Archive for February, 2018

February 24th, 2018

Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations Enterprise is Microsoft’s flagship cloud-based ERP system, Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations is optimized to deliver improved global visibility, scalability and digital intelligence.


Financial dimensions



Dynamics 365 FO platform update changes

February 22nd, 2018

The next platform update (which is Platform update 13) will be generally available in April 2018. Platform updates are backwards compatible and do not require any change in your customizations.

For customers who purchase subscriptions to Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations after April 1, 2018, Platform updates will be continual updates, and will now be managed by Microsoft rather than optional updates.

• If you purchase subscriptions to Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operation after April 1, 2018, then you willl automatically begin receiving continuous updates.
• If you are an existing customer and have Platform Update 11 or earlier installed, then you will be asked to move to Platform Update 12 by April 1 2018.

By July 1, 2018 all customers will receive continual Platform updates managed by Microsoft. (See the Microsoft Modern Lifecycle support policy).

The cloud brings new operating paradigms, no longer do we need for major upgrade every few years to get new features. Such upgrades for an enterprise system are major projects. The new platform aims at a more agile approach of incremental updates. That requires Customers to have a different mind set and processes of on-going testing, own code alignment and new feature adoption. The move from layered code to extension is to support this sea change.
Over-layering means you can change any code when want and move it up to the next layer. This works well in on-premise, isolated code bases. However, it is a high maintenance driver for cloud application, where code purity is the key to scale.
Extension technology does not change the original code base. it provides entry and exit points in the code framework to extend it. These are called pre and post hooks. So, to get a value in a table that is not retrieved in standard code, add code to the post hook to get that value, without ever changing the standard code. Thus the standard code is intact, scalable and can run at high performance using hyper scale computing power.

However, it is not always possible to use pre and post hooks. You may want to alter the value in the process before retrieving it and to interact in the code itself. That was the situation in Ax 2012 and the so called Ax 7
Microsoft provided a new concept in D365 FO called “chain of command” to take extensibility to the next levels.
The goal is better customer experience, faster time to value, better process speeds in large processes, that used to take forever, like master planning or billing.
Rather than 5 year big bang upgrades we will see rolling monthly updates.
In the long run containerisation and micro-ervices are the new paradigms. That’s how Amazon works. Containerised code can even run without an OS.

However, moving from over-layering to extensions is effectively a rewrite of all Dynamics Ax code. Thus, it is a task of epic proportions for those with legacy major vertical extensions. At the end of the work we are going to be in a better place. Release speed will improve and with less dependency on standard code, new and updated solutions will be able to release faster to keep up with the new Microsoft releases

Additional information
• Starting with the April 2018 release, Platform updates for both on-premises and online deployments will be available together.
• Continual updates will be applied first to the sandbox environment and then applied on production. Detailed plans about the process will be shared in the coming weeks.
We have taken several steps in the last few months as we continue this journey to create a robust yet flexible cloud ERP. We believe these changes will result in gains for you in the long term to take advantage of the cloud innovation and capabilities. The timeline below captures recent and upcoming changes.

Nov 2017 Network security group lock down to control access to a set of known clients.
Dec 2017 Sandbox for Dev and Test on MS subscription restricted to non admin access.

Feb 2018 Reduction in package deployment downtime.
Feb 2018 Necessary sand box service operations available through Microsoft Dynamics Lifecycle Services (LCS) such that Azure SQL Server administrative access to all sandboxes will not be required.
April 2018 All sandbox service operations available through LCS such that RDP access to sandbox will not be required.
April 2018 Microsoft managed Platform updates for new customers.
July 2018 Microsoft managed Platform updates for existing customers.
Please note that this information is subject to change without notice.
For more information on the new features ask your Dubai Dynamics partner Synergy Software Systems

VAT on bank charges in the U.A.E. Yes? No? Maybe

February 18th, 2018

On the 28 December 2017, the United Arab Emirates (“UAE”) Central Bank issued “Notice No. 421/2017” to Head Offices of National Banks, Main Branches of Foreign Banks and Finance Companies Operating in the UAE with a subject title “Clarification of VAT Application” (“Notice”). This notice clarified the UAE Central Bank’s position regarding the levy of Value Added Tax (“VAT”) on certain fees charged by banks and finance companies.

“Banks and finance companies should comply with Central Bank’s Regulations 29/2011 regarding Bank Loans & Other Services Offered to Individual customers, and service charges collected from customers shall be within the limits specified in Annexure 2 of the said Regulations. Banks and finance companies will not be permitted to exceed the fees structure for individual customers because of VAT. Similarly, banks are required to maintain and not increase their existing fees structure and levels for non-individual customers as a result of VAT.

Therefore, the banks and finance companies shall absorb the applicable VAT until further instructions from the Central Bank. Similarly, any applicable VAT on the services provided by the Central Bank shall be absorbed by the Central Bank.”

This Notice was not aligned with the understanding of many financial services providers, where the interpretation is that charging VAT on their (maximum) fees and commissions is not an increase in fee but rather is a levy of tax on behalf of the Federal Tax Authority in accordance with the Federal Decree – Law No. (8) of 2017 on Value Added Tax (“ VAT Law”) and had announced a VAT levy would apply.

Some areas remain uncertain under the Notice, notably with regards to the application of the restriction to existing fees structure and levels for non-individual customers, as the maximum limits for fees and commissions listed in Appendix 2 of the Central Bank Regulations 29/2011 are applicable to retail customer service only.

As indicated in the Notice, a further review in consultation with relevant stakeholders will be undertaken.
see for example

EAM, field service, IOT and Holo lens -ask Synergy Software Systems, Dubai

February 17th, 2018

The digital world is already here and what seemed science fiction few years back we now accept as everyday. Voice activated commands on our smear phone now also query our databases and update our dashboards, remote medical checks are done at an atm, artificial intelligence and big data influence our live every time we log onto google, amazon, facebook or ring a callcentre.

We have been investigating IoT for over a year, particularly with regard to condition monitoring for asset management and several of our team were involved in recent training that included a hands on session for Microsoft Field Services. This is built on the Dynamics 365 platform as an extension of CRM and offer comprehensive features for field service: help desk, engineer scheduling and mobile operations. Field service is aimed at service companies with a large field force of service engineers and is typically integrated with erp systems and thus the overall project can be quite complex. To reduce the risk and implementation time we offer a proven accelerator.

We also offer a Enterprise Asset Management suite which is successfully deployed in several leading UAE companies for a number of years particularly for asset tracking.

In Dynamics 365/2012 for Ax EAM also needs to consider that both engineers and equipment may be sued is production or on projects. Thus engineering and maintenance scheduling also has to consider in house planned and breakdown maintenance and servicing and more complex overhauls and asset structures, the impact of equipment downtime on production schedules and much more. We offer a Microsoft certified isv integrated suite of EAM modules built on the Ax 2012/D365 platform that covers both field service and mobile as well as in in house maintenance.

Predictive maintenance and SCADA integration and extensive condition monitoring., embedded and Power BI analytics are no longer rocket science.

At a recent client 4 day workshop we demonstrated HOLO lens assisted reality to support engineers. This can for example be used to provide step by step guidance or for collaboration from the field with an OEM a remote manufacturer, or your chief engineer.

January 2018 release for Dynamics AX 2012 R3 version

February 11th, 2018

The January release for Dynamics AX 2012 R3 version is available in LCS on the updates tile inside your R3 project. This update represents a typical collection of smaller functional improvements and technical fixes.

Bugs are fixed in many areas and there are also many enhancements.

This release is a cumulative package including all other fixes released in the prior CU13 update.

This release gives visibility into fixes recently shipped for R3, including some features and design changes that are newly released in this month.

• Primary Build: 6.3.6000.4281
• Number of Application hotfixes: 141
• Number of Binary hotfixes: 21

Ask your Dubai Microsoft Dynamics Partner, Synergy Software Systems on 0097143365589

Dynamics AX 2009 mainstream support is running out.

February 11th, 2018

April 10, 2018 marks the end of mainstream support for Dynamics AX 2009.
Extended support ends 10/12/21.

It is time to start making plans to migrate if you are still on AX 2009.
Customers have the option to move to Dynamics 365 Enterprise or even Dynamics AX 2012 R3.

Under mainstream support those Customers who remain current on the Microsoft Dynamics Enhancement Plan will continue to receive all of the valued benefits of the Enhancement Plan, including regulatory updates and hotfixes, except for some exceptions for Brazil.

Extended support for those Customers who remain current on the Microsoft Dynamics Enhancement Plan will continue to receives all paid support options, as well as security-related hotfix support which is provided at no charge.

View the Microsoft official details on this topic here:

We understand that an erp upgrade needs time (and budget) and that is why even if not planning to upgrade this year you need to start the preparation process.
You can start cleaning up old data, identify what new features to use. consider whether cloud vs on premise, etc.

If you are likely to continue with Ax 2009 for a year or more, then it is prudent to update to the latest updates for Ax 2009 (and for SQL and Windows etc) there too many security threats these days.

Its also likely that if you are using Ax 2009 that you may be outgrowing a system implemented on old hardware, and also have a lot of history data, and log files, that may benefit from purging or archiving, and also that your SQL database sizing, parameterization and maintenance routines could benefit from a review and optimization.

If you need to stretch the economic life of your Ax 2009 system and to improve the performance, then investing our system audit and enhancement review will pay dividends many times over whether on premise or on azure.

“Meltdown” and “Spectre and azure.”

February 10th, 2018

Last month as reported on this blog, Intel revealed two critical vulnerabilities they found in Intel chips. These vulnerabilities allow cyber-attackers to steal data from the memory of running apps. This data can include passwords, emails, photos, or documents. Intel dubbed these as: “Meltdown” and “Spectre.”

Microsoft released a patch for Azure the very next day. Just as well because Microsoft Azure is a shared-computing environment by default. One server hosts applications and development of applications, and various Virtual Machines tap into the server to allow employees to and others to access these applications. As such, the Meltdown vulnerability allows an attacker to compromise the host and read all the data from every operating system tapping into it. Around 3-10 million physical servers host Azure, and these servers in turn host tens of millions of Virtual Machines. So impressively Microsoft developed deployed a patch for these vulnerabilities in less than a week’s time. Azure is a cloud-based application and so Microsoft could focus their security team to work on the cloud servers and only the cloud servers. This way, these millions of servers and users had a patch and all applications hosted on the Azure cloud-platform were immediately protected.

A good business case example for business to move to Azure cloud services.

Malware developers are still out there. German antivirus testing firm AV-Test reported 139 samples of malware trying to attack the Meltdown vulnerability in January to exploit those who have not patched.

Microsoft patched their cloud servers, but non-Azure users (as well as all Windows users, period) still need to apply their operating system patches to ensure complete protection. This is one vulnerability you definitely don’t want cyber-attackers to exploit, whether it’s your personal computer or your business’s server.

Microsoft Office 2019 coming soon but only on Windos 10

February 3rd, 2018

Microsoft launched Windows 10 in June 2015, two and a half years ago.

According to data gathered in January 2018, Windows 10 reached 42.78% in terms of worldwide internet usage, compared to 41.86% for Windows 7, 8.72% for Windows 8.1, and 3.36% for Windows XP.

Windows 7 – end of extended support nearing —January 2020
Office365 might be the jewel in the crown for Microsoft, but a new version of standalone Office has been announced for Windows 10. Office 2019’s desktop applications will only run on Windows 10 – and has shortened support.

In an update published on February 1st, the company revealed that the beta apps for the perpetual version of Office 2019 – as opposed to the subscription Office 365 – will appear in 2018’s second quarter and a final release will ship in the second half of the year.

When the software lands, it will only run on Windows 10 or the next Long-Term Servicing version of Windows Server. For Windows 10 users, only the Semi-Annual or Long-Term Servicing Channel editions of the OS will run Office’s apps.

In the past, perpetual versions of Office were released under the Microsoft Fixed Lifecycle Policy, with a term of 5 years of standard support and 5 years of extended support.Office 2019 will get the usual period of standard support, but just two years of extended support. That will mean the suite’s planned death day is October 10th, 2025. (Which is the same day on which Microsoft will end extended support for Office 2016.)

Microsoft said this is because “As the pace of change accelerates, it has become imperative to move our software to a more modern cadence.” Which is a bit inconsistent with news that Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC 2018 will land “in the fall of 2018” and get five years of extended support.

Another change Microsoft’s is to make Office 365 ProPlus, the business-oriented version of the service, available only on Windows 10’s semi-annual channel. As of January 14, 2020, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2016 or older and Windows 10 LTSC releases won’t run ProPlus. Nor will unsupported Windows 10 semi-annual releases.

This will keep Windows 10 and ProPlus in synch for security reasons. Those companies that deliver ProPlus to virtual desktops or over remote access will have a chllenge. Later this year, “new Remote Desktop and desktop virtualization capabilities within the SAC release cadence of Windows 10 Enterprise and Windows Server.” Windows Server Insiders will see those changes before other users.

Office 2019 will add new user and IT capabilities for customers who aren’t yet ready for the cloud. For example:
New and improved inking features—like pressure sensitivity, tilt effects, and ink replay—will allow you to work more naturally.
New formulas and charts will make data analysis for Excel more powerful.
Visual animation features—like Morph and Zoom—will add polish to PowerPoint presentations.
Server enhancements will include updates to IT manageability, usability, voice, and security.’

Outlook Add in for Dynamics 365 lives on – ask Dubai Dynamics partner Synergy Software Systems

February 1st, 2018

In June 2017, Microsoft announced the deprecation of Dynamics 365 for Outlook (otherwise known as the “Outlook add-in”) and the plan to replace it with Dynamics 365 App for Outlook. The deprecation announcement meant that although Dynamics 365 for Outlook would continue to be supported, it would be removed in Dynamics 365 version 10.0.

Some feature gaps in Dynamics 365 App for Outlook prevent it from being a viable replacement for the Outlook add-in. Along with many other partners and customers we voiced our concern. Microsoft has announced it is reversing the deprecation of Dynamics 365 for Outlook so that customers who are still on older versions of Dynamics 365 can upgrade and not lose core functionalities on.

Microsoft will still release Dynamics 365 for Outlook with new versions of Dynamics 365. As a result, customers upgrading to a new version of Dynamics 365 will have the same Outlook integration experience as in previous versions.

The Outlook add-in will also continue to be fully supported in current and future versions of Dynamics 365, and bugs will continue to be fixed with improvements to the performance and reliability of the Outlook add-in

From a functionality standpoint, all current scenarios will continue to be supported; we are not planning to add any new features.

The reversal of the deprecation of Dynamics 365 for Outlook does not change the fact that COM add-ins (like Dynamics 365 for Outlook) are an older and slower technology.

The Dynamics 365 App for Outlook is based on newer Office add-in technology. This is an area where the Outlook team is also investing heavily. Unlike COM add-ins, Office add-ins do not have any code physically installed on the user’s device or on the Outlook client. They are easier to deploy and maintain, much more reliable, and work across platforms.