Tutorial: Configure and process an outbound ASN in the new Warehouse management module


Introduction

In my previous post I explained how to configure and process an advance shipping notice that was received from a vendor, or what I call the “inbound ASN”.

But what about notifying our customers whenever we ship something to them? We’d like to send them a shipping notice in advance as well. Well, this functionality has been present in AX for a while now, and can still be used today. You can read more about configuring and processing such an “outbound ASN” in the following blog post with a technical description available on MSDN.

But in this post I would like to describe how to configure and process an outbound ASN using the new Warehouse management solution data model and processes.

 

Configuring the ASN service

The ASN, as I mentioned before, is a standard service based on the AIF framework, so before we walk through the configuration of the data, we need to ensure that the AIF framework and the corresponding service is up and running. Same as before, if you aren’t familiar with the AIF in AX 2012, see TechNet. You can also take a short-cut and set up AIF automatically by using the tool that I recently posted in my blog.

The service that provides the outbound ASN capabilities is the same as for inbound and is called WHSShipmentASNService. The service operation that is used for generating the ASN is called WHSShipmentASNService.read.

Here is how the outbound port should look after configuring the service operations.

Outbound ports

XML schema

With documents being sent in the outbound direction it is important to control the information that is exposed in the document (for example, to avoid showing some of the internal identifiers like RecIds, InventDimIds, etc.), so let’s go ahead and customize the document through the Data policies button, enabling only some of the fields available through the service. Here’s how I’ve set mine up:

Document data policies

OK, now we are ready to activate the outbound port and move on to walking through the flow of sending an ASN in Dynamics AX.

 

Sending an ASN for a selected load

Configuring the customer

In order to be able to send an advance shipping note to a customer, we need to enable this on the customer, under the Warehouse management fast tab. This way you can clearly distinguish which customers need to receive an ASN when the shipment is being sent. Especially useful if you ship large loads which contain multiple shipments for multiple customers.

Customer details

Creating and processing the outbound load

Let us create a new sales order for the above customer, and add a few sales lines for WHS-enabled items to it. Ensure the lines are physically reserved, and then release the order to warehouse.

Sales order details

Execute the created work, so the items end up in the Final Shipping location. I am not going to walk through that part, as it has nothing to do with the ASN. Here’s how the work looks for the sales order in my example:

Work details

Now that the goods are picked and loaded onto the truck, we need to confirm the outbound shipment, print the packing slip and send the driver on his way. After that we will be able to send the advance shipping note to let the customer know the truckload is on its way. These steps can be done from a number of forms in Dynamics AX, and in this post I am just going to do it from the Load details.

Load details

Load details

OK, now that the packing slip is printed, we are able to send the ASN.

Note

The Send ASN button gets enabled earlier, before we have printed the packing slip. However, clicking it will not actually do anything. You need to print the packing slip first.

Note

If the selected load is part of Transportation management system route, all loads on that route will need to be in the Shipped state with packing slips printed, same as for the load above, before the ASN can be sent.

You can send the advance shipping note for more than one load at the same time, by multi-selecting the loads in the Load planning workbench or the All Loads list page / details page. Same goes for shipments if that is where you are sending the ASN from.

Each shipment that is part of the load will have an individual ASN document, assuming that it is enabled for the corresponding customer, as described above.

There is no infolog message shown to the user to confirm that the ASN has been created successfully, but you can tell whether that happen if you look at the AIF document queue.

It is currently not possible to send the ASN a second time.

 

Processing the outbound AIF queue

Like with other AIF services, you would typically have a batch job that picks up all new outgoing documents and sends them. For the sake of simplicity, I will use the following method, which is part of the AIF configuration tool I mentioned above:

 

1 public static void processOutboundDocuments() 2 { 3 new AifOutboundProcessingService().run(); 4 new AifGatewaySendService().run(); 5 }

Result

Here is how the ASN document looks for my example. You can download the file here.

 

1 <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> 2 3 <Envelope xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/dynamics/2011/01/documents/Message"> 4 5 <Header> 6 7 <MessageId>{AE2B908D-68BB-4D59-99CF-FCDC879242A9}</MessageId> 8 9 <Action>http://tempuri.org/WHSShipmentASNService/read</Action> 10 11 </Header> 12 13 <Body> 14 15 <MessageParts xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/dynamics/2011/01/documents/Message"> 16 17 <WHSShipmentASN xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/dynamics/2008/01/documents/WHSShipmentASN"> 18 19 <WHSShipmentTable class="entity"> 20 21 <AccountNum>1101</AccountNum> 22 23 <Address>456 Black Road, Bothell, WA 98021, USA</Address> 24 25 <DeliveryName>Forest Wholesales</DeliveryName> 26 27 <DlvTermId>FOB_DS</DlvTermId> 28 29 <InventLocationId>42</InventLocationId> 30 31 <InventSiteId>4</InventSiteId> 32 33 <LoadDirection>Outbound</LoadDirection> 34 35 <LoadId>CEU-000008</LoadId> 36 37 <OrderNum>SO-101269</OrderNum> 38 39 <ShipmentId>CEU-000008</ShipmentId> 40 41 <WHSUOMStructure class="entity"> 42 43 <LicensePlateId>TLP_ASN_01</LicensePlateId> 44 45 <WHSASNItem class="entity"> 46 47 <ItemId>000148_202</ItemId> 48 49 <Qty>150.00</Qty> 50 51 <UOM>ea</UOM> 52 53 <InventDim class="entity"> 54 55 <InventLocationId>42</InventLocationId> 56 57 <InventSiteId>4</InventSiteId> 58 59 <InventStatusId>Available</InventStatusId> 60 61 <LicensePlateId>TLP_ASN_01</LicensePlateId> 62 63 <WMSLocationId>BAYDOOR</WMSLocationId> 64 65 </InventDim> 66 67 </WHSASNItem> 68 69 <WHSASNItem class="entity"> 70 71 <ItemId>000154_202</ItemId> 72 73 <Qty>60.00</Qty> 74 75 <UOM>Pcs</UOM> 76 77 <InventDim class="entity"> 78 79 <InventLocationId>42</InventLocationId> 80 81 <InventSiteId>4</InventSiteId> 82 83 <InventStatusId>Available</InventStatusId> 84 85 <LicensePlateId>TLP_ASN_01</LicensePlateId> 86 87 <WMSLocationId>BAYDOOR</WMSLocationId> 88 89 </InventDim> 90 91 </WHSASNItem> 92 93 </WHSUOMStructure> 94 95 <DirPartyPostalAddressView class="entity"> 96 97 <City>Bothell</City> 98 99 <CountryRegionId>USA</CountryRegionId> 100 101 <State>WA</State> 102 103 <Street>456 Black Road</Street> 104 105 <ZipCode>98021</ZipCode> 106 107 </DirPartyPostalAddressView> 108 109 </WHSShipmentTable> 110 111 </WHSShipmentASN> 112 113 </MessageParts> 114 115 </Body> 116 117 </Envelope> 118 119

Technical details

Class WHSShipConfirm contains the majority of the business logic around sending the ASN, with sendASNAllLoads() being the main entry method for the procedure.

Method generateASN() takes care of creating the packing structure corresponding to the shipment. It loops through all the relevant work orders, creating a UOMStructure record for each new target license plate (which corresponds to the different pallets that are part of the shipment). It will then for each load line loop through the corresponding inventory transactions (With StatusIssue == Deducted) and create the ASNItem records for each of the load lines items, taking into consideration the inventory dimensions of each line. This happens in method createASNItems().

Once the data structure is populated for the shipment, the document is generated and processed in the method sendElectronically().

Note

It will never create a nested structure where multiple cases are put on the pallet; it will always be the individual items directly on the pallet.

 

Conclusion

As you can see, the current capabilities are rather limited, but it is a good start, and this functionality will hopefully be further extended in future versions of Dynamics AX to include things like:

  • Multi-level package structure
  • Closer integration with the container structure generated through manual packing and automatic containerization processes

You can also download this blog post as a Word document from here.

 

Comments (4)

  1. Daljit Rahsi says:

    Hi,

    Thanks for the information. I have a question regarding the same.

    I am trying to show two more fields in the xml file for the outbound port.

    The two fields are "Barcode" and "ExternalItemId" from the sales order table.

    In the data policies list where we can enable and disable the fields as per our requirement, I found that these two fields are not available.

    So I created the two fields in a table and was able to see the two fields in the data policies.

    But when I enable the two fields, the xml file is not generated and as soon as I disable them again, I am able to generate the xml file.

    Also, when I check in the Exception log, I get the following errors for the two fields:(only when  I enable the fields)

    "WHASNItem object does not have method 'parmBarcode'"

    "WHASNItem object does not have method 'parmExternalItemId'"

    Whereas these methods are present.

    Also, I have tried:

    1. Recreate the parm methods in the AxWHSASNItem class

    2. Updated the document services

    3. CIL Compile, full compile

    4. Restart AX service

    5. Remove customization entirely and recreate it

    //******************************//

    Please provide me with the better solution. Waiting for response, thanks

  2. Hi Daljit

    Can you please re-post this question on the Dynamics AX community forum?

    community.dynamics.com/…/33

    You will get a much faster response there.

    As to your question – it has nothing to do with the ASN outbound document, but is a general question on customizing Axd documents in AX.

    I'd suggest you try using the Axd wizard to update the AxBC classes, as well as any other dependent elements like the Query.

    Thanks

  3. Joe_Gramann says:

    Hi Ivan,

    Thanks for your blog.

    I have a question about the content of the ASN. In our AX2009 environment we went to full extend to 'serialize' every carton compared to your blog where you have one LP plate (preferable in an SSCC18 code according to your other blog). We are moving into R3 CU10 with advanced warehouse management and I don't want to tag that modification along.

    So to simply the question on how deep would you go with the serialization and providing that information on the ASN?

    1 Palette with 18 carton of the same product = 1 LP (SSCC18) or 1 SSCC18/ctn + 1 SSCC18 for the overall Logistics unit?

    1 Palette with 20 cartons each a different item = 1 LP(SSCC18) or 1 SSCC/ctn + 1 SSCC18 for for the overall logistics unit

    If each carton needs to have an SSCC how would you go about to achieve that?

    Thanks!

  4. Hi Joe

    Well, I can't really tell you how you should do it, since it's your customer who should decide. I am sure they have very specific requirements for how the asn should look anyhow.

    As for what we can do – the outbound asn as it is today can only do a packing structure where we have 1 LP at the top (pallet) + all the times directly on the pallet. So we do not distinguish carton breakdown

    Kent corp has done a modification, as far as I know, where they integrated the containerization flow with the outbound asn, matching each of the containers (cartons) with a SSCC18, which could be an option for you as well.

    It does not matter if the cartons have same or different products from this standpoint.

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