Archive for the ‘Microsoft’ category

Dynamics HR, and Talent, recent updates- December 2019

December 7th, 2019

Microsoft will continue investing in operational HR solutions with the erp version with a Dynamics 365 Human Resources to be released early next year on February 3, 2020.

This builds on the current core HR capabilities that are in Dynamics 365 Talent today
. It’s a branding and marketing change for core HR capabilities.
Microsoft will also be incorporating the ‘Ax’ partner adds on from Dynamics partners Four Vision, and Elevate, to further enhance the offering within leave and absence, time and attendance, and benefits administration. These new capabilities will begin rolling out within Dynamics 365 Human Resources in early 2020.

Expected updated licensing.

Microsoft recently announced, via a blog post. the decision to retire the Dynamics 365 Talent: Attract and Dynamics 365 Talent: Onboard apps on February 1, 2022, They will transition Attract and Onboard customers to a solution of their choice. This does not affect those who only use the core Talent module.

To allow time to opt-in, Dynamics 365 customers that are entitled to but are not currently using Attract or Onboard will have until February 3, 2020 to notify Microsoft that they intend to implement Attract and/or Onboard. You can opt- at any point between December 6, 2019 and February 1, 2020. If you are not currently using Attract and/or Onboard and want to opt-in to ensure service availability until February 1, 2022, submit a support ticket before 1 Feb 2020.

Meanwhile Synergy Software Systems continues to implement and support its own GCC localised HR and Payroll module built inside both Dynamics Ax 2012 and Dynamics 365 , and proven with around 50 company implementations.

Power BI update -Gateway recovery key, move to .Net framework 4 – Ask Synergy Software Systems, Dubai’s Power App specialist.

December 5th, 2019

The November update for the On-premises data gateway (version 3000.14.39) is released.

Change Gateway Recovery Key
The recovery key provided by gateway admins during installation of on-premises data gateways in a standard mode could not be changed in the past. This key is used to create the symmetric key which in turn is used for encrypting credentials in data sources/connections using that gateway. With the November release of Data Gateways, you will now be able to rotate this key. More information about recovery keys, detailed description on how to perform this change and associated limitations can be found in the data gateway docs.

November version of the mashup engine
This month’s Gateway update also includes an updated version of the Mashup Engine. 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.

Please note that this upcoming change may impact you:
PB1 will be using .NET 4.8 framework for gateways February 2020 version or higher hence some of the operating systems it used to support may no longer be supported. i.e. for many this change will also force a Windows update.

All .NET Framework versions since .NET Framework 4 are in-place updates, so only a single 4.x version can be present on a system.
In addition, particular versions of the .NET Framework are pre-installed on some versions of the Windows operating system. This means that:
• If there’s a later 4.x version installed on the machine already, then you can’t install a previous 4.x version.
• If the OS comes pre-installed with a particular .NET Framework version, then you can’t install a previous 4.x version on the same machine.
• If you install a later version, you don’t have to first uninstall the previous version.
• The .NET Framework requires administrator privileges for installation.

Microsoft to disable Office 365′s Delve Blogs from December 2019??.

December 4th, 2019

Delve is an Office 365 capability associated with the Office Graph that’s designed to surface relevant information for end users to access Delve from the Office 365 App Launcher.The Delve Blogs feature lets Office 365 users create personal blogs.

Microsoft described its impending end in a Nov. 22 Microsoft Premier Support response letter that was published by a customer. Instead of offering a fix, Microsoft described Delve Blogs’ coming shut-off. A portion of Microsoft’s response letter, which mentioned the blog feature is to be deleted on April 17, 2020, with disablement happening earlier:

Delve Blogs to be Retired
Delve blogs are being retired. Delve blogs will no longer be available for creation, and existing blogs will eventually be removed.
Delve Blog retirement schedule:
• Beginning December 18th, 2019, tenants will not have the ability to create new Delve blogs.
• Beginning January 18th, 2020 the ability to create new posts in existing Delve blogs will be disabled.
• Beginning April 17th, 2020, existing Delve blogs will be deleted and removed from Delve profiles.

Plan to use alternative methods of blogging. We recommend creating Communication sites using News, Yammer, and Stream as a modern way of engaging with your audience. To learn more about how to setup a great blogging site, please review Creating a blog with communications sites and news posts.

Microsoft’s Delve Blogs retirement message also arrived earlier this week for administrators via the Office 365 Message Center. Microsoft’s deadlines and communication approach are “quite aggressive” for organizations, but the Delve Blogs is likely getting axed because too few organizations use the feature.

So far, there’s hasn’t been any apparent public communication from Microsoft that Delve itself will be going away. Communications Sites in SharePoint is a possible substitute for Delve Blogs but not for all organizations because “not all users can create sites for themselves.” To address the coming deletion of Delve Blogs, end users should start saving their blogs as document files..

Revenue recogntion Dynamics 365 – ask Synergy Software Systems, Dubai

November 26th, 2019

The new revenue recognition standard is for compliance with ASC 606 and D365FO. it became available last month in generally release 10.0.5
To use this feature enable the module through license configuration when in maintenance mode.
System administration> Setup> License configuration. ( or go to the home page and use Advanced Search. Type “license configuration” and click on the “License Configuration” option.) Find the revenue recognition module under the General ledger node and select the module so that it is available for use.

To use the functionality set up schedules under Revenue recognition / Setup / Revenue schedules.
Set up five new posting types have been added to the inventory posting set up.

This video explains the basics of revenue recognition in Dynamics 365 Finance and how it’s used on sales orders. Customers will learn how different revenue schedules can be defined per item and how revenue schedule details are created upon invoicing a sales order.

Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 support will end January 14, 2020- ask Synergy Software Systems about options.

November 16th, 2019

On January 14, 2020, support for Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 will end. Only 2 months away
That means the end of regular security updates.

Don’t let your infrastructure and applications go unprotected.

We’re here to help you migrate to current versions for greater security, performance and innovation.
009714 3365589

Azure Arc in preview manage hybrid data across cloud platforms……

November 16th, 2019

Now in preview, Azure Arc helps simplify enterprise distributed environments by managing everything via Azure services (like Azure Resource Manager). Connecting hybrid infrastructure via Azure Arc improves security for users via automated patching, and provides improved governance, with everything ‘under one roof’. Azure Arc, a tool that lets organizations manage their data on: the Microsoft Azure cloud, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform or any combination.

Microsoft says that deployments can be set up “in seconds” via Azure data services anywhere, a feature of Azure Arc.

Azure Arc also supports Kubernetes clusters and edge infrastructures, as well as on-premises Windows and Linux servers.
No final release date yet but there is a free preview of Azure Arc .


Microcode BIOS Updates coming from a Microsoft Update

November 13th, 2019

Intel Microcode Updates coming from a Microsoft Update or the Windows Catalog.
The security implications of why you should update the microcode on your processors are covered in these links

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4093836/summary-of-intel-microcode-updates

https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/security-center/advisory/intel-sa-00233.html

https://www.amd.com/en/corporate/product-security

Microsoft is collaborating with Intel and AMD on these microcode updates.

When processors are manufactured, they have a baseline microcode baked into their ROM. This microcode is immutable and cannot be changed after the processor is built. Modern processors have the ability at initialization to apply volatile updates to move the processor to a newer microcode level. However, as soon as the processor is rebooted, it reverts back to the microcode baked into their ROM. These volatile updates can be applied to the processor one of two ways – System Firmware/BIOS via OEM and by the Operating System (OS). However, neither updates the microcode in the processors ROM. If you were to remove the processor from one computer and to install in a computer with an older System Firmware/BIOS and an un-updated OS, then you will again be vulnerable.

Windows offers the broadest coverage and quickest turnaround time to address these vulnerabilities. Microcode updates delivered via the Windows OS are not new; as far back as 2007 some updates were made available to address performance and reliability concerns.

You could jus take the OEM System Firmware/BIOS Updates, but often Microsoft Update hasthe microcode updates to address issues much sooner.

When the processor boots, it has versioning to make sure it is utilizing the latest microcode updates regardless of from where it came. Install of System Firmware/BIOS updates and microcode updates from Microsoft Update is therefore O.K. It is possible that the OEM updates the microcode to one level and the OS updates the microcode to an even higher level during the same boot.

Microcode updates install like any other update. They can be installed from Microsoft Update, WSUS, SCCM or manually installed if downloaded from the Catalog. The key difference is that the payload of the hotfix is primarily one of two files:

mcupdate_GenuineIntel.dll – Intel
mcupdate_AuthenticAMD.dll – AMD

These files contain the updated microcode and Windows automatically loads these via OS Loader to patch the microcode on the boot strap processor. This payload is then passed to additional processors as they startup as well the Hyper-V hypervisor if enabled.

Azure Synapse – BI for petabytes of data

November 11th, 2019

Microsoft introduced Azure Synapse Analytics last week as , the “next evolution” of Azure SQL Data Warehouse.

It promises better performance and more capabilities, than Azure SQL Data Warehouse, and existing customers will “automatically benefit” from the enhancements that are now in preview.

Azure Synapse is a “limitless” analytics service, and accommodates all data warehouses, data lakes, machine learning, and BI needs, either with a serverless or provisioned resources approach.

Among the benefits of Synapse:
• The service can query both relational and non-relationship data using SQL
• It can “apply intelligence” over all data, including Dynamics 365, Office 365 and SaaS services that support the Open Data Initiative
• It offers a unified experience for data prep, data management, data warehousing, big data, and AI
• Privacy and security features include: automated threat detection, always-on data encryption, column level security, and dynamic data masking

In an Ignite demo, Rohan Kumar, Microsoft corporate vice president for Azure Data claimed a petabyte scale query across multiple data sources ran in Synapse in 9 seconds, versus over eleven minutes in Google’s BigQuery. He also claimed that both AWS Redshift and BigQuery degrade more as concurrent load increase

Micorsoft Power Platform Enhancements -ask Synergy Software Systems

November 11th, 2019

• Microsoft Flow is renamed to Microsoft Power Automate, to better align with the Microsoft Power Platform.
Robotic process automation (RPA) is added to Microsoft Power Automate, to deliver end-to-end automation solutions that span AI, APIs, and UI on the Microsoft Power Platform.
Microsoft Power Virtual Agents—a no-code/low-code app that allows anyone to create, and to deploy, intelligent, AI-powered, virtual agents.
Many security enhancements for Microsoft Power BI, no matter where analytics data is used and accessed.
Microsoft Power Platform and Microsoft Teams, As organizations encourage a data-driven culture, it’s important they break down silos and ensure that the right people in the organization have the data they need to be involved in the decision-making process. Teams and Power Platform brings together the best of workplace collaboration and data-driven business into one place.

Power Platform applications dashboards, apps, and automations are available within Teams, so they are easier to find, share, and use on an everyday basis. The conversational nature of Teams enhances how users interact with Power Platform applications. Adaptive cards and bots let users engage with these tools directly through conversation. This integration gives IT Administrators high fidelity control and prioritization of features.

Power Apps creators can publish their apps directly to their company’s app library in Teams. By the end of 2019, users will be able to pin Power Apps to their Teams left rail, to provide easy access to regularly used apps.

New triggers and actions for Power Automate are available within Teams to streamline the completion of common team and personal tasks, such as scheduling focus time, and automating document approvals.

New features coming to Power BI next year include the ability to create rich adaptive cards in Teams conversations, to help users see and act on their data. An improved Power BI tab experience in Teams will make it easy to select the correct reports..

The American Red Cross is leveraging Power Platform integration with Teams to improve disaster response times.

• New, prebuilt models for AI Builder to add more advanced AI models to Microsoft Power Automate and Microsoft Power Apps.

These new features and products provide the Power Platform with an unmatched set of capabilities that enable everyone to: analyze, act, and automate across their organization, so as to transform businesses from the ground up.

Enhanced HA and DR benefits for SQL Server Sofware Assurance from 1 November.

November 5th, 2019

The enhanced benefits to SQL licensing for high availability and disaster recovery that are listed below are now applicable to all releases of SQL Server for a customer with SQL Server licenses with Software Assurance. The updated benefits will be available in the next refresh of the Microsoft Licensing Terms.

Business continuity is a key requirement for planning, designing, and implementing any business-critical system. When you bring data into the mix, business continuity becomes mandatory. It’s an insurance policy that one hopes they never have to make a claim against in the foreseeable future. SQL Server brings intelligent performance, availability, and security to Windows, Linux, and containers and can tackle any data workload from BI to AI from online transaction processing (OLTP) to data warehousing. You get mission-critical high availability and disaster recovery features that allow you to implement various topologies to meet your business SLAs.

A customer with SQL Server licenses with Software Assurance has historically benefited from a free passive instance of SQL Server for their high availability configurations. That helps to lower the total cost of ownership (TCO) of an application using SQL Server. Today, this is enhanced for the existing Software Assurance benefits for SQL Server which further helps customers implement a holistic business continuity plan with SQL Server.

Starting Nov 1st, every Software Assurance customer of SQL Server will be able to use three enhanced benefits for any SQL Server release that is still supported by Microsoft:
• Failover servers for high availability – Allows customers to install and run passive SQL Server instances in a separate operating system environment (OSE) or server for high availability on-premises in anticipation of a failover event. Today, Software Assurance customers have one free passive instance for either high availability or DR
• Failover servers for disaster recovery NEW – Allows customers to install and run passive SQL Server instances in a separate OSE or server on-premises for disaster recovery in anticipation of a failover event
• Failover servers for disaster recovery in Azure NEW – Allows customers to install and run passive SQL Server instances in a separate OSE or server for disaster recovery in Azure in anticipation of a failover event

With these new benefits, Software Assurance customers can implement hybrid disaster recovery plans with SQL Server using features like Always On Availability Groups without incurring additional licensing costs for the passive replicas.

A setup can use SQL Server running on an Azure Virtual Machine that utilizes 12 cores as a disaster recovery replica for an on-premises SQL Server deployment using 12 cores. In the past, you would need to license 12 cores of SQL Server for the on-premises and the Azure Virtual Machine deployment. The new benefit offers passive replica benefits running on an Azure Virtual Machine. Now a customer need to only license 12 cores of SQL Server running on-premises as long as the disaster recovery criteria for the passive replica on Azure Virtual Machine is met.

If, the primary. or the active replica. uses 12 cores hosting two virtual machines and the topology has two secondary replicas: one sync replica for high availability supporting automatic failovers and one asynchronous replica for disaster recovery without automatic failover then . the number of SQL Server core licenses required to operate this topology will be only 12 cores as opposed to 24 cores in the past.

These high availability and disaster recovery benefits will be applicable to all releases of SQL Server. In addition to the high availability and disaster recovery benefits, the following operations are allowed on the passive replicas:
• Database consistency checks
• Log backups
• Full backups
• Monitoring resource usage data

SQL Server 2019 also provides a number of improvements for availability, performance, and security along with new capabilities like the integration of HDFS and Apache Spark™ with the SQL Server database engine.

SnapLogic iPasS integration as a service – from Synergy Software Systems.

October 20th, 2019

Business Intelligence Managers/Analysts, Data/ETL Engineers, and Information/Data Architects are tasked with empowering business users to make use of
data to drive smart decisions and innovations. Data-driven initiatives can be challenging considering the explosion of data volumes due to the proliferation of sensors, IoT, and mobile computing.

Moreover, a growing number of groups within the business want access to fresh data.

To fully harness their data, organizations must also have a cloud strategy for their digital transformation efforts, namely to migrate data from
on-premises environments to the cloud. Considering the tremendous business value of unlocking that data, it’s imperative to prioritize and streamline these
data integration and migration projects.

Gone are the days when IT needed hundreds of coders to build extract, transform, load (ETL) solutions and then maintain those by writing more code. Modern integration platforms eliminate the need for custom coding. Now, data integration projects deploy and scale, often as much as ten times faster.

iPaaS platforms ease the pain because they’re designed for flexibility and ease of deployment for any integration project. A drag-and-drop UX coupled with a powerful platform and hundreds of pre-built connectors out of the box.

The connectors are always up-to-date, so the IT organization doesn’t spend an inordinate amount of time maintaining every integration by hand. This saves an incredible amount of time, money, and frustration across the team and projects and greatly reduces risk.

Not all integration platforms are created equal. Some do simple point-to-point cloud app integrations while others transform large and complex data into a data lake for advanced analytics. Some stgill require extensive developer resources to hand-code APIs while others provide self-service, drag-and-drop offerings that can be used by IT and business leaders alike. Some are best for specific tactical projects while others provide a strategic, enterprise-wide platform for multi-year digital transformation projects.

Organizations must address four key steps during the data migration and integration process:
1. Capture data that supports both the known use cases as well as future undefined use cases (think IoT data to support a future machine learning
enabled use case).
2. Conform inbound data to corporate standards to ensure governance, quality, consistency, regulatory compliance, and accuracy for downstream
consumers.
3. Refine data for its eventual downstream application and/or use cases (once its been captured and conformed to corporate standards).
4. Delivery of data needs to be broad and prepared to support future unknown destinations.

For decades, IT has been tasked to manage integration projects by writing tons of custom code. This onerous task is even more complex with the proliferation of SaaS applications, the surge in big data, the emergence of IoT, and the rise of mobile devices. IT’s integration backlog has exploded. Not only is the deployment too much work, but there is a growing cost to maintain all of the integrations.

Deploying a tactical or departmental data warehouse solution should take days, not months. Moreover, enterprise-wide data transformation projects should take months, not years.

The best data integration platforms:
- Support multiple app and data integration use cases across cloud, on-premises, and hybrid deployments
- Offer the flexibility to be used in cloud, hybrid, or on-premises environments, regardless of the execution location
- Provide a self-service user experience aided by AI, machine learning, hundreds of pre-built connectors, and integration pipeline
templates (patterns) resulting in greater user productivity, and faster time-to-integration
- Have an underlying, scalable architecture to grow with evolving data and integration requirements
- Support different data modes such as streaming, event-driven, real-time or batch

The SnapLogic iPaaS offering is functionally rich and well-proven for a variety of use cases. It supports hybrid deployments and provides rich and differentiating features for analytics and big data integration (Hadooplex). Clients score SnapLogic as above average for cloud characteristics, functional completeness, ease of use and ability to meet SLAs.” Gartner

SnapLogic is a U.S.-based integration platform company. In mid-2013, it transitioned from a traditional software business to an iPaaS model with the release of the SnapLogic Elastic Integration Platform which provides a large set of native iPaaS capabilities that target the cloud service integration, analytics and big data integration use cases.

The flagship Enterprise Edition features a set of base adapters (Snaps), an unlimited number of connections and unlimited data volume.

Synergy Software Systems has been an Enterprise Solutions Integrator in the GCC since 1991. We are pleased to announce our formal partnership to represent Snap Logic in the MEA region.

Do you need to integrate with Azure? with SAP Data Warehouse Cloud? with Workday? With Odette compliant auto mamufacturers………..?.

To learn more call us on 009714 3365589

Microsoft’s Newest Flight Simulator- Wow!

October 14th, 2019

To get a feel for how much technology has advanced in recent years see this post

http://inspire.eaa.org/2019/09/30/an-inside-look-at-microsofts-newest-flight-simulator/

“The new simulator models the entire planet, including something like 40,000 airports worldwide. ” ……” The world in the new version consists of 2 petabytes of data — yes, that’s one thousand times bigger. The scenery is built on Bing satellite and aerial imagery, augmented with cool buzzwordy stuff like photogrammetric 3D modeling and multiple other data sources, all of which is streamed via Microsoft’s Azure cloud service

” …….of the scenery areas boast a resolution of 3 centimeters per pixel” ……… ” Throw in 1.5 trillion trees, individual blades of grass modeled in 3D, and a complete overhaul of lighting and shadows, and the result is an unprecedented level of detail for a flight simulator of any kind. True VFR flight, day or night, with real-world landmarks is now possible everywhere on the planet.

Windows- no more security updates for older versions of Windows 10

October 12th, 2019

On Wednesday last week Microsoft warned that organizations running Windows 10 version 1703 will stop getting “quality updates” (security and nonsecurity patches) on Oct. 8, 2019.

Organizations running Windows 10 version 1803 will stop getting quality updates on Nov. 12, 2019.
So our advice is to upgrade to the latest version to continue to get patch support from Microsoft.

Patching systems is more complicated with Windows 10. Microsoft admitted a couple of year ago that it had stopped testing its quality updates when it released Windows 8 and it reduced its app testing. It now follows more of a combination of a DevOps ‘crowd -QA’ feedback approach and its “telemetry” data collection, to hold off delivering potentially problematic upgrades. It hasn’t been a problem-free approach, and there have been failures in delivering problem-free patches. Enterprise organizations also have more complex software environments to patch for in its own testing.

If Microsoft continues as indicated down the road of making Windows a service billed on consumption, then it may have to look close at the relationship between QA and its SLAs

SQL Server 2016 SP2 CU10 – (it fixes CU 9)

October 10th, 2019

SQL Server 2016 SP2 CU10 is essentially a fixed version of CU9.

Microsoft added a note to the KB article to holdoff on CU9, and now…that CU9 KB article page has vanished altogether.

So CU9 is dead to Microsoft, Everything we said about CU9, is replaced by CU10.

Legacy web client for Dynamics 365 CRM will be deprecated. New D365 Unified Client ask Synergy Software Systems, Dubai

October 3rd, 2019

On the 10th September 2019, Microsoft announced the legacy web client for Dynamics 365 CRM will be deprecated. Customers must transition to Unified Interface before October 1, 2020.
This will affect Dynamics 365 Sales, Dynamics 365 Customer Service, Dynamics 365 Field Service, Dynamics 365 Project Service, and Dynamics 365 Marketing customers.
According to Microsoft, they will “continue to provide support, security, and other critical updates to the Dynamics 365 legacy web client until October 1, 2020, but will not release any additional functionality beyond what has already been announced.”
In addition, the following capabilities will also be removed from Dynamics CRM solutions by October 1, 2020:
• Process dialogs
• Task flows
We expect other current functionality to also be deprecated within the next year.
New features include:
• Form Updates
• Entity Based Dashboards
• Business Process Flows
• Role Based Apps and Views
• Navigation and Views
• Panels and Subgrids
• Timelines
• Artificial Intelligence
Contact us for an upgrade analysis. We’ll help you consider the information you need before you transition to the new UI including:
• High-level state of your current CRM system
• Cloud and mobile strategy
• Usability
• List of all third-party ISVs
• User processes
• Tenant analysis
• Deployment methodology
• License changes from 1 Oct 2019