Archive for the ‘Microsoft Dynamics Ax’ category

Power BI update March – April 2019

March 21st, 2019

Microsoft launched the public preview of new Power BI workspace experiences in August 2018 to enable Power BI workspace admins:
• to use security groups to manage access to workspaces,
• to enable BI teams to create workspaces without needing to create an Office 365 Group,
• to provide granular workspace roles to make giving access to workspaces easier.

At the beginning of April 2019, the new workspace experiences. will reach General Availability (GA)

Usage metrics for new workspaces are rolling out this week
This capability is much requested by customers and works the same as it did for classic workspaces based on Office 365 Groups. It may take until late this week or next week to reach all commercial cloud customers.

https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/update-on-the-new-workspace-experiences-preview-including-ga-timeline/

The March update for the On-premises data gateway (version 3000.2.47) includes an updated version of the Mashup Engine, which matches the one released as part of the Power BI Desktop March update.

This will ensure that the reports that you publish to the Power BI Service and refresh via the Gateway will go through the same query execution logic/runtime as in the latest Power BI Desktop version.

Happiness Day, Loneliness and Power BI

March 21st, 2019

At the annual Gartner BI Bake Off session at the Gartner Data and Analytics Summit in Orlando, Florida the Power BI team featured this report which you can explore here:

Here are some insights and highlights from the report:
• The employment groups with the most happiness are employed and retired people followed closely by stay at home parents and students.
• The highest ratio of lonely to non-lonely people by age group is between 35 and 44 years old.
• For the countries in the dataset, the UK and the US have higher loneliness ratios (0.30 and 0.29 respectively) than Japan (0.10).

if you think Power BI might provide insights into your business, and need training or assistance with report modelling, or need to understand the different licence types, then contact us – 009714 3365589

SQL 2016 SP2 CU6 is released also SQL 2016 SP1 CU 14

March 21st, 2019

The good news is that Microsoft has fixed the “String or binary data would be truncated” error!
With KB#4468101 if you enable trace flag 460, the SQL Server will now tell you just what l is going to be truncated.
SP2 CU6 also includes other fixes like:
• Users are incorrectly permitted to create incremental stats on nonclustered indexes that aren’t aligned to the base table
• Assertion for parallel deletes from filestream tables
• Filestream IO can’t be enabled on cluster shared volumes
• Assertion for linked server queries that point to themselves during a cross-database transaction (as bad as it sounds)
• MDS database upgrade fails
• Filtered nonclustered columnstore index over a clustered columnstore index may not be maintained ( in layman’s term we call it corruption)
• Stack dump during change tracking cleanup
• Data masking (doesn’t)

Microsoft also released an 2016 SP1 CU14 but that doesn’t have the key#4468101 fix. .

Dynamics 365 ‘One version’ update 10 April 2019 -some FAQs

March 9th, 2019

In July 2018 Microsoft announced a change to the way it ill deliver Dynamics 365 updates that will help you to stay current in a consistent, predictable, and seamless manner. With Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, you receive new service updates and features monthly instead of doing expensive upgrades every few years.
- You can manage how your organization receives these updates. For example, you can sign up for an early release so that your organization receives updates first.
-You can designate that only certain environments receive the updates. Or, you can remain on the default release schedule and receive the updates later. This topic explains the different release options and how you can use them for your organization.

Service updates contain both application (including Financial reporting and Retail) and platform changes that are critical improvements to the service, including regulatory updates. New features will be included in service updates.

Release processes

Each new release is designed and developed by the Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations team. Any new release is first tested and validated by the feature team, then by the entire Dynamic 365 for Finance and Operations and Retail teams. Extensive testing is done on various test topologies. A compatibility checker also runs tests to ensure backward compatibility. In addition, several customer databases and code are benchmark-tested with automation to ensure no breaks.
Ring 2 is a targeted release. This release is available to partners, customers, and ISVs who opt in through the Insider program and join the Preview Early Access Program (PEAP). During a targeted release, Microsoft monitors telemetry, collects feedback, and further validates quality by monitoring key metrics. During this phase, the release must be deployed on Dev/Test environments. In this preview phase, partners, customers, and ISVs use the release to validate their customizations and provide feedback. This release cannot be used in production.
•Ring 3 is a production-ready, first release for customers who opt in. During this phase, customers have the option of taking the release all the way to production and can choose between Microsoft managing the update or self-managing the update. Participating in the First release program has the benefit of having the Microsoft engineering team closely monitoring the update for any aberrations to ensure a successful update.
Ring 4 is the final, default ring and is available to all customers. Microsoft will manage and update all environments based on the configured maintenance window.

Here are some FAQs to provide clarity on the Finance and Operations service updates, processes, and tools you can use to prepare for it.

Schedule for April 10.0 release The 10.0 release, which will be available in April 2019, will be an update and not an upgrade

Can the update to 10.0 be delayed? A customer can pause or opt-out of the 10.0 release when they are on 8.1.2 or 8.1.3. In early March, the ability to set up this configuration or to pause updates will be available through LCS.

For a release date in early April, which ring is being released at that time? Is it the GA ring? Or will GA be released several weeks later? Standard release/Ring 4 production updates for a monthly release will be scheduled for the first, second, and third weeks in April. Depending on the configuration that you set up in LCS, you will receive updates during that specific week.

For the April 10.0 release, Microsoft will perform updates during the weekends of April 6, April 13, or April 20 based on the configuration that you set up in LCS.
Sandbox updates will always be scheduled a week before the update.
The configuration setup will be available in early March.

Service updates

What product versions are impacted by service updates?

8.1 and later All customers on 8.1 and later will be scheduled for updates monthly with a combined application and platform update starting November 2018. You will be required to have an update that’s no older than 3 months.

8.0 Customers on 8.0 will receive a monthly platform and financial reporting update. You will be required to have an update that’s no older than 3 months. The 8.0 lifecycle ends in April 2019. Customers on 8.0were encouraged to update to 8.1 by December 1, 2018. This process is like a regular package update. For detailed documentation, see the Update environments from version 8.0 to 8.1 topic.

7.x Customers on 7.x will receive a monthly platform and financial reporting update. You will be required to have an update that’s no older than 3 months. You are required to upgrade to 8.1 before April 2019 (unless extensions are not available, the only over-layered version in market will be version 7.3). Starting April 2019, the service will be updated to version 10.0.

What does the update contain?

For 8.1 and later, service updates will contain both application (including financial, reporting, and Retail) and platform changes that are critical improvements to the service including regulatory updates. New experiences will be opt-in. The service updates are backward compatible. There will be a single version representing this update.

What is a regulatory update?

A regulatory update is a new feature or an existing feature change required by law (usually for a specific country/region). The regulatory update is always required by a specific law enforcement date (LED) and should be enabled by this date or earlier.

What’s the upcoming schedule of updates?
Service updates will be available each month and starttd in November 2018. Microsoft will apply the updates monthly, based on the selected maintenance window. You are required to have an update no older than 3 months.

Are there any major updates post 8.1?

There will be 2 major updates in April and in October where new experiences will be enabled. Major updates will not require code or data upgrade.

Breaking changes will be communicated 12 months in advance such that customers can plan accordingly. Such a change will only be introduced during a major update.

What does Backward compatibility mean? This covers binary and functional compatibility. Binary compatibility means that you can apply an update on any runtime environment without needing to recompile, reconfigure, or redeploy customizations. This also means that on a development environment at design time, X++ public and protected APIs and metadata are not modified or deleted.

If Microsoft needs to break compatibility by removing obsolete APIs, then it will be communicated 12 months in advance and follow a deprecation schedule. Functional compatibility is about user experience, all new experiences will be opt-in.

Backward compatibility does not include non-X++/metadata APIs.

Microsoft reserves the right to update versions of any dependencies the product uses, as well as remove dependencies without early warning.
Microsoft does not commit to maintain backwards compatibility of dependent software libraries unless expressly stated

What does end of service mean?

Microsoft will not provide any fixes to issues on versions that have reached end of service. Microsoft will also not investigate or troubleshoot any issue that you may encounter on an older version. If you encounter an issue on a version that has reached end of service, you will be required to update to the latest update and report the issue if it persists.
All environments will continue to be operated by Microsoft. All automatic processes around your environments, such as monitoring or self-healing, will also continue as is.

Will individual hotfixes be supported?

Individual hotfixes will not be supported after 8.1. Customers must update to the latest cumulative update available to apply the fix (such as 8.1.1). Critical fixes will also be cumulative and available through the LCS servicing experience.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations version 10.0 includes Platform update 24.
New APIs have been added to help data integration retrieve errors that occurred during the import execution runs in a data project.

Optimisation advisor – Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations

February 18th, 2019

Telemetry, A!, Big data analytics are just some of the features that are part of the Azure cloud that are leveraged by Microsoft Dynamics. One example is the Optimisation advisor that can help business users and implementors to adopt best practices to optimize the business processes that they own.

Incorrect configuration and setup of a module can adversely affect the availability of features in Finance and Operations, system performance, and the smooth operation of business processes. The quality of business data (for example, the correctness, completeness, and cleanliness of the data) also affects system performance, and an organization’s decision-making capabilities, productivity, and so on. The Optimization advisor workspace is a tool that lets power users, business analysts, functional consultants, and IT support functions identify issues in module configuration and business data. Optimization advisor suggests best practices for module configuration and identifies business data that is obsolete or incorrect.

Optimization advisor periodically runs a set of best practice rules. A default set of rules is released together with Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations version 8.0 (April 2018). However, users can also create rules that are specific to their customizations, solutions from independent software vendors (ISVs), and business data.

Optimize configuration choices to improve for example the performance of inventory closing, or wave processing, or work creation in the warehouse.

To get the best out of your Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations System contact Synergy Software Systems your Dubai Dynamics Partner (since Ax v2.5 2003) – with over 200 consulting man years of experience in implementing and supporting this solution.
0097143365589

Azure in the G.C.C. updates

February 17th, 2019

AT the end of 2018 Microsoft announced that the. Azure Kubernetes Service has added the open-source system, Moby, to provision containers and deliver more frequent upstream patches.
Additionally, the team reduced cluster provisioning time, fixed a Stream Watcher error and updated a Linux kernel for a second GitHub problem.

Azure Monitor Logs UX was in preview last year, users can now click on charts and tables in Log Analytics in view the new Logs UX instead, with a new query editor and full schema view.

On January 2, Qatar’s prime minister, H.E. Skeikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al-Thani opted to help setup a large Azure data center. The prime minister and the Cabinet issued a draft law creating a “Media City” with an independent budget that will host the data center. Microsoft already operates a Content Delivery Network (CDN) in the country, but it has no cloud regions active in the Middle East. That is about to change, though – last year, the company announced that it would open data centers in Dubai and Abu Dhabi in 2019.

Ankabut, the United Arab Emirates’ Advanced National Research and Education Network (NREN) an initiative of Khalifa University, offers academic institutions connectivity to other education networks around the world. It has partnered with Huawei, to launch a cutting-edge new cloud solution in the UAE, Microsoft’s Azure Stack.

This will be the first implementation of Microsoft’s Azure Stack solution in GCC and the ME Region. Through this partnership, Ankabut aims to take the education infrastructure in the UAE to the next level of innovation and intelligibility by implementing the platform that will offer educational institutes cloud-paced innovation and computing management simplicity, cost optimization, higher quality, huge potentials and capabilities, in addition to more reliability and added value services.

(if your idea of surfing is on the beach rather than the internet then try http://azure-beach.com/

Recent G.C.C VAT updates

February 16th, 2019

Passive interest and dividends
The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) asserted that passively earned interest income from bank deposits and dividend income are outside the scope of Value Added Tax (VAT), and there is no requirement to report these in the VAT return.
VAT is a tax imposed on the import and supply of goods and services at each stage of production and distribution, therefore, VAT implications arise only when there is a supply – when there is no supply, there is no VAT implication.
The FTA explained that the Federal Decree-Law No. (8) of 2017 on VAT and its Executive Regulations have included specific provisions on what would constitute a supply of goods and a supply of services and also included a definition for taxable supplies. As such, where any transaction falls outside the scope of these provisions, it would, as a consequence, fall outside the scope of VAT.
The FTA also noted that although Article (42) of the Executive Regulations outlines the tax treatment of financial services, stating that the payment or collection of any amount of interest and dividend is considered to be a financial service and is therefore exempt from VAT, this would only apply where there is, in fact, a supply.
The Authority had issued the “VAT Public Clarification on Bank Interest and Dividends” as part of its Public Clarifications service, which are available on the FTA website and seek to educate taxpayers on all technical issues surrounding taxes, allowing them to implement the tax system efficiently.
In a press statement the Federal Tax Authority noted that if, for instance, a retail business deposits its income into a bank account and earns interest on the deposited amount, and the said retail business does not do anything to earn this income aside from merely depositing the money in the account, it can then be said that the interest was earned passively. In this case, the retail business is not considered to have made a supply to the bank, and the interest income received is not a consideration for a supply, which, in turn, means that the retail business is not required to declare this income on its VAT return, as it is outside the scope of VAT.
The Authority noted, however, that the above position only applies to interest derived from bank deposits and does not have any bearing on the interest generated from extending loans or credit, which are exempt supplies for VAT purposes.
Dividend income:
• The FTA explained that the payment of a dividend by a company is a distribution of its profits to its shareholders, where the holder of a share is not entitled to a dividend until the company has declared a dividend.
• Dividend income becomes due for shareholders in a company by the mere ownership of shares in that company and if the company makes any profits and declares dividends.
• The shareholder then receives the dividends and does not make any supply in order to be eligible for a payment of dividends, making the dividend a generally passive income.
• Accordingly, dividend income is outside the scope of VAT, and is therefore, not required to be reported on the VAT return. T
• he Authority noted, nonetheless, that while dividend income is generally outside the scope of VAT, any amount charged as a “management fee” would be subject to VAT. For example, management fees charged by a holding company to its subsidiaries would be subject to VAT.

The Public Clarifications service can be accessed through the Federal Tax Authority’s official website by clicking the “Help” button, then choosing the “Public Clarifications” tab, and selecting the required document. (https://www.tax.gov.ae/en/public-clarification.aspx)

Deregistration
The Federal Tax Authority (the “Authority”) explained that the Federal Decree-Law No. 8 of 2017 on Value Added Tax has defined the cases for tax de-registration. As such, when a registrant stops making taxable supplies or if the value of the taxable supplies made by the registrant over a period of 12 consecutive months is less than the voluntary registration threshold of AED 187,500 and it is not expected that the total value of the registrant’s anticipated taxable supplies or expenses subject to tax in the coming 30-day period will exceed the voluntary registration threshold, then the registrant must submit a de-registration application to the Authority within 20 business days of the occurrence of any of these cases using the Authority’s e-Services portal, knowing that failing to submit the de-registration application within the period specified in the tax legislation will lead to the imposition of administrative penalties as stipulated in the Cabinet Resolution No. 40 of 2017 on Administrative Penalties for Violations of Tax Laws in the UAE. This was the subject of a press release issued by the Authority to clarify the conditions and procedures for de-registration for Value Added Tax, after more than a year of its implementation. The Authority confirmed that registrants will not be de-registered unless they have paid all due taxes and administrative penalties and filed all required tax returns for the period in which they were registered as stipulated under the tax legislation.

The Authority went on to assert that the UAE Tax System is based entirely on voluntary compliance by Taxable Persons, whether it being with regards to registration, filing Tax Returns and payment of due tax or de-registration, noting that these services are available free of charge.
The Authority also mentioned that these procedures can be completed within few minutes through simple steps via the e-Services portal, available 24/7 on the Authority’s website (www.tax.gov.ae).

KSA
Reduction of the value-added tax (VAT) registration threshold to SR 375,000 from January 1, 2019, will increase the taxpayer base by about 150,000
The 2018 base was over 140,000 VAT-registered taxpayers.

Non-resident taxpayers are required to appoint a tax representative to act on their behalf and to assume joint liability for VAT debts. This requirement is posing some challenge to some non-resident taxpayers. Hopefully, progress in this area can be made soon.

VAT audits have commenced and assessments issued for contraventions of the regulations such as late registration and filing of VAT returns as well as incorrect declarations.
The global trend is towards tax authorities accessing taxpayer data directly and, in some territories, preparing the return for the taxpayer. Saudi taxpayers need to be prepared. Expect an increase in the level of scrutiny as GAZT continues to build its resources to challenge the VAT treatment of specific transactions.

Foreign Business VAT recovery
In a new guide on “VAT Refunds for Business Visitors”, published on its official website, the Federal Tax Authority (FTA) outlined four conditions that allow foreign businesses to recover Value Added Tax (VAT) incurred in the UAE To be eligible for the VAT refund.
1.The first condition is that foreign businesses must not have a place of establishment or fixed establishment in the UAE or in any of the VAT-Implementing GCC States that fully comply with the provisions of the Common VAT Agreement of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf.
2.Second, such foreign businesses must not be a Taxable Person in the UAE.
3.Third, they must also be registered as an establishment with a competent authority in the jurisdiction in which they are establishe
4. The fourth condition is that they must be from a country that implements VAT and that equally provides VAT refunds to UAE businesses in similar circumstances.

FTA Director General His Excellency Khalid Ali Al Bustani described the refund procedure as clear and transparent, noting that it supports economic activities in the areas in which the visiting business of the country participates, which is reflected positively on many sectors including tourism, trade, exhibitions, conferences, etc. He stated that the mechanism is in accordance with the Federal Decree-Law No. 8 of 2017 on Value Added Tax and the terms and conditions set in its Executive Regulations, which call for refunding taxes paid on supplies or imports made by a foreign entity not residing in the UAE or any of the Implementing States, subject to meeting certain conditions. He further explained that reciprocity is a key condition for the procedure, whereby the Authority will refund the VAT to businesses resident in countries that refund VAT for UAE businesses visiting their territories.

The Federal Tax Authority clarified that the period of each refund claim shall be a calendar year, noting that for claims in respect of the 2018 calendar year, refund applications can be made as of April 1, 2019. However, for subsequent calendar years, the opening date for accepting refund applications will be March 1st of the following year; this means that for the period from January 1 to December 31, 2019, applications will be accepted as of March 1, 2020.

The FTA went on to stress that the minimum claim amount of each VAT refund application submitted by business visitors is AED2,000, which may consist of a single purchase or multiple purchases. The Authority urged potential applicants to hold on to the original tax invoices on the purchases for which they would like to reclaim VAT, as they will be required to be submitted along with the refund applications.
Businesses residing in any GCC State that is not considered to be an Implementing

State may still submit a VAT refund application to reclaim VAT incurred in the UAE under this scheme, the FTA assured, outlining only 3 situations where VAT cannot be reclaimed,
1,The first situation is if the Foreign Business in question makes supplies in the UAE, unless the recipient is obliged to account for VAT under the Reverse Charge Mechanism.
2. Second, a VAT refund cannot be processed if the Input Tax in respect of any goods or services is “blocked” from recovery and, therefore, not recoverable by a Taxable Person in the UAE.
3. The third situation where a refund is not possible is if the Foreign Business is a non-resident tour operator.

The guide on “VAT Refunds for Business Visitors” can be accessed on the FTA’s official website via the link:
https://www.tax.gov.ae/pdf/VAT%20Refund%20User%20Guide-Business%20Visitors_EN.pdf (See Public Ax 2012 Finance Vat folder)
Independent Directors Services

Independent Directors’ services
The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has confirmed that the date of supply for Value Added Tax (VAT) with regard to Independent Directors’ services is determined either in accordance with the general rules or the special rules, depending mainly on whether the fees for the said directors were known from the outset or not.
Where such fees are known from the outset, the date of supply shall be determined in accordance with the provisions of Articles (25) and (26) of Federal Decree-Law No. (8) of 2017 on VAT, depending on whether or not there will be periodic payments. If such fees are not known from the outset, they shall be determined upon conclusion of the Annual General Meeting and the date of supply shall be established only when such fees become known.
The date of supply prescribes the point in time when a VAT Registrant needs to account for VAT, the Authority explained in the Public Clarification on the Date of Supply for Independent Directors. This is part of the “Public Clarifications” service available on the FTA’s website to introduce taxpayers to all aspects of the tax system and facilitate compliance. The service can be accessed via the link: https://www.tax.gov.ae/public-clarification.aspx
The FTA explained that in instances where the Board Fees are known at the outset and involve periodic or multiple payments, the date of supply would be determined as per Article (26) of Federal Decree-Law No. (8) of 2017 on VAT, where the date of supply would be the earliest of the following three: The date of issuance of the tax invoice; the date the payment is due as shown on the tax invoice; and the date of receipt of payment. If 12 months have passed from the date of provision of services and none of the aforesaid events has occurred, the date of supply will be triggered at the end of the 12th month.
As for the instances where Board Fees are known at the outset but there are no periodic or multiple payments, the date of supply would be determined as per Article (25) of the Federal Decree-Law No. (8) of 2017 on VAT. Accordingly, the date of supply would be the earliest of the following three: The date of issuance of a tax invoice; the date on which the provision of services was completed; and the date of receipt of payment.

Profit Margin Scheme
The UAE Federal Tax Authority (FTA) asserted that only those goods which have previously been subject to VAT before the supply in question may be subject to the profit margin scheme. As a result, stock on hand of used goods which were acquired prior to the effective date of Federal Decree-Law No. (8) on Value Added Tax (“VAT law”), or which have not previously been subject to VAT for other reasons, are not eligible to be sold under the profit margin scheme. VAT is therefore due on the full selling price of such goods.

The taxable person will not be allowed to apply the profit margin scheme in such cases where he has issued a tax invoice or any other document mentioning an amount of VAT chargeable in respect of the supply.
• The profit margin is the difference between the purchase price of the Goods and the selling price of the Goods,
• The profit margin shall be deemed to be inclusive of Tax
• A VAT registered business may apply the profit margin scheme to eligible goods when:
o the goods must have been purchased from either a person who is not registered for VAT;
o or a taxable person who calculated VAT on the supply by reference to the profit margin i.e. a VAT registered business, which already applied the profit margin scheme on the same goods.
o In addition, the profit margin scheme may also apply when the taxable person made a supply of the goods where input tax was not recovered in accordance with Article 53 of Cabinet Decision No. 52 of 2017.
Suppliers should be confident that a good has previously been subject to tax in order to apply the profit margin scheme. Such evidence or information of this position could include but is not limited to.:
o information relating to the date the good was first manufactured, sold or brought in to use
o e.g. in the case of a car, the date the car was first registered would indicate its sale would have been subject to VAT if it was registered on a date after 1 January 2018;
o Evidence that the supplier paid VAT on their original purchase e.g. by asking the supplier for a copy of the tax invoice relating to their purchase of the good.
Where a Taxable Person has charged Tax in respect of a supply with reference to the profit margin, the Taxable Person shall issue a Tax Invoice that clearly states that the Tax was charged with reference to the profit margin, in addition to all other information required to be stated in a Tax Invoice except the amount of Tax.

Transportation

As per the Clause (4), Article (45) of the Federal Decree-Law No. 8 of 2017 on Value Added Tax and as per Article (34) of Cabinet Decision No. 52 of 2017 on the Executive Regulations (“VAT Executive Regulations”): The supply of the means of transport shall be subject to the zero rate in the case of, a supply of bus or train that is designed or adapted to be used for public transportation of (10) or more passengers.

One such qualifying means of transport includes the supply of a bus or train that is designed or adapted to be used for public transportation of 10 or more passengers. This Public Clarification discusses the definition of ‘public transportation’ and its interpretation for the purposes of identifying those buses or trains which qualify to be supplied at the zero rate under this provision.As a result, those means of transport which are designed to transport a specific category of individuals, such as school students or employees of a business, do not meet the conditions to be treated as a qualifying means of transport for the purposes of the zero-rating provisions. Such means of transport shall therefore be subject to the standard rate of VAT.
This denotes that, any supplies of means of transport (e.g. supply of buses) made for the use of schools or business are subject to 5% tax at the time of its purchase.
It has also been clarified by the FTA that, whether or not the original supply of the means of transport qualified for zero rating has no impact on the VAT liability of any charges made for the supply of transportation services. The VAT treatment of the means of transport when purchased does not determine the VAT treatment of any supply of transport services made using that vehicle. Providing services to business for transporting its employees from one place to another still remains exempt under law. Therefore, where local transport is made for a charge to a defined group of people, any VAT incurred on the costs of purchasing the means of transport, fuel etc. in order to provide that service is not recoverable.

Difference between private transportation & public transportation in the VAT Law:
What is Private Transportation?

FTA defines ‘Private Transportation’ as ‘all means of transportation used to transport a specific group of people under contracts.’
What is Public Transportation?
The transport used for ‘public transportation’ shall be interpreted by the FTA as, ‘all means of mass transportation used to transport all individuals without specifying any category.’
The difference between the two forms of transportation therefore means that public transportation should be available for all individuals without exception. Public transportation would not include transportation which is only available to a specific category of user.
To summarize, if a bus or train is designed or adapted for a specific class or group of people, or is only available for use by a specific class or group of people, then it shall be considered to be designed or adapted for use for private transportation. And thus, the supply of such means of transport will be taxable.
Factors relevant to identify Public Transportation:
In order to determine whether a bus or train is designed or adapted for use for public transportation, the following factors would be relevant:
1. Features exist which allow passengers to pay for the transportation or to indicate they possess a ticket e.g. a payment booth, ticket scanner or device to take payment;
2. There is branding either within or outside the vehicle advertising the transport service, indicating the transportation is available to all;
3. There is branding or other features indicating regulation of the means of transport by the entity regulating public transportation in the Emirate of operation;
4. The intended use of the means of transport is to transport members of the public without exception or limitation to a specific group.
By considering above points, the following means of transports are not be considered to be used for public transportation:
1. School buses;
2. Buses used to transport groups of employees or workers to or from a place of work;
3. Shuttle buses used to transport hotel guests to other locations e.g. a mall, airport, park, or other tourist attraction.
Hence the and the supply of such means of transports shall be subject to VAT at the standard rate.
VAT Liability of Transportation Services:
To add on, services related to transportation shall be governed by Clause 4 of Article 46 of the VAT Law and Article 45 of the Executive Regulations which state that any supply of local passenger transport shall be exempt from VAT where the supply is of local passenger transport services in a qualifying means of transport by land, water or air from a place in the UAE to another place in the UAE.
For the purposes of the exemption from tax, one of the qualifying means of transport listed includes a motor vehicle, including a taxi, bus, railway train, tram, mono-rail or similar means of transport, designed or adapted for transport of passengers.

Emirati Nationals – Home owners
The Federal Tax Authority issued a guide Apr2018 with details for home owners on how to claim the refund.
Emirati house owners have the right to a five per cent value added tax (VAT) refund when constructing their homes, the Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has stated. The Authority has issued a guide with details for home owners on how to claim the refund. It clarifies that only UAE citizens have the right to ask for the refund. They need no new account on the Authority’s website, and only need to download and fill a form and submit it back so the Authority
t UAE nationals can claim the VAT refund against the construction expenses for a residential building, when they construct it either for themselves or for their family members.
UAE nationals can claim the refund against a newly constructed building to be used solely as residence, under Article (66) of Cabinet Decision No. (52) of 2017 on the Executive Regulations, of the Federal Decree-Law No (8) of 2017 on Value Added Tax,”.
The VAT refund is not allowed in relation to a building that will not be used solely as a residence by the person or the person’s family. For example, it is not to be used as a hotel, guest house, hospital, or if the property is to be used for rental purposes or for any other purpose not consistent with it being used as a residence,
According to the guide issued by the FTA, an Emirati owner has the right to ask for the VAT refund if he bought a piece of land and allowed an authorised person or company to establish a housing unit on it. The guide says that the VAT refund only includes the money spent on establishing the unit, adding that it includes the amounts paid as building materials, except for electricity products of furniture or green areas.
On the other hand, the refund also includes VAT paid for doors, fire alarms systems, floors, kitchens, health units, bathrooms, windows, and electricity cables. A third entity is going to review the housing units to approve the refund and its amount after the Emirati owner submits the form. Moreover, the owner needs documents that prove his ownership for the unit, show the date of issuing the certification of establishment, prove the ownership of the land and show the value of VAT paid during the process.
It should be noted that the VAT refund will be claimed after completion of the new building which is ready to use. The owner must file a VAT refund application after getting registration with the FTA within six months from the date of completion of the newly built residence. Processing can take up to 20 days.
A newly built residence is considered complete at the date the residence becomes occupied, or the date when it is certified as completed by a competent authority in the state, or as may otherwise be stipulated by the Authority.
Also where the Authority has repaid tax and following the receipt of such repayment, if the person used the building for rental or any other commercial purpose, then he will be required to repay the amount of the tax that was claimed by him. The UAE national can claim VAT against construction related expenses excluding furniture or electrical appliances.

Grants and Sponsorships
The VAT treatment of donations, grants and sponsorships depends on whether the donor, grantor or sponsor, as the case may be, received any benefit in return for such payments.
o Where any benefit is received in return for the payments, VAT implications will arise.
o However, where no benefit is received, the payments will be treated as outside the scope of VAT as they will not be seen as consideration for a supply.
The VATP011 clarification states where donation and grants do not have any supply, they are considered as out of scope.
Generally, sponsorship will be subject to VAT as there is usually associated supply to such sponsorship.

Pre Vat Orders and post Vat supply
As per the FTA’s statement, the only case where consumers are directly responsible for paying VAT on services are those that were delivered fully or partially after VAT went into effect from January 1 and it was contractually/ stated that the amount due is exclusive of tax.
According to the FTA’s statement, suppliers will be liable for VAT in two cases:
o if the contract states that the amount received against the good or service is inclusive of VAT;
o or if the contract issued to the consumer did not refer to VAT.
In the latter case, when the goods or services recipient is registered for tax, the amount due is treated as exclusive of tax. So the supplier has to ascertain whether the recipient is registered, and the recipient ability to recover tax as per Article 70 of the VAT Executive Regulations.
The authority stressed that in all cases, the supplier remains liable for accounting for the tax and paying it to the FTA.

Bahrain and Utility Bills
A Bahraini lawyer has insisted that the recent decision by the Electricity and Water Authority (EWA) to apply Value Added Tax (VAT) on subscribers’ bills are unconstitutional, demanding immediate cancellation of the decision. This came as lawyer Mohammed Al Thawadi appeared before the High Administrative Court, which is examining a complaint lodged by him against the authority. The court said that it would issue its final verdict in the case on February 24.
In his statements, the lawyer asserted that the decision is unconstitutional, claiming that Articles 15 and 17 of the Constitution of the Kingdom stipulate that taxes should only be imposed through legislation. Mr. Al Thawadi also accused EWA of not adhering to the Unified GCCVAT Agreement.
“Article 29 did not stipulate the imposition of taxes on electricity supply services, but on the contrary, it gave each state the right to exempt some sectors in accordance with local law. “Additionally, Article 30 stipulates the exemption of government bodies from paying taxes, and therefore it is not permissible for the authority to collect taxes.” The lawyer’s last statement came after the authority denied the accusations during the previous hearing.
“The authority does not exercise its functions as sovereign and there is no monopoly of providing electricity and water supply services in the Kingdom,” the authority’s counsel had told the court. Further supporting his accusations against the authority, Mr. Al Thawadi said: “The authority’s claim that it does not operate in a sovereign manner and that there is nothing preventing competition with it from any other party in providing its services is incorrect.

Cloud back ups or on-premise?

February 16th, 2019

Pretty scary.
We have suffered catastrophic destruction at the hands of a hacker, last seen as aktv@94.155.49.9 This person has destroyed all data in the US, both primary and backup systems. We are working to recover what data we can.

Though they’re back up and running, who knows if customers will stick by them, or will sue them.
What impact that had on infrastructure mail servers, backup servers, and SQL Servers for customers is hard to judge.
A large number of people might have lost their mailboxes and previously stored mail that was in IMAP storage.
This is likely an annoyance for individuals, but potentially catastrophic for businesses. Imagine your small business hosted with them and all your mailboxes were lost with customer communications and who knows what else.

Could this happen with a cloud provider like Azure O365, Google Apps or AWS?
Maybe but they will have DR backups,
But what if you store back ups on the cloud but run on premise- how long would it take to mass restore multiple, customers? Do you still have ad3qute on premise test systems to restore on and the staff and the time to do it?

Do you assume that you will always have either a primary server and an online backup server/share/bucket/container and can download data.
The problem is that online systems that connect to the primary can be accessed.
If an attacker were to access one, they potentially could access the second.
The world seems to be moving towards more online storage, or in the case of cloud vendors, a reliance on snapshots. That might be good enough for cloud vendors, but is it good enough for your on-premise system.
It’s likely that an attacker, possibly even with insider help, would wipe out backups first, then primary systems.
Some sort of disconnected offline backup of data, especially database servers gives you a third line of defence.
don’t forget that back up- need to be tested- if the back up software compatible with old versions, does your back up use the same version as the current erp software installed on your primary, or the same SQL version (i.e when you upgrade do you also upgrade your back ups, or maintain an older environment?)

Microsoft and other large vendors have had downtime whether self induced by releasing code too early, or due to hardware failure, or malicious attach . What is important to realise is just how infrequent are just issues given the number of clients they have across a range of solutions, and how little was the downtime and how fast they are at in addressing issues that arise. The think about how you would have been able to deal with the same issues in your own server room?

There are increasing risks, and increasing issues of statutory compliance with regard to data protection e.g, GDPR. The cloud generally offers cheap storage nd robust systems, yet it needs to be part of a holistic approach to reduce overall risk and cost, and not the only line of defence.

SQL Server 2016 SP2 CU5, SP1 CU13 – many fixes

January 25th, 2019

Many fixes inside SP2 CU5 and SP1 CU13, e.g.:
• Access violation when you compile a query
• Access violations and unhandled exceptions with Always On Availability Groups automatic seeding
• Dynamic Data Masking doesn’t when there’s a cursor involved
• Access violations for XML data types
• Query Store blocks transactions and log truncation
• Out of memory errors
• Non-yielding schedulers with heavy use of prepared statements
• Can’t restore compressed backups of encrypted databases
• High CPU usage when there are many batch requests (which we would expect?)
• SQL Server service crashes when you cancel CHECKDB (on a “large database” – doesn’t that apply to all? )
…. lots more

Dynamics 365 April19 update – release notes

January 25th, 2019

https://cloudblogs.microsoft.com/dynamics365/2018/12/12/announcing-the-dynamics-365-april-19-release-timeline/

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/business-applications-release-notes/April19/index

The April ’19 release signifies a key milestone for Dynamics 365. It is the first major update where all customers across Dynamics 365 will be on the same latest version and on a consistent update schedule. It is also a template of how major updates will be done going forward in April and October every year. The most obvious change is the move to a Unified fluent interface.

The enhancements to Dynamics 365 applications in the April ’19 release include hundreds of new capabilities across Sales, Marketing, Customer Service, Portals, Field Service, Project Service Automation, Finance and Operations, Talent, Retail, and Business Central. Includes a new set of mixed reality experiences using Microsoft Layout and Microsoft Remote Assist. These are described in the links above and in a lengthy ‘What’s new” document

The April ’19 release delivers continued Artificial Intelligence capabilities that leverage the power of Microsoft AI research, tools, data, and the Power Platform to help organizations transform customer service, sales, and marketing functions.
• AI for Sales provides actionable insights to drive personalized engagement and proactive decision-making.
• AI for Market Insights enables business users to gather actionable insights based on what consumers say, seek, and feel about their brands and products. Optimize your customer service experience through AI enhanced analysis with Customer Service Insights.

Microsoft Layout
Design spaces in context with Dynamics 365 Layout. Bring physical designs from concept to completion with confidence. Import 3D models to experience room layouts as holograms in the physical world or in virtual reality.1 Share with stakeholders2 and easily edit layouts in real-world scale, to make better decisions before you build.

Dynamics 365 Remote Assist
Modernize your field service operations, so you can make the most of your time and money. With heads-up, hands-free video calling on Microsoft HoloLens, technicians can collaborate with any remote expert on PC or mobile to troubleshoot issues in context. Enable on-site technicians to share what they see with remote experts, while staying heads-up, hands-free with Remote Assist on Microsoft HoloLens. With modern tools like mixed reality video calling, annotations, and file sharing, technicians and remote experts can work together to solve problems in context.3

Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations version 8.1.3 – PU23 – new features

January 20th, 2019

This version will be released in January 2019 and has an actual build number of 8.1.227. It includes platform update 23.

For the many Extensibility changes in Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations version 8.1.3 see https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/unified-operations/dev-itpro/extensibility/extensibility-changes-813

Collection letters
Set up collection letters by customer,, so that the collection letter code for each transaction is tracked, but the collection letter processing is based on a single collection letter level that is stored for the customer.

Settle remainder
To settle the amount remaining from settlement activity by applying that amount to a ledger account or to another customer. Settle the remainder either when you are settling amounts entered into a journal, or when settling open transactions.

Globalization
Electronic reporting:
• Import from files in JSON format. You can now configure an Electronic reporting (ER) format to parse incoming files in JSON format. You can then set up ER mappings that specify how information from JSON files is used to update application data.
• Support country context-specific ER model mappings. To isolate country-specific logic of data access in a single ER model mapping.
o Specify a country context for ER model mapping.
o Manage multiple country-specific mappings for a single ER data model.
o Depending on the legal entity’s primary address, the appropriate country/region-specific model mapping will be used when an ER format is used to generate an electronic document.

There are also some Russian localisations for AR AP movement registers that may be worth checking.

Platform 23 update features:
Legal entity filtering using grid column headers
For grids with cross-company queries, users can filter the Legal entity column using the column drop-down menu, similar to other columns in the grid. A user looking at the global transactions for a specific customer, can find the transactions within a small subset of companies. Prior to this feature, he would have had to filter using the Customer range tab on the Advanced filter or sort dialog box, or utilize page-specific custom filters.

Export to Excel
In Platform update 22, the Export to Excel feature was improved to allow users to export up to 1 million rows from a grid in Finance and Operations, a substantial increase from the previous 10,000-row limit. In Platform update 23, after the export completes, users will receive a notification in the Action center that the export has finished. The notification includes a link to download the Excel file containing the exported data. The link and notification are accessible for approximately three days after the export completes.

Manage access to network printers across legal entities

System network printers management form. System Administrators can use this, along with the Document Routing Agent (DRA) to register network printers with Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations. When you enable this feature, a Preview link will appear on the System network printers form (Organization administration > Setup > Network printers and click System network printers). After you register the network printers with the service using the DRA, you will see the configuration information for each legal entity in the organization.

Enabling index hints in X++
Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 and earlier versions supported INDEX HINTS from X++. However, this was deprecated when Dynamics AX 2012 was released. A reason why this was deprecated is because a misguided index hit could damage the queries. However, thousands of queries in hundreds of tenants shows that SQL may come up with less optimal plans for simple queries, Finance and Operations has thus brought back X++ hints. However, X++ hints should still only be used with extreme caution. Use Index hints sparingly, and only when you can ensure that it causes more benefit than harm. When in doubt, avoid using index hints. A new API is added on common allowIndexHint with a default behavior of False. This allows developers to opt-in and explicitly enable index hint. The old syntax on the select statement for specifying index hint is reused.For an existing X++ code that specifies index hint, there is no change to the current behavior until the new API is invoked.

Automated refresh of Entity store (opt-in)
Let the system manage Entity store refresh instead of scheduling the refresh yourself. When enabled, choose a refresh pattern (hourly, twice a day, daily, or weekly). When specified, the system keeps the entity store updated for the selected pattern. The system will also switch to the new update form, where you will be notified with a status and possible refresh issues.

Entity store as a Data Lake (preview)
In Platform update 23, you can select to use Entity store as a Data Lake. When this feature is turned on, Entity store data isn’t populated in the relational Entity store database in the Microsoft subscription. Instead, it’s populated in an Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2 account in your own subscription. You can use the full capabilities of PowerBI.com and other Azure tools to work with Entity store.

For more information: contact Synergy Software Systems, Dubai based since 1991 and Dynamics Partner since 2003.
0097143365589

Dynamics Ax 2012 mobile apps connector – SAS solution is released to replace ACS.

January 14th, 2019

There is an underlying technology change for access to azure see Synergy’s blog article and https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/service-bus-messaging/service-bus-migrate-acs-sas.

Service Bus applications have previously had a choice of using two different authorization models: the Shared Access Signature (SAS) token model provided directly by Service Bus, and a federated model where the management of authorization rules is managed inside by the Azure Active Directory Access Control Service (ACS), and tokens obtained from ACS are passed to Service Bus for authorizing access to the desired features. The ACS authorization model has long been superseded by SAS authorization as the preferred model, and all documentation, guidance, and samples exclusively use SAS today. (It is no longer possible to create new Service Bus namespaces that are paired with ACS.) ACS is generally already retired and for those who had an extension the end date is on Feb 4, 2019.

The Windows Mobile app will be deprecated and will be removed from the store in February when ACS is decommissioned

The ACS to SAS solution for Dynamics 2012 for the mobile connector is now complete.
• For anyone using Workflow Approvals via email (no app), there is an updated whitepaper and updated mobile connector.
• For anyone using Timesheets, expense, or Approvals apps, confirm you have a machine with ADFS 3.0 available, and follow the steps in the whitepaper for configuring Companion Apps.

Updated apps :
o Dynamics AX (IOS) – Version 5.2 is available in the store .
o Dynamics AX 2012 (Android) – Version 5.0 is available in the store.

Note: The previous app (Dynamics AX) is not SAS compatible and will be removed from the store in February and should be replaced with the new app with 2012 in the name.
o Dynamics AX 2012 Expenses (Windows desktop) – Version 2.19.0.13 available in the store today.
o Dynamics AX 2012 Timesheets (Windows desktop) – Version 1.5.0.1 available in the store today.
o Dynamics AX 2012 Approvals (Windows desktop) – will be available early next week.

Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations – One Version upgrade – are you ready?

January 7th, 2019

“All customers must be on the latest version of Finance and Operations by April 30, 2019.”

That is getting very close if you are sitting on a legacy v7 or 7.3 version.
There is an additional challenge if you have customised code or an ISV add on that still uses layered code then that will need to be rewritten using extensions.

For cloud deployments Microsoft does most of the heavy lifting for you. However, it might not be that simple especially for DEV?BUILD and TEST evnironments. When the environment has other non-Microsoft packages installed, LCS will prevent you from simply applying the update package. You may have some ISV-solutions or some package you’ve created and released, and then installed on the environment, through LCS. When you try apply the update package, LCS will stop you, and list the non-Microsoft packages installed. packages blocking you.

However, for on-premise deployments: “The customer is in full control of its on-premises deployments and must follow this policy. The customer is in control of installing updates in its on-premises environments”

So there is rather more work to do.
You may also need to consider expiring certificates.

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/unified-operations/dev-itpro/migration-upgrade/versions-update-policy

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/unified-operations/dev-itpro/migration-upgrade/upgrade-latest-update

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/unified-operations/dev-itpro/migration-upgrade/on-prem-version-update-policy?toc=/fin-and-ops/toc.json

Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations version 8.1 is the latest major release before Microsoft will move over to the “OneVersion” strategy. From April 2019 onwards all D365FO customers will be migrated to the latest version (v10 release is planned for april 2019), and will kept updated to the latest version thereafter.

It is therefore very important to upgrade to the 8.1 release for all customers running an older version of D365FO. An important reason is that Microsoft has guaranteed that the move to 10 will be only supported form version 8.1 So make sure that you are on this version before April 2019.

There is limited time and skilled resource available, so if you have not already put plans in place then don’t delay.

For expert assistance to upgrade your Ax7/D365 environment call us on 00907143365589.

End of mainstream support for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009, Dynamics AX 2012, and Dynamics AX 2012 R2

December 29th, 2018

Reminder – End of mainstream support for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009, Dynamics AX 2012, and Dynamics AX 2012 R2 was ‎10‎/‎05‎/‎2018

Upgrade is not trivial especially when you have lots of customisations and bespoke reports and interfaces. Plan plenty of time for conversion and for testing and contingency. There is backlog of companies who need to migrate and only a limited number of skilled consultant available.

Decide as soon as possible whether on-premise or on cloud. If on-premise then consider what extra hardware you will need and whether you also need to upgrade SQL server. Don’t forget that SQL license costs have also changed.

It is not too early to start budgeting – find out what you get and don’t get on the cloud, there are both hidden costs, (e.g. extra back up storage space) and hidden savings (e.g. electricity). What extra environments or storage will you need e.g for dev and test over those used by Microsoft. How have license types and costs changed, understand the Modern Lifecycle Support update policy, .

Dynamics AX 2009 Service Pack 1 (SP1), Dynamics AX 2012, and Dynamics AX 2012 R2:
Mainstream support fends on October 9, 2018 after that date, only security hotfixes will be provided for these three versions through the extended support period that continues until October 12, 2021.

Dynamics AX 2012 R3
Mainstream support for continues through October 12, 2021. Microsoft will provide security hotfixes, non-security hotfixes, and regulatory updates for Dynamics AX 2012 R3 throughout that mainstream support period. The source code for these non-binary, non-security hotfixes and regulatory updates will continue to be available for customers active on the Enhancement Plan or Software Assurance.

Can customers on Premier Extended Hotfix Support or on Unified Support Advanced and Performance Levels get a non-security hotfix or regulatory update?

No. Neither non-security hotfixes nor regulatory updates will be available for Dynamics AX 2009 SP1, Dynamics AX 2012, or Dynamics AX 2012 R2 during the Extended Support phase of the product lifecycle.

While the ability to request a non-security hotfix for select products is included with Unified Support Advanced and Performance Levels, Microsoft has determined that non-security hotfixes cannot be provided with a commercially reasonable effort for these products. As a result, no requests for non-security hotfixes or regulatory updates will be accepted.

However, Microsoft will continue making security hotfixes, non-security hotfixes, and regulatory updates for Dynamics AX 2012 R3 throughout that mainstream support period. The source code for these non-binary, non-security hotfixes and regulatory updates will continue to be available for customers, and their partners, active on the Enhancement Plan or Software Assurance. Dynamics AX 2009 SP1, Dynamics AX 2012, and Dynamics AX 2012 R2 customers can selectively integrate those changes as required. Customers and partners can get the source code from packages attached to relevant Dynamics AX 2012 R3 KB articles published on LCS and discoverable through LCS Issue Search.

Will I still get a regulatory update for Dynamics AX 2009 Service Pack 1, Dynamics AX 2012, and Dynamics AX 2012 R2?

No, Microsft will only provide regulatory updates for Dynamics AX 2009 Service Pack 1, Dynamics AX 2012, and Dynamics AX 2012 R2 for regulatory changes with the law enforcement dates on or earlier than October 9, 2018.

What happens if a new bug is found by a customer in Dynamics AX 2009 Service Pack 1, Dynamics AX 2012, or Dynamics AX 2012 R2?

The bug must be reproducible in Dynamics AX 2012 R3. If it is reproducible and accepted, then a hotfix will be provided for Dynamics AX 2012 R3 and the customers can elect to integrate this hotfix in their version themselves, or work with their partners to integrate the changes.

How are binary hotfixes handled for Dynamics AX 2009 Service Pack 1, Dynamics AX 2012, and Dynamics AX 2012 R2?

If a hotfix is needed for a part of the system where Microsoft does not provide the source code and it is not a security bug, then a hotfix will not be provided.

To discuss a move to Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations call Synergy Software Systems your Dynamics Partner for over 15 years : 009714 3365589

Get ready for year-end close in Dynamics AX and Dynamics 365 with Synergy Software Systems, Dubai.

December 20th, 2018

There many tasks to be done for the Fiscal year-end closing process.
Those include task for all functions not just finance.
For over 10 years Synergy has conducted Year end training courses to help prepare Dynamics users for their fiscal close.
Our 2 day workshop encompasses:
Key tasks and sequence
Tips and trick
Key reports,
Use of MR and Power Bi
Sales, Supply chain, HR, IT tasks
Hands on practice
The course content applies to almost all versions and will be run in Dynamics Ax 2012 R3. it will however will also introduce the Dynamics 365 Financial closing workspace.

Date: 2 day course: 09.00 – 17.00 8th and 9th Jan 2019
Venue: SYNERGY SOFTWARE SYSTEMS. Al Karama, Dubai.
Ample parking and bus stops and metro nearby.
For a trouble-free and timely, year-end close, book today.
Experienced, expert instructors.