Connect to the SQL database of a Dynamics 365 Finance Test instance

In Dynamics 365 Finance / SCM we can no longer access the SQL database of the production environment directly. However, we can access the SQL database of the Acceptance Test instance. All required information can be found in LCS. I’ve made a video where to find this information in LCS and how to connecto to the SQL database.

Using SQL DDL Triggers to restore read Permissions programatically after Dynamics AX 2009 Synchronization

Recently, a customer using Dynamics AX 2009 implemeted a web service that access a view directly in SQL Server. Therefore they created a new SQL user login and gave the user read permissions on the view.

Read permission on a view

However, when synchronizing the data dictionary in Dynamics AX 2009, the views are droped and recreated and the permission on the object is lost. Therfore the webservice call fails.

One way to address this issue from a SQL perspective is to create a DDL trigger that sets the permissions on the view programmatically. Here is a small SQL script that sets read permissions for the user view_user on the the DIRPARTYVIEW after the view has been created again.

    SELECT  @name = EVENTDATA().value('(/EVENT_INSTANCE/ObjectName)[1]','SYSNAME')

    if @name = 'DIRPARTYVIEW' begin
        GRANT SELECT ON [dbo].[DIRPARTYVIEW] TO [view_user]


Dynamics 365 FO: Export Entity Store to Azure Data Lake

Since version 10 Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations supports the entity store export to Azure data lake. The main benefits are reduced costs because Azure Cloud storage is cheap and easy access for Business Intelligence tools like PowerBI.

If you are running a local development VM, the data connection tab in system parameters ist deactived by default. However, this can be actived using the SysFlighting table.

The configuration is pretty well documented by Microsoft. I’ve performed all the necessary steps and recorded a video:

Connect Azure Data Lake Storage with PowerBI dataflow

PowerBI dataflow performs ETL (Extract Transform Load) workloads in the cloud. PowerBI Pro and Premium Users get dataflow storage without additional charges. However, this storage is managed by PowerBI and you cannot access it directly. Therefor BYOSA (Bring Your Own Storage Account) is support to connect you own Azure storage account with PowerBI dataflow. I’ve made a video, following the documentation, how to connect an Azure storage account with PowerBI. Please find my video youtube:

Configure Azure Data Lake storage with PowerBI dataflow

Configure PowerBI on Dynamics 365 FO developer VM

I’ve created a video tutorial how to configure PowerBI on a stand alone Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations developer VM

Setup multiple developer VMs for Version Control with Team Services in Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations

Here is a walkthrough how to connect two Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations developer VMs with VSTS.

Configure Azure AD and setup Visual Studio Team Services

Before you start, you have to add your developers to Azure Active Directory. If you have Azure AD Connect make sure the accounts have been synced to the Cloud. In my case I added two additional users to my Azure AD.

Configure Developer Accounts in Azure AD

Next logon to your Azure Portal using your Organization Account. Create a new service and search for “Team Services”. You should find Visual Studio Team Services (preview).

Create Visual Studio Team Services project in Azure Portal

Create a new instance of VSTS. The basic version of VSTS for 5 users is free. Make sure to use Team Foundation Server as Version Control system. You may choose any Methodology you like, but II ‘d recommend to go for CMMI compatible one.

Create Visual Studio Team Services project in Azure Portal

After the deployment succeeded, logon to your Visual Studio Team Services account, using  the URL https://<ACCOUNTNAME&gt; . There you see a new project. Open the project and add your developer users by clicking the (+) icon on the upper left “Members” pane. If everything is configured correctly, you should be able to add your AD users. In my example developer one and developer two.

Add developer accounts to Dynamics 365 FO project

Configure Developer VMs

If you are using the VHD Images from Microsoft, the first thing you should do is to rename the computer. If you don’t rename the VMs you will get errors when mapping the source control on multiple machines. In my case I rename the VMs to “devbox1” and “devbox2”. No domain is needed. Details here.

Rename Dynamics 365 FO developer VM

Configure first Developer Box

After the VM reboots, open Visual Studio 2015 in Admin mode. Depending on your licensing you may need to provide additional credentials to use your subscription. Don’t get confused if this may be your Microsoft ID (aka. Live ID) while you need your Organization Account to access VSTS. Zwinkerndes Smiley  From the menu bar select > Team > Manage Connections. Provide the URL for your VSTS account.

Connect to Visual Studio Team Services

After you have connected to VSTS select the project to work on. Next, from the Team Explorer open the Source Control explorer. Map the root folder to a folder on your developer VM.

Map Source Control Folder in Visual Studio

Afterwards use the source control explorer to create two new folders. One for Visual Studio Projects and one for metadata. This is where the D365 source code artifacts will be stored. Check in you pending changes. This will sync the folders to VSTS.

Map Dynamics 365 FO metadata folder

Now, in the Source Control Explorer open the dropdown Workspace and edit your workspace. Map the metadata folder to C:\AOSService\PackagesLocalDirectory.

Map Dynamics 365 FO metadata folder

From the menu bar > Dynamics 365 > Model Management > Create a new model. Give it a name and complete the wizard. This will ask you to create a new Dynamics X++ project.

Create new Dynamics 365 FO project

In the solution explorer, right click on the project and add to source control.

Check in to Source Control

Add a new element to the project, for example add a new String Extended Datatype called DMOCustomerName. In the solution explorer, right click the project and select build. After a few seconds you should see the console output “Build completed”. Check in all your pending changes.

Next, from the Team Explorer open the Source Control Explorer. You should see the model structure in the tree view. Right click on the metadata folder and select “Add items to folder”. Navigate to your model folder and there to the Descriptor folder. Add the Model Descriptor XML file. Unfortunately you have to do this manually, otherwise the second developer can sync the Folders and Extended Datatypes etc. but will not see the model in the AOT.

Add Dynamics 365 FO Model Descriptor File to Source Control

You can also inspect your code in VSTS

Dynamics 365 FO X++ Source Code

Configure second Developer Box

Make sure that the second VM is properly renamed. Open Visual Studio in Admin mode and connect to VSTS. Logon with the account of the second developer. Select the Dynamics 365 project and again in the Source Control Explorer map the metadata folder to C:\AOSService\ PackagesLocalDirectory. Checkout the latest version of the metadata folder.

Get Latest Version from metadata folder

This will create the model folder in the packages directory.

Model folder created in PackagesLocalDirectory

In Visual Studio open the Dynamics 365 Application Explorer. If the AOT is in classic mode, right click and switch to model view. Scroll down and you we will see the synchronized model and the its software artifacts.

Model in Dynamics 365 FO Application Explorer

Setup und Configure Office 365 Project Web App

Here you can find my video on how to setup Project Web App, link with Project Desktop client and how to setup a SharePoint subwebsite with a synchronized task list