Exciting! Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 has been released. One of the major new features is the new Warehouse management module. This module also supports the use of mobile devices to register inventory transactions in the warehouse. The mobile application is HTML based and real-time. It support transactions for all kinds of inventory transactions such as receiving goods, putting, picking, cycle counting. This post will tell you how to install the Warehouse Mobile Devices Portal on a server.
Before I will go into the installation part, I will first share a picture which shows the architecture of the Warehouse Mobile Devices Portal. Simply explained: With help of the Internet Information Server, a webbrowser can access Work (specific warehouse task) and interact with it.
The mobile device communicates with the IIS server with http requests. The IIS server runs an application which communicates with the AOS via WCF services in XML. Some configuration on e.g. appearance is setup in AX and will be communicated to the IIS server. An example is the CSS style sheet which to use. In this way it is possible to have an own look and feel in the web application. Also this can be used to support efficiently more types of devices (small screens and larger screens).
How to install?
When you want to use mobile devices to register the work in the warehouse, you have to install the Warehouse Mobile Devices Portal. As shown in the picture above, Internet Information Server must be running on the machine where you want to install this application.
- Run Microsoft Dynamics AX Setup. Choose the option to Add or modify components.
- On the Add or modify compponents step, enable the option Warehouse Mobile Devices Portal.
- Some pre-requisites are checked. E.g. the Internet Information Server must be installed as well as the ASP.NET MVC version 2 runtime.
- When you need to configure the Warehouse Portal, you need to specify an user which is a user in Microsoft Dynamics AX as has the role Warehouse mobile device user assigned.
Also note that the Default company of this user will determine for which company the portal will operate. I would recommend to create a dedicated (internal) user which is only used for running this portal application.
So within this step of the setup, you need to specify the internal user which meets the above mentioned requirements.
- Within the field Website port, you need to specify an IP port number which will be used to communicate between the web browser and the Internet Information Server. In my example I used port 13500.
- When you setup the portal, there is an uncommon additional step with Best practices. It gives unexperienced administrators some guidance which setup should be completed to have the mobile device working with the correct user and secure enough. You have to mark the Complete checkboxes to continue the setup.
- After the summary the AX setup will install the Warehouse Mobile Devices Portal.
When the setup is finished successfully, you can find the application in the folder C:Program files (x86)Microsoft Dynamics AX60. This folder contains a folder with an instance and application files to run the portal via the Internet Information Server. One of the subfolders contains the CSS style sheets. You can add or change the style sheets to have another look and feel.
When you open the Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager, you can notice the portal has been installed and you can review some settings.
When you want to run the Mobile device, you need to open an internet browser on a device and type the URL http://[Machinename]:[Website port]. In my example the machine name is AX2012R3 and the website port 13500 was specified in the Microsoft Dynamics AX setup. You can create a friendlier URL and redirect to the original URL.
Now you can Log on with a Work user and start moving the goods.
There is more…
Within my next post I will discuss how to setup and maintain multiple instances of the Warehouse Mobile Devices Portal.
That’s all for now. Till next time!