Monday, 16 April 2007

Upgrading from V3 to V4 Part IV

I have one final gripe as regards this process, label files. Someone in their infinite wisdom decided to cancel the GLS and DIS label files and to integrate these in the SYS label file.

Aside from the gargantuan task involved, I am sure somewhere along the lines some countries lost some labels, the above is a pain in the neck for anyone having used in their code references to "System" labels that ostensibly would never disappear.

Now the best means of finding these instances is to export all modifications by creating a project containing all elements changed and searching the resulting text file for invalid label references.

Much to my consternation I have found that some of the SYS labels have also disappeared / been renamed, this is to me rather incomprehensible.

What motivation could there be for this ?

What does it mean if you have used any system labels in your code then you need to revisit every single one to ensure it's validity / proper understanding, that seems excessive.

Best Regards

Thursday, 12 April 2007

New Fix distribution policy Horror from MS

Someone in their infinite wisdom in MS has decided that any fixes to the product Dynamics AX 4.00 SP1 onwards will be distributed in an aod file directly.

Why do I state that this is horrible ?

Well all fixes will be lumped into one DIS file and new versions will be sent out as new fixes are added, so now we have 4 SP and DIS version number questions that need to be answered by support.

When installing a new DIS to fix one small issue that perhaps necessitated a 2 line fix we are obliged in a user installation scenario to get everyone out recompile the whole application and also what is really the worst part of this decision, re-validate all process flows as we are implementing a patch not a fix, namely all of the code in the DIS file which might and will probably impact a number of other processes.

As those who have been around can testify one man's bug is another man's feature, I cannot cite any V4 examples yet as most of the bugs I have seen fixed are really bugs. However in V3 SP4 the code doing inventory reservations was "fixed" so that it always started reserving from the Warehouse / Pick Location rather than just Warehouse level as it did in earlier versions.

Of course if the Pick Location is present then it should try and reserve from there and not just pick any location in the warehouse, however I had several clients who had built code based on the premise that AX functioned as it did before the fix, subsequent to the SP implementation their code broke and reserved nothing threw spurious error messages etc etc.

What the above policy means is that all functionality that is important has to be tested every time a fix is implemented, in other words a fix has to be treated as if it was a SP.

This is not really a wise policy and I hope MS will reconsider and continue providing fixes as distinct XPO's with correct table, field, and object id's so that we can introduce these in the system with the least possible disruption.


The system is down because it calculates VAT incorrectly (see previous discussion) and we are waiting for a fix from MS, they find it and send us a 5 Mb aod file containing all the fixes. So now we have to do a weeks validation before being able to implement the fix to 2 scripts because all sorts of other scripts are "fixed" as well.

I can see that building all the fixes in one environment is easier for MS and allows the next SP to be constituted in an incremental fashion as it is the AOD file in question, however releasing this into nature just means we have lots of "SP's" being released all the time which is not very optimal for the reasons I state here.

Best Regards
Sven Jochimsen