I’ve mentioned the Dynamics 365 for Operations roadmap site (roadmap.dynamics.com ) before, but there’s another place where you can find out what’s available in the latest release, and that is the New or changed features page of the Dynamics 365 for Operations Help Wiki. On the ‘What’s new or changed in Dynamics 365 for Operations version 1611 (November 2016)’ page under the Product master data heading you’ll find reference to a couple of neat little enhancements to the processing of product variants.
The first one I’d like to call out is the ability to setup your own Product number format for Product variants. It’s not immediately obvious in Dynamics AX 2012, but when you’re using product variants (Configuration, Style, Size, or Colour), the system creates a unique product number for each valid combination:
Now we’re typically going to use Style, Size and Colour variants when dealing with Retail companies, and mostly those companies have their own convention for referencing a Style, Size and Colour within a part number, so they may have something like ITEM1234L01. Well now you can do that in standard Dynamics 365 for Operations. Product information management > Setup > Product nomenclature:
You can construct your Product variant number from any combination of: Product master number; a Number sequence; Configuration; Style; Size; Colour; and/or a Text constant.
Next, on the Product dimension group you specify the Product nomenclature (product variant number configuration) which you’d like to use.
Product information management > Setup > Dimension and variant groups > Product dimension groups:
Now, let’s create a product master, Product information management > Products > Product masters > New:
And create some product dimensions:
That’s neat, and a nice tidy up of a clunky AX 2012 convention – but there is more.
We can now specify Default order setting for each of the Product variants. I’ve released my three product variants into the USMF company and setup the item. Now, (if you’ve used Dynamics AX before) you’ll notice that we don’t have ‘Default order settings’ and ‘Site specific order settings’, we just have: ‘Default order settings’
The Default order settings form shows a couple of significant changes from earlier versions:
So the most significant change here is that the Default order settings setups now have a ‘Rank’. The higher the rank, the more important the rule is, meaning that it will have a higher priority and will be used before the rules with lower ranks. There’s one general default order settings rule with a rank of zero (and there can only be one rule with rank zero). Rules can have the same rank, provided that the dimensions they apply to are different. This is useful for modelling site specific order settings. When a new default order settings rule is created, the values for order values, stop flag, etc. are inherited from the rule with rank zero, but can be overwritten.
And the second major change is that the Default order settings can now be specified for individual product variants (or product dimensions), including the all-important ‘Stopped’ flag.
The Help page for this form also mentions that you can switch the form between Details view (shown above), and Grid view (shown below) – useful for checking setup. The switch is on the on ‘Options’ tab:
‘Grid view’ gives:
So finally, I’ll just mention in passing that the Master planning setup of an item is done partly on this form, and partly on the Item coverage settings. Item coverage setup is always performed at the product variant level.