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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

D365Ops Tip#3: Steps needed to have mPOS up and running!

With Dynamics 365 for Finance and operations, the out-of-the-box POS solution is truly Omni-channel, with enhanced modern look and universal app logic. With D365Ops, there are two options for POS solution:
  1. mPOS - modern POS, which can be directly downloaded from D365Ops.
  2. ePOS - cloud POS, which can be opened in any browser - so universal, just like the Dynamics 365 for operations itself.
Retail Modern POS configuration and installation:

If you have a valid account and access to Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, Enterprise edition solutions via LCS (lifeCycleServices) using that account, then you will be able to find the step-by-step guideline for learning development when you choose the appropriate Methodology.

One such link is to activate and configure a mPOS client pointing out to your D365fFO instance on the cloud and/or on a local VM -

Below I have an illustration of how I have setup the locally downloaded mPOS client to connect with a D365fFO instance hosted on Azure cloud.

Step 1) Perform some validations. 
  • You would need Admin ( account which has access to your D365fFO instance.
    Good to setup another user with Store Manager role, if it is possible. I have setup an account (with Store Manager role) to activate the necessary POS Registers and devices in D365fFO and will use the same in below description. 
  • We need to validate if the selected register has the correct basic setup. I have used 'Houston-3' as I have Microsoft Demo data in my D365fFO instance and it is suggested to use this store as it is configured accordingly.

    Go to Retail > 'Channel deployment' workspace and Click Registers tab.
    Search and select 'Houston-3' and verify that 'Support offline' is set to No. If you mark this as Yes, then you would need to install SQL Express on the local machine where you intend to install mPOS.
Step 2) Download Retail mPOS installer
  • You can download the mPOS installer and configuration file for that particular store/register/device from D365fFO instance. And it is important that the configuration file is in the same folder as the installer while you run the installer.

    Go to Retail > 'Channel deployment' workspace and Click Devices tab.
    Search and select 'Houston-3'.
    Click on DOWNLOAD button on the Action pane. You would get two options as shown below.

  • Download both and run the installer and ensure there are no errors during the installation. Like I said before - it is important that the installer and configuration file are in the same folder.
  • Apparently, you should be able to download the installer on any device (Windows Phone, Google Android device, or Apple iOS device) and follow the same procedure to get connected. I haven't tried it out yet, definitely some to do soon. 
Step 3) Create a worker and attach it to the device 'Houston-3'
  • As I intend to connect/operate my mPOS instance with my new user I will have to create a new worker and update the configuration accordingly.

    Go to Retail > Employees > Workers
    Click +New and fill in the madantory 'First name' and 'Last name' accordingly. (ZZZ, in my case).
    Also important to identify the 'Legal entity', the worker is going to work with. I choose USRT.
    'Worker type' is set to Employee. And Employment start date - left is as default, i.e, immediately.
    Select the Assign a position check box. Select position number 000544, which is the Store manager position.
    Then go ahead and 'Hire new worker'
  • Select the newly created worker and click Edit.
    set 'Language' = en-us
    Under Worker summary, in the 'Address books' field, select the Houston store.
    On the Retail tab, you can reset the 'POS password'. I have reset the password to 123.
    On the Retail tab, under Screen layout, assign a 'Screen layout'. I have selected F2MP16:9M (Fabrikam MPOS Manager (16:9)).
    and click Save.
  • Assosciate worker with existing identity.
    On the Action Pane, select Retail, and then select Associate existing identity.
    In my case, I have searched for user email
    Click Ok.
    By doing so, the 'External identity' section should be automatically populated.
Step 4) Send the updated information to channel database
  • It is important that the changes you have made in AX regarding the staffing are transferred to Channel database. So if you don't have the updates being sent to Channel databases on regular intervals - you will have to follow below steps to send the latest update.

    Go to Retail > Periodic > Distribution schedule.
    Select the 1060 – Staff job, and then, on the Action Pane, select Run now to sync the worker data to the channel database.
    After the sync is complete, worker (using the Operator ID = WorkerID and Retail Password = 123) can sign in to any POS device that is used in the HOUSTON store that he is assigned to.

Step 5) Validate Device for Activation check
  • Go to Retail > 'Channel deployment' workspace and Click Devices tab. Search and select 'Houston-3'.
    Click on 'Validate devices for activation' button on the Action pane
    Select OK, and verify that you receive the following message: "Pre-Activation validation completed for Device HOUSTON-3 and Staff ******. Validation: Passed"

Step 6) Activate the device (mPOS locally installed)
  • Open the newly installed Modern POS instance on your computer.
    Select Activate. You will be redirected to the Azure AD sign-in page. Enter your Azure AD account that you mapped earlier, in my case, and the password (123)
    When activation is completed, select Get Started.

Step 7) Login and proceed.
  • The first time login would request for a Password change, upon completing that you might have to login again with the new password.
  • Also mPOS will pop up a new user experience window/video to help you understand the tasks which can be performed in the POS.

Hope this helps. Cheers!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

D365Ops Tip#2: Where is Source code located in Dynamics 365 for operations!

With Dynamics 365 for Operations (D365Ops), there is so much change from its immediate previous version. And one such major change is done in How the Source code is saved?

If you have every worked in AX2009, you know that the source code is saved in files in a specific file location in the AOS server. Now with D365Ops, Microsoft has fallen back to the concept of storing the files in file system instead of database (model database in AX2012 used to hold all the code base).

And the developers working with D365Ops, the primary question is where & how the source code is kept & handled.

Where to find the Source code:
The application code for Dynamics 365 for operations is stored in File system, usually in a directory named PackageDirectory. You can find the details on the configuration related to AOS in a web.config file.

Steps to follow:
  1. Open IIS and go to the Sites\AOSService (in case you missed, AOS is a web service with D365Ops).
  2. Right click > Explore
  3. You should be directed to a folder (to J:\AosService\WebRoot if you are using MS demo environments)
  4. Now search for the web.config file and open it.
  5. Search for keyword - "Aos.PackageDirectory" and you should be able to find the value for the Package directory.
  6. It should be J:\AosService\PackagesLocalDirectory (if you are using MS demo environments)

How is the Source code updated in File system:
Now if we try to look into how the code is stored in the File system. In the above identified PackageDirectory, you will find that there are individual folders to consist the code changes for each Model.

The simplest way to understand the structure is to create your own model and verify the below:
  1. Look for the folder relevant to your newly created model (in my case, AJDEV)
  2. Under path //PackageLocalDirectory/AJDEV/AJDEV - you will observe that there are #78 new folders created for each element type in the AOT. All with a sub folder Delta which is going to store the changes made.
  3. And under path //PackageLocalDirectory/AJDEV/Descriptor - you will find a config file storing the information about your model.
  4. And under path //PackageLocalDirectory/AJDEV/XPPMetadata - the metadata information about the AOT objects is stored.
I will write more about few AOT elements and the extensions introduced with D365Ops and we will look more into the structure and changes in the XMLs placed under Delta folder, but now keeping it short - Happy learning!