Direct Reports

Dynamics AX product-related topics for project-based businesses such as consulting, accounting, advertising, and construction.

Blog - About

About Direct Reports

I'm the Group Program Manager for the Microsoft Dynamics AX engineering team covering Service Industries (including markets such as professional services, construction, architecture and advertising). I've been at Microsoft for over 17 years and was previously a Senior Product Manager for Microsoft Amalga Hospital Information System (HIS), part of Microsoft's Health Solution Group. I also spent 8 years as the Group Program Manager for Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services, where my team created and delivered the Microsoft business intelligence and reporting platform for IT Pros, end users and developers as part of SQL Server and Visual Studio. I joined Microsoft after a role as software architect for a4 Health Systems, a hospital software company in my home town of Raleigh, North Carolina.

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    Windows 8 Apps for Dynamics AX are live

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    In my last post, I introduced new Windows 8 applications for Microsoft Dynamics AX. Originally, we released them in demo mode only. We have now released 'live' versions all of the components for this release including: Expenses , Timesheets , and...
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    Windows 8 Apps for Dynamics AX

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    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...
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    Tweaks to Project Budget in AX 2012 R2 CU6

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    In the forthcoming Dynamics AX 2012 R2 CU6 release, we made a few tweaks to the project budgeting form. First, we enabled multi-line delete in both the cost and revenue grids (it was previously one-at-a-time). This makes it much easier to clear out and...
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    Change to Project Ledger Posting Setup in AX 2012 R2 CU6

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    In the forthcoming AX 2012 R2 Cumulative Update 6 (which, oddly enough, will be the one after CU1), we added a small feature to the Ledger Posting Setup in the Project Management and Accounting module. You can now specify the main account for project...
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    PM@MS - Doing the "other stuff"

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    I've spent the last 17 years at Microsoft, the majority of my adult life. For most of those years, I've been in a role called "program manager". Surprisingly, one of the challenges with being a program manager at Microsoft is determining what on earth...
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    Changing the Discussion

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    One of the most impressionable meetings that I have been involved in occurred early in my career at Microsoft. In was 1996 and I was a freshly minted technical evangelist working in Microsoft's Developer Relations group (DRG). DRG was a group tasked with...
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    The Vision Thing

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    Early in my career at Microsoft, I was part of one of the biggest development disasters at Microsoft (no, not Windows Vista), called WinFS. WinFS was an attempt to bring the benefits of schema and relational databases to the Windows file system. I never...
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    Why ERP?

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    Sometimes I'm at a party and someone asks where I work. If the party is in Seattle and I say "Microsoft", the follow up is usually "Which group?" because the person either works there, contracts there, or has a friend in the XBOX of Office team that they...
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    I'm back!

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    Hard to believe my last post was over 6 years ago. At the time, I was departing the SQL Server Reporting Services team to join the Microsoft Health Solutions Group. That lasted about a year and a half (I'll tell some of those stories later) and I joined...
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    Double Nickels on the Dime (Leaving the Reporting Services Team)

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    The rumors are true. I will be leaving the Reporting Service team after 7 years and SQL Server after 10 years. Here is the message that I sent to my team: It first dawned on me about 3 months ago that I had been in the same position for close to...
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    Transmissions from the Satellite Heart (What's up with Report Builder?)

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    Hopefully, you have gotten a chance to work with the latest CTP of SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services . But if you have, you may be a bit puzzled by the report design options in the CTP. Specifically: Report Builder looks just like it did in SSRS 2005...
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    Tribal Thunder (SharePoint White Papers Available)

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    After many months of working on getting them posted, I'm excited to let you know that two whitepapers on the integration between SQL Server Reporting Services and SharePoint are now available. SQL Server 2005 Integration with Microsoft SharePoint...
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    Everybody (Why Leave IIS?)

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    If you have gotten a chance to try an early build of SQL Server Reporting 2008 Reporting Services, you know that one of the changes in the product is the removal of the Internet Information Services (IIS) dependency. I have gotten some questions about...
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    Younger Than Yesterday (ReportViewer in VS 2008)

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    As most of you probably know by now, Visual Studio 2008 is now available. What you might not have noticed is a new version of the ReportViewer control and local /embedded report editing experience. Included with VS 2008 are the following new features...
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    Laser Guided Missiles (Report Localization through Parameters)

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    As localization is not a built-in feature for Reporting Services, people have tried a a variety of techniques for localizing reports. One technique is to use the LocID propertie to create a version of the RDL in each language. Another approach is to have...
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    Marquee Moon (Field References in Page Headers and Footers)

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    One of the questions that I get often is about putting database fields in their SSRS report page header and/or footer. Note that putting fields in the page header and footer is not the same as putting a data region in these sections. Because of the...
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    Personal Best (The BI Survey)

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    Some of you may be familiar with Nigel Pendse’s OLAP Report . This year, the survey is broadening to include more BI functionality and is being renamed "The BI Survey". If you have some time, take a moment and fill out the survey . We (and the other BI...
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    When I Was Born for the 7th Time (Thoughts from TechEd)

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    Last week I attended TechEd in Orlando, Florida . Here are my thoughts on the event. This year was TechEd's 15th anniversary. I realized on the way down that I was attending my 10th consecutive TechEd. When I started attending, TechEd was about 2,000...
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    Gone Glimmering (Fix for Visual Studio Hang)

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    I am very happy to announce that a fix has been released for the notorious "Visual Studio cannot shut down because a modal dialog is open" bug. I know that many of you are getting this daily when using the SQL Server 2005 Report Designer. You can read...
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    Perfect Prescription (OneNote is Really Cool)

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    I think that you might be surprised how long it takes people within Microsoft to adopt new software. While there are some software that we are "strongly encouraged" to adopt <g>, what applications we use on a day to day basis is generally up to...
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    Dreamy (Reporting Services at TechEd)

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    Unlike previous years, I decided not to attend the first day of TechEd. This means that I missed BobMu's keynote but you can read about the details from many of the TechEd bloggers . If you read the press release from TechEd today, we announced the...
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    Tago Mago (New Version of Radius)

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    I wanted to give some props to my friends at 90 Degree Software (Vancouver, Canada) on the latest release of their report authoring tool, Radius . Radius is a report design tool based on the Reporting Services Report Definition Langauge (RDL). If you...
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    At the End of Paths Taken (Modifying Where Clause when All Parameter Values are Selected)

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    With the return of “Select All” in Service Pack 2, all multi-value parameters allow the user to pick all of the available values. But what if you want to remove the predicate from your WHERE clause instead of generating a long set of values in the IN...
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    Sky Blue Sky (MS BI Conference Notes)

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    Wow, what a show! I spent this week recovering from the first ever Microsoft Business Intelligence Conference . Conferences in downtown Seattle are always fun because I live in Seattle and don't have to cross the bridge to get to the Microsoft campus...
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    Watusi (SSRS Management Tools Changes for Katmai)

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    For Katmai we are considering the removal of namespace management (folders, reports, data sources, models) from the Reporting Services Add-in for SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS). In other words, we are considering removing the 'Home' folder under...
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