We are pleased to present our October Product Management Update. A lot continues to happen at Microsoft and To-Increase. In this issue, we will start with a general update followed by an update for different product groups or topics.
Categories in business processes and scenarios
As part of this month’s release, you can add categories in business processes and scenarios. This helps partners and customers to create multiple task guides for a business process based upon the end use. For example, help, documentation, regression testing, security, and training.
This enables the option to define the processes to be included. For example, you can define which processes should be involved in automated testing, separately from processes that should be published to LCS.
Categories can be defined at a solution level either from the ‘Modelling’ or the ‘Management’ workspace.
To enable conditional upload of business processes to LCS, RapidValue can now assign categories to business processes.
During the export of business processes to LCS, only those business processes that are part of the selected categories assigned will be uploaded when you select the option ‘Export by category.’
Business Integration Solutions
Based on customer feedback, we have been searching for possible performance gains. With the help of telemetry and tracing, we have found some areas where we could improve the performance of both import and export jobs. The performance gain is mostly effective on larger data sets. Besides code optimizations, we have also created a new adapter that can be used for simple plain data sets that do not require any validation or transformation. During our testing, we have found scenarios where the export was 5 times faster compared to a baseline.
Note: This was a test environment and the gains depend on the complexity of the message and the number of records.
Another update is a feature that multiple customers have requested. With a workaround, it was possible to resend an EDI message, but the process was not user-friendly. Now it has become easier as you can resend it from EDI history. This will be a timesaver for the business user when he or she needs to resend the EDI message. When you use this option, a new message, which is a copy of the original, will be processed.
When running messages sequentially, there was no option to manage in which order files should be processed. There is now an option to tell Connectivity Studio to process multiple files in the order of the file name or the created date and time in this update. We have added a new setting on the message to determine the sorting.
Advanced Manufacturing and Project Planning
In our October release for Advanced Manufacturing and Project Planning, we have introduced a lot of improvements. The focus is on improving the efficiency of the planner and allow him or her to do his or her job faster and better.
The resource planning Gantt can now support the planner with much richer information and relevant functions at his or her fingertips. While planning, the planner can see:
- The status of Jobs and operations (Started, Ready to start), as well as the ones that are locked;
- Material requirements visualized per task in the Gantt;
- The progress for Project tasks displayed in resource planning.
Similarly, Task Planning Gantt has been improved as well.
- The earliest start and latest finish date is visualized during the drag and drop of tasks. This has been enabled for projects and quotations that have a critical path;
- Status of Jobs and operations (Started, Ready to start), as well as the ones that are locked;
- The status of assigned resources visualized in the task details
Other enhancements include direct access to Job or Operation updates from the Resource and Task Planning. Release, Start, and Report as Finished can be updated directly from the Gantt. For the full list of enhancements, we refer to the what’s new documentation and release notes; both are included in the solution package available via LCS.
Integration to Siemens Teamcenter helps you stay current
The Siemens Teamcenter is a solution that has been finetuned to offer a high level of flexibility and concurrent engineering to create a complex bill of materials (BOM). Integrating Product and BOMs is critical to design and manufacture the right products within tight timelines.
In keeping with the critical role our solution plays, we have updated the integration to Siemens Teamcenter PLM (product lifecycle management). It is now available on Microsoft Dynamics 365 release 10. The focus of this integration is on easy compatibility with Teamcenter releases in line with the ‘evergreen’ nature of Microsoft Dynamics 365 release 10. An essential step in this is the uptake of the Teamcenter Gateway for Enterprise Applications—also known as T4EA—as an enabler on the Teamcenter side. Doing so decouples the integration from changes when you upgrade Teamcenter to a newer version.
We have collaborated with the Enterprise Integration team from Siemens to enable this. The integration provides a scalable and robust solution using the latest best practices and tools supplied by Siemens. The functional concept remains unchanged for this update as it has proven itself over the years in multiple implementations, ranging from a single site to large multi-site operations.
As a result, it allows a seamless flow of information from the early stages of product development to the phasing out of a product, including all the steps in between.
Performance and usability improvements
Various improvements have been introduced to optimize the user experience, especially when working with large work-breakdown structures. This includes similar filtering capabilities for the Project Change order, as introduced earlier in the Quotation Statement.