Change password at login in pos

Microsoft Dynamics AX for retail has a feature which allows worker to change the password as they login to the pos. Today I am writing this blog to tell you the loopholes in this feature.

First of all how to configure this feature in AX. Go to Retail => Common => Workers and select the worker. Tick the checkbox under pos authentication which says “User needs to change the password at next logon”, and run the staff job(1060) to push the configuration to store. More details on this are available on this link AX for Retail 2012 R2: Password maintenance in the POS

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Now lets talk about Epos, as soon as we login to Epos we are asked to change the password. That’s  what we exactly want.

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On successful password change, the checkbox in AX gets unticked. The trick here is Epos/Mpos uses RTS (Real time service) to change this checkbox. Now coming to the loopholes in this feature.

1. If RTS is down then Epos asks to change the password every time you login. This means every time worker logs in, he has to enter new password then only he can perform transaction in pos. Once the worker logs off and logs in again, he is prompted to change the password again.

2. The worker can escape this password change by pressing cancel/escape button. Microsoft has provided hotfix for this.

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3. Reset password operation in Epos cannot be used when the staff list is displayed at login. Microsoft has provided hotfix for this.

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Coming to Mpos, this feature doesn’t work at all during login. This works with button operation in Mpos. Microsoft has provided hotfix for this.

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One last thing, Mpos will not even activate if you have checked this option and trying to activate Mpos for the first time. This feature doesn’t work at the time of activation.

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Mpos and hardware station

Hi folks, I was testing the hardware integration with Mpos and was surprised with the cool feature of hardware station.

Mpos can work with hardware in two different ways, local hardware station or the web based hardware station. Let me tell you first about web based hardware station. It is typical MVC web api application which is hosted on IIS. Mpos uses ajax calls to communicate with this form of hardware station.

This can be configured in ax.
1. Click Retail > Setup > Retail scheduler > Channel integration
2. Click channel profile.
3. Enter the value of hardware station website url.

hws

Now coming to the other form of hardware station, the local version. It works with Client Broker. Client broker, when requested by Mpos, hosts the hardware station on a local Http Server. This local form can be accessed by using hardware station url as “ipc://localhost”.

This can be configured in same way.

ipc

Coming to coding aspect, same code is used for both form of hardware station. Any customization will work with both forms of hardware station, without writing any specific code for any one form of hardware station.

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Retail POS report

With the introduction of Mpos, Microsoft has introduced a new report framework to show small, light weight report directly from retail channel database. These reports are available for both Epos and Mpos.

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The best part of these reports is that they are just XML report definitions, that query the database for specific columns or stored procedure. These report definitions are located in the Retail -> Setup -> Channel report configuration.

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The channel report configuration consists of report id, description, permission group and report definition xml. Report definition xml has 3 sections: dataset, parameters and reportcharts. Dataset section defines the data source type and query. Parameters section consists of query parameters. Finally reportcharts section contains X and Y coordinate parameters for bar charts.

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The next thing is how to customize these reports or create a new one. Let me take an example where I will show how to put upload session data as a report. For this l create new report with report id (200). I have named it as “Upload session” and given permission group of “Cashier” and “Manager”. For xml definition, I have written a select query from “[crt].[uploadsession]” table. You can use query or stored procedure to achieve this.

There is also need of declaring localize report content which is used for language translations of the labels used in reports based on localization. Here I have used “en-us” for my localization.

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To have new report available in pos, I need to run the global configuration job to send data to channels. Now lets check in report section of Epos and Mpos, and open it.

And I have my report ready with the upload session data. I have put three filters, start date, end date and no of records. Similarly we can have bar chart representation of this data. Let me change the select query with stored procedure.

 

There are few differences in the way of presentation of report in Epos and Mpos. In Epos we have column filters, view and save features which are not present in Mpos.

Finally I can only say that, these report are not for advanced reporting. Its basically running a sql query. If you can write sql query for your requirement, you can build your Epos and Mpos report.

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Mpos Island mode

Hi all, you might be thinking why this strange name, but this is the new feature of Mpos in AX 2012 R3 CU8 onwards which allows it to directly connect to channel database like Epos does. This can be seen from the Mpos connection status in below image. The left one is Island mode and the right one is retail server mode.

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In CU8 onwards, Mpos can now work in following scenarios:

  1. Retail Server Only
  2. Retail Server + Offline DB
  3. Online Database Only (Or Island mode)
  4. Online Database + Offline DB

The device activation page for scenarios 1 and 3 are as following.

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To make Mpos work in island mode, some changes are done in “Retail Channel Configuration Utility”, which allow it to connect to channel database directly. A new section “Configure Retail Modern POS” is added to it.

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The architecture followed by Mpos in both the scenarios are as followed.

  1. Retail Server mode08
  2. Island mode09
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Multiple Pos Configuration

This is my first article in the Dynamics AX Retail Section. This is regarding enterprise pos.

We often configure “Retail channel configuration utility” to connect enterprise pos with the Database. But do you know what happens with this configuration?

This utility configures the “Pos.exe” configuration file with an entry about the connection.

This configuration is used by pos to connect to channel database with the provided values of connection string, store id, terminal id and data area id.

What will happen if we change this section of configuration file with the below configuration?

Here I have duplicated the section “AxRetailPOS” with two entries “AxRetailPOS1” and “AxRetailPOS2”.
Now we will see what happens if we open pos?

And we are presented with a form to pick up the configuration to open the pos. This type of change in configuration file can be used to connect pos with different database or terminal. 

Lets consider one more configuration change.

Here I have duplicated the section “AxRetailPOS” with two entries “AxRetailPOS” and “AxRetailPOS2”. Now we will see what happens if we open pos?

And we are presented with login screen to open the pos. 

With these two different configurations we have observed the followings: 

  1. If “Pos.exe” configuration file does not have the section “AxRetailPOS“, then the configuration selection form appears.
  2. If “Pos.exe”  configuration file has the section “AxRetailPOS“, then the login screen appears.
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