extensible, scalable, and secure architecture and can be customized as needed. This means that instead of spending your time on plumbing, you can instead spend it on extending and customizing the solution template to meet your organization’s needs.

In this post, we will create the same report functionality inside of Power BI using Dynamics GP Field Service’s service call information. We first need to get the information from the following Field Service tables:

  • SVC00100 – Technician Master
  • SVC00200 – Service Call Master
  • SVC00201 – Service Call Analysis Codes
  • SVC00203 – Service Call Line Detail
  • SVC00901 – Cause Codes Validation
  • SVC00906 – Warranty Validation Codes
  • SVC00907 – Problem Codes Validation
  • SVC00908 – Repair Codes Validation
  • SY03900 – Record Notes Master

Almost all the tables are a straight import of the data except for the Service Call Analysis Code. This table contains Equipment Item Number, Problem Code, Repair Code and three note indexes with the Service Techs’ notes related to the fix. For this data, I created the following view:

                    ALTER View [dbo].[ServiceCallEquipment]

                    AS

                    SELECT [SRVRECTYPE]

                    ,[CALLNBR]

                    ,[LNITMSEQ]

                    ,[EQUIPID]

                    ,[ITEMNMBR]

                    ,[PRDLINE]

                    ,[PROBCDE]

                    ,[CAUSECDE]

                    ,[RPRCODE]

                    ,coalesce(a.TXTFIELD, ”) as [Note_1]

                    ,coalesce(b.TXTFIELD, ”) as [Note_2]

                    ,coalesce(c.TXTFIELD, ”) as [Note_3]

                    FROM [dbo].[SVC00201]

                    LEFT OUTER JOIN dbo.SY03900 a on SVC00201.Note_Index_1 = a.NOTEINDX

                    LEFT OUTER JOIN dbo.SY03900 b on SVC00201.Note_Index_2 = b.NOTEINDX

Now that we have determined our Service Call data points and imported the data into Power BI, we need to create our table relationships. The final table relationship model should look like this:

Power BI Service Call Table Relationships

With our relationships established, we now need to create our measures to be used in our reports. Here are the DAX measures I’ll be creating:

  • Completed Service Calls

            Completed Service Calls = CALCULATE(COUNTROWS(ServiceCalls),FILTER(ServiceCalls,ServiceCalls[SRVSTAT]=”70C”))

  • Open Service Calls

            Open Service Calls = CALCULATE(COUNTROWS(ServiceCalls),FILTER(ServiceCalls,ServiceCalls[SRVSTAT]<>”70C”),ServiceCalls[SRVSTAT]<>”OOC”)

  • Total Completion Time (in Minutes)

            Total Completion Time = SUMX(FILTER(ServiceCalls, ServiceCalls[SRVSTAT]=”70C”),[Completion Time])

  • Avg Completion Time per Order (in Minutes)

            Avg Completion Time per Order = DIVIDE( [Total Completion Time],[Completed Service Calls],0)

  • Equip Service Call Count

            Equip Service Call Count = COUNTROWS(ServiceCallEquipment)

Analyzing Open Service Calls

Now it’s time to create our reports. The first report we are going to create is for our Service Calls or Open Work Orders. For this report, we will use the following charts:

  • Active Work Order – Using a Card visual and Open Service Calls measure.
  • Work Orders by Type – Using a Donut Chart and Open Service Calls measure and Service Type.
  • Work Orders by Status – Using a Donut Chart and Open Service Calls measure and Service Status.
  • Open Work Orders by Resource – Using a Stacked Bar Chart and Open Service Calls measure in the Values section and Service Tech and Customer Name in the Axis section of the chart.
  • The final visual on the report is a matrix to see our open work order details associated with each chart above when click on them to cross filter.

Here is what the Open Work Orders report looks like:

Power BI Service Call Open Orders

Analyzing Completed Work Orders

Time to analyze our completed service call/work orders. For this report, we will use the following charts:

  • Completed Work Order – Using a Card visual and Completed Service Calls measure.
  • Avg Completion Time (in Mins) – Using a Card visual and Completed Service Calls measure.
  • Avg Completion Time per Order by Service Type – Using a Stacked Column Chart and Completed Service Calls measure and Service Type.
  • Avg Completion Time per Order by Service Tech – Using a Stacked Column Chart and Completed Service Calls measure and Service Tech ID.
  • The final visual on the report is a matrix to see our open work order details associated with each chart above when click on them to cross filter.

Here is what the Completed Work Orders report looks like:

Power BI Completed Orders

Analyzing Equipment Repairs

Time to analyze our completed service call/work orders. For this report, we will use the following charts:

  • Equipment Service Call count by Problem Code – Using a Stacked Bar Chart and Equip Service Call Count measure in the values section and Problem Code and Customer Name Axis section.
  • Equipment Service Call count by Repair Code – Using a Stacked Bar Chart and Equip Service Call Count measure in the values section and Repair Code and Customer Name Axis section.
  • The final visual on the report is a matrix to see our open work order details associated with each chart above when click on them to cross filter.

Here is what the Completed Work Orders report looks like:

Power BI Equipment Repair analysis

Conclusion

Stay tuned for the future Power BI developments and an overview of their functionality and for help with building reports like this.

SSIS and PowerShell – A Powerful Combination

PowerShell is a powerful task automation tool from Microsoft. Although SSIS does not provide something like Execute PowerShell Script Task out of the box, it does have an Execute Process Task which can be used to run PowerShell scripts just as easily.

On a recent project, I was tasked with downloading and updating Federal Election Commission, FEC.GOV, Committee and Candidate Election data into Dynamics GP vendor maintenance and eOne Solutions Extender tables. To accomplish this, I created a PowerShell script to download the zip files for the FEC.GOV web site, added this script inside a SSIS package Execute Script task and then added additional data flow tasks to un-zip the files and import into custom SQL tables for use with a SmartConnect integration into Dynamics GP. The final SSIS package looked like the screen shot below.

SSIS Package Control Flow

Here are the detailed steps to create this SSIS package:

1.  Create the two custom tables

SET ANSI_NULLS ON

GO

SET QUOTED_IDENTIFIER ON

GO

SET ANSI_PADDING ON

GO

CREATE TABLE [dbo].[FEC_Candidate](

[Candidate_ID] [varchar](9) NOT NULL,

[Candidate_Name] [varchar](200) NULL,

[Party_Affiliation] [varchar](3) NULL,

[Year_of_Election] [numeric](4, 0) NULL,

[Candidate_State] [varchar](2) NULL,

[Candidate_Office] [varchar](1) NULL,

[Candidate_District] [varchar](2) NULL,

[Incumbent_Challenger_Status] [varchar](1) NULL,

[Candidate_Status] [varchar](1) NULL,

[Principal_Campaign_Committee] [varchar](9) NULL,

[Street1] [varchar](35) NULL,

[Street2] [varchar](35) NULL,

[City] [varchar](35) NULL,

[State] [varchar](2) NULL,

[Zip] [varchar](9) NULL

) ON [PRIMARY]

GO

SET ANSI_PADDING OFF

GO

CREATE TABLE [dbo].[FEC_Committee](

[Committee_ID] [varchar](50) NOT NULL,

[Committee_Name] [varchar](200) NULL,

[Treasurer_Name] [varchar](100) NULL,

[Street1] [varchar](50) NULL,

[Street2] [varchar](50) NULL,

[City] [varchar](50) NULL,

[State] [varchar](50) NULL,

[Zip] [varchar](50) NULL,

[Committee_Designation] [varchar](50) NULL,

[Committee_Type] [varchar](50) NULL,

[Committee_Party] [varchar](50) NULL,

[Filing_Frequency] [varchar](50) NULL,

[Interest_Grp_Category] [varchar](50) NULL,

[Connected_Org_Name] [varchar](200) NULL,

[Candidate_ID] [varchar](50) NULL

) ON [PRIMARY]

GO

SET ANSI_PADDING OFF

GO

2.  Delete Extracted FEC Files – Delete the previous downloaded zip files

a.  Add Script Task to the Control Flow

b.  Add C# script to delete previous extracted files – Add the Script Task to the Control Flow and give it a name “Delete Extracted FEC Files”. Then edit it by choosing the Script Language (C# or VB.NET). I used C# for my solution.

Script Task Editor

C# delete files script

public void Main()

{

string directoryPath = @”D:\KTL\FEC_Downloads\Extract”;

string[] oldFiles = System.IO.Directory.GetFiles(directoryPath, “*.txt”);

foreach (string currFile in oldFiles)

{

FileInfo currFileInfo = new FileInfo(currFile);

currFileInfo.Delete();

}

// TODO: Add your code here

Dts.TaskResult = (int)ScriptResults.Success;

}

3.  Truncate FEC tables – Truncate the custom tables from the previous download

4.  Download FEC files from Website – Attached the below PowerShell script to this data flow task to get the updated FEC data

a.  Create PowerShell script and save as a .ps1 file

Invoke-WebRequest ftp://ftp.fec.gov/FEC/2018/cm18.zip -OutFile D:\KTL\FEC_Downloads\Archive\Committee.zip

Invoke-WebRequest ftp://ftp.fec.gov/FEC/2018/cn18.zip -OutFile D:\KTL\FEC_Downloads\Archive\Candidate.zip

Invoke-WebRequest ftp://ftp.fec.gov/FEC/2018/ccl18.zip -OutFile D:\KTL\FEC_Downloads\Archive\Link.zip

b.  Add PowerShell.ps1 to SSIS Execute Process task – Add the SSIS Execute Process task to the Control Flow and add PowerShell.exe to the Executable field and –F D:\KTL\FEC_Downloads\FEC_Download.ps1 to the Arguments field. The Arguments will need to change based on your system file location and name.

Execute Process for PowerShell script

5.  Foreach loop to Extract the zip files

a.  Add a Variable to the SSIS package – Add a variable to the package named “ZipFullPath”

SSIS Package variable

b.  Add a Foreach Loop to the Control Flow and then add then the following to the Collection and Variable Mappings within the Foreach Loop Editor

Foreach Loop folder location

Foreach Loop variable

6.   Add a Script Task inside the Foreach Loop

a.  Inside the Foreach Loop add the Script Task and open the Editor. Use C# with the ReadOnlyVariables shown below.

C# Script Editor

b.  Click on the Edit Script and add the following script

public void Main()

{

string zipfullpath=Dts.Variables[“User::ZipFullPath”].Value.ToString();

string inputfolder=Dts.Variables[“$Package::InputFolder”].Value.ToString();

using (ZipArchive arch=ZipFile.OpenRead(zipfullpath))

{

foreach(ZipArchiveEntry entry in arch.Entries)

{

entry.ExtractToFile(Path.Combine(inputfolder,entry.FullName));

}

}

File.Delete(zipfullpath);

// TODO: Add your code here

Dts.TaskResult = (int)ScriptResults.Success;

}

The final script should look like this:

C# zip extract script

7. Add a Data Flow task to the Control Flow – Add a Data flow task and two data flow from the Committee text file and one for the Candidate text file into each of the custom tables created in the first step.

Data Flow screen shot

Conclusion

Hope this helps show you some of the possibilities that you can create by combining PowerShell with SSIS.