Installation and Configuration

15 05 2012

I’ve just completed reading through the installation and configuration manual for AX2012 and came across chapter 5 on workflow. This chapter is a must read for anyone starting out in workflow on Microsoft Dynamics AX2012. It covers/explains all the topics that one needs to know about workflow (apart from the development side) including:

  1. Descriptions of all the available workflow types (previously templates) from the following modules
    1. Accounts Payable (Invoiceing, payments, remittance etc..)
    2. Accounts Recievable (Journals, Free text invoices, customer payments etc…)
    3. General Ledger and Fixed Asset workflows
    4. Budgeting
    5. Travel and Expense (Cash advance, expense report, travel, dispute management etc…)
    6. Procurement and Sourcing (Catalogs, Purchase requisitions, Purchase Orders, Vendor modifications etc…)
    7. Project Management and Accounting
    8. User management
    9. Organisation workflows.
  2. Configuring the workflow environment
    1. Email templates (both generic and configuration specific templates)
    2. Batch Job setups
    3. Notification setups
    4. Workflow queue setups
    5. Explanation of the workflow infrastructure and how all the components interact with each other.
  3. Creating configurations
    1. Line level workflows
    2. Conditional and manual decisions
    3. The graphical workflow configuration utility
    4. Workitem assignments (queues, hierarchies, workflow users, workflow roles)
    5. Approval policies
    6. Versioning.

All in all this manual is well worth the read for first time users.

Happy Daxing

Download at partnersource: https://mbs.microsoft.com/partnersource/communities/training/trainingmaterials/student/course80221.htm?printpage=false





Installing Pre-requisite software for Workflow error

5 10 2011

I’ve just been installing Workflow on a client site running Windows Server 2008 R2 and came across a strange error.

When selecting the workflow component to install, it requested to install prerequisite software “IIS” and “.NET 2.0” However when clicking yes, it failed to install IIS and wouldnt allow me to continue. I managed to resolve the error with fixes.

  1. Ensured that no other Server Role Manager sessions were running/installing roles. (I was receiving the following error message in the IisInstall log file: Error (Id=0) Roles or features are currently being added or removed on this computer. Only one user can add or remove roles or features at a time to prevent conflicting configurations.” )
  2. I was also received the message “Error (Id=0) ArgumentNotValid: Feature not valid: ‘NET-XPS-Viewer’. The name of the feature was not found.” which we managed to resolve by modifying the line <Feature Id=”NET-XPS-Viewer” /> to <Feature Id=”XPS-Viewer” /> in the ServerManagerCmdInputIIS.XML file in the support folder of you AX2009 setup folder.

I hope this helps somebody struggling with this issue.
Happy Daxing
Jonathan.

 





Workflow Session at Dynamics AX 2012 Technical Conference

8 02 2011

Ok, so the Microsoft Dynamics AX Technical Conference 2011 has come and gone and all of those who have had the privilege to attend have had their minds blown away by all the fantastic new features and frameworks in this amazing product.

For me the icing on the cake was most definitely the last two sessions that I was able to attend. These sessions were targeted as showing off all the impressive new capabilities of workflow in AX2012. So far we’ve only had hints at all the goodness that was to be included. But now we’ve been able to see it with our own eyes and get our grubby paws on the actual product. So here are the features that made the biggest impressions on me.

1. The graphical workflow configurator – Slick and beautiful the new graphical configurator will make any implementers day to see in a Visio style exactly what their workflows are configured to do and all the conditions that they have been created. No more guess work is required to figure out how your workflow will progress.
2. No more external workflow website! This is by far a huge improvement to the AX package. AX 2012 sees a number of external components of AX being internalized, including workflow and AIF web services. No more will we have the nightmares that were associated with setting up the workflow website, business connector configurations etc.
3. Workflow component generators. In AX 2009 we have seen a couple of people building code/AOT element generators to help speed up the workflow template building process. At Axnosis we have developed such a package as well for aiding in our development and are thus very happy to see such tools included in standard AX 2012. You can now generate event handlers, menu-items and approvals in one or two very easy wizard steps. Really great.
4. Individual document lines are now able to be work flowed based off conditions. Previously we have had to have separate forms and separate workflow process to accomplish this. As part of AX2012 Purchase Order Line workflow options have been included.
5. Touchless workflows, new automated tasks are supported within workflow to enabled actions to be performed on the document without user intervention, I believe these can be called either automatically or off certain conditions.
6. A centralized type of inbox from where you can action all your different workitems from various different document types without having to directly access the document form.

These were just a couple of my favorite highlights from the session and hands on lab presented by Karl Tolgu and Josh Honeyman at the Dynamics AX 2012 Technical conference in Redmond WA.

Were you there? What new features are you looking forward to in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012?

Happy Daxing
Jonathan





How to run multiple Dyanamics AX workflow websites on IIS 7

10 12 2010

Previously I have written up a post on how to run multiple workflow websites on the same server. The instructions are pretty IIS 6.0 specific, so here is an update on how to do this on IIS 7.

Step 1 – Create a new business connector configuration
1. Click start, control panel, administrative tools, Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 Configuration.
2. Select Busines Connector from “Configuration Target”
3. Click Manage, Create Configuration.
4. Provide an intuitive name for the business connector configuration e.g. AX2009_DEV. You will need to use this in a few minutes again, so make a note of it.
5. Click ok.
6. Select Connection tab, select the AOS that is already there and click edit.
7.  Provide the correct server name, instance name and TCP/IP port, click ok.
8. Click apply to save your new configuration.
9. Select your previously selected configuration and click ok (this is so that your already existing website will still work).

Step 2 – Duplicate the website files
1. Open up My Computer and navigate to c:/Program Files/Microsoft Dynamics AX/50
2. Duplicate the Workflow folder  and rename the new folder to something intuative like “WorkflowDev”
3. Edit the web.config file inside the newly created folder using Notepad or similar text editor.
4. Replace the line “<appSettings/>” with

<appSettings>
<add key="BUSINESS_CONNECTOR_CONFIGURATION" value="[BUSINESS CONNECTOR NAME FROM STEP 1.4]" />
</appSettings>

5. Save and exit notepad

Step 3 – Create your website application pool
1. Open IIS Manager: Start, Control panel, Administrative Tools, Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager
2. Expand your server node, Click application pools.
3. Click add Application Pool (on the right)
4. Enter and Application pool name E.G. MicrosoftDynamicsAXWorkflow50Dev
5. Select .Net Framework v2.0.50727
6. Select Classic from the Managed pipeline mode.
7. Click ok to close.
8. Select your newly created application pool, click advanced settings.
9. Ensure that the managed Pipleine mode is set to classic.
10. Under Process Model -> Identity, click “…”, select custom account, click select, enter your bcproxy account details used for your previous workflow website. e.g. domain\bcproxy. Click ok to close, click ok to close the select window.
11.  Set the IdleTime-out (minutes) setting to 0.
12. Set Regular Time Inteval (minutes) (under Recycling section) to 0.
13. Click ok. Your application pool is now setup.

Step 4 – Create Application
1. In IIS Manager, expand the Sites node, expand “default website”
2. Right click on default website and click “Add Application”
3. Provide a name for your application e.g. MicrosoftDynamicsAXWorkflow50Dev
4. Select the application pool you created in step 3
5. Under the physical path node click … and browse to the folder you copied in step 2. e.g. C:/Program Files/Microsoft Dynamics AX/50/WorkflowDev, click ok
6. Ensure that your connect as settings are set to Pass-through authentication.
7. Click ok.

Step 5 – Select your website with AX.
1. In Dynamics AX 2009, naviagate to Administration -> Setup -> Workflow Infrastructure configuration wizard, under website select your new application that you created e.g. http://myserver:80/MicroftDynamicsAXWorkflow50Dev
2. Validate the website and complete the wizard.

You should now have multiple workflow websites running successfully in IIS 7.0

For more information on setting up your workflow infrastructure in dyanmics Ax 2009 check out this post.

Happy Daxing!





No .NET Business connector session found.

2 11 2010

My quick fix for the day. If you are getting an error message “No .NET Business connector session found.”  in your system event log, there may be a number of things to look at, however the first thing to check is whether the default business connector on your IIS machine is set up and pointing to the correct AOS. This may occur on development servers with multiple AOS instances. You can take a look at this post how to setup multiple workflow websites on the same machine in order to avoid this issue.

Happy Daxing





Workflow Installation and Configuration Document

15 07 2010

The last couple of weeks, I have been receiving a number of useful links and resources related to Workflow in Dynamics AX 2009. This week I was pointed to two excellent resources on workflow, from a the “AXFactor” blog by Sumit Loya.

The first document deals with all the Installation and Configuration requirements for the workflow infrastructure in Dynamics AX 2009. It is very thorough and deals with, amongst other things, required user accounts and permissions, all the security issues that you will come across in both IIS and Dynamics, prerequisites for installation, installing the website, configuring batch inside AX and managing running Workflows. It is a definite must ready and handy reference book. After reading this document I felt like removing my post on Installation and Configuration, as Sumit is much more comprehensive and helpful. Thank-you for this excellent resource!!

View Original blog post at the AXSumit here
Download from Axaptapedia here

*UPDATE: Checkout the workflow development document too over here.





Workflow Walkthrough – Infrastructure

12 01 2010

Ok. So far on this blog I’ve been covering bugs, tricks and other issues relating to Dynamics AX workflow. However I haven’t yet provided any formal walk-throughs of workflow in its entirety. So here is my opportunity to add something of which I hope will be real value when creating new workflow templates, configurations and setting up of the workflow infrastructure.

So lets start at the beginning shall we.

Basic Requirements for Workflow to Be installed

  1. Dynamics AX AOS with at least SP1 installed
  2. IIS server.
  3. .Net Business Connector (installation described during this tutorial)
  4. EP Licence (Not officially required, but needed for .Net Business Connector)

Step 1 – Workflow Website Installation

Before creating our workflow templates or configuring pre-existing DAX templates, we need to setup the workflow infrastructure including the Windows Workflow Foundation Framework, .net business connector etc, relevant system users and a number of configurations within AX itself. So first things first. Lets setup out Workflow Website containing Windows Workflow Foundation.

  1. Install Internet Information Services (IIS)
  2. Setup a default website on IIS
  3. Run the Dynamics AX server installation file on your IIS machine
  4. Select ‘Add/Remove Components’
  5. Select .NET Business Connector
  6. Click next.
  7. Select a Language for the .NET Business Connector.
  8. Click next.
  9. Click Finish when the .NET Business Connector has finished being installed.
  10. Run the Dynamics AX server installation file on your IIS machine again
  11. Select ‘Add/Remove Components’
  12. Select ‘Workflow’ (Ensure that your active Dynamics AX .NET business connection configuration on your IIS machine (previous steps) is pointing to the correct AOS as the setup wizard will need to connect to your AOS to make some changes)
  13. Click Next
  14. You will be requested to enter a username and password for the user that your business connector will use to login to your AX environment. If you have previously set this up in your environment, the username will not be available to change. You can later set this up in your environment by going to Administration -> Setup -> Security -> System Service Accounts
  15. Select your default website that you would like to add you Workflow Virtual directory/Application to. You can install this to your sharepoint site if you so wish.
  16. Click Next
  17. Select the system account that your AOS is running as, so that the setup wizard will add this user to the list of users allowed to access the workflow website
  18. Click Next
  19. Click Install
  20. Click Finish when the Workflow Installation wizard has finished.

Your workflow infrastructure should now all be ready.

Should you wish to have multiple AOS environments all running Workflow, but only 1 IIS server, see this post for more details.

Step 2 – Configure your AOS

  1. Login to your Dynamics AX Environment as and administrator User.
  2. Ensure that your email server parameters are correctly setup (Administration -> Setup -> E-mail parameters)
  3. Setup your System Service Accounts (Administration -> Setup -> Security -> System Service Accounts)
    1. Business Connector Account (account used to login to your workflow website and other external tools)
    2. Workflow System Account
    3. Workflow Execution Account
  4. Setup a batch server (Administration -> Setup -> Server Configuration)
  5. Setup a workflow batch group (Administration -> Setup -> Batch Groups), give it a name like WF or WORKFLOW
  6. Run the workflow infrastructure configuration wizard (Administration -> Setup)
    1. In the first screen click Next
    2. Enter the full Workflow Website address that you created above if not already populated
      1. E.G. http://MYSERVER:80/MicrosoftDynamicsAXWorkflow50
    3. Click Validate, you should get a message such saying ‘Workflow runtime URL is valid’ if not you have not setup either your business connector account successfully or the workflow website is not functioning properly.
    4. Click Next
    5. Select the batch group that you created above (this is for the message processing batch job)
      1. If this is greyed out, you can cancel the batch the wizard and go back and delete your already existing workflow message processing batch job)
    6. Click Next
    7. Select the batch group that you created above (this is for the expired workitems batch job)
      1. If this is greyed out, you can cancel the batch the wizard and go back and delete your already existing due date workflow batch job)
    8. Select a recurrence time for how often you want workflow to check for expired workitems, by default this is every hour.
    9. Click Next
    10. Click Next to confirm, this will create the necessary batch jobs for workflow workitem processing as well as due date checking.
      1. To confirm that the batch jobs were create you can check under (Basic -> Enquiries -> Batch Job). There should be 2 new batch jobs created and in a waiting state (“Workflow Message processing” and “Workflow Due date expirations”)
  7. Setup your workflow per company
    1. Setup Workflow Email template (for workitem assignments) (Basic -> Setup -> E-mail Templates)
      1. Create a new Email template and name it “Workflow” or something similar, select default language and the name of the user that you want to appear in the Sender and Sender address fields in the email when the user receives a notification about new workitem)
      2. Create at least one language template, select a subject and provide the necessary contents for the email by clicking on the template button. You will be able to provide both a text as well as an HTML based template.
      3. You can use a number of ‘tags’ with in your template (and email subject) that will allow you to open and link to the correct notification or record within AX, or simply display more information about the workitem that the user is being emailed about. E.G:
        1. LinkToAlert%/”>View Alert (in the html editor)
        2. LinkToBusinessData%/”>View Record (in html editor)
        3. %Subject% – Displays the subject of the workflow (from WF Configuration)
        4. %Message% – Displays the instruction of the workflow (from WF Configuration)
    2. Setup number sequences (Basic -> Setup -> Number Sequences)
      1. Create number sequences that will be used for your configurations as well as for your actual running instances
      2. E.G.
        1. Configuration Number sequence:
          1. Number Sequence Code: Work_200
          2. Name: Work_200
          3. Smallest: 1
          4. Largest: 999999
          5. Next: 1
          6. Format: ######_200
        1. Instance Number sequence:
          1. Number Sequence Code: Work_201
          2. Name: Work_201
          3. Smallest: 1
          4. Largest: 999999
          5. Next: 1
          6. Format: ######_201
    3. Setup company (for each company) workflow parameters (Basic -> Setup -> Settings for Workflow)
      1. On the first tab select the email template that you have just created (Approval and task notifications)
      2. On the second tab (Administration), your workflow runtime (website) url should already be selected.
      3. On the third tab (Number sequences),  select number sequences created above for:
        1. Configuration Id Work_200
        2. Instance Id Work_201
      4. Close the settings for workflow screen
    4. You company/companies should now be all ready for you to begin developing or configuring workflows.

Keep your eyes open for the Workflow walk-throughs on Configurations and Template developments. Please let me know if you have any further comments or tips that you have discovered during workflow infrastructure configuration.

Enjoy Workflowing

Further reading:
Workflow Installation and Configuration








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