Supply Chain Management in Dynamics AX

This blog contains information and feedback on the Supply Chain Management area in Microsoft Dynamics AX

Import vendor catalogs: from setup to importing a sample catalog – Part 2 (Importing a sample catalog)

Import vendor catalogs: from setup to importing a sample catalog – Part 2 (Importing a sample catalog)

Rate This
  • Comments 1

The previous blog post in this series gave an overview of setting up AX 2012 to enable the Import vendor catalogs functionality. Now it’s time to see how to produce a sample CMR (catalog maintenance request) file and import it into AX using both AX Windows client and the Vendor self-service portal in Enterprise portal.

Create a vendor catalog

First of all a vendor catalog needs to be created.

  1. Go to Procurement and sourcing > Common > Catalogs > Vendor catalogs.
  2. Create a new record.
  3. Select the vendor in the vendor field.

You can enable/disable the catalog for auto approval by clicking the corresponding button in the action pane. This flag can be used to setup workflow automatic actions.

Create a sample catalog maintenance request (CMR) file

CMR file is an XML file which contains the information about the products which are available for purchase from the vendor. You can use the CMR file to create a new catalog, replace an existing catalog, or modify an existing catalog. In order to create a sample CMR file you need to generate a catalog import file template first.

Generate a catalog import file template

The catalog import file template is an industry-standard XSD file that you use to create a CMR file for vendor’s products. In order to create the XSD file you need to:

  1. Click Procurement and sourcing > Common > Catalogs > Vendor catalogs.
  2. On the Vendor catalogs list page, double-click the catalog that you want to work with.
  3. To download a current catalog import template (XSD file), in the Update catalog form, on the Action Pane, on the Catalogs tab, in the Related information group, click Generate catalog template. Select one of the following options:
  • Procurement category – Generate a catalog template that includes the procurement categories in which the vendor is authorized to provide products.
  • Commodity code – Generate a catalog template that includes industry-standard commodity codes.
  1. In the Save as dialog box, select the location where you want to store the catalog file template and save the file.

image

 

Generate a sample CMR file

One thing to note about the catalog import template XSD file is that for each procurement category where the vendor is approved there will be a separate product definition with a separate set of attributes so it is important to use the current version of the XSD file for producing the sample CMR file. In order to create a sample CMR file you can:

  1. Open the XSD file in Visual Studio.
  2. Go to the Schema explorer view.
  3. Right click the VendorCatalog node.
  4. Click the Generate sample XML item.
  5. Modify the auto-generated contents with the valid data: vendor name, product name, price and other attributes. Some of the attributes like product name can be filled with any string value. Other attributes (like currency) will only accept a fixed set of values which can be found by navigating the XSD file.

A sample CMR file will typically look like the one below:

 1: <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
 2: <VendorCatalog VendorName="CatImp2" LoadDate="2012-01-01T01:01:01+01:00" ProductClassification="Procurement Category" xmlns="http://dax.com/vendorcatalog">
 3:   <Product xmlns:xsi='http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance' xsi:type='Accessories' Delete='No' ProductCode='ImpCatVend2_1' ProductSearchName='ImpCatVends2_1'>
 4:     <PriceInformation>
 5:       <Price Currency='USD' UnitOfMeasure='Pcs' Value='5000'></Price>
 6:     </PriceInformation>
 7:     <ProductNameAndDescription>
 8:       <NameAndDescription>
 9:         <Description>ImpCatVends2_1</Description>
 10:         <Name>ImpCatVends2_1</Name>
 11:         <Language>en</Language>
 12:       </NameAndDescription>
 13:     </ProductNameAndDescription>
 14:     <ProductAttributes></ProductAttributes>
 15:   </Product>
 16: </VendorCatalog>

 

Upload the CMR file using AX Windows client

Having generated the sample CMR file you can proceed with the import.

  1. Click Procurement and sourcing > Common > Catalogs > Vendor catalogs.
  2. On the Vendor catalogs list page, double-click the catalog that you want to work with.
  3. In the Update catalog form, on the Catalog file history tab, click Upload file.
  4. In the Upload file dialog box, browse to the location of the CMR file that you created.
  5. Enter an effective date and an expiration date. These dates define the date range in which the pricing for the products in the CMR file is valid.
  6. Select one of the following update types for the CMR file:
  • Add updates to the existing vendor catalog
  • Replace the existing vendor catalog with a new catalog
  1. Click OK to start the upload process for the CMR file.
  2. To view the details about the processing status of the CMR file, on the Catalog file history tab, click Event log.
  3. In the Event log form, the status of the CMR file is updated as the file is processed.
  4. The status of the catalog import will be ”New” (unless an error occurred).
  5. A new XML file will be placed in the catalog import pickup folder. This file is a WSDL message for the CatImpService.create service for which a file adapter-based inbound integration port has been set up previously (see the previous blog post for details). This message contains all the information from the CMR file that we just uploaded plus the WSDL ”envelope”. Find the sample WSDL catalog import message below:
 1: <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
 2: <Batch>
 3:     <Envelope xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/dynamics/2011/01/documents/Message">
 4:         <Header>
 5:             <Action>http://schemas.microsoft.com/dynamics/2008/01/services/CatImpService/create</Action>
 6:         </Header>
 7:         <Body>
 8:             <MessageParts>
 9:                 <VendorCatalog>
 10:                 ...
 11:                 </VendorCatalog>
 12:             </MessageParts>
 13:         </Body>
 14:     </Envelope>
 15: </Batch>

 

Process the CMR file

After the WSDL message has been placed in the catalog import pickup folder the catalog import service needs to be called. The service will copy the data from the CMR file to the vendor catalog staging tables.

  1. Run the AIF vendor catalog import processing job which has been setup previously (see the previous blog post for details).
  2. After you do that the status of the catalog import will change to ”In progress”.

 

Approve the catalog import

In this example we will assume that the workflow has been set up for manual approval, i.e. there are no automated actions setup in the Catalog import product approval workflow.

  1. After the status of the catalog has changed to ”In progress” the workflow bar will appear in the top of the Vendor Catalog form.
  2. Click the submit button.
  3. Run the workflow processing job (see the previous blog post for details).
  4. Refresh the Vendor Catalog form.
  5. The status of the catalog import has changed to ”Pending approval”.
  6. Click the Details button on the Catalog file history fast tab.
  7. Select all products and click the Actions > Approve button in the workflow bar.
  8. Run the workflow processing job.
  9. The status of the products has changed to ”Approved”.
  10. Go back to the Vendor Catalog form.
  11. The status of the import has changed to ”Succeeded”.
  12. After the imported product candidates have been approved they are added to the product master.
  13. After the product candidates have been approved they can be released to legal entities by clicking the Release approved products button on the Vendor Catalog form.

 

Vendor self-service portal (VSS)

Some of the actions described above can also be performed using the Enterprise Portal (EP). In order to run this scenario it is required to associate the user with a vendor.

Create an AX user for the vendor party

First of all you need to associate an AX user with the vendor account. Large companies will probably take advantage of more complicated workflows available in AX to perform this operation (see the Vendor Management and Collaboration in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 training materials for more details). Smaller companies can utilize the simplified process described below.

  1. Go to System administration > Common > Users > Users.
  2. Grant the user that you want to associate with the vendor the Vendor (external) role.
  3. Click the Relations button in the action pane.
  4. Set the Relation type = Vendor and select the vendor which you want to enable for uploading catalogs using the Vendor portal.

 

Upload the CMR file using the VSS portal

After setting up the user-vendor association you can proceed with opening the Vendor portal and uploading the CMR file.

  1. Go to System administration > Common > Users > Users.
  2. Select the user that you have configured to represent the vendor party.
  3. Click the profiles button.
  4. Click the view role centers button.
  5. In the enterprise portal make sure that the correct user is active (if not click the login as a different user button and login as the user which has been configured to represent the vendor party).
  6. If you logged on as an admin or have multiple vendors associated with your account then make sure that the correct vendor association is active. The current vendor association can be changed by clicking the vendor dropdown box in the top right corner of the screen.

Now you can navigate to Vendor portal > Catalogs and upload the CMR file. I will not go into more details since the vendor catalogs form in the enterprise portal is similar to the vendor catalogs form in AX Windows client.

image

  • Hi Vanya,

    I want to know how can we import the product with size and color .. I mean product master !!

Page 1 of 1 (1 items)
Leave a Comment
  • Please add 2 and 8 and type the answer here:
  • Post