What a difference a year can make! With the release of Microsoft Dynamics R3, the AX community has faced a wave of new challenges and opportunities – particularly in supply chain execution. A year after the initial release of R3, many companies have reached the roll-out phase of their implementation and are now scrambling to ensure their barcode scanning hardware will be able to successfully deploy the WHS Warehouse Mobile Device Portal (or WMDP). Here’s what we know that can help.
To our knowledge, the Microsoft developers have not certified any particular style, model, setup, or manufacturer of mobile devices for use with the WMDP. RF-SMART’s AX Software Developers, along with our dedicated Hardware Team, have tested a variety of mobile solutions on various OS platforms and devices. We wanted to pass along characteristics that work (and don’t work) within WMDP:
Here is a list of attributes for a mobile device that could be considered as an “ideal solution” for WMDP:
- Microsoft Windows Embedded Version 6.5
- Android (Tested solution running the Google Chrome application)
- 512 MB RAM
- 3.5 inch touch screen
- 480 x 640 pixels
WMDP utilizes CSS files to render the pages on the mobile device. It’s important to note the out-of-the-box CSS files don’t always completely align on mobile device screens. In some cases, the CSS file may not be optimally delivered to a device with a particular size, resolution, or color depth. In this event, we agree with Microsoft, who suggests trying to duplicate one of the existing CSS files and adjust the style properties to meet your requirements.
What Doesn’t Work
Old and new devices that seek to utilize Telnet will not run the WMDP application without additional applications like RF-SMART Telnet Enabler. Additionally, Apple/iOS devices received a failing grade from our team. We tested both Safari and Google Chrome on an iOS device and found multiple issues with the out-of-the-box display:
R3 WHS Customer Experience
In early 2015, a well-known distributor of consumer products located in Pennsylvania decided to move forward with the R3 WHS WMDP solution. Working with an AX implementation partner, it soon became clear they did not have the right hardware in place, nor did they have the right experts to help in assuring which hardware would work. Having worked with RF-SMART on WMS I implementations in the past, the AX partner referred this company to RF-SMART.
To confirm requirements, RF-SMART sent technical resources on site with demo gear in hand to test and demo mobile solutions with their WMDP application. Once the devices were selected, RF-SMART provided the customer with competitive pricing, support, and device configuration so that each device was seamlessly deployed into their warehouse.
How We Can Help
The bottom line: Warehouse hardware deployment is, and has been, a ‘void’ in the AX channel. Many traditional AX implementation partners did not implement true WMS before the R3 release, and most don’t retain expertise in warehouse infrastructure and hardware deployment. RF-SMART has helped a significant cross section of the R3 AX partner community and AX users to deploy warehousing hardware solutions including handheld scanners, wireless infrastructure, labeling/media, warehouse decoration/setup and printing solutions.
RF-SMART can assess your unique needs and requirements to recommend the best mobile device for your use case. Our rich experience in AX, paired with our long-standing partnerships with hardware manufacturers, allow us the knowledge to consult with your team and share the new technology that is taking this industry by storm.
Contact our Hardware Team to certify your existing devices for WHS WMDP or to assist in your upcoming hardware project.