Using hardware station from Windows Phone MPOS

Microsoft released the MPOS for Windows Phone a while ago and although a bit rough to install it works very well.

Next step was to get it to work with my wireless receipt printer through a hardware station. As you might now the connection to a hardware station can be tested through the url https://<MyHardwareStationAddress&gt;:<port>/hardwarestation/ping. And as expected it didn’t work right away since I hadn’t installed the certificate on my phone.

I figured that it couldn’t be that hard, but since you are reading this you might have guessed that it wasn’t all that easy.

I had earlier on exported the certificate on my hardware station as a .pfx file and used that with success. But that wasn’t the case on the phone. I imported the .pfx file and used the Certificate app to see the status of the certificate.

I knew the certificate was working on other POS machines but here it wouldn’t accept it as valid:

certificate-not-working

After consulting google for a while I read that people had solved issues like this by using .cer exports instead, but that didn’t solve anything for me.

What I ended up doing was exporting it as .p7b. Only thing is that if checked the “Include all certificates in the certification path if possible” I still had a non valid certificate on the phone. So I exported it like this:

export-certificate

And now I have a working certificate:

certificate-working

Actually I think that it is more than just Okay; but anyhow …

The hardware station was now allowing pairing and selecting:

hardware-station-paired

 

Retail operations and user rights

In this post I will do a quick explanation of the user rights setup of the retail POS operations.

Operations is referring to the different actions available in the POS. They are listed in Retail and commerce/Channel setup/POS setup/POS/Operations. Each operation has the following information:

Operation id and Operation name identifies the operation.

Permission ID 1 and Permission ID 2: These permissions can be a required level of rights needed for the operation.

Check user access: If not set the operation does not require the user to have the required access.

User operation: If not set you cannot create a button on the POS for that operation. Notice that the form by default has a filter on that field requiring the field to be set true.

Confused? Let’s have a look at an example.

We are going to focus on the void product operation using worker 000120 (Andrew Lan) and 000110 (Dan Park). Dan is allowed to void transactions:

danp-pos-permissions

Andrew is not:

andrewl-pos-permissions

Scenario 1:

Check user rights = true

Permission IDs = 0

Andrew tries to do a void:

void-transaction-not-allowed

Since Andrew has limited rights he cannot void the transaction.

 

Scenario 2:

Check user rights = false

Permission IDs = 0

In this case the POS doesn’t care what about permissions when voiding transactions so it allows Andrew to void:

void-transaction-prompt

 

Scenario 3

Check user rights = false

Permission IDs = 1001 (Allow transaction voiding)

Like in scenario 2 the POS still doesn’t care about user rights so it allows Andrew to void the transaction:

void-transaction-prompt

Scenario 4

Check user rights = true

Permission IDs = 1001 (Allow transaction voiding)

The user rights are validated again and since Andrew isn’t allowed voiding he can’t do the void. But now we have added the feature that Andrew can call in his manager or anyone else with enough rights to allow transaction voiding:

cannot-void

In this case he gets Dan to type in his id and password and this opens up for voiding the transaction:

void-transaction-prompt

 

Peripheral Simulator in new release of Dynamics 365 Operations

With one of the latest releases of Dynamics 365 Operations we have the option of simulating hardware peripherals like printers, cash drawers and so on.

The idea is to allow the user to simulate the flow of the retail processes including printers, drawers, scales, payments and so on but without having to occupy your co-workers desk piling up all of your retail hardware.

Here is what you need to do. Start by going to the hardware profiles. In the demo data a new profile has been added called Virtual. It has been set up with a profile that will work pretty much out of the box.

Besides the data a new button has been added allowing the download of the simulator:

hardware-profile-and-download-button

The simulator download hasn’t received the prettiest name, but that aside it is working great.

peripheralsimulator

The installer is very much a next-next-next installer and does not require any action taken unless you have specific wishes regarding installation folder.

Once installed you get this new application:

retail-peripheral-simulator

Already at this point we get an idea of what to expect. But before getting everything up and running you need to do a couple of more things.

First, we need to tell the store that the hardware station should use the new hardware profile:

hardware-profile-o

Run your 1070 and 1090 jobs (depending on which setup changes you made).

Now, starting up the POS you might end up with a series of hardware station errors that could look something like this:

hardware-station-error-3hardware-station-error-2comm-error-cash-drawer

To get passed this we should shortly touch upon how this works. According to the hardware profile we are using all communication is OPOS based so we need to get that onboard our POS machine as well. I used this one that previously was recommended during the installation of the POS software: Link to OPOS software

With that done you should be ready to start up your POS. You might have to manually go in and enable the use of the hardware station.

So first test could be a safe drop. In this case I pull out 10 USD:

make-safe-drop

That leaves a safe drop receipt in the printer:

safe-drop-receipt

And the drawer needs to be closed again:

cash-drawer-open

Click the Close drawer button to close it:

cash-drawer-closed

Let’s sell something. In this case a shirt:

transaction

I would like to pay this with a credit card so I switch to my simulator and select the MSR.

no-card-created

Click the + button to create new card:

create-master-card

The number is found on this page: credit card generator

Next step is to click the Pay card button in the POS followed by the Swipe card button in the Simulator. This adds the card info to the tender information in the POS:

card-details-in-pos

Completing the transaction you get a receipt in the printer:

receipt-from-transaction

This will definitely change the way we make demos of the POS with Dynamics 365 Operations.

 

Automated startup and shutdown of Azure VMs

This document describes in headlines how to setup automated start and shutdown of Azure VMs. To go through the steps, you are required to have access to the management portal at https://portal.azure.com and administration rights.

By shutting down the servers when not used there is a noticeable amount to be saved.

Prerequisites

Automation Account

To run the automation scripts, you need an Automation Account. Notice, that the account must be created under the same subscription as the servers that should be managed by the account.

The fastest way to locate the accounts is to search for the Automation Accounts service:

account1

To create a new account, click the Add button:

account2

Give the account a name, specify a resource group (or create a new) and a location:

account3

When created (it takes a moment), select the new account:

account4

Shut down servers

Runbooks

All activity is kept in runbooks. The account comes with 4 default runbooks which we for this scope leaves as is.

shutdown1

We are going to create our runbooks based on a template that gives us the functionality we need out of the box. To do this click Browse gallery:

shutdown2

The list of available templates is long. The first one we are going to use is the “Stop Azure V2 VMs”.

shutdown3

When we click on it we can see a graphical presentation of the flow. This is not relevant to go through in this document. Click the Import button to use the template:

shutdown4

Give the new runbook a name and a description:

shutdown5

After the runbook has been created, click Edit:

shutdown6

From here we can change the runbook including default values for the runbook. We can also test the runbook with different values.

In this case we are not going to change anything so we publish it right away by clicking the Publish button:

shutdown7

Scheduled runs

Next step is to schedule the runbook to run every afternoon. To do this click the Schedule button:

schedule1

To do this we need to things: A schedule and the parameters to run the runbook with. First the schedule:

schedule2

In this scenario we want the VMs to be stopped every day at 18:00:

schedule3

To run the runbook we need to specify the resource group name and the name of the VM.

schedule4

This information is found on the information page of the VM in the Azure portal.

Add it to the parameters:

schedule5

Now the scheduler will shut down the server matching the parameters every day at 18:00.

If you leave the VM name blank all servers in the resource group will be affected.

Starting VMs

To create a runbook to start the VMs go to the gallery and select the Start Azure v2 VMs template:

startup1

Give it a name and description:

startup2

Click edit to access the runbook just created:

startup3

Publish the runbook. Again we do not want to change anything:

startup4

Create a schedule to start the VM every working day at 7:00:00. In this case we don’t start them up in the weekends; but if somebody starts a VM it is automatically shut down by the previously created runbook.

startup5

You just saved a lot of money on the VM…

 

Create scheduled runs for every VM you can shut down at night.

 

Queries included in the URL in Dynamics 365 for Operations

Occasionally you need to pass a link to a form in Dyn365O and you would like to include the query you used to filter out the relevant data.

In order to do this you need to flip a switch in your user options.user-options

When that is set to Yes the query will be added in unreadable format in the URL. In this case we are going to add a filter on Workers.

Open the Workers form and click the funnel:

workers-add-filter

Add a filter. In this case I want all workers with personnel number starting with 0001:

workers-get-url

After clicking Apply the parameter q is added to the URL. The complete URL can now be copied and opened in another browser. In this case I have copied from my MacBook to a Windows 10-machine and after login I get the same data as on my Mac:

open-url-in-different-system

The URL is a bit massive and brings back memories of Sharepoint URLs back in the days; but it does the trick.

Background images on AX POS

The POS UI in AX can be customised in many ways and one of the more dramatic ones are changes in the background images. The steps are few and goes like this:

Open the Images form

imagesshortcut

 

Create the images in the Images table. In this case we create two. This may vary in your situation

images

Open the Visual profiles form

visualprofileshortcut

Create a visual profile and add the images here

visualprofile

Create a register and device and add the visual profile to the register

register

To get this running on the POS you need to distribute data. Job 1090 should be sufficient. When the data is applied you are ready to enjoy the results:

 

pos1

pos2

This is just the basics of what you can do, but I hope you get the idea of what is possible.

Running the CRT samples on AX7

The RetailSDK delivered with AX7 includes a lot of great sample code making it easier to get things rolling when learning how to customise the solution.

One of the sample projects is the CommerceRuntimeSamples. Before you are able to run it you need to do a couple of tweaks though. If not it will crash and burn with error messages that do point you in the right direction on how to fix it. This blog post is made to safe you some time and getting it fixed without having to go troubleshooting.

The first error that pops up is this one:

operatinguniterror

A configuration error in the Microsoft.Dynamics.Commerce.Runtime.dll. The reason is that it cannot find the right Operation Unit Id. It is specified in the commerceruntime.config and all you have to do is put in the operating id of the channel you would like to work with. In this case I use Houston, which has the id 039:

operating-unit

Next is this error:

storageerror

A storage exception in the same dll and same piece of code. This time we have to look in the app.config file. In here we have a list of connection strings that all point at database names as they appeared in AX 2012 Retail. In AX7 demo servers all data for all channels is in the AxDB database so the fix is to change the database names in the connection strings to AxDB:

catalog-db-name

Now you are able to run the samples and start debugging to learn.

debugactive