D365 Finance & Operations and Dynamics AX Forum

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D365 label solution

  • 1.  D365 label solution

    Posted Nov 25, 2020 07:17 AM
    Edited by Michael Woods Nov 25, 2020 07:37 AM
    We have just started implementing D365 #FinanceandOperations for a small portion of our business. We are looking for a cloud based label solution. We currently use bartender for AX 2012 but understand that is not available in the cloud. I have been looking at Lasernet and wanted to know if anyone has had any experience with this solution or any other cloud based solution..

    Any feedback appreciated.

    ​​​

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    Michael Woods
    The Safariland Group
    Jacksonville FL
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  • 2.  RE: D365 label solution

    Posted Nov 26, 2020 02:14 AM
    Hi Michael,

    there are the MS Out of the Box options such as SSRS and Business Documents as well as ISVs. Lasernet is one option, our product is called dox42 and basically lets you design documents in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel and PowerPoint) while the User still prints the documents where they are used to in D365 Finance and Operations. Our biggest USP next to designing in Office: The document generation is not limited to FO, can also be used for SharePoint, Teams, D365 CE, BC and many more.

    Please have a look onto https://www.dox42.com/Scenarios/Dynamics_365_Finance_and_Operations for more info. We are happy to provide you with a demo, just use the contact button to let us know. In a demo we can also have a more detailled look into you specific label question.

    For references you can also look into https://www.dox42.com/References as dox42 is already used across all industries.

    Kind regards from Vienna/Austria,
    Johannes

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    Johannes Linder
    Lead Technical Evangelist
    dox42 GmbH
    Vienna
    ------------------------------



  • 3.  RE: D365 label solution

    Posted Nov 26, 2020 03:06 AM
    Note that standard BarTender integration for F&O has been floated before, although it does not appear to have release date at this time

    https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365-release-plan/2020wave1/change-history#features-removed-from-release-plan-8

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    Guy Terry
    Application Consultant
    Annata
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  • 4.  RE: D365 label solution

    SILVER CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted Nov 26, 2020 05:09 AM
    Hello Michael,

    Lasernet is a good option, while i wont go so far as to say its the best it is in my top 2 options when talking to clients around a solution that requires capabilities on labels.  It does depending on what you are using labels for as well so if you are on a manufacturing line you will have different requirements than if you are in a standard finished goods warehouse scenario.  So as you mention it is in a small portion of the business it would be worth if you have plans to go wider that you consider those possible future requirements in the evaluation process.

    In terms of MS yes they are still working on the bartender integration which has come from a purchase of a ISV warehouse solution that had it baked in already.  The reality is there is a delay around printing in the product at the moment based on different team issues in azure.


    ------------------------------
    Neill Riordan
    Head of F&O
    KPMG Microsoft Business Solutions
    UK
    ------------------------------



  • 5.  RE: D365 label solution

    SILVER CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted Nov 28, 2020 03:08 PM
    Hi Michael,

    We went live with D365 F&O in the beginning of November with LaserNet.  It is a decent solution for reporting (you can build reports very fast compared to SSRS), but we have found that it is not the best solution for on-demand label printing for our assembly lines.  Even though it is working for our assembly lines currently, we are working on a different solution for our case labeling.  A case label sometimes takes up to a minute to print which works for us now because our FG parts take longer to assemble than 1 min. but still not optimum.  We have worked with LaserNet support already many hours and haven't been able to improve very much.

    We were using BarTender for our case label printing also with our legacy ERP system, but realized that was not going to work with D365, so we turned to LaserNet.

    I'd be happy to answer any more questions in more detail if you want.

    Thanks,
    Tim

    ------------------------------
    Tim Stutzman
    Pure Archery Group
    Eugene OR
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  • 6.  RE: D365 label solution

    SILVER CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted Nov 30, 2020 03:19 AM

    Michael,

    We're using Lasernet for all reports leaving the house (i.e. sales order confirmation, invoices, purchase orders, etc.) as well as internal production papers.

    We see both - pros and cons:

    Pro
    Easy to build reporting
    Nice GUI to work with
    Many output options
    Mature product
    Quick setup of new reports
    Rich condition set on when a report shall be triggered and applicable
    Option to build (super) complex reports

    Cons
    Performance - sometimes we wait tens of minutes for a complex report, we needed to improve our VMs as well as installing another Azure Service Bus
    Instability - every Platform upgrade, Lasernet printing is the bottle neck - every upgrade so far!
    Building complex reports needs in-depth (technical) understanding of the product, you might need consultancy which comes at high costs

    Regular SSRS reports needs a developer to build extended reports, if the configuration is beyond standard availability.

    We are considering - long term - to go back to SSRS reporting only.

    Hope this helped.

    Best

    Andreas



    ------------------------------
    Andreas Mörker
    Global Master Data Manager
    SIGVARIS
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  • 7.  RE: D365 label solution

    SILVER CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted Nov 30, 2020 04:16 PM
    In our time on Ax2009 we used SSRS & Bartender and now on D365 we are using Lasernet and Bartender. With Bartender we use data from an AzureSQL BYOD populated via DMF exports from D365 entities. If you want pure cloud ... then Lasernet is a powerful solution with the great advantage that you can develop and alter reports / labels without having to get involved in D365 code releases and this is crucial in my experience.

    However, as others have mentioned its not all plain sailing with Lasernet and needs appropriate resource skills to make it work in all but the simplest scenarios.

    There are some comments here about poor performance .. but in my experience perf issues can be managed through careful query design and correct sizing of Azure resources, VMs, service bus queues etc etc.

    ------------------------------
    Jonathan Howe
    IT Manager
    Cross Manufacturing
    Bath, UK
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  • 8.  RE: D365 label solution

    Posted Dec 01, 2020 09:20 AM
    Hi Michael,

    Have a look at DSI Print Envoy.  This supports Bartender integration within D365FO cloud.

    https://appsource.microsoft.com/en-us/product/dynamics-365-for-finance-and-operations/dsi.9988e1ad-848f-424d-bb90-0a38df47b57a

    ------------------------------
    Paul Taylor
    Avanade
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  • 9.  RE: D365 label solution

    Posted Dec 06, 2020 07:36 PM
    Michael, there is all kinds of reasons for bad performance, and we have seen quite a bit of it all. Reading through some of the comments on this thread, it's easy to think that the bad performance can be blamed on a product such as Lasernet. But let me outline a few things that I know the parties to this thread are not addressing:

    • Lasernet is dependent on good infrastructure. This means that setups where people choose to use VMware or other virtualization technologies with virtual disks with low priority on vSAN structures or otherwise inferior back-ends will end up with bad performance. This is true for at least one Lasernet customer on this thread that I know of (we are actively working in the background as Formpipe still has the relationship with the customer). Why? Because Lasernet is primarily using disks when producing its output and that is the bottleneck.
    • Lasernet is until v9.9 configured to only use 1 CPU/core. In v9.9 and later, Lasernet is capable of threading multiple cores, which is giving an outstanding performance if configured correctly.
      • We have a customer that we configured to produce 256,000 PDF copies of a 3-page account statement in 34 minutes including a graph calculation out of D365F&O.
      • One customer is having a problem with check printing, but that's because they are deliberately sequencing the checks through a single thread and single Azure Bus Queue as they need the checks to come out in a certain order. Until they find a different way of managing their checks (a different process is required), then they won't be able to enjoy the performance gains from multi-threading.
    • In v5 of the Lasernet Connector (I think it was back in 2018), Replacement-style reports were introduced. These have proven to increase performance greatly.
      • This requires a change in the setup, and while I can't speak on behalf of the European customers on this thread, we have seen significant performance gains with our customers here in the US.
    • Another customer (not on this thread) were having performance issues with labels, such as the ones mentioned above.
      • We reconfigured the setup, including the old on-prem Windows Server 2008 R2 based Lasernet server that was installed a year before we took them over, and their labels in the warehouse now printing in <1.5 second, down from 18 seconds.

    The above is just a few of the things that we see. We have also seen issues with the Cloud Print Connector (which we will not configure for our customers because of this), but there are workarounds.

    All in all, performance can be fixed. And we are here for both you and the other customers. All they have to do is reach out to us. ;-)

    /Jesper

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    Jesper Kehlet
    President & CEO
    Lasernet Distribution & CuroGens
    Carmel, IN
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