Archive for April, 2016

Plans? budgets?, Forecasts? Consolidation? Workflows and Approvals? – ask Synergy Software Systems, Dubai about Prophix.

April 24th, 2016

Prophix Software is a leading developer of solutions designed to automate financial processes including budgeting, planning, reporting, analysis, and performance management for the mid-market. Thousands of finance leaders around the world use Prophix to empower their organization and gain greater insight into business performance. Prophix and its certified Middle East partner Synergy Software Systems deliver the best value by combining high end functionality, low total cost of ownership, and the fastest implementations in its class.

Prophix financial consolidation is the springboard to strategic financial analysis and better business decision making

Prophix gives you the ability to tailor your financial statements and management reports so that information is delivered in a way that’s both insightful and meaningful. Prophix provides structures reports around business requirements in an error-free, dynamic, and intuitive environment, resulting in better decisions, made faster.

Prophix is productised with configuration parameters and wizards built with a familiar User interface, report binders, workflow engine, email and Excel integration, tight security, detailed audit trails, dashboards, analysis tools, and so much more to put Corporate Performance management in the hands of the Office of the CFO.

Implement through the summer and take the headache out f this year’s years budget preparation for 2017 – then use into better manage your year end and your 2017 financial performance and reporting.

CRM 2016 and document templates in Excel and Word

April 24th, 2016

With CRM 2016 you can standardize all of your organization’s documents with a few clicks. Watch and see how fast and easy it is.

Watch and learn how to build and use templates in both Microsoft Word and Excel

Power BI why does it matter?

April 24th, 2016

The new Dynamics Ax comes with embedded Power BI content packs watch the whirlwind tour presentation to find out why.

It opens up to self service to all users, Bi can now leverage the scalable resources of the cloud. this presentation by Nick Caldwell is almost an hour long – but its worth making the time to watch. Power Bi is a cloud-based SaaS that “enables you to find and visualize data, share discoveries and collaborate in intuitive new ways.” A, single view of your critical business data via a self-service analytics hub.

To learn more watch this slightly shorter presentation from Will Thompson which provides some interesting and useful tips and tricks.

SandDance is a Microsoft Research data visualization project, spearheaded by Steven M. Drucker and Roland Fernandez, that experiments with new genres of visualization and represents an innovation in user interactions.

With SandDance, every data element is always represented on the screen, and animated transitions are used between views to help people explore, understand, and communicate insights in their data.

The SandDance custom visual puts this innovation into the hands of users through the open, extensible visualization framework of Power BI that can leverage rich connectivity, modeling, and interactive reporting. The focus of SandDance is on tasks where data is not pre-aggregated (that is, many individual records), and can be rearranged in groups on the screen to create meaning.

Download the SandDance chart from the Visuals Gallery. Import it into your Power BI report, and drag all the fields that you would like to use into the Values field bucket.

Once you have created a SandDance chart change the View, -there are some interesting types available, including 3D. Sum by any column in the dataset. -this ‘ summary chart’, it is actually created with many rectangles. . In the Color by options select the color palette then use Facet by to view the same visualization broken up by different ranges of a particular attribute.

Note that you can also place other visuals on the canvas and they will interact and cross filter with SandDance – explore your data in many perspectives.

For more detailed help, check out

SQL Server 2014 SP1 CU6 is released

April 23rd, 2016

Cumulative Update #6 for SQL Server 2014 SP1

SQL Server 2014 RTM cu13 released

April 23rd, 2016

The 13th cumulative update release for SQL Server 2014 RTM is now available for download at the Microsoft Support site.

SQL server 2016- runs a lot faster!

April 23rd, 2016

There many well publicised features of SQL 2106 that have maybe overshadowed the many enhancements to improve performance.

Added together there is a huge impact as these various blofg articles reveal.

Large Data File Writes (April 15)

Indirect Checkpoint Default (April 12)

SOS_RWLock Redesign (April 7)

Dynamic Memory Object (CMemThread) Partitioning (April 6)

Updated Scheduling Algorithms (April 1)

Automatic Soft NUMA (March 30)

Instant File Initialization (March 25)

LDF Stamped (March 22)

Automatic TEMPDB Configuration (March 17)

T1117 and T1118 Changes for TEMPDB and User Databases (March 15)

Spatial Index Builds Faster (March 10)

TVPs with Spatial Column(s) (March 8)

Native Spatial Implementations (March 3)

DBCC Extended Checks (March 1)

DBCC Scales 7x Better (February 25)

Query Store – SQL 2016

April 23rd, 2016

Query Store will be available in all editions of SQL Server 2016.

This is a huge plus because Query Store serves as a data recorder for your query execution plans. It’ll help you troubleshoot :parameter sniffing issues, connection settings issues, plan regressions, bad stats, and much more.
It is a rich persisted db of query execution over time for SQL Server/Azure DB and is a central starting point for Query Tuning and Troubleshooting

– Query Store collects and persists:
– all query texts and to compile time stats
– all plan choices and runtime metrics – and allows you to force plans from history

What can you do with it?

Analyze performance and details of queries whether they are cached or not
Analyze the history of queries and plans across server restarts
Look at properties and statistics for queries not available in DMVs
What queries consume the most/least cpu, i/o, memory over time?
Compare performance before/after a change (A/B Testing)
Plan stability after upgrading to SQL Server 2016
Are ad-hoc queries killing performance filling up your cache?
What is the standard deviation of performance for a query?
What % of time is the performance of my query spent on compile?
What is the performance of queries with different SET options?
Keep performance information in the backup of the database
Allows a simpler and more robust method to force plans vs plan guides

Upgrades are also easier in SQL 2016 with Query Store – you control when Optimizer changes are enabled
and can also quickly fix regressions with Query Store

See Books Online’s section on Query Store to start learning, .

Extended support for SQL Server 2005 ended on April 12, 2016

April 21st, 2016

Extended support for SQL Server 2005 ended on April 12, 2016
customers still running SQL Server 2005 after April 12, 2016, will no longer receive security updates and technical support. We recommend upgrading to SQL Server 2014 and Azure SQL Database to achieve breakthrough performance, maintain security and compliance, and optimize your data platform infrastructure.

The invisible revolution

April 19th, 2016

The next wave of breakthrough technology from artificial intelligence to machine learning to the cloud, it’s all around you b but you may not see it.

We live in a world of technology. Its not unusual to own two devices and many have three or more. Cloud computing is an increasingly powerful and scalable tool set . Users expect access to all of their information across every device, any time anywhere. Whether it’s using a console to play a game, a phone to keep in touch with family, or a fitness tracker to keep on track in maintaining health

Key technologies are not just made of plastic, metal and glass. Maybe it’s a streaming video service you use to watch “Game of Thrones” or an app that lets you track your steps and calories or a virtual assistant that helps you remember where your meetings are and when you need to take your medicine, or an e-reader for your favorite book via your phone, tablet or even your car speakers.

The invisible revolution brings together the world through technology that is increasingly hands-off. It increases the quality of life as people become busier, and takes away mundane acts such as scheduling meetings, turning lights on, and translating languages sothat the user can spend their time doing things that are more important to them.
For example Skype translator lets you talk with anyone in almost any language in real time anywhere in the world. That’s a technological marvel that many have compared to science fiction, but it’s also an opportunity to literally help people understand each other better.

The next generation of groundbreaking, life-changing technologies goes far beyond keyboards, screen, cell phones, cameras, watches and hard drives. Increasingly, these devices are getting their computing power from the cloud, where thousands of computers are working to make it easier for you to find an email from five years ago and for a scientists to prevent the next deadly disease outbreak

The invisible revolution means you can walk into a meeting and automatically be updated with everything you need to know about the meeting, including past work experiences with co-workers attending and what he needs to have prepped for the presentation as your device uploads the PowerPoint document or auotdials you into the conference call on Skype.

The invisible revolution relies on artificial intelligence technologies and machine learning. The new Dynamics Ax has bullt in telemetry to track what users do so that future releases can be better designed to streamline the works. A computer learns how to do something better – like understand your voice or to automatically fix your typos – as it gets more data.

We take for granted that our emails will be available to us on any gadget, for example, and we increasingly expect to be able to talk to our devices instead of type.

Microsoft Graph is already been available in Microsoft Office 365 via a tool known as Delve. Delve forms professional connections with co-workers with an up-to-date project management system that lets everyone access the same work files.
Think of Delve as a virtual assistant communicating other virtual assistants, and making professional connections for you. If you don’t want anyone else to see what you’re working on, Delve won’t share that. Like any good personal assistant, it’s discreet.

Microsoft Graph relies on the cloud to store and analyze data, and it uses machine learning, in which systems learn to do something better as they get more data, to figure out what’s important to an individual user. designed to work on any device or operating system, because we no longer live in a world where people are doing all their work on just one type of gadget.

Cortana now has a feature under test that uses machine learning to identify language in emails that signal a commitment. Those signals can be subtle or explicit, such as “I’ll get back to you by next week” or “I’ll finish this by EOD.” Using that information, Cortana can ask whether to set a reminder of the various delivery promises you made via email.

In China, an application called XiaoIce has become a household name. The virtual assistant doesn’t just provide information but speaks to users on a more personal level about their feelings and lives. In fact, over 40 million people are enamoured with the conversations that ensued with the robot. Because XiaoIce is hosted on a number of platforms, including an ecommerce site, some people talk to ‘her’ about everyday things before asking for shopping advice, just like you might chat with a real salesperson. XiaoIce also can recite poetry and tell ghost stories, but in many cases the researchers say she is there more to listen than to talk.

The internet of things means connected devices and continuous montoring that can also be used for analysis and prediction sing he power of the cloud.

A farmer can’t keep track of the moisture or nitrogen levels in all his fields at the same time, 24 hours a day.

An air quality forecaster can’t physically check how safe the air is to breath on every block of every city, simultaneously.

As empathetic as good friends can be, there isn’t always one available to talk to us when we feel lonely in the middle of the night.

Such technical advances are reaching a tipping point. Field-programmable gate arrays and graphic processing units contribute to the underlying increases in processing power.

Computer experts talk a lot about that data being “in the cloud,” but all that cloud-based data still needs to be physically stored somewhere. Usually, it’s in a big building full of powerful servers, plus plenty of air conditioners needed to keep all those servers cool. Microsoft researchers have come up with another option: under the sea. Late last year, a team of researchers launched a research effort called Project Natick, which aims to drop small, contained data centers into the ocean. There’s an environmental advantage to this kind of data center: In their tests so far, the cool water surrounding the data center kept the servers from overheating while having a negligible effect on the surrounding ocean’s temperature. The underwater data centers also can be produced much more quickly than land-based data centers – in about 90 days instead of two years — making it much easier for companies like Microsoft to meet customer data needs.
Project Natick is a research project for now, but the researchers say that no matter what the end result is, it will have major implications for how they build data centers in the future. “We’re learning how to reconfigure firmware and drivers for disk drives, to get longer life..”

Its this constant experimentation and innovation that is fueling the invisible revolution.

Madeira – a true SMB SaaS erp offering

April 14th, 2016

Project Madeira” – is a cloud based ERP system, highly integrated into the Microsoft Cloud world.

Madeira is the current name (because location names cannot be trademarked/copyrighted) and has it roots in Dynamics NAV, an established ERP system with 30+ years of accounting knowledge build in, and with an impressive technology stack. NAV is used by 100,000+ + companies thousands all over the world, ranging from large, to small single person shops.

NAV has always been able to detach business logic from technology. This feature enabled Microsoft to move this subset of the NAV application into the cloud, the result Madeira. This is not quite NAV, but a version of NAV tailored to a “cloud first, mobile first” world. It runs in the browser, and as apps on Windows 10 UWP, iOS and Android phones and tables.

This provides a cloud offering but new, but also a very mature system. Microsoft wants to make ERP more accessible to SMB users with Project Madeira, a SaaS product connecting business processes to Office 365 apps.Though it’s built on the Dynamics NAV platform, Madeira is not the next version of Dynamics NAV, which is also expected to become available in the second half of this year.

Madeira can also be customized, this is done through extensions, and already in this preview version there are three extensions installed:
•Bank statement integration
•Paypal payment integration
•QuickBooks data migration – which indicates, that Microsoft is targetting the SMB sector

Madeira automatically identifies what the user is doing (for example sorting invoices in Outlook) and presents the user with relevant tools within their current app, so they can use the tools without switching windows. One benefit of that is users performing business functions can reduce the time it takes them to jump back and forth from Office applications.

For instance:

– Madeira “automatically identifies business context such as invoices and quote requests within Outlook, and presents the user with the tools and data needed to take immediate action — all without leaving Outlook:

– Use Word to create custom layouts for reports, effectively turning Word into a report designer

Expect CRM online integration.

1. With this product full financial processes can be completed seamlessly within Microsoft Outlook in Office 365. There is no need to login to a separate ERP system. You can create customers, vendors, quotes and invoices without leaving Outlook. More sophisticated tasks are completed from the web client.
2. The solution is optimized for 10-99 employee companies. This does not mean larger companies can’t use it. Microsoft believes the 10-99 employee company market is underserved. And they have “zero scalability concerns”. .
4. Project “Madeira” is based on the Microsoft Dynamics NAV platform as well as a number of other Microsoft services. It will also bring in features from Dynamics GP such as All in One view etc…
5. Project “Madeira” will include more than just core accounting (GL, AP, AR). A full list of functionality will be announced soon.
6. There is support for multi-company in a single database.
8. There will be a pre-defined chart of accounts.
9. It includes wizards to set up Financials.
10. It has built in financial reporting.
11. Workflow configuration is available.
12. ISV’s will be important for Project “Madeira”, there will be a robust Marketplace strategy.
13. Project “Madeira” is a global product. It will be releasing in the US initially.
14. The data resides in Azure SQL database, it is a multitenant public cloud service from Microsoft.
15. It will integrate with Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online.
16. There will be an app for Windows phone.