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Change-based Email Alerts in Dynamics AX 2012

Change-based alerts in Dynamics AX 2012 are an underutilized tool that can create greater transparency within your environment by helping you keep up-to-date with system changes. The two types of alerts that are currently available are ‘notification’ and ‘email’ – the former being internal to the AX environment, while the latter is external. This post will focus on the email portion of alerts, from potential uses to system setup to testing functionality.

Change-based alerts are commonly used for exactly what the name implies – when system data is changed or manipulated. The options that AX 2012 provides are:

  • When a field’s value has changed
  • When a field is set to a specific value
  • When a record is created
  • When a record is deleted

As an example, suppose you are a Buying Manager and you oversee all purchase orders submitted to vendors. You would like to be notified any time that a PO is deleted so that you can inquire to your staff about the change. In this case, we would setup an alert rule on the Purchase Orders form within the Accounts Payable module. Before creating the rule however, several other configuration steps must be completed first.

User Options

Any user that wishes to receive email alerts must have a valid email address assigned to their user account. Navigate to System Administration > Users > Users, select a user account and click the Options button to access Figure 1.0.

Figure 1.0 - User Options
Figure 1.0: User Options form.

Batch Group

A batch group should be created in order to properly setup the batch job schedule. Call the group “Alerts” or something similar. Navigate to System Administration > Setup > Batch Group, as shown in figure 1.1. Also ensure that your batch server is enabled by highlighting your newly created group, then clicking on the Batch Servers tab and adding it to the “Selected Servers” side of the form (figure 1.1.1).

Figure 1.1 - Batch Group
Figure 1.1: Batch Group form. 

Figure 1.1.1 - Batch Server
Figure 1.1.1: Batch servers tab.

Email Parameters

If not already configured, the email parameters form must be filled out with your outgoing server’s SMTP information. Navigate to System Administration > Setup > System > E-mail Parameters, as shown in figure 1.2.

Figure 1.2 - Email Parameters
Figure 1.2: E-mail Parameters form.

 Email Template

Email alerts utilize a template that contains the subject & body text of the email to be sent. This template can contain static text, HTML, and/or merge data which will pull data directly from the alert itself. For more information on adding data to your email template, reference the Microsoft TechNet article located at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa834423.aspx

To begin creating your template, navigate to Organization Administration > Setup > E-mail Templates, as shown in figure 1.3. Create a new line, and provide it an ID, description, default language, as well as the sender’s name and email address you would like displayed to the user receiving the message (this does not have to be a valid person/email within your organization). Then, create a new line in the lower-half of the form and specify the language, subject text, and layout format type you would like to use. In our example from before, a good subject for this template might be, “Record has been deleted in Purchase Orders.”

Figure 1.3 - Email Template
Figure 1.3: E-mail Templates form.

Once this is complete, click on the E-mail Message button on the form to edit the email’s body.

Alert Parameter

Now that we have a template created, we need to tell the system to use this template when an email alert is generated. This is specified in the System Parameters form, accessed via System Administration > Setup > System Parameters. Click on the Alerts tab, and under Email Alerts, find your newly created template ID in the dropdown, as shown in figure 1.4.

Figure 1.4 - System Parameters
Figure 1.4: System Parameters form.

Continuation to follow…

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CARMEL TECHNOLOGY FIRM HOSTING NATIONAL SUPPLY CHAIN SUMMIT

CARMEL, IN – Blue Horseshoe Solutions, a worldwide leader in the development of cutting edge supply chain technology, will host more than 75 leaders from 30 companies across the nation at the annual Blue Horseshoe Supply Chain Summit, September 9-11 in Carmel.

Held at the Renaissance Hotel & Conference Center, the gathering of some of the nation’s top logistics experts is designed to help companies address the growing complexities around distribution and fulfillment of their products.

“We are very excited to host this event in Carmel. This is the largest summit we have hosted to date and the event grows each year,” said Brian Cason, Executive Vice President for Supply Chain Services.

The summit will feature presentations on trends in supply chain technology with industry leaders, a Solution Center where attendees can review different products and offerings from Blue Horseshoe and event sponsors, customer case studies and presentations and roundtable discussions focusing on specific supply chain applications.

The annual event is held near Blue Horseshoe headquarters along the Meridian Corporate Corridor. The company also has operations in Colorado, Ohio and North Carolina.

Cason said the growing popularity of this summit is more proof that Carmel is becoming a focal point in the high-tech industry.  “The best minds of the industry gather here in Carmel, proving that Carmel is becoming recognized as a technology hotbed. And Indiana continues to be a leader in supply chain and distribution,” said Cason.

This year’s attendees will be traveling from as far West as California and Oregon, as far East as New York and New Hampshire; and will come from as far South as Texas, Alabama and Florida.

More information on the Blue Horseshoe Summit can be found here: http://bluehorseshoesummit.com/

ABOUT BLUE HORSESHOE

Blue Horseshoe is a privately held solution services firm based in Carmel, Indiana. It provides expert management and strategy consulting, system design, implementation, and optimization, and distribution design services to Fortune 500 and mid-market businesses throughout the world. Created by a group of seasoned business leaders with over two decades of unique business, engineering, and supply chain experience; we are committed to being a different kind of consulting organization. We are consulting professionals, not professional consultants. We assess business needs and apply world-class business applications to improve profitability and increase efficiency. Blue Horseshoe was founded in 2001 and its headquarters are located at 11590 N. Meridian Street, Carmel, Indiana. Additional office locations include Columbus, Ohio, Denver, Colorado and Charlotte, North Carolina.

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Using XPaths to set variable values in XSLT transforms for Dynamics AX

Using variables in XSLTs is often confusing for developers because they behave more like constants in other languages. You cannot change the value of a variable, and they can only be called within the scope of their declaration. When a value occurring in a descendant node determines the transform behavior at higher levels of the XML, XPaths can be utilized to set variable values based on the descendant XML nodes.

For Example, say we regularly send XMLs out of AX consisting of employee names and addresses for a various physical locations of company ABC.  Each XML is unique to exactly one physical location of the company. The program receiving the XML requires that the very first node of the XML provides information indicating that the incoming XML is for an international or domestic location. Therefore, we want change the very first node name from “Envelope” to either “International” or “Domestic” depending on the country provided for the company location (highlighted).

Visual 1

 

For the given XML, we can use a simple XPath to find the country value at the very beginning of the stylesheet. The XPath needs to include any relevant attributes and name spaces for all nodes. This XML has 2 namespaces signified with “xmlns.” We will call them Message=”http://schemas.microsoft.com/dynamics/2011/01/documents/Message” and Company=”http://schemas.microsoft.com/dynamics/2008/01/documents/Company” in the XSLT. The only attribute on the above XML is the name on the Company node. For each node, the general XPath format is “NameSpace:NodeName[@Attribute=’AttributeValue’].” If a node does not have a namespace or an attribute, then those parts should be left off. The “/” is used to separate parent and child nodes.

Therefore, the complete XPath to the country node is Message:Envelope/Message:Body/Message:MessageParts/Company:Company[@name='ABC']/Company:Location/Company:Country.

Now, all that’s left is to use our XPath in the context of an XSLT. There is more than one way to write an XSLT to perform the above transform on the given XML.
Here is one option:

Visual 2

Note that since the template matches on Message:Envelope, that node is not included in the XPath. The variable “country” is declared under the <xsl:template match=”Message:Envelope”> node, so it can only be called from within that template.

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Microsoft Partners Mazik Global and Blue Horseshoe Consulting Join Forces to Launch MazikCare, a Healthcare Solution Built on Microsoft Dynamics AX

Microsoft-based solution focuses on Supply Chain, Revenue Cycle, Patient Relationship Management and more for the Healthcare Industry. Chicago, IL (PRWEB) August 26, 2014

The current US healthcare sector includes more than 830,000 hospitals, doctors offices, emergency care units, nursing homes, and social services providers. This massive industry is currently experiencing many pressures including dwindling revenue, skyrocketing costs, and increasingly complex regulatory requirements. Sid Siddiqui, founder of Mazik Global, said, More and more physicians are unhappy and looking for easy to use mobile solutions to manage their day to day workload while dealing with ever increasing complexities in clinical operations. We have created an easy-to-learn, easy-to-use solution that delivers higher quality of care at a lower cost, offers more transparency to patients and constituents, and proactively maintains compliance. MazikCare, the Microsoft solution for healthcare, helps healthcare organizations meet their targeted goals in todays difficult, competitive and unstable environment.

Chris Cason, President of Blue Horseshoe Consulting said, A solution that enables one version of the truth across clinical and back office functions is a solution that many Healthcare providers should consider. Leveraging Microsoft Dynamics AX as a foundation for a mobile Healthcare solution just makes sense.

MazikCare is a fully-integrated, ERP-based solution that offers a unique approach while meeting HIPPA compliance and meaningful use objectives. The full breadth of the solution includes mobile applications, materials management, financial management, facility management and pre/post patient care to control cost. MazikCare also makes it easy for administrators, nurses, and physicians to use the new touch-and-go functionality during patient engagement. MazikCare improves the entire spectrum of the healthcare experience for the patient in meaningful ways. The results are measurable increases in efficiency, improved customer loyalty, and a staff whose time is never wasted.

Former CIO of University Health Consortium Pat Becker reviewed MazikCare and said, “Built on the solid foundation of Microsoft Dynamics AX, MazikCare provides healthcare specific solutions that are intuitive and address the most painful difficulties facing providers today. Training employees to use MazikCare is easy because it employs the same user interface as other Microsoft applications, making implementation much quicker allowing the achievement of positive benefits sooner.”

More information about Blue Horseshoe can be found at http://www.bhsolutions.com

More information about MazikCare can be found at http://www.MazikCare.com.

About Mazik Global:

Mazik Global is an experienced and time-proven global ERP solution development and implementation company. With 300+ expert resources serving our customers world-wide, Mazik Global is recognized for its product engineering, problem solving, and customer-centric approach combined with years of industry and technology expertise. Mazik offers a global delivery model with rapid and economical deployment methodologies. As the key development partner of Microsoft Dynamics AX and Microsoft Cloud products, Mazik provides customers a unique experience in ERP, Cloud, Mobile and Enterprise social networking solutions.

About Blue Horseshoe Consulting:

Blue Horseshoe is a privately held solution services firm based in North America; providing expert management & strategy consulting, system design, implementation, and optimization, and distribution design services to Fortune 500 and mid-market businesses throughout the world. The company is also a 3-time honoree of Inc. Magazines 500/5000 list of the Fastest Growing Private Companies in America; selected as an Indiana Companies to Watch in 2010; and ranks on the Indianapolis Business Journals (IBJ) lists of Fastest-Growing Private Companies, Largest Indianapolis Area Software Developers, and Largest Indianapolis Area Computer Consulting Companies.

For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/08/prweb12118712.htm

 

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Blue Horseshoe Solutions, “The Supply Chain Authority,” August Video Blog

Blue Horseshoe, a leading supply chain solutions firm, has released the next edition of the monthly video blog “The Supply Chain Authority”. Each month leaders from Blue Horseshoe will weigh in on timely industry topics, discuss specific activities happening within Blue Horseshoe, and review on-going trade show and conference support.  Our goal is to provide thought leadership and insight on the issues and challenges impacting the supply chain.

The August edition of the Supply Chain Authority provides an update from Chris Elliott on our 2014 Supply Chain Trends series, Rich Eby, Vice President of Global Logistics with Cengage shares information about our decades-long history working with them, and Jim Butler provides information about the upcoming Blue Horseshoe Supply Chain Summit.

About Blue Horseshoe

Blue Horseshoe is a privately held solution services firm based in North America; providing expert management & strategy consulting, system design, implementation, and optimization, and distribution design services to Fortune 500 and mid-market businesses throughout the world.  We assess business needs and apply world-class business applications to improve profitability and increase efficiency.

Blue Horseshoe was founded in 2001 and its headquarters are located in Carmel, Indiana. Additional office locations include Charlotte, North Carolina, Columbus, Ohio and Denver, Colorado.

Blue Horseshoe Strategy Division is a management consulting firm that has been providing expert supply chain consulting solutions to Fortune 500 and mid-market businesses throughout the world since 1983.  For more about Blue Horseshoe Strategy Division, visit www.bhsolutions.com.

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“Our business goal is to double in size every five years. We will be adding products to complement our existing portfolio and entertaining possible acquisitions. We’re going to the next level. We needed a system that could keep pace. WAX and TRAX complement Dynamics AX and give us the right solution to support our growth.”

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