Archive for November, 2014

Dynamics CRM 2015 released – ask Synergy Software Systems,Dubai

November 27th, 2014

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 is now available for download, and CRM Online trials also feature the new release.

CRM 2015 enhancements, range from very specific features like hierarchical entities, Outlook and Exchange synchronization, and improved search to improvements in the tablet interfaces and new business rules capabilities.

Microsoft expects Dynamics CRM Online to reach more than 130 markets in 44 languages before the end of 2014.
CRM 2015 also marks the beginning of a new integration push.

The integration with Microsoft Dynamics Marketing (MDM) now includes a tool to bring sales teams into the marketing planning process, allowing them to review and control which accounts will receive which MDM marketing campaigns.
In addition to deepening the MDM integration, Microsoft announced new integration plans for Dynamics CRM with Capptain, Cortana, and Thunderhead.com.

A partnership between Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Thunderhead.com was also recently announced by Bob Stutz, corporate vice president of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, in a blog post. “By combining their strengths alongside Microsoft Dynamics CRM, we are going to change the way you build engagement with your customers,” he writes.

With Thunderhead.com, Stutz says, “you can very simply develop and visualize a customer journey path, with relevant activities that cross multiple channels, so that your customers can interact with you in the manner that best suits them. At the same time, you are able to garner fresh insights into their digital footprint, to see how they are interacting with you and what their behavior patterns are.”

Orchestrate Journeys as Unique as Your Customers

CRM 2015 – Synergy Software Systems takes a closer look

November 26th, 2014

With the release of Dynamics CRM 2015, Microsoft made available the related tools including the new Report Authoring Extension The Report Extension (required to build FetchXML reports) is now compatible with Visual Studio 2012.
SQL Server Data Tools – Business Intelligence for Visual Studio 2012 must be installed, together with .NET Framework 4.5.2

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 Report Authoring Extension (CRM 2015 BIDS)
Latest version: 07.00.0000.3543 – 17 November 2014
Download link: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=45013

Microsoft updated its iPad app for Dynamics CRM (App Store) with CRM 2015 support.
The App description starts with an important note:
For CRM 2015, this app is supported on iOS 6, 7, and 8.
For CRM 2013, it is supported on iOS 6 and 7.

•Use multiple dashboards on the go
•Personalize your Home page
•Create records and capture notes while disconnected
•Support for additional languages
•Bug fixes

National Day U.A.E. 2014 – Synergy Software Systems – offices closed 2 December

November 24th, 2014

The National Day holiday for public sector workers in the UAE will run from Tuesday, December 2 to Thursday, December 4, with work resuming on Sunday, December 7, it has been announced.

The private sector will get a day’s paid holiday on the occasion of the UAE’s 43rd National Day.
As such, December 2 will be a day off for Synergy Software Systems and our offices will be closed.

Fireworks, a car rally and military parades are planned for November 28 and 29, and December 2
– On Saturday November 29, there will be a rally of 1,000 luxury and classic cars. The parade will start at Meydan and move to Jumeirah and then to Boulevard Avenue.
– The grand celebrations on Tuesday December 2 will include a military parade and mounted bands in which all Dubai government departments will participate.
– Only those with permits will be allowed to take part in National Day activities. The public can watch the shows ‘live’ on screens fixed at squares and roundabouts.

Cautionary note – Fines, penalties

Have a great time but be aware: Eighty police patrol vehicles will be out on the roads on which the parades will be conducted to regulate entry and exit of cars from these streets. The police patrols have been assigned to divert traffic to alternative routes, he added. Deterrent penalties, including impounding the vehicle for a month, will be imposed on those who violate traffic rules during the celebrations.

Those who cause trouble on the roads by random vehicle marches, or lean out of the windows or sunroofs of their vehicles, or drive their cars recklessly endangering people’s lives, will be fined Dh2,000 and will earn 12 black points and their vehicles impounded for a month. Motorcycle riders who violate the rules will face the same penalties and bikes without licence will be confiscated immediately.

20 mobile radars will be on the roads during National Day celebrations in addition to 20 day and night patrols, especially on Mohammed bin Zayed Road and Dubai Hatta Road.

Note:
One person died during last year’s National Day celebrations because of the driver’s negligence. About 3,000 cars were impounded for a month and their drivers fined last year.

Atlas 6 release for Dynamics Ax – ask Synergy Software Systems

November 24th, 2014

I was able to catch up with the Ataas team at Convergence Barcelona 2014 earlier this November. and to see the Atlas 6.0 launch experience.

Some key new features:
• Blending data from many data sources; Microsoft Dynamics AX, CRM, OLAP cubes & external database, SSAS & Oracle.
• The new ‘Atlas Desktop Client’ with options for visualising your data, blending your information, and building dashboard reports & charts to paint a true BI picture of your company.
• For the first time, the capability to Report and Upload on the move as you access Desktop dashboards and visualisation canvases through mobiles and tablets.
Blend business data easily into your existing PowerPoint, Excel, Word & Outlook documents
• Drill down to source transactions
• Combination of reporting & upload styles.

I am pleased to advise some important dates to which that we have all been looking forward:

Release Dates
Atlas 6.0 General Availability: 8th of December 2014 – Available to all customers and prospects.
Atlas 6.0 Upgrade Scripts: 1st February 2014

New like-for-like License keys will be issued to each customer who has a current AEP subscription.
An additional add-on will be installed to assist the transition from Atlas 5.1 x to 6.0.
Please note:
Atlas 5.1 will be withdrawn from the market for new customers from 1st March 2015.

SQL Server 2012 SP2 Cumulative Update 3

November 23rd, 2014

Microsoft has released SQL Server 2012 SP2 Cumulative Update 3, which is Build 11.0.5556.
This CU has 34 hotfixes in the public fix list.
If you are running SQL Server 2012, then this is the build you should be planning to install, after you have done your testing.

They have also released SQL Server 2012 SP1 Cumulative Update 13, which is Build 11.0.3482.
It only has 10 hotfixes in the public fix list.
We recommend you should be planning to move from the SP1 branch to the SP2 branch sooner, rather than later.
The RTM branch of SQL Server 2012 has been retired.

Patch Tuesday woes November 2014

November 23rd, 2014

Last week’s patches.

Some serious problems with MS14-066 (KB2992611), (the SChannel patch). This patch is reported to cause severe performance problems on SQL Server, problems with the Chrome browser communicating with IIS web servers, and disconnections of TLS 1.2 sessions during the key exchange process. There are also compatibility problems with IBM’s B2B Integrator and File Gateway.

Also problems with MS14-065 (KB3003057), which is this month’s cumulative security update for Internet Explorer. Problems include crashes of IE 11, inability to connect to the Internet after installing the patch, and incompatibilities with specific software including Epim and the IWebBrowser interface.

MS14-070 (KB2989935) is reported to cause unexpected behavior with Websphere Application Server. In most of these cases, uninstalling the patches fixes the problems.

Meanwhile, a new “out of band” patch was released. Patch releases outside of the regular Patch Tuesday schedule are relatively rare, and generally reserved for very severe zero day type vulnerabilities are that already being exploited or have been publicly disclosed and thus the risk of imminent exploit is high. This one is a little different, though. Last week’s release was unusual in that the Advance Notification the week before announced the impending release of 16 patches but on Patch Tuesday, only 14 updates appeared. Two numbers, MS14-068 and MS14-075, were deferred with the label “Release date to be determined.”

MS14-068 (KB3011780) was released today, November 18. The vulnerability that it addresses is rated critical and affects all currently supported versions of Windows Server – 2003, 2008/2008 R2, 2012/2012 R2 – but it was reported privately and the attacker has to have valid domain logon credentials to be able to exploit it.

MS14-068 addresses a checksum vulnerability in Kerberos Key Distribution Center (KDC) that, due to failure to properly validate signatures, can allow certain types of Kerberos service tickets to be forged. An attacker can use this to elevate privileges remotely, gaining domain administrator privileges with an unprivileged domain user account. The attacker would be able to impersonate any domain user and join any domain group. Obviously this would give the attacker full control over the domain.

Windows Server domain controllers that are set up to function as Kerberos KDCs should be patched as soon as possible. This includes server core installations. In addition to fixing the Kerberos vulnerability, the update also includes some additional defense-in-depth system hardening. For that reason, it should also be applied to Windows client systems – Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1 – even though they are not at risk from the Kerberos vulnerability.

Dynamics Ax 2012 R3 CU8 released -ask Synergy Software Systems

November 21st, 2014

The Dynamics AX In-Market Engineering team released Cumulative Update 8 for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 (6.3.1000.309) with KB2998197 on Nov 19, 2014. This release includes all previously released cumulative updates for Dynamics AX 2012 R2 plus additional hotfixes, regulatory updates, and enhancements to existing business processes.
Cumulative update 8 is the first cumulative update for Microsoft Dynamics Ax 2012 R3. (There were no cumulative updates numbered 1 – 7 for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3. )
Before you install this cumulative update package read the CU8 install guide.
Cumulative update 8 is also available for download via the LCS updates page
The known issues in CU8 can be found by using the Issue search tool in Lifecycle Services. Log in to Lifecycle Services using your CustomerSource or PartnerSource account, and then in the Issue search box, enter “CU8 known issue”.
(NOTE: Be sure to enter “CU8 known issue”, otherwise you’ll get different search results.)

What’s New Overview
Human resources
Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) features>:
• Define and view eligibility and benefit limits for your organization.
• Set up case security.
• Create and manage FMLA cases.
• Run reports.
Forecast positions:
• Copy the worker’s fixed compensation earnings to the forecast position’s earnings budget cost element.
• Copy a forecast position with its attributes to a different budget planning scenario.
• Add cost element lines that include compensation increases to the forecast position.
• Use the forecast position’s cost element start date as the effective date of the budget plan line.
• Enter upcoming compensation table increases so that the budgeted earnings costs will include the increases.

Procurement and sourcing
Create a contact record from the record of an unsolicited vendor.
As part of the process for creating new users, Vendor portal administrators can add a vendor who will sign into the portal by using an email address from various providers, such as Yahoo.com or Live.com. Microsoft Dynamics AX authenticates the user via email.
Vendor portal signup improvements include being able to specify a default country for vendors, require specific fields in the signup forms, and to specify levels of product categories for vendors.

Production control
Use recycled products in formulas.

Project management and accounting
Enhancements to revenue recognition performance enables you to:
• Set up recurring revenue recognition for fixed price projects
• Recognize revenue on a straight line basis for fixed-price projects.
• Calculate and post the percent complete revenue recognition on a fixed-price project more quickly.

Public Sector In Procurement and Sourcing:
• Specify that a published RFQ having a specific solicitation type is visible only to vendors who are included on the RFQ.
• Specify which elements to allow vendors to see on the Closed requests for quotations page.
• For public sector users, the Send button on the RFQ Action Pane is replaced by a Send and publish button, which allows one-step distribution to vendors.
• Vendor users can search the Vendor portal to see whether their organization is already registered, and add themselves to that record. This can streamline the signup process.
• In Accounts Payable, when approval or a contract in the form of a purchase order is not required, you can quickly create invoices at the same time as creating records for the vendors.
• You can generate an account for a vendor directly from the Invoice form.
• You can also import a file of information for multiple one-time vendors and corresponding invoices, and create vendor accounts and accompanying invoices.

Retail
Shared shifts can be used in Microsoft Dynamics AX Retail and Modern point-of-sale (POS) devices.
Create role-based screen layouts for Modern POS on Windows phones.
Apply filters to product searches on any Modern POS device.
Search for products by using product categories or from within a retail product catalog on any Modern POS device.
Compare product details side by side and provide an enhanced product details view on any Modern POS device.
Resize columns on the Modern POS transaction screen.
In Retail essentials, migrate and view transactions migrated from Microsoft Dynamics Retail Management System.
Modern POS clients can seamlessly shift to offline processing mode.
A much simplified self-service deployment option is now available for stores.
Retail Hardware Station and Modern POS offline databases can be deployed by using the mass deployment toolkit.

Transportation management
A load building workbench to automatically build loads based on the templates and strategy that you define.

Warehouse management
Enhancements in warehouse management include the ability to:
• Use cross-docking to move packages of products through a warehouse while using limited or no storage.
• Set up a company policy for sales order fulfillment and create batch jobs to release sales orders and transfer orders to the warehouse.
• Allocate batch numbers.
• Receive items at a different warehouse than expected.
• Use product variants in warehouse management processes.

Developer features
Changes that affect developers were introduced in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 Cumulative Update 8.
Microsoft Dynamics AX developer tools for Visual Studio 2013
after upgrading your development computer from Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 to Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 Cumulative Update 8, you must use Microsoft Dynamics AX developer tools for Microsoft Visual Studio 2013 to develop:
• Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services reports
• Enterprise Portal for Microsoft Dynamics AX components
These tools require Visual Studio Professional 2013, or a better version, such as Ultimate.
If you already know how to model reports and Enterprise Portal components by using the development tools for Visual Studio 2010, then no new training is required.
The Microsoft Dynamics AX development experience does not change after you upgrade.
Designing and previewing reports requires Microsoft SQL Server Data Tools – Business Intelligence for Visual Studio 2012. You must also install Report Viewer 2012.
Visual Studio 2010 remains the supported version for use with earlier versions of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012. Side-by-side installations of the development tools are not supported.
You must uninstall the Visual Studio 2010 development tools before you install Visual Studio 2013.

Microsoft will end mainstream support for Visual Studio 2010 on July 15th, 2015.

MPOS extensibility The new Retail POS includes extensibility capabilities that let you customize MPOS for your specific needs. These capabilities address a new user interface, changes to workflow, extending entities, and adding new flows.

E-Commerce The E-Commerce SDK is extended to support other content management systems and websites along with supporting SharePoint 2013 as a user-interface portal. This includes a Catalog Publishing Connector and Checkout and Order management service.

Commerce Runtime Commerce Runtime is now extended to support the new Retail POS. It is Portable Class Library compliant, which means you can enable its use across devices. There is also better performance and support for customization.

Hardware Station The hardware station is included in the SDK to provide access to the hardware station service. In order to support traditional, fixed, and Modern POS scenarios, the hardware station allows MPOS to use peripheral devices over Internet Information Services (IIS) or inter-process communications.

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 Cumulative Update 8, also added and changed several country/region-specific features.

For more information on Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 CU8 release, please refer to KB2998197.

Stephen Jones

Remembrance Day, Dubai, 2014.

November 11th, 2014

11th November marks “Poppy day” a tribute tot he veterans of the first World War. Traditionally commemorative services are held on the nearest Sunday The UK Embassy in Dubai on 9th November 2014,held a Remembrance Service to commemorate the British and Commonwealth service personnel who died during conflicts from World War I to the present day.

The service, which was held on the Embassy’s premises, was presided over by Minister Rev Dr Paul Burt (Mission to Seafarers) who prayed for peace, for those who lost their lives serving their countries and those who still suffer the consequences of wars and terror.

Among those present were Her Majesty’s Consul General in Dubai and Northern Emirates Edward Hobart, veterans from World War II, a band of UK musicians, Emirati friends of the Embassy, members of the Diplomatic, Commonwealth and British communities in UAE.
Synergy Software Systems were represented by myself and wife Margaret.

During the service, a two minute silence was observed and wreaths were laid.

Ahead of the Service, Her Majesty’s Consul General in Dubai and Northern Emirates Edward Hobart said:
“Since 1918, we pay tribute at this time every year to the service men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice. This year’s Remembrance Day coincides with the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I which makes it even more significant.”

The services was supported by members of the military services and the local cubs, brownies a guides and scouts and several badges and awards were presented by Her Majesty’s Consul General who received a rousing three cheers because he is coming to the end of his time in Dubai.

poppy

The flowers are a potent symbol of remembrance and patriotism that sprang up in the aftermath of World War I to honor the war dead and raise funds for survivors. A century since the Great War, the poppies live on: They are hung as wreaths or worn on lapels across Britain — fr as the nation prepares to mark Armistice Day on Nov. 11.

Each handmade flower evokes the image of poppies springing up from destruction and decay in Belgium’s Flanders Fields, home to many of the Great War’s bloodiest battlefields. The haunting scene was immortalized in a war poem by Canadian army doctor John McCrae: “In Flanders fields the poppies blow/Between the crosses row on row.” McCrae noticed that the resilient red corn poppy was the first plant to flourish in the churned-up landscape. The poem, penned in 1915 shortly after McCrae buried a friend, struck a chord around the world and started poppy symbolism in the English-speaking world.

For Sellick, who suffered combat stress after an army tour to Northern Ireland in the 1970s, making poppies is a way to move on from a life shadowed by depression and alcoholism. He doesn’t like to recall his army days, but every November he makes an effort to help plant crosses decorated with poppies outside London’s Westminster Abbey. “Most of the time when we go out to plant the poppy field it’s wet and windy,” he said with a laugh. “But I always make sure I do the plot for my regiment.”

In this centenary year of World War I, the poppy is more ubiquitous than ever. At the Tower of London, a crimson sea of ceramic poppies floods the ancient moat in a stunning display titled “Blood Swept Lands and Sea of Red.” A total of 888,426 ceramic flowers — each representing a British soldier who died during the war — were planted over the summer, with the last one to be placed on Armistice Day.

Although the poppy is most commonly worn today in Britain and Commonwealth countries like Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, it was a woman from the U.S. state of Georgia who was responsible for turning it into a symbol of the Great War. Moina Michael, a teacher, was so moved by McCrae’s poem that she vowed always to wear a poppy as a way to “keep the faith with all who died.”

Michael started to give poppies to ex-servicemen in New York, where she worked, and the American Legion adopted her idea of selling handmade poppies to raise money for wounded ex-servicemen in 1918. A Frenchwoman soon brought the practice to Britain, where the Royal British Legion began the tradition of a “Poppy Appeal” to help those returning from the war. The British Army major credited with opening the first factory employing wounded vets as poppy makers had his doubts early on. “I do not think it can be a great success but it is worth trying,” George Howson wrote in a letter to his parents in 1922.

To this day, the factory in west London’s Richmond makes the bulk of the 45 million poppies, wreaths and crosses sold across Britain. Full-time workers like Sellick assemble each by hand year round, though most of the poppies don’t appear until late October, when they adorn war memorials up and down the country and are sold on virtually every street corner. Many of the wreaths are featured on Remembrance Sunday, the second Sunday in November, when Queen Elizabeth II leads an annual tribute at London’s Cenotaph to all those who died in World War I and later conflicts.

As time passes, veterans’ groups face the challenge to keep the poppy — and the memories it stands for — relevant and meaningful to a new generation.

There are also those in Britain who avoid the tradition, saying the poppy has become too politicized and nationalistic, or even a symbol that glorifies war. Margaret MacMillan, a historian at Oxford University, said she once reluctantly pinned a poppy when appearing on television because producers insisted she do so. “There is tremendous pressure for people to wear them,” she said. “Symbols can be useful but you need much more. There’s more to memory than popping it on once a year and forgetting about it.”

Critical Patch Tuesday November 2014

November 8th, 2014

Next week’s round of Patch Tuesday updates from Microsoft will be the biggest so far this year with 16 bulletins in total, five of which are rated Critical and nine as Important.

Most of the Critical bulletins are for Windows components and affect a range of supported systems.

If you are currently running a supported version of Windows, then update as soon as these updates become available. These are some nasty vulnerabilities in Windows

We expect that one of these bulletins will address the OLE remote code execution for which a security advisory was published last month. Exploits have continued.

There will be an update to .NET Framework too – those patches tend to take longer than the average OS patch to install.

Patches for the Windows 10 and Windows Server Technical Previews will be available

The additional 16 bulletins means that we will probably finish the year under 100 vulnerabilities, which is a bit lower than in 2013

Bulletin 2, which covers all versions of Internet Explorer from IE6 on Windows 2003 to IE11 on Windows 8.1, should be a high priority for admins since there’s a whole underground industry developing browser exploit kits.

The Important bulletins address Windows, the .NET runtime framework and Word along with the SharePoint and Exchange servers. If you have automatic updates turned on all of the required updates will be downloaded as they become available. A reboot will be needed to complete the installation.

Adobe has put out Flash updates on all but one of this year’s patch Tuesdays, so add that to your list .

Convergence Barcelona 2014 Day 2 – Synergy Software Systems

November 5th, 2014

An end to end demo of Ax for retail on Ax 2012 R3 was an eye opener for many customers still on Ax 2009

A new feature in Ax 2012 R3 cu8 due out soon will manage recycling of by products e.ge regrind from injection moulding sprue or metal swarf and off cuts for remelt.