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Atlas or not

  • 1.  Atlas or not

    Posted May 26, 2020 04:52 PM
    We are preparing to move to D365 Fin & Ops and I am wondering if we need to continue to use Atlas.  We use Atlas to upload journal entries and extract trial balance type data (account balances by dimensions filtered by dates) to create our financial statements.  Please advise if this can all be done using stock D65 Fin & Ops applications now.

    Jim Enneking
    BTD Manufacturing, Inc
    Lakeville MN

  • 2.  RE: Atlas or not

    Posted May 27, 2020 07:33 AM
    Hi Jim,

    We just upgraded from R2 to D365 and we decided NOT to continue using Atlas.  Between the excel add-in and DIXF tools we have been able to successfully import/export data that we did using Atlas.  Note we do find limitations on size and can sometimes have performance issues.  We have worked through most of those, but like anything I would suggest a lot of testing and validating.  If you are using Atlas for the actual reports, we did not, that would be another conversation I think.  Hope it helps and best of luck in your upgrade, you won't regret it!

    Sarah Poe
    Luck Stone Corporation
    Richmond VA

  • 3.  RE: Atlas or not

    Posted May 27, 2020 09:26 AM
    Hi Jim,

    We didn't have Atlas before as our ERP was pretty old. We have had it since going live with D365F&O, and have a good number of reports automated through the software as a lot of D365 out-of-the-box reporting is limited to one legal entity at a time, and running reports multiple times and then putting them together manually wasn't really an option for our end users. 
    We haven't even really explored the upload functionality, so are really using it for the reporting aspect and data access piece. I am not sure if that helps you in your decision at all, feel free to reach out if you have more questions.

    Kerstin Newman
    Business Analyst
    London ON

  • 4.  RE: Atlas or not

    Posted May 27, 2020 09:50 AM
    Hi Jim,

    We have been on D365 for over two years and use Atlas quite extensively for reporting and uploads.  The reports are generally related to one of the subledgers (e.g. AP, Cash & Bank, Inventory) and most of our upload templates are for AP and GL journals, including intercompany entries.

    One key to note is that the OOB Open in Excel functionality in journals does not allow you to enter the financial dimensions on the lines.  This needs to be customized for each implementation.

    The best advice I can give you is to clearly identify what you currently use Atlas for and evaluate if you can do each of those tasks or create each of those reports using standard D365.

    Corey Warawa
    Functional Architect
    Liquor Stores Limited Partnership
    Edmonton AB

  • 5.  RE: Atlas or not

    Posted May 28, 2020 03:14 AM
    Hi Corey,

    Adding financial dimensions to the Excel journal upload does NOT require customization, just a simple configuration action.
    It is not configured like that by default for some reason, but it's very easy to do


    Zvika Rimalt
    Functional Consultant
    Vancouver BC

  • 6.  RE: Atlas or not

    Posted May 28, 2020 12:28 PM
    I agree with Zvika...Adding in the financial dimensions does not require a developer.  A functional can do this very easily.  


    Missy Martoncik
    Senior Finance Consultant
    AXIA Consulting, Inc.

  • 7.  RE: Atlas or not

    Posted May 28, 2020 02:25 AM
    We upgraded from AX2009 to D365 last December and we also decided NOT to continue using Atlas. We used the DIXF tools for data migration very successfully.
    The Excel add-in is ok for subsequent simple ad-hoc data extract, manipulation and re-upload of master data.

    However, the MS Excel add-in is definitely no substitute for Atlas when it comes to reporting or regular journal uploads. If you do a lot of journal uploads now I would suggest retaining Atlas might ease your transition considerably.

    Jonathan Howe
    IT Manager
    Cross Manufacturing
    Bath, UK

  • 8.  RE: Atlas or not

    Posted May 28, 2020 03:19 AM
    Edited by Zvika Rimalt May 28, 2020 03:19 AM
    My experience is the same as that of Sarah and Kerstin.

    I saw only 2 (justified) use cases for using Atlas in D365:

    1. If you want to quickly and easily extract data from multiple companies (such as GL transactions etc.)

    2. If you build (quickly) reports in D365 where links different tables/fairly complex linking/calculation.

    Customers who only used Atlas for journal upload are very happy to use the Excel add-on (which in my opinion provides a better user experience, and is more intuitive to setup and start using).

    Zvika Rimalt
    Functional Consultant
    Vancouver BC

  • 9.  RE: Atlas or not

    Posted May 28, 2020 01:37 PM
    All depends purpose and goals of using ATLAS

    Upload, in D365 its excel adds in which is simple upload

    With ATLAS experienced recently and was shocked that the General journal upload template was not accommodate project and customer as ledger or offset ledger. ATLAS support is not great as it use to be. instead of support they send me link with different issue

    Financial reports with dimensions can be designed and extracted from Financial reporting in D365 (previously it was Management reporter). there are default reports as well

    hope that helps

  • 10.  RE: Atlas or not

    Posted May 28, 2020 11:44 PM
    Here is my 10 yrs AX2009 experience + one year on the upgrade to D365FO going live this weekend

    In brief, here is our D365FO approach:

    General ledger >Enquiries and reports > Financial reports is best for any GL reporting and dimensions, FR is more or less the same as AX 2009 Management Reporter 2012. You can partially migrate all the existing AX2009 reports/lines but have to manually re-enter the account nos and dimensions.

    Instead of using AtlasXL for GL journals, we are using the Excel Connector. The D365 GL journal entity/template needs a one-off mod to include GL dimensions (why isn't this standard!). D365 Data Management and Excel Connector have more or less replaced Atlas for data up/downloads.

    We will continue to use AtlasXL for clever inventory calculations within Excel worksheets like pulling out only rolls of carpet longer than say 5 metres thereby ignoring unsaleable remnants of rolls. There are ways of optimizing AtlasXL to speed it up otherwise it call the database one cell at a time.

    In AX2009 we used the standard AX cubes extensively for Sales, GL, AR, AP, sales & purchase order analysis and will be recreating these with our own in-house BYOD as Data Lake is not fully released yet. All we did to the standard AX cubes was to tidy up the Date/Time dimension for our March financial year and give the Measures user-friendly labels.  

    Hope this well helps  


    Ian Deynzer
    Jacobsen Creative Surfaces

  • 11.  RE: Atlas or not

    Posted May 29, 2020 08:45 AM
    ​Hi Jim,

    We have been live with D365 F&O for about 2 years now and we are currently using Atlas.  We use Atlas for general journal, AP voucher, and intercompany journal entry imports.  We also use Atlas to extract D365 data from the general journal and vendor tables and join these tables together to allow us to pull the GL detail linked to the vendor detail for variance analysis.  We do plan to look into the Excel connector that others mentioned in the near future for uploads.  Good luck with your upgrade!

    Michelle Steffen
    Corporate Controller
    Jasper Engines
    Jasper IN

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