Archive for April, 2011

New Prices for Microsoft Certifications Exams

April 30th, 2011

After greatly increasing the number of certifications required by partners It is no suprise to ifnd thta these ahvd suddenly increased in price by a very signifcant % way above any sort of justifiied inflation in the middle of a recession – but that is part of the strategy – invest  a lot or don’t be a partner is the message

Effective July 1, 2011 the retail price of Microsoft Certifications will increase worldwide.* This change reflects the significant value that our certifications provide to our customers and our continual investment in new and enhanced Microsoft Certifications and other program improvements.

*Price change will be effective in India on August 1, 2011.

Ssome of the prices for Microsoft Certification exams for students and academic institutions will increase, but  the discount will remain significant.

Exam prices can vary by country or region. 

Note Microsoft Learning does not anticipate that this price increase will impact Microsoft Certified Master (MCM), Microsoft Certified Architect (MCA), Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA), and Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Certification exams.

MindManager – Power markers – special offer

April 28th, 2011

MindManager is often used to create dashboard and project plan maps that contain many levels of detail specifying action items, resources, and due dates. Especially when used to manage team activities, these maps can become complex.

 Power Markers is an add-on for MindManager 8 and 9 for Windows that generates real time lists to help you quickly assess priorities, identify upcoming deadlines, and navigate large maps.Power Markers generates a complementary list view of MindManager maps organized by your tags, markers and topic colors to help you quickly find essential information and navigate larger maps with ease.

View relevant topics in the Hot List task pane. Power Markers automatically groups your map topics into categories based on their markers

  • Use pre-defined automatic markers that are applied or removed based on a specific condition, such as due date
  • Define markers directly on the map using “active legends” map parts and save your own custom marker sets for use on other maps
  • Easily create a SWOT analysis list in the hot list pane by using markers to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, regardless of their location in the map
  • Get started easily using pre-built templates and map parts
  • Mindjet Power Markers is available in English and is compatible with MindManager Versions 8 and 9 for Windows.

    Take advantage of our introductory offer reduced from $79 per user to $59  (but be quick)

    SQL Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 CTP

    April 24th, 2011

    The Microsoft SQL Server Sustained Engineering team  recently announced the availability of SQL Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 CTP. Both the Service Pack and Feature Pack updates are available for download on the Microsoft Download Center. Service Pack 1 for SQL Server 2008 R2 includes product improvements based on requests from the SQL Server community, and hotfix solutions provided in SQL Server 2008 R2 RTM Cumulative Update 1 to 6.

    Key improvements in Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 are:

    • Dynamic Management Views For Increased Supportability
      sys.dm_exec_query_stats DMV is extended with additional columns to improve supportabilities over troubleshooting long-running queries. New DMVs and XEvents on select performance counters are introduced to monitor OS configurations and resource conditions related to the SQL Server instance.
    •  ForceSeek For Improved Querying Performance
      Syntax for FORCESEEK index hint has been modified to take optional parameters allowing it to control the access method on the index even further. Using old style syntax for FORCESEEK remains unmodified and works as before. In addition to that, a new query hint, FORCESCAN has been added. It complements the FORCESEEK hint allowing specifying ‘scan’ as the access method to the index. No changes to applications are necessary if you do not plan to use this new functionality.

      Data-tier Application Component Framework (DAC Fx) For Improved Database Upgrade
      The new Data-tier Application (DAC) Framework v1.1 and DAC upgrade wizard enable the new in-place upgrade service for database schema management. The new in-place upgrade service will upgrade the schema for an existing database in SQL Azure and the versions of SQL Server supported by DAC. A DAC is an entity that contains all of the database objects and instance objects used by an application. A DAC provides a single unit for authoring, deploying, and managing the data-tier objects. For more information, see Designing and Implementing Data-tier Applications.

    •  Disk SpaceControl For PowerPivot
      This update introduces two new configuration settings that let you determine how long cached data stays in the system. In the new Disk Cache section on the Power Pivot configuration page, you can specify how long an inactive database remains in memory before it is unloaded. You can also limit how long a cached file is kept on disk before it is deleted.

    Happy St George’s Day

    April 23rd, 2011

    Happy St George’s Day and Happy Easter

    Saint George (ca. 275/281 – 23 April 303), the Patron Saint of England,  was, according to tradition, a Roman soldier from Syria Palaestina and a priest in the Guard of Diocletian, who is venerated as a Christian martyr.

     Saint George is one of the most venerated saints in the Catholic ), Anglican, Eastern Orthodox, and also the Oriental Orthodox churches.

     He is immortalized in the tale of Saint George and the Dragon and a aiitng by Raphakl and he was one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers a group of saints venerated together in Roman Catholicism because their intercession is believed to be particularly effective, especially against various diseases.

    The episode of St George and the Dragon was a legend brought back with the Crusaders . The earliest known depiction of the legend is from early eleventh-century Cappadocia, (in the iconography of the Eastern Orthodox Church, George had been depicted as a soldier since at least the seventh century); the earliest known surviving narrative text is an eleventh-century Georgian text.

     His memorial is celebrated on 23 April, and he is regarded as one of the most prominent military saints.

    Dynamics Ax 2012 – target release date

    April 23rd, 2011

    The news from  Convergence 2011 in Atlanta (US) about the next major release MS Dynamics Ax 2012 is  that general availability  will be available in August 2011.

    (Features and date come with a MS disclaimer, so all tentative right now.)

    Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool x64

    April 21st, 2011

    This tool checks your computer for infection by specific, prevalent malicious software (including Blaster, Sasser, and Mydoom) and helps to remove the infection if it is found. Microsoft will release an updated version of this tool on the second Tuesday of each month.

    Microsoft Dynamics Ax 2009 sp1 update for India for TCS and TDS

    April 21st, 2011

    A white paper describes a country-specific update that was released for India for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 SP1.

    In accordance with Indian legislation, you must calculate and post Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) and Tax Collected at Source (TCS) amounts on transactions. You can create a transaction journal that includes multiple lines to calculate and post TDS and TCS amounts in a voucher for the following transactions:
    Purchase invoices

    • Advance payments made to vendors through cash and bank transactions
    • Bank charges
    • Sales invoices
    • Advance payments received from customers

    For more information about the hotfix download, see Microsoft Knowledge Base article 2521264. For more information about other features that apply to India, refer to the Applications and Business Processes Help. Information that is specific to India includes (IND) in the title.

    Microsoft Dynamics Ax 2012 new features

    April 21st, 2011

    Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 introduces many new features and technologies that were not available in previous releases. Additionally, changes introduced in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 update a number of existing features and technologies.

    Many of  the technical changes have already been discussed in this blog and there equally impressive enhancements in the fucnitoanl areas. .

    To learn more about the many  new and changed features for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 that will give yoru business a competitive edge and improved controls and process automation, please contact us to find out more  because the release is imminent.

    Synergy Software Systems has participated in the TAP beta testing programme for Microsoft Dynamics Ax 2012  and is also a member of the Microsoft Partner Advisory Board for finance. As an example of the enhancemeents here is some information released by Microsoft on the changes to financial dimensions:

    April 14th, 2011

    Microsoft’s Cloud ERP Plans

    announcement this week that it would begin offering its Dynamics ERP
    (enterprise resource planning) software via the Azure cloud platform drew
    significant interest from attendees of the Convergence conference in Atlanta, but
    users and partners both have questions for Microsoft to answer about its plans.

    With Azure,
    Microsoft said it can deliver ERP at scale for lower cost, through means such
    as multi-tenancy, an architecture that differs from traditional hosting by
    allowing many companies to share the same instance of an application, while
    keeping their data private. This approach enables vendors to apply upgrades
    frequently and more easily to customers, and is more economical.

    Microsoft anticipates
    many hybrid deployments.

    Microsoft may
    have some success convincing customers with smaller IT shops to move to Azure, A
    single IT staffer may be a database administrator, network technician and
    Exchange server supporter,. If the ERP system was moved to Azure, that could
    free up time for projects that create new benefits, instead of keeping the
    lights on..

    How will  a cloud deployment  integrate and co-exist with other systems ? Microsoft
    will tackle cloud integration with technologies like Azure Service Bus,

    pricing, helps customers avoid large up-front costs, but in the long run may
    end up costing more.

    Dynamics ERP has historically been sold and delivered strictly through
    Microsoft’s vast partner channel, whether in on-premises or hosted form.
    Partners have therefore been the primary “face” for Dynamics
    customers, not Microsoft itself. They also depend on ongoing revenue from
    services engagements.  Microsoft hasn’t
    given partners much information so far

    Microsoft is
    certainly trying to hammer that message home. “It is hugely important for
    us to take the entire ERP ecosystem into the cloud.”

    . The first
    Dynamics application to hit Azure will be NAV 7, scheduled to be released next
    year. That means it could be several years before the entire Dynamics lineup is
    ported to Azure.

    Despite that
    timeline, Microsoft does not consider itself late to the cloud ERP game
    compared to competitors like NetSuite or SAP, and its approach is deliberately
    designed to ensure customer success, “Nobody’s doing it in the cloud at
    scale today. Everyone who’s doing it today has massive issues. They’re largely
    figuring it out,”. Those challenges include privacy, partner models and
    ISV ecosystems,

    Be Safe in the Desert

    April 12th, 2011

     4-Wheel driving and camping in the desert is  a fun and enjoyable family pastime. However, the desert is a dangerous place when you get stuck, or lost.

     Take elementary  safety precautions whether travelling on your own with friends or with a guided tour:

    •  Always travel with at least two vehicles with you
    •  Tell family and friends of your plans and have some prearranged check in times
    • Take plenty of water and some for the car just in case it overheats
    • Have some basic desert driving kit with you, such as a shovel, sand mats and tow ropes
    • We also recommend you take a GPS with you, so should you get stuck you can know your position when calling for help
    • Take a first aid kit
    • Take spare fuel
    • Ideally take a 1 day 4 wheel driving course to learn the basics of how to set your tyre pressures, how to park on a slope etc
    • A map and a charged mobile phone – Binoculars are useful – many 4 wheel cars have a compass- in a sandstorm it maybe the only  ay to find your way back to a main road.
    • Remember it gets dark quickly in this part of the world – the desert also gets cold at night
    • Though the desert may seem lifeless you may still encounter scorpions and snakes and stout footwear rather than sandals should be considered if you leave the vehicle . Camels , goats, or other vehicles may appear unexpectedly when you cross the ridge of a dune.
    • A brightly coloured flag can help people locate you.
    • Take care that you are not exposed to sunburn through a side window when you are driving in one direction for a long period – a tinted screen or long sleeves may be needed – sunscreen cream makes sense
    • Check your spare tyre . Tyres vary considerably, and desert driving for example needs different tyres and tyre pressure than wet driving. Most UAE cars should be fitted with tyres to withstand heat, but some imported cars may not have appropriate tyres.
    • A parasol or sun hats if you want to get out
    • Don’t expect to find loos, or shops, or fuel stations close by
    • Be aware – it’s easy to get your car scratched and bumped – and yourself – Check your insurance both for yourself and your car- to see what is excluded.
    • Enjoy yourself and come back safely! Remember:
      •  you will need to reset your tyre pressures at the first opportunity
      • the rules of the road apply when you leave the desert.
      • donlt forget to make your pre-arranged check in call so your emergency contact knows you are at a fast food restaurant and not stuck in he desert