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Workflow Walkthrough – Infrastructure

Basic Requirements for Workflow to Be installed

  1. Dynamics AX AOS with at least SP1 installed
  2. IIS server.
  3. .Net Business Connector (installation described during this tutorial)
  4. EP License (Not officially required, but needed for .Net Business Connector)

Step 1 Workflow Website Installation

Before creating our workflow templates or configuring pre-existing DAX templates, we need to setup the workflow infrastructure including the Windows Workflow Foundation Framework, .net business connector etc., relevant system users and a number of configurations within AX itself. So first things first. Lets setup out Workflow Website containing Windows Workflow Foundation.

  1. Install Internet Information Services (IIS)
  2. Setup a default website on IIS
  3. Run the Dynamics AX server installation file on your IIS machine
  4. Select ‘Add/Remove Components’
  5. Select .NET Business Connector
  6. Click next.
  7. Select a Language for the .NET Business Connector.
  8. Click next.
  9. Click Finish when the .NET Business Connector has finished being installed.
  10. Run the Dynamics AX server installation file on your IIS machine again
  11. Select ‘Add/Remove Components’
  12. Select ‘Workflow’ (Ensure that your active Dynamics AX .NET business connection configuration on your IIS machine (previous steps) is pointing to the correct AOS as the setup wizard will need to connect to your AOS to make some changes)
  13. Click Next
  14. You will be requested to enter a username and password for the user that your business connector will use to login to your AX environment. If you have previously set this up in your environment, the username will not be available to change. You can later set this up in your environment by going to Administration -> Setup -> Security -> System Service Accounts
  15. Select your default website that you would like to add you Workflow Virtual directory/Application to. You can install this to your SharePoint site if you so wish.
  16. Click Next
  17. Select the system account that your AOS is running as, so that the setup wizard will add this user to the list of users allowed to access the workflow website
  18. Click Next
  19. Click Install
  20. Click Finish when the Workflow Installation wizard has finished.

Your workflow infrastructure should now all be ready.

Should you wish to have multiple AOS environments all running Workflow, but only 1 IIS server.

Step 2 Configure your AOS

  1. Login to your Dynamics AX Environment as and administrator User.
  2. Ensure that your email server parameters are correctly setup (Administration -> Setup -> E-mail parameters)
  3. Setup your System Service Accounts (Administration -> Setup -> Security -> System Service Accounts)
    1. Business Connector Account (account used to login to your workflow website and other external tools)
    2. Workflow System Account
    3. Workflow Execution Account
  4. Setup a batch server (Administration -> Setup -> Server Configuration)
  5. Setup a workflow batch group (Administration -> Setup -> Batch Groups), give it a name like WF or WORKFLOW
  6. Run the workflow infrastructure configuration wizard (Administration -> Setup)
    1. In the first screen click Next
    2. Enter the full Workflow Website address that you created above if not already populated
      1. E.G. http://MYSERVER:80/MicrosoftDynamicsAXWorkflow50
    3. Click Validate, you should get a message such saying ‘Workflow runtime URL is valid’ if not you have not setup either your business connector account successfully or the workflow website is not functioning properly.
    4. Click Next
    5. Select the batch group that you created above (this is for the message processing batch job)
      1. If this is greyed out, you can cancel the batch the wizard and go back and delete your already existing workflow message processing batch job)
    6. Click Next
    7. Select the batch group that you created above (this is for the expired work items batch job)
      1. If this is greyed out, you can cancel the batch the wizard and go back and delete your already existing due date workflow batch job)
    8. Select a recurrence time for how often you want workflow to check for expired work items, by default this is every hour.
    9. Click Next
    10. Click Next to confirm, this will create the necessary batch jobs for workflow work item processing as well as due date checking.
      1. To confirm that the batch jobs were create you can check under (Basic -> Enquiries -> Batch Job). There should be 2 new batch jobs created and in a waiting state (“Workflow Message processing” and “Workflow Due date expirations”)
  7. Setup your workflow per company
    1. Setup Workflow Email template (for work item assignments) (Basic -> Setup -> E-mail Templates)
      1. Create a new Email template and name it “Workflow” or something similar, select default language and the name of the user that you want to appear in the Sender and Sender address fields in the email when the user receives a notification about new work item)
      2. Create at least one language template, select a subject and provide the necessary contents for the email by clicking on the template button. You will be able to provide both a text as well as an HTML based template.
      3. You can use a number of ‘tags’ with in your template (and email subject) that will allow you to open and link to the correct notification or record within AX, or simply display more information about the workitem that the user is being emailed about. E.G:
        1. LinkToAlert%/”>View Alert (in the html editor)
        2. LinkToBusinessData%/”>View Record (in html editor)
        3. %Subject% – Displays the subject of the workflow (from WF Configuration)
        4. %Message% – Displays the instruction of the workflow (from WF Configuration)
    2. Setup number sequences (Basic -> Setup -> Number Sequences)
      1. Create number sequences that will be used for your configurations as well as for your actual running instances
      2. E.G.
        1. Configuration Number sequence:
          1. Number Sequence Code: Work_200
          2. Name: Work_200
          3. Smallest: 1
          4. Largest: 999999
          5. Next: 1
          6. Format: ######_200
        1. Instance Number sequence:
          1. Number Sequence Code: Work_201
          2. Name: Work_201
          3. Smallest: 1
          4. Largest: 999999
          5. Next: 1
          6. Format: ######_201
    3. Setup company (for each company) workflow parameters (Basic -> Setup -> Settings for Workflow)
      1. On the first tab select the email template that you have just created (Approval and task notifications)
      2. On the second tab (Administration), your workflow runtime (website) url should already be selected.
      3. On the third tab (Number sequences),  select number sequences created above for:
        1. Configuration Id Work_200
        2. Instance Id Work_201
      4. Close the settings for workflow screen
    4. You company/companies should now be all ready for you to begin developing or configuring workflows.

Keep your eyes open for the Workflow walk-through on Configurations and Template developments.

Please let me know if you have any further comments or tips that you have discovered during workflow infrastructure configuration.

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