Microsoft Dynamics AX: Testing a Process

Almost on a daily basis, I am asked to test a process. How can you easily prompt for input and run the test? In Dynamics AX, I would use the ‘Dialog’ class to build a prompt screen and request the input to run the test.

How? Simply create a job file that will build the interface for you. Depending on the fields your test will require, define a few fields, objects and then use the input in your test.

Dynamics will create a nice interface with the correct data types so you can focus on your test.

Dynamics AX

Here is the code:

Dynamics AX Test a Process

This article was written by David Munn, AX Technical Consultant for  Tridea Partners. Tridea is a leading Microsoft Dynamics provider.

Dynamics AX 2012: Understanding the Swings in the Running Average Cost Calculation

Everyone using Dynamics AX for inventory should be familiar with the concepts of physical inventory and financial inventory, as well as physical costs and financial costs. When receiving an item against a purchase order or when reporting an item as finished on a production order, the physical quantity is incremented using a physical cost that is understood to be based on incomplete information. Only when invoice matching has been performed against the purchase order can we be assured of having all the necessary information (price revisions, taxes, handling fees, etc.) to replace the original “placeholder” physical cost with the “true” financial cost. In the case of production orders, we need to wait until the production order is “ended” (when no more transactions can be recorded against it) to finally assign the financial cost.

In a similar fashion, when consuming an inventory item (for example on a sales order packing slip or a production order picking ticket), AX assigns a temporary physical cost that will ultimately be replaced with a financial cost that is based on the inventory valuation method selected for the item (FIFO, weighted average, etc.). The physical cost gets replaced by the financial cost only when the transaction is finalized (the ending of the production order or the invoicing of the sales order). Regardless of the inventory valuation method assigned to an item, the physical cost assigned when consuming inventory is always computed using a simple running average. Assuming that the “include physical” checkbox is selected on the Item Model Group, the running average is computed using the following formula: Running Cost Average = (physical amount + financial amount) / (physical quantity + financial quantity).

Many clients are surprised to find that the running average cost of any item can vary significantly from the actual cost of an item, often by much greater amounts than the wildest swings in purchase prices. The explanation is simple, as illustrated by the below example:

  1. Purchase 10 widgets @ $10 each for a total of $100
    • $10 cost is derived from the purchase order and is a physical cost
    • Running Cost Average = (physical amount + financial amount) / (physical quantity + financial quantity).
    • Running average calculation = ($100 + $0) / (10 + 0) = $10
  2. Issue 5 widgets to production pick ticket @ $10 each
    • Use running average calculation from above step as a starting point: ($100 + $0) / (10 + 0) = $10
      • Subtract $50 from physical amount and 5 from physical quantity
    • New running average calculation = ($50 + $0) / (5 + 0) = $10
  3. Obtain invoice for widgets – including fees, cost is now $11 each for a total of $110
    • Use running average calculation from above step as a starting point: ($50 + $0) / (5 + 0) = $10
      • Subtract $100 from the physical amount and 10 from the physical quantity; the quantity initially received is no longer a physical quantity, as it has now been invoiced.
      • Add $110 to financial amount and 10 to financial quantity (per the invoice)
    • New running average calculation = (-$50 + 110) / (-5 + 10) = $12
  4. The system has calculated a running average cost of $12, even though the only purchase price was for $11.

The reason for this is that we understated the value of the 5 widgets issued to production prior to obtaining the invoice that informed us of the true $11 cost per widget. We brought the 10 widgets in at $110, and issued out 5 of them at $50, so we now have to spread the remaining $60 over the 5 that are still in stock. So the undervaluation of the quantity issued to the production order is offset by the overvaluation of the quantity still in inventory. AX will eventually rectify this only when the production order that consumed that quantity of 5 has been “ended” and the correct financial cost of $11 can be assigned to the quantity consumed. This is because AX does not make adjustments to physical cost transactions, but rather leaves the initial physical cost amount intact until it can be replaced by a financial cost amount.

So, once the production order is ended, the new running average calculation will yield a result of $11, using the following logic:

    • Use running average calculation from above step as a starting point: (-$50 + 110) / (-5 + 10) = $12
      • Add back the -$50 physical amount and physical quantity of -5 (the quantity initially issued as a physical transaction is now issued as a financial transaction)
      • Subtract $55 from the financial amount and 5 from the financial quantity (the picklist transaction is now a financial transaction)
      • New running average calculation = ($0 + $55) / (0 + 5) = $11

It is important to point out that AX will ultimately always assign the correct financial cost to each transaction. We just have to recognize that until we can feed the system with all of the necessary data to produce true financial costs, our financials will necessarily reflect these “estimated” costs.

This article was written by Matthew Boese, Partner at Tridea Partners, a Gold Certified Microsoft Dynamics Partner.





Microsoft Dynamics AX: Tips to Viewing Inventory

Implementing any ERP system involves getting used to new procedures and learning to navigate throughout the system in the most efficient manner to save you time. Here are some helpful tips and tricks. We share these tips with our clients to allow them to hit the ground running and become quickly accustomed with the Microsoft Dynamics AX Inventory Module!

1. Add in your Inventory dimensions. You can usually find a “Dimensions Display” button is most inventory related areas.Microsoft Dynamics AX Inventory module

Select the dimensions that apply to your AX setup and click save setup checkbox.

Microsoft Dynamics AX Inventory module

Now you will be able to see the specific details for your inventory.

Microsoft Dynamics AX Inventory module

2.  I’d also recommend hiding fields you don’t need. You can right click on a field and hit “hide”. Very quick and makes your screen less cluttered.

Microsoft Dynamics AX Inventory module

Now your screen only contains fields that are relevant to the transaction you are performing.

Microsoft Dynamics AX Inventory module

3. You may catch yourself performing inventory transactions that require you to know what’s on-hand right now for a current item. Rather than hop back and forth from the on-hand inquiries screen, you can easily see this information in the transaction. Below I’ve used a movement journal as an example.

I want to move some quantity of an item out of warehouse 24, but I don’t know the total quantity in warehouse 24 off the top of my head. Click the warehouse dropdown and select the on-hand tab to view the available physical quantity.

Microsoft Dynamics AX Inventory module

You can do the same thing on location or batch number if those are inventory dimensions that you use.

This post was written by Laura Garcia, AX Application Consultant at Tridea Partners. Tridea is a leading Microsoft Dynamics provider.

Dynamics AX Power Tools – Add Atlas to your Toolkit

Authors: Juanita Schoen & Matt Caffrey, CPA – Tridea Partners

Our clients already enjoy a very rich feature set for financial reporting with the Dynamics Management Reporter module, which is relied upon daily as standard equipment in the overall ERP toolkit.

Expanding upon this strong financial reporting base, Globe software’s Atlas product suite provides users with access to the full AX dataset, integrated with MS Office for self-service report design. Atlas also provides connectivity to multiple data sources for improved analytics connecting the full set of ERP data to key data and metrics stored in other systems.

Atlas can also benefit your Microsoft implementation timeline when leveraged by your partner to reduce development effort associated with programming a typical data migration / cutover and custom reporting.

The most sought-after tools are light-weight, manageable, versatile, and flexible in providing value to their owner. Here are some ways Dynamics AX + Atlas provides that value:


The entire AX database can be queried using Atlas, not just financial data (as with Management Reporter). Custom reports can be designed without the help of a developer or database administrator.  Once designed, they can be accessed by the users via an Atlas shortcut and can be easily updated / modified within the tool, again without help from a developer.

Upload Utility

Typically, you’ll need an AX developer to code a customized tool for uploading data into AX. That custom program and upload template are static and require further development effort to update.

Atlas allows you to quickly create, test, and deploy AX upload templates. If updates are needed, you no longer need to call upon that specialized developer. A trained Atlas user assigned the appropriate security permissions can simply update the upload template.

Data Migration

Atlas can reduce time previously needed to have a developer build custom data migration programs to pull data from legacy system(s) into AX. The same Atlas interface used to create upload templates can be leveraged to create the data mapping that feeds your cutover.  Changes can easily be made to the templates to support iterative data migration testing and incremental database updates.

Of course, it is important to find a reporting solution to best fit your own unique business needs. According to Globe Software’s website “56,475 Microsoft Dynamics AX Users Trust Atlas”

Tridea can help you uncover the ways Dynamics AX + Atlas can increase value for your business.