Windows 8 Apps for Dynamics AX

Beautiful. Easy. Fun.

When's the last time you used these words to describe your ERP system? For most users, interacting with business applications is tedious and challenging. But over the last few months, my team has been working to change these perceptions. And now we are ready to share the results of our efforts with you. This weekend, we released the first versions of our Windows 8 apps for Dynamics AX 2012 R2. These include apps for Timesheets, Expenses, and Approvals.

While you can download these apps today and try them out, you can't quite hook them up to your live system yet. In the next few months, we will provide some updates to the AX server infrastructure as well as updated versions of the apps that will leverage the Windows Azure Service Bus to connect to your on-premises Dynamics AX 2012 R2 instance.

Please give them a try and let me know what you think. If you are interested in knowing how we built them, we did a video on Channel 9 that you can check out.

Comments (8)
  1. Herbert Backhausen says:


    These apps are great! 2 suggestions though. In the timesheet and expenses apps when an entry has been rejected, I don't see a reason code why these were rejected and what the user has to do to remedy that situation. Also I would love to use the partial screen view use for these apps like you have done for approvals where you can place the entries in a sidebar.

    Are there any plans to port these apps to iOS and Android platforms?


    Herbert Backhausen, CSCP

  2. Thanks for the feedback, Herbert. AX workflow does not currently support a reason code but it is a good idea. Would the list of reason codes be unique per document or global? We will support more spilt screen views in future releases.

  3. Muhammad says:

    Hi, I followed the guide and configured ADFS, Mobile App… Email Approvals are working but for Time sheets and Expenses it is saying "An error occurred while receiving reference data" and no details of Exception even in Event Logs.

    Any guidance .. I will be grateful

  4. Hi, Muhammad. Great work on getting this far. Are you able to enter timesheets & expenses in the AX client or Enterprise Portal?

    On the technical side, the service groups may have to be redeployed. Assuming the service are working correctly, the errors could be due to not having periods set up or not being associated to a worker.

    You might try using the Windows Phone app to test as it has much better error handling with which to lead to a diagnosis. The “error receiving reference data” message is a generic catch-all in the Win8 apps and not very helpful since it could be many different things.

    If you continue to have problems, feel free to contact Microsoft Support and we could help you debug the problem.

  5. Yury says:

    Looks sleek and fine. And useless. Just like topical first mod of an intern who does not have a clue what the AX is for.

    There are heaps of issues in the system as old as version 2. And instead of addressing them MS delivers some bells and whistles. Some of which not just useless but harmful. Like global search in 4.0 or normalisation and segmented controls in 2012.

    Sometimes I've got a feeling that MBS is sitting in the ivory tower.

  6. Hi, Yuri. Not sure why expense and time entry is useless. We have thousands of employees within MS entering expenses every day that don't have any idea what ledger account structures are. The feedback from partners and customers on the apps has been very good as well. We can certainly improve other areas of the product but I'm not sure what that has to do with providing friendly apps for non-accountants.

  7. Yury says:

    Hi Brian,

    That is exactly what interns do, tools for internal use. Firstly because internally you do not have to pay for the license. Secondly because it is too dangerous to allow a junior to modify important business logic.

    Impact of mistake can vary tremendously. If an employee makes a mistake entering expenses or timesheets it is several hundred bucks. If logistics manager by mistake sends shipment to wrong location it is several thousand. If manufacturing planning fails and line stops it is tens of thousands. And if ledger books are wrong or inventory exceeded optimal minimum or wrong compound was picked it can destroy the business completely.

    That is why believe that the UI should be tested on the most dangerous areas of the system. And robustness should go miles ahead of prettiness.

  8. These two things are not mutually exclusive. And I would differ on how hard it is to make easy to use applications. Getting non-accountants to adopt an ERP system is very important. Our customer tell us if the front end is hard to use, the business owners will not adopt it. As for the impact of making mistakes, if you work are in a government contractor and incorrectly enter time against projects or approve an incorrect customer invoice, the financial impact can be significant. Hopefully we can make apps that are both easy to use and robust.

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