Archive for August, 2017

Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales, Business Edition – ask Synergy Software Systems Dubai

August 30th, 2017

Later this year Dynamics CRM and Dynamics AX will come together to create the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Enterprise edition.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Edition is the set of intelligent Cloud business applications for SMBs with 10-249 employees. (the ‘Dynamics Ax’ part of D365 is targeted at Enterprise companies i.e. above 250 users).
Dynamics 365 Business Edition includes Dynamics 365 for Financials, (which is based the proven Dynamics NAV financials). Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Financials is already available in the USA, Canada and UK, followed by a phased roll out to additional countries.

The Sales and Marketing modules of the Business edition of Dynamics 365 will debut during 2017. CRM Online is now called Dynamics 365 for Sales.

Other than the name Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales, Business Edition (I will call it D365SBE) stems from Microsoft CRM Online. Microsoft has really improved and invested in Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales Business Edition.The Business edition will be founded on “Project Madeira” (It is in public preview now).

Until this is available SMBs can license Dynamics 365 for Sales from the Dynamics 365 Enterprise Edition at a significantly reduced monthly price per user – until the Business Edition apps are launched.

Leads, Accounts, Contacts, Opportunities, Activities, Marketing Lists, etc. are all expected in the Business Edition when it is released in a few months The pricing is still to be released, expect Microsoft to target at an entry level price around $40 to $65 per user per month.

Mobile and the Outlook app. One click will let you add a contact from whom get an email into to D365SBE. Learn more here:

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/get-started/whats-new/customer-engagement/new-in-business-edition

GDPR Affects All European Businesses – What about the G.C.C. and U.A.E.?

August 19th, 2017

See our previous article on this topic for why your company may be affected if you are a branch of a European company, or have branches in Europe, or trade with a European company.

From May 25, 2018, companies with business operations inside the European Union must follow the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) to safeguard how they process personal data “wholly or partly by automated means and to the processing other than by automated means of personal data which form part of a filing system or are intended to form part of a filing system.”

The penalties set for breaches of GDPR are up to 4% of a company’s annual global turnover.
For large companies like Microsoft that have operations within the EU, making sure that IT systems do not contravene GDPR is critical. As we saw on August 3, even the largest software operations like Office 365 can have a data breach.

Many applications can store data that might come under the scope of GDPR. the regulation has a considerable influence over how tenants deal with personal data. The definition of personal data is “any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person (‘data subject’); an identifiable natural person is one who can be identified, directly or indirectly, in particular by reference to an identifier such as a name, an identification number, location data, an online identifier or to one or more factors specific to the physical, physiological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural or social identity of that natural person.”
GDPR goes on to define processing of personal data to be “any operation or set of operations which is performed on personal data or on sets of personal data, whether or not by automated means, such as collection, recording, organisation, structuring, storage, adaptation or alteration, retrieval, consultation, use, disclosure by transmission, dissemination or otherwise making available, alignment or combination, restriction, erasure or destruction.”

That means that individuals have the right to ask companies to tell them what of their personal data a company holds, and to correct errors in their personal data, or to erase that data completely.

Companies therefore need to:
- review and know what personal data they hold,
- make sure that they obtain consents from people to store that data,
– protect the data,
- and notify authorities when data breaches occur.

On first reading, this might sound like what companies do – or at least try to do – today. The difference lies in the strength of the regulation and the weight of the penalties should anything go wrong.

GDPR deserves your attention.

The definitions used by GDPR are broad. To move from the theoretical to the real world an organization first needs to understand what personal data it currently holds for its business operations, and where they use the data within software applications.

It is easy to hold personal information outside of business applications like finance and erp and crm e.g. inside Office 365 applications, including:
• Annual reviews written about employees stored in a SharePoint or OneDrive for Business site.
• A list of applicants for a position in an Excel worksheet attached to an email message.
• Tables holding data (names, employee numbers, hire dates, salaries) about employees in SharePoint sites.
• Outlook contacts, and emails. Skype business,
• Social media sites
• Loyalty programmes
• T@A systems
• E commerce sites
• Mobile apps e.g. What’s App

Other examples might include contract documentation, project files that includes someone’s personal information, and so on.

What backups do you have of the customer’s data?
What business data do your staff hold on BYOD devices e.g. in What’s App?

Data Governance Helps
Fortunately, the work done inside Office 365 in the areas of data governance and compliance help tenants to satisfy the requirements of GDPR. These features include:
• Classification labels and policies to mark content that holds personal data.
• Auto-label policies to find and classify personal data as defined by GDPR. Retention processing can then remove items stamped with the GDPR label from mailboxes and sites after a defined period, perhaps after going through a manual disposition process.
• Content searches to find personal data marked as coming under the scope of GDPR.
• Alert policies to detect actions that might be violations of the GDPR such as someone downloading multiple documents over a brief period from a SharePoint site that holds confidential documentation.
• Searches of the Office 365 audit log to discover and report potential GDPR issues.
• Azure Information Protection labels to encrypt documents and spreadsheets holding personal data by applying RMS templates so that unauthorized parties cannot read the documents even if they leak outside the organization.

Technology that exists today within Office 365 that can help with GDPR.

Classification Labels
Create a classification label to mark personal data coming under the scope of GDPR and then apply that label to relevant content. When you have Office 365 E5 licenses, create an auto-label policy to stamp the label on content in Exchange, SharePoint, and OneDrive for Business found because documents and messages hold sensitive data types known to Office 365.

GDPR sensitive data types

Select from the set of sensitive data types available in Office 365.
The set is growing steadily as Microsoft adds new definitions.
At the time of writing, 82 types are available, 31 of which are obvious candidates to use in a policy because those are for sensitive data types such as country-specific identity cards or passports.

Figure 1: Selecting personal data types for an auto-label policy (image credit: Tony Redmond)

GDPR Policy

The screenshot in Figure 2 shows a set of sensitive data types selected for the policy. The policy applies a label called “GDPR personal data” to any content found in the selected locations that matches any of the 31 data types.

Auto-apply policies can cover all Exchange mailboxes and SharePoint and OneDrive for Business sites in a tenant – or a selected sub-set of these locations.


Figure 2: The full set of personal data types for a GDPR policy (image credit: Tony Redmond)

Use classification labels to mark GDPR content so that you can search for this content using the ComplianceTag keyword (for instance, ComplianceTag:”GDPR personal data”).

Caveats:
It may take 1-2 week before auto-label policies apply to all locations.
An auto-label policy will not overwrite a label that already exists on an item.

A problem is that classification labels only cover some of Office 365. Some examples of popular applications where you cannot yet use labels are:
• Teams.
• Planner.
• Yammer.

Microsoft plans to expand the Office 365 data governance framework to other locations (applications) over time.
Master data management
What about all the applications running on SQL or other databases?
Master Data Management MDM is a feature of SQL since SQL 2012. However, when you have many data sources then you are relay into an ETL process and even with MDM tools the work is still significant.

If you have extensive requirements then ask us about Profisee our specialist, productized MDM solution built on top of SQL MDM that allows you to do much of the work by configuration.

Right of Erasure
Finding GDPR data is only part of the problem. Article 17 of GDPR (the “right of erasure”), says: “The data subject shall have the right to obtain from the controller the erasure of personal data concerning him or her without undue delay.” In other words, someone has the right to demand that an organization should erase any of their personal data that exists within the company’s records.

Content searches can find information about someone using their name, employee number, or other identifiers as search keywords, but erasing the information is something that probably also needs manual processing to ensure that the tenant removes the right data, and only that data.

You can find and remove documents and other items that hold someone’s name or other identifier belonging to them by using tools such as Exchange’s v Search-Mailbox cmdlet, or Office 365 content searches.
What if the the data ahs to be retained because the company needs to keep items for regulatory or legal purposes, can you then go ahead and remove the items?
The purpose of placing content on-hold is to ensure that no-one, including administrators, can remove that information from Exchange or SharePoint.

The GDPR requirement to erase data on request means that administrators might have to release holds placed on Exchange, SharePoint, and OneDrive for Business locations to remove the specified data. Once you release a hold, you weaken the argument that held data is immutable. The danger exists that background processes or users can then either remove or edit previously-held data and so undermine a company’s data governance strategy.

The strict reading of GDPR is that organizations must process requests to erase personal data upon request.
What if the company needs to keep some of the data to satisfy regulations governing financial transactions, taxation, employment claims, or other interactions? This is a dilemma for IT. Lawyers will undoubtedly have to interpret requests and understand the consequences before making decisions and it is likely that judges will have to decide some test cases in different jurisdictions before full clarity exists.

Hybrid is even More Difficult

Microsoft is working to help Office 365 tenants with GDPR. However, I don’t see the same effort going to help on-premises customers. Some documentation exists to deal with certain circumstances (like how to remove messages held in Recoverable Items), but it seems that on-premises customers have to figure out a lot things for themselves.

This is understandable. Each on-premises deployment differs slightly and exists inside specific IT environments. Compared to the certainty of Office 365, developing software for on-premises deployment must accommodate the vertical and company specific requirements with integrations and bespoke developments.

On-premises software is more flexible, but it is also more complicated.
Solutions to help on-premises customers deal with GDPR are more of a challenge than Microsoft or other software vendors wants to take on especially given the industry focus of moving everything to the cloud.

Solutions like auto-label policies are unavailable for on-premises servers. Those running on-premises SharePoint and Exchange systems must find their own ways to help the businesses that they serve deal with personal data in a manner that respects GDPR. Easier said than done and needs to start sooner than later.

SharePoint Online GitHub Hub

If you work with SharePoint Online, you might be interested in the SharePoint GDPR Activity Hub. At present, work is only starting, but it is a nway to share information and code with similarly-liked people.

ISV Initiatives

There many ISV-sponsored white papers on GDPR and how their technology can help companies cope with the new regulations. There is no doubt that these white papers are valuable, if only for the introduction and commentary by experts that the papers usually feature. But before you resort to an expensive investment, ask yourself whether the functionality available in Office 365 or SQL is enough.

Technology Only Part of the Solution

GDPR will effect Office 365 because it will make any organization operating in the European Union aware of new responsibilities to protect personal data. Deploy Office 365 features to support users in their work, but do not expect Office 365 to be a silver bullet for GDPR. Technology seldom solves problems on its own. The nature of regulations like GDPR is that training and preparation are as important if not more important than technology to ensure that users recognize and properly deal with personal data in their day-to-day activities.

Malicious tech support ads – Windows 10 users beware.

August 13th, 2017

1. On Tuesday, Microsoft’s Malware Protection Center announced that it had learned about new strategies to target those using Windows 10 via links that lead to fraudulent tech support sites.
2. Zdnet reports that the scam involves a series of malicious ads that redirect victims to a fake tech-support page, in which Windows 10 users are presented with a display of fake Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) or other bogus Windows security alerts
3. Once users have clicked on the link that leads to the fraudulent website, they are presented with a host of security-alert popups that aim to drive users to contact the bogus support call center.
To report a scam https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/contactus/

To prevent these kinds of attacks, Microsoft’s Windows 10, Outlook.com, Edge, and Exchange Online Protection include security features to block the fake tech support sites and fraudulent emails.

According to Microsoft, Edge users can prevent dialog loops by blocking a certain page from multiplying.
A new Edge feature gives users the ability to shut down browsers or tabs when facing a suspicious-looking popup message.

According to Microsoft,each month “…at least three million users of various platforms and software encounter tech support scams”.
the scam new techniques introduce a different layer to the mix, and embed links in phish-like emails—and represent a step up from the previous methods used by scammers, potentially leading to a wider pool of victims

Micorosft CRM 4.0 support ends April 2018

August 12th, 2017

Microsoft Dynamics 4.0 will reach the end of extended support on April 10, 2018.
If you are using this version, then please plan to upgrade to at least Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 or a later version before April 10, 2018 to ensure supportability.

The best way to continue to get full support for Dynamics CRM is to upgrade to the latest versions, now known as Dynamics 365.
The following resources are available to help you upgrade:
• Microsoft Dynamics 365 IT Pro Technical Library
• Upgrade CRM 4.0 Organization to CRM 2011
• Upgrading from Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011

If you need help to plan an upgrade then please call Synergy Software Systems: 0097143365589

“Outlook add-in” deprecated in July 2017 update for Dynamics 365

August 12th, 2017

Dynamics 365 for Outlook (“Outlook add-in”) was deprecated with the July 2017 update for Dynamics 365.
The Outlook add-in was a legacy feature
What deprecation means
When a Dynamics 365 feature is “deprecated,” it means intent to remove the feature capability from a future major release of Dynamics 365. The Outlook add-in will continue to work and is fully supported until it is officially removed. However, Microsoft will not invest in new functionality for the add-in. After the removal, the Outlook add-in will no longer work.

The add-in is was deprecated with the July 2017 update for Dynamics 365 (online), which was a major release (version 9.0).
The add-in will be removed with version 10.0, .
The removal applies for versions 10.0 and onwards. Microsoft will continue to support the add-in in versions earlier than version 10.0 until the Dynamics 365 version itself is not supported.

Today’s users expect products to be fast, contextual, and easy to navigate.
While the add-in has many capabilities, the user experience is not as up to date as the rest of the Dynamics 365 product.

COM add-ins (on which Dynamics 365 for Outlook is based) are older, slower, technology which is supported only in limited versions of Outlook.
In recent years, Office has released “Office add-ins,” which, unlike COM add-ins, don’t have any code physically installed on the user’s device or Outlook client, and thus result in better maintainability and reliability.

The new add-ins are not limited to Outlook running on Windows; they also run on: Outlook Web App, Outlook for Mac, and Outlook for mobile.

With the latest Dynamics 365 enhancements, improvements to Dynamics 365 App for Outlook, and with enhancements on the roadmap, users will both have a better experience while using Dynamics 365 App for Outlook and get the functionality they need to run their businesses.

The combination of the new Office add-ins, enhancements to Dynamics 365 App for Outlook, and the long time provided to prepare for this change is the reason for announcing the Outlook add-in deprecation at this time.

Microsoft Social Engagement 2017 Update 1.7 – Ask Synergy Software Systems

August 12th, 2017

Microsoft Social Engagement 2017 Update 1.7 is ready and will be released in August 2017.
New and updated features
Microsoft Social Engagement 2017 Update 1.7 introduces the following features:

Listening and engagement on YouTube
• Get in touch with your audience on YouTube directly from within Social Engagement.
• Users with at least a Responder interaction role can now rate and reply to videos and comments on YouTube.
• Add a social profile for YouTube under Settings > Social Profiles, or get a YouTube profile shared with you before you can interact on this source.
• Additionally, Social Engagement extended the listening capabilities and is now capable of acquiring video posts and comments on YouTube channels.
• Any user with permission to create search rules can create YouTube rules under any search topic and add YouTube channels to gather posts and comments from.
• Keyword-based searches on the video source continue to reside under the keywords rule and now also contain comments for actively discussed video posts.

Resolved issues
In addition to the new features, Update 1.7 addresses the following issues:
• Fixed an issue in the Social Engagement content pack for Power BI that was causing the content pack installation to fail when the Social Engagement solution has no name set (found in Settings -> Global Settings -> Default Preferences). Please download the latest content pack from AppSource to avoid this issue
• Fixed an issue in Social Profiles displaying the wrong icons regarding acquisition usage.
• Fixed an issue for Surface Hub devices where the on-screen keyboard wasn’t shown when defining keyword filters.

Dynamics 365 Enterprise Finance and Operations – G.C.C. HR and Payroll from Synergy Software Systems

August 10th, 2017

Our Ax 2012 R3 popular HR and Payroll software was implemented in more than 40 companies.
It is now available in Dynamics 365 Enterprise Finance and Operation, with the first implementation already started.

The product includes comprehensive payroll features as well as automation of many day to day processes for HR and PRO staff.

Extensive Power BI analysis, T@A integration, and mobile approval are additional features

August 7th, 2017

The latest upgrade of Dynamics 365 Enterprise for Finance and Operations was more than just a name change.
A major are of enhancement is embedded Powwr BI analytics.

Analytical Workspaces and Business Intelligence Reports (via Power BI) are now directly embedded into the ERP. With these tools, users are able to access powerful, data driven reports without having to leave the Dynamics 365 interface thereby delivering a seamless experience.

Some of the benefits of embedded Analytical Workspaces include:
• Power BI readily available without navigating away from Dynamics 365
• Service Licenses already included in the purchase price for Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations
• Ability to drill-down past visuals for more in depth data analysis
•Role and task based security for all reports
• Ability to personalize workspaces with a variety of Power BI tiles

With Power Apps you can also view Power BU reports on your mobile devices.

The term embedded business intelligence (BI) refers to experiences that use highly intuitive and fluid visualizations to provide insights that are relevant to a task, so that user is more informed and can make better choices. Embedded BI is used throughout the user interface. At a technical level, building rich visualizations requires a powerful charting framework, and also an efficient way to access aggregated data that enables the display of fluid visualizations. Finance and Operations meets both of these requirements, so that application developers can build rich and deep embedded BI–enabled scenarios.

In Finance and Operations, perspectives reside within the analytics collection in the Application Explorer. Perspectives have undergone a major upgrade and now incorporate the following improvements:
• Model new aggregate models and customize existing aggregate models as a star schema within Application Explorer.
• Modeling for key performance indicators (KPIs) in Application Explorer is supported.
• Model data entities by referencing aggregate models and expose those models to external reporting tools, such as PowerBI, as OData endpoints. Data entities canbe consumed within Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations.
• Consume aggregate models directly in the programming model by using X++ or C# code. You no longer have to write MDX code to consume aggregate data.
• Aggregate data is similar to the behavior of detailed data. For example, aggregate data can be enriched with extended data types (EDTs) and enumerations, and you secure these by using Finance and Operations security concepts.
• By default, aggregate measurements are real-time. A system administrator, can manage the latency of aggregate data and controls based on available resources and business needs, without having to deal with the complexity of scheduling and external tools.
• Finance and Operations perspectives enable easier and more predictable modeling that takes advantage of business concepts that are already available throughout Finance and Operations. This lets developers re-use existing business models, and thus makes the modeling process quicker and easier.

Projects that were generated by using perspectives from Dynamics AX 2012 and later can be upgraded to Finance and Operations metadata equivalents.

Measures are aggregate numbers, such as Total Sales or Number of Orders.
Dimensions are slicers, such as Product, Vendor, or Customer, that help you analyze the measure.

For example, the measure of Total Sales isn’t useful unless it can be sliced by Product, Region, and Customer. Aggregate measurements are the evolution of AX 2012 analysis cubes.
Whereas a cube was based on a multidimensional online analytical processing (OLAP) technology, an aggregate measurement abstracts the underlying technology. Therefore, you no longer have to know about the underlying implementation technology. The underlying technology infrastructure now also takes advantage of improvements with in-memory real-time technology.

The integration of Finance and Operations and Power BI enables data mash-up scenarios that require access to external data sources that are supported through Microsoft Power Query for Excel.

Users can personalize workspaces by embedding tiles that are hosted on PowerBI.com.
Users can also add direct links to reports that are hosted on PowerBI.com.
In this way, users can access and interact with the reports without leaving the application. Power BI content (PBIX files) that partners and ISVs develop can be embedded directly into the application.
PBIX files that are associated with a model file are automatically published in Power BI Embedded as part of the application deployment process.
Additionally, add X++ extensions for embedded reporting scenarios that require the following functionality:+
• Drill-down navigation into detailed pages in response to user interactions
• Report filters that are based on user and session context information, such as company or date range
• The ability to navigate directly to a specific tab on a Power BI report via menu items

If you’re using Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, Enterprise edition July 2017 update, the following Power BI content is available:
•Actual vs budget Power BI content
•Benefits Power BI content
•Cash overview Power BI content
•CFO overview Power BI content
•Compensation Power BI content
•Cost accounting analysis Power BI content*
•Credit and collections management Power BI content
•Employee development Power BI content
•Financial performance Power BI content*
•Fixed asset management Power BI content
•Learning Power BI content
•Practice manager Power BI content
•Production performance Power BI content
•Purchase spend analysis Power BI content
•Recruiting Power BI content
•Sales and profitability performance Power BI content
•Vendor payments Power BI content
•Warehouse performance Power BI content
•Workforce metrics Power BI content

We have great response from customers to Power BI- and yes it also works with Ax 2012 and other data sources. If you would like to book a place on one of our Power BI training courses then contact us on 0097143365589

Docs.com – New Microsoft documentation portal

August 6th, 2017

Microsoft Corporation has provisioned a new portal for all their application/framework documentation and are also placing the ability to add to that content.

The new docs.microsoft.com rolled out recently for their documentation for each of the following topic groups arranged by product line/focus:
• SQL
• Windows
• Microsoft Azure
• Visual Studio
• Office
• .NET
• ASP.NET
• Dynamics 365
• Enterprise Mobility + Security
• nuget
• Xamarin

So no longer navigate to msdn.microsoft.com. The central portal leads to additional functionality and information sharing not previously offered.

Critical issues from Microsoft July 2017

August 6th, 2017

Issue Alerts:
Critical: Do NOT delete files from the Windows Installer folder.
C:\windows\Installer is not a temporary folder and files in it should not be deleted.
If you do it on machines on which you have SQL Server installed, then you may have to rebuild the operating system and to reinstall SQL Server.

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/sqlserverfaq/archive/2013/04/30/do-not-delete-files-from-the-windows-installer-folder.aspx

Critical: Please be aware of a critical Microsoft Visual C++ 2013 runtime pre-requisite update that may be required on machines where SQL Server 2016 will be, or has been, installed.

https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/sqlcat/2016/07/28/installing-sql-server-2016-rtm-you-must-do-this/

If KB3164398 or KB3138367 are installed, then no further action is necessary.
To check, run the following from a command prompt:
powershell get-hotfix KB3164398
powershell get-hotfix KB3138367

If the version of %SystemRoot%\system32\msvcr120.dll is 12.0.40649.5 or later, then no further action is necessary. To check, run the following from a command prompt:
powershell “get-item %systemroot%\system32\msvcr120.dll | select versioninfo | fl”

Power BI updates July-August 2017

August 6th, 2017

Power BI Desktop July Feature Summary
New table & matrix visuals are now generally available;
Easier to drill on either the rows or columns;
Power Bi now honours new lines in content, either when it’s in the data you load from source or when you specify it in a DAX function.
Custom visuals store is brought into the Power BI Desktop. From the Home ribbon, open the store, to browse visuals and add those to your Desktop.
◦ Responsive layout for visuals (preview)
◦New waterfall chart option – breakdown
◦ Bidirectional cross filtering for DirectQuery is now generally available
◦ Quick measures from the community: Star rating, Concatenated list of values
◦ Add Column from Examples enhancements

https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/power-bi-desktop-july-feature-summary-2/

Responsive visualizations are also coming to Power BI
Power BI responsive visualizations change dynamically to display the maximum amount of data and insight, no matter the screen size.
As a visualization changes its size, Power BI prioritizes the data view, for example removing padding and legend tweaks such as moving the legend to the top of the visualization – automatically, so the visualization remains informative and beautiful even as it gets smaller.