Form personalisation in Dynamics 365 for Operations.

This post is a follow-on from last week’s. After a brief introduction to Dynamics 365 for Operations I spent a few months wandering around AX 2009 and AX 2012 which meant that I struggled a bit when I found myself back in D365O. So last week I covered most of the shortcuts that I typically use, but I left off one topic, and that is form personalisation.

But before I do that, let me just mention one more useful short-cut. Ctrl-Plus(+) and Ctrl-Minus(-). Alright, I know that that’s two short-cuts, and these aren’t Dynamics 365 for Operations short-cuts at all, they are your browser’s short-cuts, but they are incredibly useful for zooming in and out of your D365O forms. If you’re new to D365O and haven’t used Dynamics AX 2009 and 2012 you’re probably wondering what I’m banging on about, but believe me, to us AX ‘old-timers’ that’s, like wow (as a young person would say – I think).

Form personalisation is very powerful, more information is here. But typically I only use it for a few simple tasks: hiding columns in list grids; re-ordering / re-sizing list grid columns; and occasionally adding fields to forms. So let’s do those tasks in Dynamics 360 for Operations.

First hiding a column. On the purchase order line there’s a Discount amount and a Discount percentage. Let’s hide the Discount amount. There are a couple of ways to do this. First, we can right-click on the column heading and we have a ‘Personalisation’ option:

It gives a pop-up with options to rename, hide, lock or skip the field:

You’ll see the other way to do this in a few paragraphs, and it’s last ‘Personalize this form’ option, which is a short-cut to all the other Personalization options.

Re-sizing list grid columns is as simple in Dynamics 365 for Operations as it was in AX 2009 or AX 2012. Just hover over the boundary between two column headings and drag to the required size. I’ve now got:

Re-ordering columns is a bit more complex in D365O than it was in AX 2009 or 2012.

First we have to open the Form personalisation tool-bar. There’s a shortcut on each form’s Personalize pop-up (shown above) or you can use the Personalize this form option, which is found on each form’s Options tab.

Can’t see ‘Options’? Well here’s a tip. If the form isn’t wide enough to display all the tab headings, you’ll see three dots in the header:

Click on the three dots (ellipsis) and you’ll see all of the missing tab headings:

(You can also search for form actions – that’s my next post).

Click on ‘Personalize this form’ and you’ll see this tool-bar pop-up:

Unfortunately, there aren’t any clues as to what the various tools are, and some of the tools are two-stage.

Firstly, let’s locate the ‘Move’ tool and select it:

Now, it’s a two-step process, firstly we have to select the form area that we are customising. Each field is related to a form area, for instance the list grid, and can only be moved within that area, so this this case I first select the move tool (as above) and click on the list grid:

Notice how the area I’m working in has been high-lighted.

Now I can select a field, and drag it to its new position. If you select the field’s name and start to drag it, you should see it high-lighted as a yellow box, just drag that box between two other columns:

Click Close on the Personalization tab when you’re done.

Adding fields is similar to moving fields, it’s another two-step process from the personalisation tool bar.

I’m going to personalise the Purchase order fast tab on the Purchase order lines form. First I open the form, and select ‘Personalise this form’. As before, click on the Add (+) button and then select the form area I want to customise:

When you click into an area, just wait – a pop-up appears with all the fields that can be added:

You can search in the columns on the ‘Add a field’ form – I want Vendor reference, so:

Gives me:

Select the field Select the field and click ‘Insert’, and I get:

And of course, now I can select the Move tool and move the field if I need to.

There’s no need to save a form personalization – that’s done automatically but there are three ‘Mange options’:

Pretty self-explanatory, and, as in earlier versions of AX, you can clear form personalisations by deleting them from the user’s usage data.

Right-click View details in Dynamics 365 for Operations

Hi, I’m back! You’ve may have noticed that it’s been a while since I’ve posted. There are a couple of reasons: Firstly, Christmas is summer-time in New Zealand, and I’ve been taking some (well quite a lot actually) vacation time; but also I always wanted this blog to reflect my actual day-to-day Dynamics AX practice, not just theoretical stuff. For the past few months I’ve been working on AX 2009 and AX 2012 and not much new has crossed my desk.

This week though we’ve been setting up a new Dynamics 365 for Operations system and I found that I was more than a little rusty in the basics of Dynamics 365 for Operations so here goes on my day-one refresher course for myself.

Firstly, the community seems to have settled on an abbreviation for Dynamics 365 for Operations of ‘D365O’. No so easy to type. I’ve already sent someone an email with D#^%O in it. They must have thought that I was swearing at them. But back to the blog.

Who moved the Right-Click > View details?

If you’ve used AX 2009 or AX 2012 you’ll be familiar with the Right-click > Options (formal name ‘Context menu’), and one of the most useful options is the Right-click > View details which takes you to a main table (like an item group) or a document (like a purchase order or sales order):

By the way, that’s going to be the only AX 2012 screenshot in this blog, it’s D365O all the way from now on.

At first sight, that option has been removed from D365O, right-click in a field and you see:

But actually the option is still there, and there are two ways to invoke it.

The first is to right-click on the down arrow itself:

Gives:

And the other, in a form (but not in a list grid) is to right-click on the field label:

Gives:

To access ‘View details’ in a list grid, you can still right-click on the field

If you’re confused by my explanation and you’d like to see a video, check out this post on Lachlan Cash’s blog.

The next short-cut I missed was to move to the next record in the grid. In AX 2009 and AX 2012 that was Ctrl-Page down. In D365O it’s Ctrl-Down arrow. So I’m here:

… and Ctrl-Down arrow gives me:


I’ve jumped down one record, which is ideal when you have to check or update the same field on a number of records in a table.

New used to be Ctrl-N, now it’s Alt-N, and of course save which used to be Ctrl-S is now Alt-S. Delete Alt-F9 is now Alt-Del.

Apologies if you’re just new to D365O and haven’t used AX 2009 or AX 2012 before. You’re probably fed up of me banging on about what short-cuts you can’t use, but I think that just now you’re in the minority and most D365O users are migrating from AX 2009 or AX 2012, so please bear with me.

Closing windows.

It took me a little while, but I had to get used to closing the form I’m working on and going back to the one I’d just come from, by closing the working form by clicking the close button for that form – it’s the X on the form’s working bar, for instance:

In this case, that’ll close the Item model groups form I’m on and take me back to the Released products form I came from, but I’m not too impressed that the navigation path at the top of the form still shows me Product information management > Products > Released products. Hopefully, that will get tidied up in a future release.

Favourites.

Setting your favourites in D365O is simple. When you hover over a module’s menu option, next to it you’ll see a faint star:

Click on it, and that menu option is added to your favourites, like this:

Click on the solid blue star to remove it from your favourites.

Incidentally, the option to add a filter query to your favourites and organise them into folders hasn’t made it into D365O yet, but you can add a tile to a workspace to the same affect, but I think I’ll save that to another post.

Search for a form.

I’m slowly getting used to one new short-cut Ctrl-/. It opens form search:

Type in the name of a form, and a drop-list of likely suspects appears, for instance:

If at first your form doesn’t appear try something slightly different, for instance ‘cust’ is a bit disappointing:

But ‘All cust’ will get you to the customers form:

Change my date format.

You may have noticed that I’m English and prefer 31/12/16 to 12/31/16. In D3650 that’s now set in your Tools > Options. Click on the Cog wheel:

Options gives:

Handy for setting your company colours, or reminding yourself you’re in PROD (or not, as the case may be).

Preferences is:

There’s the date format, along with your default company and time-zone.

And finally, one Tool that I thought had disappeared, and that is Set session date, it’s now a menu option in Organisation administration, not that we need to use the menu any more:

But in case you’re old-school and wedded to menus, here it is:

The form opens like this:

Of course, this is a really useful way of testing things that depend on date, like master planning, or an aged balance report, but this isn’t a feature that should be used at all in your production system.

Of course this post has referenced only those few short-cuts that I commonly used in Dynamics AX – if you like a full list of the keyboard shortcuts in Dynamics 365 for Operations it’s here.

Item order defaults in Dynamics 365 for Operations

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:


And:


And then:


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.

Brilliant!

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.