Monday, January 22, 2007

Miscellaneous Topics

I haven't posted much because of my lack of time since we're so close to go-live, but I wanted to at least add one tonight. I don't have much but here's a couple of things I have found since I last posted:

Microsoft released an AIF Whitepaper in December that covers just about everything I have posted on my blog regarding AIF configuration. I'm posting the link here because I haven't seen any postings about it on other Dynamics blogs:

We have almost finished all of our AIF development. Now we are concentrating on developing the Invoice output process but finding a slight difficulty due to our interaction with X12 EDI. The X12 version 4010 857 Advance Shipment Notice / Invoice requires that the ASN information appear in a hierarchical format that is similar to:


The complications with translating to this data structure is that the AIF produces a relational data structure, of which is based upon a Sales Table header, Sales Table detail, and Shipment detail record. For logistical efficiency purposes, the 857 is setup to be hierarchical because you could have a single line item split among one or more Pallets because of a physical limitation on the nunber of items that will fit on one pallet. In order to accommodate for the hierarchical structure, you have to modify AX's functionality, specifically the Shipments table. Within this table you have to add Trailer, Bill Of Lading, Pallet, Item, and Quantity data.

Due to the lack of direct support for X12 4010 EDI Transaction Sets from BizTalk, we decided to utilize MessageWay Solutions MessageWay Managed File Transfer application. It's been a great fit for us since it already has all X12, EDIFACT, and SWIFT EDI formats already integrated into the product. With minimal BASIC programming experience, you can extend the mapping capability past it's basic drag and drop functionality. This also worked much better for us because we wouldn't need a .NET programming on-site to develop C# or VB.NET mapping/translation applets for BizTalk. Although I was not able to get on the testing list, BizTalk 2006 R2 is in Beta now and it reported has all the EDI transaction sets integrated in it.

Finally, I registered for Convergence on Friday. I'm looking forward to attending as this will be my first time. On top of attending MS Convergence, I will also be attending the AXUG Pre-Conference taking place on Sunday afternoon. I encourage everyone to either join AXUG personally or encourage their company to become active in AXUG and attend their regional events.