Improving data entry experience in Dynamics AX with Excel & Atlas
Entering and maintaining data in Dynamics AX (or any other ERP for that matter) can sometimes be rather tedious and cumbersome, especially when entering repetitive information, or information spread across multiple screens.
Creating a Product in Dynamics AX 2012 is a good illustration of this, you actually need to create a Product, release it to a company, then update many different screens / tables (Sales, Purchasing, Stock parameters, bar codes, Retail information, description, trade agreements etc...), all this for sometimes only a few fields in each tab. If you then need to create several rather similar products in a row, you need to do these steps multiple times, risking choosing the wrong parameters from one product to another etc…
On the other hand, no software makes data entry as easy as Excel. You can copy / paste, use formulas, build controls to check your data…
Atlas integrates Microsoft Excel and Dynamics AX tightly. It allows you to extract data from AX to Excel, making Excel a very powerful reporting tool for AX, but it also allows importing data from Excel to AX, and this can prove very useful in this scenario.
With Atlas, we can design Excel templates, with only the necessary fields relevant to you data entry, and the fields which hardly ever change in the header, like this:
Preparing a new item for creation is of course much easier in Excel, several similar items even simpler, and safer, as you can re-use previous files / values. You can also build controls which check whether the items you are trying to import do not exist already, or the codes used (Tax codes, Item groups...) exist etc..
Uploading them takes just one click, this thanks to the new "Batch tasks" feature in Atlas, which allows to run multiple insert templates in a predefined order in one go.
This proves very useful to prepare and import repetitive / periodic data, like new products, customers, budgets, journals, all sorts of information which are much easier to maintain in Excel, then fully validate and import using Atlas.
If you’d like more information about Microsoft Dynamics AX solutions and services, please reach out to ushere.
About the Author
Antoine is a Senior Consultant with SAG, specializing in Dynamics AX and GP. He has more than 15 years experience in consulting, particularly in the areas of Financial Management and Business Intelligence.