How to Develop a C++ DLL for R in Visual Studio 2015

The programming language R is great for statistics and analysis. R is becoming more and more relevant for business analysis. Microsoft has already integrated R in SQL Server 2016, Power BI and offers an open source R Implementation and Visual Studio integration. There are many tutorials for C interop with R but most of them use Linux tools and not Visual C++. This is a walkthrough how to build a C++ DLL and use it in R all in Visual Studio.

    Visual C++
      Create a new empty solution in Visual Studio. Add a new Visual C++ Win32 project.

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In the C++ Application dialog, choose a DLL

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A new C++ project is created include a header file and a C++ file.

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Open the stdafx.h file and add the definition for function foo() in the header file.

// stdafx.h : include file for standard system include files,
// or project specific include files that are used frequently, but
// are changed infrequently
//

#pragma once

#include „targetver.h“

#define WIN32_LEAN_AND_MEAN             // Exclude rarely-used stuff from Windows headers
// Windows Header Files:
#include <windows.h>

 

/// export symbols for DLL and specify C naming conventions

extern „C“ __declspec(dllexport) void __cdecl foo(double *in, double *out);

Open the .cpp file and add the following implementation.

void foo(double *in, double *out)
{
double value = in[0] * 2;
out[0] = value;
}

Make sure to change the architecture to x64 before building.

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Build the solution. The resulting DLL will be outputed in the x64 folder in the project folder(!) not in the Debug folder where a C# DLL would be.

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R Project

Add a new R project to  the solution which already contains the C++ project. Go to the R Interactive Window.

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Load the DLL from your output directory.

dyn.load(“C:\\PATH_TO\\YOUR.DLL”)

Declare 2 variables for input and output and assign values. For example input value 21 and a default value 0 for the output variable. Call the DLL function and output the result

value_in <- 21
value_out <-0
.C(“foo”,as.double(value_in),result=as.double(value_out))$result

The result should look like this

image

SQL Backup Restore fails due to insufficient free space

A customer recently tried to restore a Dynamics AX database backup from the Live system to the Testing environment. The SQL Server data disk had 17 GB space left, and the size of database backup (.bak) file was about 11 GB.

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However, SQL Server refused to restore the database because of insufficient free space. 

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The reason was the file layout in the original Database. Typically, the database files and log files pre-allocate space to avoid costly file operations when the content of the database grows. In this case, the database file had 20 GB space and the log although the content of the database was only about 11 GB.

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When a backup is created, SQL only backups the content of the files and adds additional information about the file layout. When the database is restored, the database files will be allocated like in the source database. Therefore 21 GB were needed but not available on disk.

The solution was to increase the storage on the Test system, restore the database and afterwards shrink the database file.

Preserve data when AIF service call fails

Dynamics AX AIF is great for all kind of interfaces and integration with 3rd party applications. By default AIF has an built-in transaction mechanism that prevents your system to become inconsistent if something goes wrong during processing.

Here is an example of a simple method which writes message data and the current transaction level into a table

[SysEntryPointAttribute]
public void call(Description _message)
{
    ERPServiceTable serviceTable;

    serviceTable.Message = _message;
    serviceTable.Info = strFmt("%1", appl.ttsLevel());
    serviceTable.insert();
}

Here is the service call from a C# console application

var client = new ERPService.ERPServiceClient();
client.ClientCredentials.Windows.ClientCredential.Domain = "YOUR_DOMAIN";
client.ClientCredentials.Windows.ClientCredential.UserName = "YOUR_USER";
client.ClientCredentials.Windows.ClientCredential.Password = "YOUR_PASSWORD";

var context = new ERPService.CallContext();
context.MessageId = Guid.NewGuid().ToString();
client.call(context, "Service Call");

When you call the service the result looks like this: Notice, the transaction level is already 1 although there is no ttsbegin in code.

AIF service call

But what happens when something goes wrong during processing the service call (e.g. posting a journal fails). Here is as simple method which can be used to simulate such a situation:

[SysEntryPointAttribute]
public void callWithError(Description _message,boolean _error)
{
    this.call(_message);
    if(_error)
    {
        throw error("Exception!");
    }
}

When you call the service method with the error flag set to FALSE, the message is written to the table and stays there.

context.MessageId = Guid.NewGuid().ToString();
client.callWithError(context, "Service Call without error", false);

However if you call the method with the error flag set to TRUE a rollback is triggered and your data is gone!

try
{
        context.MessageId = Guid.NewGuid().ToString();
        client.callWithError(context, "Service Call 2 with error", true);
}
catch
{
        Console.WriteLine("The service failed as expected!");
}

The table contains only 2 entries for both successful service calls. The data from the third service call is gone.

Service call with error not saved

However, if you want to keep the initial data for a post mortem analysis, this behavior is a problem. One way to work around this rollback is to reduce the transaction level back to 0 by calling an additional ttscommit. This will ensure no rollback will delete the transmitted data. Finally, raise the ttslevel back to 1 for further processing.

[SysEntryPointAttribute]
public void callWithError(Description _message,boolean _error = false)
{
    this.call(_message);

    ttsCommit;
    ttsBegin;

   
    if(_error)
    {
        throw error("Exception!");
    }
}

When you call the service method with the error flag set to true, the method still fails. But the initial transmitted data is preserved and can be used for analysis or manual processing.

Service call with error preserverd

BTW.

A more relaxed way to address this issue is to separate interfaces from business logic. For example provide two methods, one to transmit the data and another to process the data after it was successfully transmitted. If a second method is not an option (for what reason ever) write a batch class which processes the data. However, if you require immediate processing and a second call is not feasible this workaround may help.

Create a Power BI Dashboard for Dynamics AX 2012 Sales

This is an update to the previous published articles on Data Visualization, OData Feeds, Power Map, Power Pivot in Office 2013 and Power Pivot in Office 2010. It shows how to use Power BI for Desktop to create a Sales Dashboard for Dynamics AX 2012 (R2).

Power BI Dashboard

Get Data

Start Power BI for Desktop and start with an empty report. From the ribbon on top click “Get Data”, choose SQ Server and provide your server and database. In this example I’m using a single server installation. However, in a production environment you might need to provide <SERVERNAME> \ <INSTANCENAME> , <PORT> e.g. SRVSQL\PROD,2303.

Get data into Power BI

In the next step you have to provide credentials. In my case I’m allowed to access the server with my domain account. In a production environment it is recommended to create a separate Login which is only used for BI Purpose. Don’t get confused if you get a warning that your SQL does not support encryption. If the connection was established successfully, the data wizard presents you a list of tables. Select the following tables:

  • CustInvoiceJour
  • CustInvoiceTrans
  • CustTable
  • InventTable
  • LogisticsPostalAddress

Select tables for Power BI

Click Load, and choose “Import” to load the data in Power BI for Desktop.

Transform Data

In Power BI for Desktop, at the Ribbon click “Edit Queries”. This will open the query editor. We don’t need all columns for this Demo. For each table click the “Choose Columns” button and the select only the following columns:

Choose columns for Power BI

CustInvoiceJour CustInvoiceTrans CustTable
  • InvoiceAccount
  • InvoiceDate
  • InvoiceId
  • NumberSequenceGroup
  • SalesId
  • InvoicePostalAddress
  • DataAreaId
  • InvoiceId
  • InvoiceDate
  • NumberSequenceGroup
  • ItemId
  • LineAmountMST
  • SumLineDiscMST
  • DataAreaId
  • AccountNum
  • CustGroup
  • DataAreaId
InventTable LogisticsPostalAddress
  • ItemId
  • ItemType
  • DataAreaId
  • Address
  • CountryRegionId
  • ZipCode
  • City
  • RecId

Click “Close & Apply” to finish this task.

Choose columns for Power BI

 

Create Relations

In Power BI for Desktop switch to the Data View (with the table symbol on the left pane). It is required to create primary keys and foreign keys before linking the tables. From the list of tables (on the right) select the CustTable and at the Ribbon click “New Column”. Type the following definition:

PK_Cust = CUSTTABLE[ACCOUNTNUM] & „-“ & CUSTTABLE[DATAAREAID]

Create Foreign Keys in Power BI

This will create a new column with a customer account which is unique for all company accounts. Repeat this step for the following tables and columns:

InventTable:

PK_Item = INVENTTABLE[ITEMID] & „-“ & INVENTTABLE[DATAAREAID]

CustTable:

PK_Cust = CUSTTABLE[ACCOUNTNUM] & „-“ & CUSTTABLE[DATAAREAID]

CustInvoiceJour:

FK_Cust = CUSTINVOICEJOUR[INVOICEACCOUNT] & „-“ & CUSTINVOICEJOUR[DATAAREAID]

PK_Invoice = CUSTINVOICEJOUR[INVOICEID] & „-“ & CUSTINVOICEJOUR[SALESID] & „-“ & CUSTINVOICEJOUR[NUMBERSEQUENCEGROUP] & „-“ & CUSTINVOICEJOUR[DATAAREAID]

CustInvoiceTrans:

FK_Item = CUSTINVOICETRANS[ITEMID] & „-“ & CUSTINVOICETRANS[DATAAREAID]

FK_Invoice = CUSTINVOICETRANS[INVOICEID] & „-“ & CUSTINVOICETRANS[SALESID] & „-“ & CUSTINVOICETRANS[NUMBERSEQUENCEGROUP] & „-“ & CUSTINVOICETRANS[DATAAREAID]

Save, and open the relations by clicking on the relations item in the navigation pane on the left. You can drag&drop columns from one table to another table to create relations. Link the following columns:

  • CustInvoiceTrans,FK_Item > InventTable.PK_Item
  • CustInvoiceTrans.FK_Invoice > CustInvoiceJour.PK_Invoice
  • CustInvoiceJour.FK_Cust > CustTable.PK_Cust
  • CustInvoiceJour.InvoicePostalAddress > LogisticsPostalAddress.RecId

Your data model should look like this:

Create relations in Power BI data model

Name the ItemType

In the data view, select the InventTable. From the ribbon create a new column and name it “TypeName”. Add the following code to translate the Enum based ItemType Integer Value to a meaningful name.

TypeName = IF(INVENTTABLE[ITEMTYPE] = 0; „Item“; IF(INVENTTABLE[ITEMTYPE] = 2; „Service“; „Not an Item“))

The InventTable should look like this:

Name item type column

Create a Discount measure

Next we will create a measure which calculates the given discounts as the percentage of the total price. Open the data view using the second button on the left navigation pane. Select the CustInvoiceTrans. From the ribbon, click “New Measure” button in the “Modelling” tab. Provide the following code:

M_DiscPerc = sum(CUSTINVOICETRANS[SUMLINEDISCMST]) * 100 / ( sum(CUSTINVOICETRANS[LINEAMOUNTMST]) + sum(CUSTINVOICETRANS[SUMLINEDISCMST]))

For example:

Qty = 1 € , Unit Price = 1000 €     –> Price = 1000 €
Discount = 100 €                    –> Price = 900
Discount Percentage 3 %             –> Price = 873 €

CustInvoiceTrans.LineAmountMST = 873
CustInvoiceTrans.Discount = 100
CustInvoiceTrans.LinePercent = 3.0
CustInvoiceTrans.SumLineDiscMST = 127

M_DiscPerc = 127 * 100 / (873 + 127) = 12,7

Visualize

Switch to the empty report view using the first button on the left navigation pane. From the Visualization toolbox click the “Card”. This will place an empty card on the report. Drag&Drop the LineAmountMst from the CustInvoiceTrans on the empty card. It should look like this:

Power BI card chart

Next, place a map from the toolbox on the report. Drag&Drop the fields CountryRegionId, City and ZipCode from the LogisticsPostalAddress table on the Location. Drag&Drop the LineAmountMST from the CustInvoiceTrans on the Values Field. The map should look like this:

Power BI map chart

Add a new Gauge to the report and use the Measure M_DiscPerc as value. You cannot set a hardcoded Min. and Max. value in the data properties. Switch to the Format view using the pencil icon.  In the group Gauge Axis, set the Min. Value 0, the target value to 3 and Max. Value 100. Depending on your data, the gauge may look like this:

Power BI gauge control

Next a donut chart to visualize the revenue per item type. Drag&drop the LineAmountMST from the CustInvoiceJour on the value property of the donut chart and drag the TypeName from the InventTable.

Power BI donut chart

Place a column chart on the report to visualize the revenue per customer group. Place the LineAmountMST in the Value field. Use the CustGroup from the CustTable as Axis. Change the sort order to LineAmountMST by using the […] Dropdown Menu in the upper right corner of the chart.

Power BI column chart

Finally, add a line chart on the report to visualize the revenue per year. Place the LineAmountMST from the CustInvoiceTrans on the charts value field and put the InvoiceDate from the CustInvoiceTrans on the Axis field.

Power BI line chart

Fine-tuning

Give each chart a meaningful name. Change the size for the text to fit your report style. Switch to the data view. Change the column names into something more meaningful for an end user e.g. LineAmountMST to Amount. Change the columns formats e.g. Currency for LineAmountMST, date format for the InvoiceDate.

Using Azure Automation to copy Live Transaction DB to Test

Updating the Test system with actual transactional data from the Live system is a common task. This can be accomplished using scripts. However, in a hybrid IT environment you might want to organize, manage and monitor all your on-premises and cloud based scripts at a central place. Azure Automation is the platform to do this.

Prerequisites

  • Dynamics AX Live and Test installation on Windows Server 2012 R2
  • Azure Account (all services can be used for free in basic mode)

 

          Azure Automation

        In Azure Portal create a new instance of Azure Automation. When the instance was created, use the key to display the keys and URL. You’ll need this to connect your on-premises server with Azure Automation.

      Azure Automation

        Operational Insights

        Azure Automation can be instantly used to script your cloud-based datacenter. However, to manage the on-premises environment you have to connect your local systems with the cloud. This is done via Operational Insights.

        1. In Azure Portal create a new instance of Operational Insights
        2. Logon to Operational Insights Portal and start the “Get Started” checklist
        3. Add the Automation Solutions
        4. Connect the Dynamics AX server by downloading and installing the Agent for Windows

        Operational Insights

        At your on-premises server open PowerShell in admin mode and go to the agents installation directory e.g.

        cd "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Monitoring Agent\Agent\AzureAutomation\<version>\HybridRegistration"

        Import the Hybrid Registration module and register the server in Azure Automation.

        Import-Module HybridRegistration.psd1
        Add-HybridRunbookWorker –Name <String> -EndPoint <Url> -Token <String>

        Add-HybridRunbookWorker

        In this example I’ve used the Name parameter value “Dynamics” at the Add-HybridRunbookWorker Cmdlet. This creates a runbook worker group called “Dynamics” with one assigned on-premises server.

        On-Premises configuration

        Create a folder where to backup the Dynamics AX database. In this example I’m using a directory on the local system drive C:\AxTemp (which of course is not best practice). By default the Ops. Insights Agent runs as Local System. Make sure to give the account “NT Authority\System” appropriate rights in your SQL Server installation to access the Live DB and Test DB.

        SQL Server Security

        Runbook

        In Azure Portal, go to Azure Automation > Runbooks > Create a new runbook > Choose runbook type “Powershell”. Add the following code to your runbook.

        echo "Stopping Services"
        Stop-Service -Name AOS60`$01
        Stop-Service -Name AOS60`$02

        echo "Creating Backup from Live"
        Invoke-Sqlcmd -Query "backup database [Live] to  Disk = N’C:\AxTemp\Live.bak‘ with copy_only" -QueryTimeout 0   


        echo "Restoring Backup to Test"
        Invoke-SqlCmd -Query "restore database [Test] from  DISK = N’C:\AxTemp\Live.bak‘ with file = 1,  move N‘R3Demo1‚ TO N’C:\Data\Test.mdf‘,  MOVE N‘R3Demo1_log‚ TO N’C:\Data\Test_log.ldf‘" -QueryTimeout 0   
           
        echo "Cleanup Backup"
        Remove-Item -Path "C:\AxTemp\Live.bak"   
           
        echo "Starting Services"
        Start-Service -Name AOS60`$01
        Start-Service -Name AOS60`$02

        This will stop both AOS instances. Make sure the AOS service name fits your environment. The service name can be found in the services mmc. For example my Live AOS is named AOS60$01. Make sure to use the ` to escape the $ sign in the AOS name.

        Dynamics AOS name for scripting

        The script will then create a backup from database “Live” to C:\AxTemp\Live.bak. If your live DB has another name, change it to fit your name.

        Next the script will restore the backup to database “Test”. In my case the logical name of the database file is called “R3Demo1” and it’s log is called “R3Demo1_log”. Make sure this fits your installation. You can find the names in SQL Server management studio, by checking the database file properties.

        SQL Server database logical name

        Finally the script removes the backup file and restarts both AOS

        Runbook Execution

        In Azure Automation Runbook editor, save the actual runbook code and click publish.

        Runbook execution

        At the Azure Automation main page go to runbooks, select your newly created runbook and press the start button. On the next page select execution using a Hybrid Worker and select your worker group. In my example it’s called Dynamics (see PowerShell screenshot)

        Runbook execution

        This will submit your runbook to the on-premises server and execute it. You can check the execution by monitoring the C:\AxTemp directory where the backup will be placed. Don’t worry about the warnings when the workbook finishes. Starting the AOS’ takes a while and results in the typical message “service is not responding”.

        Runbook result

         

        More

        • Azure Automation supports timing of runbooks, so you can create a batch in the cloud to copy your data on-premises
        • This example uses a single server installation. However, the script can easily be modified to run on different servers
        • Using the Invoke-SqlCmd Cmdlet you can do all the cleanup work like changing the reporting server instance etc.

        Lookup Financial Dimension in AX 2012

        Financial Dimensions have changed in AX 2012. In contrast to earlier versions of Dynamics AX, financial dimensions now are somehow similar to inventory dimensions where a certain combination of dimension values are stored as dimension set. I faced a requirement that an external application (SharePoint based DMS) sends a certain combination of financial dimensions and AX has to assign this combination to a certain record. Here is a (simplified) code how to check the existence of such a dimension.

        // Example:
        // Business Unit 005 Electronics
        // Department 025 IT
        // ItemGroup Services

        //Step 1: Find Dimension Attributes

        DimensionAttribute  attributeBU = DimensionAttribute::findByLocalizedName("BusinessUnit");
        DimensionAttribute  attributeDP = DimensionAttribute::findByLocalizedName("Department");
        DimensionAttribute  attributeIG = DimensionAttribute::findByLocalizedName("ItemGroup");

        //Step 2: Find Dimension Attributes Values

        DimensionAttributeValue valueBU = DimensionAttributeValue::findByDimensionAttributeAndValue(attributeBU,"005");
        DimensionAttributeValue valueDP = DimensionAttributeValue::findByDimensionAttributeAndValue(attributeDP,"025");
        DimensionAttributeValue valueIG = DimensionAttributeValue::findByDimensionAttributeAndValue(attributeIG,"Services");

        //Step 3: Create an Array of Hash Keys from the Attribute Values 

        DimensionSHA1Hash hashKey;
        DimensionAttributeValueSet valueSet;

        HashKey dimAttrHashKeyArray[];
        dimAttrHashKeyArray[1] = valueBU.HashKey;
        dimAttrHashKeyArray[2] = valueDP.HashKey;
        dimAttrHashKeyArray[2] = valueIG.HashKey;

        hashKey = DimensionAttributeValueSetStorage::getHashFromArray(dimAttrHashKeyArray,3);

        //Step 4: Lookup Hash Key

        valueSet = DimensionAttributeValueSet::findByHash(hashKey);

        if(valueSet.RecId != 0)
        {
            info("Dimension found!");
        }

        Publish Dynamics Ax documents to SharePoint

        A typical requirement is to publish documents like Invoice, Purchase Order, etc. to an DMS system like SharePoint. However, in Dynamics AX 2012 and lower there is no built-in functionality to publish these documents to SharePoint. But this requirement can easily be achieved without coding.

        Prerequisite

        1. Install (at least) SharePoint 2013 Foundation incl. SP1. Foundation 2013 SP1 includes all the filters required to process PDF files and a basic search center. By default the configuration wizard creates a new team website collection.
        2. Make sure the WebClient window service is installed and running. If not, you may have to install the User Interface and Desktop Experience Feature on your server.
          WebClient Windows Service

        Document Library and Content Type

        In SharePoint  open the Settings image and open the Site Settings. From the User and Permissions group, open “People and Groups”. Select the Group “Owners”, Click “New” and add the Dynamics AX AOS Service account.

        Provide AOS user access to SharePoint document library

        In SharePoint create a new Document Library. On the team website open Settings image (right, on top) > Add an app > Name the document library “Invoice”.

        Go to the newly created document library. Open the Library ribbon, and edit library with SharePoint Designer. SharePoint Designer is not installed by default, and you may have to download and install it first.

        Open with SharePoint Designer

        After SharePoint Designer was installed, click again on “Edit Library” with SharePoint Designer. Within SharePoint designer, select Content Types and create a new Content Type. Call it “Invoice” and make sure to select the parent content type form “Document Content Types” and parent content type “Document”. Save your modifications.

        New content type for Invoice

        In the navigation, select Lists and Libraries and open the Invoices library. Make sure the option “Allow management of content types” is enabled. At the “Content Types” group at the bottom, open “Add” and select your newly created Invoice content type. This will add the content type to the document library.

        Add Invoice content type to library's managed content types

        Select the Invoice content type at the content types group. At the ribbon select “Set as default”. Now every new document uploaded to the library will be an Invoice type. Save your modifications and go back go SharePoint.

        Set invoice as default content type

        At the Invoices document library in SharePoint, open the Library Ribbon and choose “Open in Explorer”. This will open a new instance of windows explorer, showing the content of the document library.

        Open Library with Windows Explorer

        Click in the address bar and copy the address.

        image

         

        Post and Publish Sales Invoice

        Open Dynamics AX 2012 and go to “Accounts Receivable” > Periodic > Sales Update > Invoice. Change the Quantity to Packing Slip. Make sure the options “Posting”, “Late Selection” and “Post Invoice” are enabled.

        Post Sales Invoice

        Open “Select” and make sure the selection is configured to identify all Delivered sales orders. Click OK and save the selection.

        Select only delivered sales orders

        Open Printer Setup > Invoice. Select File as Target and choose File Format PDF. Open the File Name Dialog and provide the Document Library Address as Target. Repeat this step for the Invoice (Copy).

        Print to SharePoint

        Back at the Posting Invoice Dialog, open Batch processing (at the bottom). Enable batch processing and modify the recurrence to “No End” and repeat all 5 minutes.

        Batch processing

         

        Test

        In Dynamics AX create one or more new sales order and post the packing slip. Wait until the Post Invoice batch job runs. The sales orders should be invoiced. Go to SharePoint and open the Invoices document library. There you should see the uploaded PDFs.

        Dynamics Ax Invoice Document Library

        Open the SharePoint Central Administration and go to Application > Manage service application > Search Service Application.

        SharPoint Search Service

        Select Content Sources and start the crawl manually. This will force SharePoint to index the PDF files in the Invoices document library. By default the crawler indices the documents on SharePoint periodically without manual interaction.

        Manually start crawl

        Open SharePoint Team Website. In the Search Box, type the Name of Customer. SharePoint will present a list of found documents related to the customer.

        Find Dynamics AX documents on SharePoint

         

        (Optional) Confirm and Publish Purchase Orders to SharePoint

        Create a new document library with an purchase order content type as default:

        Go to SharePoint, open the settings image menu and choose to add an app. Select document library and name it Purchases. Navigate to the new document library, and from the Library Ribbon, select “Open with SharePoint Designer”. In SharePoint designer create a new content type, based on a document content type, and name it Purchase. In SharePoint Designer navigate to the libraries, select the newly created Purchases library and make sure the option “Allow Management of Content Types” is enabled. Below, at the content types group add the Purchase content type you’ve created. Finally select the content type, and from the ribbon in SharePoint designer select “Set as Default”.

        In Dynamics AX go to the Procurement and Sourcing module > Settings > Procurement and Sourcing Parameters > and activate Change Management. This option is required to run the purchase order approval workflow.

        Activate change management

        Next go to Procurement and Sourcing > Settings > Procurement and Sourcing Workflows. Create a new workflow based on the Purchase Order Workflow template. In the Workflow Configuration, add the Approve Purchase Order task to the workflow, between start and end.

        Configure Purchase Order Workflow

        Provide meaningful texts for the Workflow Submission instruction. Double click on the Approve Purchase Order taks to open the details. There assign Step 1 to a user or a user group. For testing purpose, you may assign the approval to yourself. Save and activate the workflow configuration.

        Configure Purchase Order Workflow

        Create a new purchase order. The purchase order starts in the approval state Draft. Submit it to the workflow for approval. This will change the state to “In Review”. Go back to the Purchase Order List Page and refresh the data. It may take a few minutes, depending on your workflow batch jobs configuration, until the purchase order is assigned to you for approval. When the purchase order is assigned for approval, approve the purchase and wait a few minutes until the purchase order has reached the state approved.

        Purchase Order Approval State

        Go to Procurement and Sourcing > Periodic > Purchase orders > Confirmation. Make Sure the Options Posting, Late Selection and Print purchase orders are active. From the Select button on the right, make sure only Approved and Open purchase orders will be selected.

        Confirm Purchase Order

        Open the Printer Setup > Purchase Order > Choose print to file as PDF and provide the path to the Purchases document library on your SharePoint. Repeat this for Printer Setup > Purchase Order (copy).

        Print to SharePoint

        Finally, open the Batch dialog  using the button on the lower right. Make sure to activate batch processing and set the recurrence to no end and recurring pattern to 10 minutes.

        Batch processing

        After a few minutes the purchase order state has change from Approved to Confirmed, and you should see the generated PDFs on SharePoint. These documents will be included within the next search crawl and can be found using the search box at your SharePoint website.

        Purchase order confirmation

        (Optional) Enhance Search Experience

        Open SharePoint Central Administration and click the group Application Management. Go to “Create Site Collection” . Make sure your are using the same Web Application as the Team Website. Call the new site collection “Search” and provide an URL including like http://YOUR_SERVER/site/search. Make sure to select the “Basic Search Center” template from the Enterprise template group. Click OK, this will create a new basic search center.

        Create Basic Search Center

        Open the URL you have provided in a web browser. You should see an almost empty web page with a search box.

        SharePoint Basic Search Center

        In SharePoint Central Administration go to “Application Management” > “Manage Service Applications” > “Search Service Application”. Provide the Search Center URL at the property “Global Search Center URL”. This will instruct SharePoint to redirect all search to the Search Center.

        Global Search Center URL

        Open the Search Center URL in a browser and start a search e.g. for a Customer. This will open the result page. On the top right open the settings  image and click on “Edit page”. This will switch the page to edit mode. On the left side, click the drop down of the refiner web part and click “Edit Web Part”. This will open the Edit Dialog on the right.

        Customize Search Center Refiner

        Click on “Choose Refiners” and make sure SPContentType, File Type and Last Modified Time are selected. Remove all the other refiners from the select. Click OK in the dialog, Apply in the Web Part Configuration Dialog on the right and Stop Edition in the ribbon on the top left.

        SharePoint Search Refiner

        When you use the search center the next time, the result page will allow you to refine by Content Type like Invoice, Purchase Order, etc., File Type like PDF, Word, etc., and Date.

        Dynamics AX Document Search