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Management Reporter 2012 (AX 2012) vs Financial Reporting (Dynamics 365 for Operations) FAQ


Recently we had the privilege of sitting down with one of our partners to discuss the new Financial Reporting functionality in Dynamics 365 for Operations (aka Management Reporter for AX 2012).

Although the name has changed in Dynamics 365 for Operations, the core of its purpose and functionality remains intact.  However, during our review, questions did surface pertaining to some functional enhancements (and technical attributes) that remain in Management Reporter 2012, that did not (or have not yet) translate/been translated over to Financial Reporting (Dynamics 365 for Operations).

Below is a summary of the Q & A session that took place during our review (these answers come directly from the Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Operations FR Program Management group (PM)):

Q: Does the Report groups functionality work in Dynamics 365 for Operations Financial reporting (FR)?

PG-A: Report groups exist today in AX7 FR, but if you generate a report group you won’t see the report group web page showing each individual report. It’s just being used for group processing (you need to open the individual reports in the AX7 client).

 

Q:  Does the Report scheduling functionality work in Dynamics 365 for Operations Financial reporting?

PG-A:  Scheduling is still there and supported

 

Q:  Can we publish/distribute Dynamics 365 for Operations FR reports to a Sharepoint and/or Sharepoint Online location?

PG-A:  Not available currently, but it is on our roadmap.

 

Q:  Does the Report Viewer/Library exist in Dynamics 365 for Operations FR?

PG-A:  No.  Report Viewer was removed for AX7 FR

 

Q:  Does the ability to import data from an Excel file exist in Dynamics 365 for Operations FR?

PG-A:  No.  Importing data from an Excel file for consolidations or statistical data is not there in AX7 FR.

 

Q:  Does the XBRL in Dynamics 365 for Operations FR work?

PG-A: No. XBRL is not part of AX7 FR.

 

Q:  Will we eventually have a single sign-on to the Dynamics 365 for Operations FR Report designer (currently credentials are required to launch the client)?

PG-A:  Nothing planned here.  If we want to support SSO then the AX client will need to support logout from third parties, which we do not think is in the client roadmap.

 

Q:  Will Dynamics 365 for Operations FR (at some point) have the capability of leveraging ‘Always On - Read only’ SQL DB configurations?

PG-A:  Yes, that is on our roadmap.

 

Q:  There is now a single ManagementReporter DB containing Connector, Datamart and Reporting tables; there is also a single Management Reporter 2012 Process Service – Tribridge was asking about a MR Console (like we have for AX 2012)…does one exist?

PG-A:  Configuration console has been removed from Financial Reporting in Dynamics 365 for Operations.  It’s functionality has been replaced by the core Dynamics 365 for Operations deployment as well as the Dynamics 365 for Operations telemetry.  There is actually one instance of the process service installed per BI machine in your deployment.

 

Q:  Integration inner-workings between Dynamics 365 for Operations and Financial Reporting (FR)…is it similar to AX 2012 and MR 2012, or completely different?

PG-A:  It is nearly identical

 

Q:  Can we create Comments in Dynamics 365 for Operations FR web viewer?

PG-A:  No.  Comments are not currently available in the web client for AX7 FR.  This is something that we are actively investigating with the AX client team.

 

Of course these are just the questions and answers that were summarized during this single review session.  I'm sure there are more questions out there that demand clarification, as we start supporting our new and existing customers on this new version of Dynamics 365 for Operations.

So please feel free to add your questions to this list so we can expand this FAQ post.  I will make sure to retrieve answers and post them as soon as possible.

The more questions asked, the more clarity we will obtain, and the better we can serve our customers.

 

Below is a blog post written by Lonnie Smith highlighting that Financial Reporting in Dynamics 365 for Operations does not have a separate client (NOTE: In the title he calls Financial Reporting, Management Reporter.  Moving forward, the name Management Reporter will used for Dynamics AX 2012 installations and the name Financial Reporting will be used for Dynamics 365 for Operations installations):

http://dynamicconsulting.com/blog/management-reporter-in-ax7-no-separate-client/

Comments (13)
  1. Logan says:

    Can management reporter run a consolidation between companies in difference instances of AX7?

    1. Hi Logan...

      No it cannot. The current implementation of financial reporting in AX 7 does not allow it to communicate with external sources of data. By external, I mean data sources outside its deployment environment. It can do consolidations between companies in the same AX 7 deployment but not between AX 7 deployments.

  2. Derek Baker says:

    How will rebuilding the data mart be handled? This was something that had to be done periodically via the configuration console when the integration was failing and we need to know how it will be done and who will do it (partners vs Microsoft)?

    1. Jake Roder says:

      +1 here.
      In a perfect world, the integration would have been re-designed to prevent the constant need to rebuild the datamart. In a more realistic world, though, it would be incredibly helpful to just have a single, easy-to-use button to purge and rebuild the DataMart.

    2. PG Answer: We are releasing a PowerShell script that can be used to reset the datamart with the Update 1 release at the end of this month. When the release is delivered there will be an update to the “What new” page on the help wiki. We will also publish an Office mix that demonstrates using the script.

      1. Jake Roder says:

        Thanks Kevin,
        Any chance this will be available for users on AX 2012 or 2009?

        1. Its is actually available with the latest MR CU (CU15) release, April 22, 2016: https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/axinthefield/management-reporter-2012-cu15-is-now-available/ There will be a new blog post containing the 'how to' instructions (published by the PG) later this week. I will be updating my blog post (link in this reply) with the link to that blog post. This new feature in CU15 applies to Management Reporter 2012 (AX 2009 & AX 2012). Review Management Reporter Version/Feature/ERP Compatibility Overview: https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/axinthefield/management-reporter-versionfeatureerp-compatibility-summary-overview/

          1. Jake Roder says:

            Hey Kevin,

            Did the PG post their new blog entry yet?

          2. Unfortunately that posting as been delayed due to their focus on releasing a new Hotfix for CU15. For your review and awareness... Management Reporter 2012 CU15 +Hotfix is now available!: https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/axinthefield/management-reporter-2012-cu15-is-now-available/

          3. Jake Roder says:

            Since there hasn't been a post or anything about it, the steps to rebuild the datamart are included in the MR 2012 CU15 readme file. This can be found at https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=5916. The heading is "resetting the data mart."

          4. Thanks Jake! Since the Product Group has delayed their blog post, I have confirmed with them that the steps for ‘resetting the data mart’ found in the latest MR 2012 ReadMe (for CU15) are accurate.

          5. Jake Roder says:

            Thanks Kevin,

            Since you have the ear of the product team, do you think they could shed any light on if MR for AX is going to continue to be improved in the coming years, or is new feature development being stopped on it like for GP?

          6. Hi Jake,
            You can see from the Wiki page that Management Reporter will continue to be the core engine for Financial reporting: https://ax.help.dynamics.com/en/wiki/whats-new-or-changed-in-dynamics-ax-7-0-february-2016/

            Regards,
            @BertrandCaillet

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