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Lasernet FO Connector 6.19 New Features (part I) - News / Lasernet FO Connector / Lasernet FO Connector New Features - Formpipe Support Portal

Oct 17 2023

Lasernet FO Connector 6.19 New Features (part I)

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Release version: 6.19

Release date: 17th October 2023

Introduction

This page describes the enhancements in Lasernet FO Connector 6.19.


Click to view the Release Notes page.

Click to view the Lasernet FO Connector 6.19 New Features (part II) page.

Click to view the Lasernet FO Connector 6.19 New Features (part III) page.

Click to view the Lasernet FO Connector 6.19 New Features (part IV) page.

Click to view the Lasernet FO Connector 6.19 New Features (part V) page.

Click to view the Lasernet FO Connector 6.19 New Features (part VI) page.

Click to view the Lasernet FO Connector 6.19 New Features (part VII) page.


Video overview

Watch this short video to learn more about the headline features included with Lasernet FO Connector 6.19!


Major enhancements – Lasernet FO Connector 6.19

Focus:

  • Quality

  • Reliability

  • Stability

  • Performance

  • Flexibility

The main focus in relation to the Lasernet Connector is still Quality, Reliability and Stability but some enhancements have been made to support Flexibility and Performance.

One major adjustment in Lasernet FO Connector 6.19 is serialization as this is essential for the version control (DevOps) planned for a future version of Lasernet FO Connector.

Important are also the improvements made within the Test & Performance Suite, including features that can assist in automating the testing process.

Automation of the testing process is important as this can assist in ensuring a smooth upgrade.

Lasernet FO Connector 6.19 includes the following major enhancements/features:

-        “What’s used” analysis

-        “Compare PDF files” (useful in relation to upgrades)

-        Improved Update of Lasernet design within Lasernet FO Connector

-        Built-in storage explorer

-        New option to parse attachment(s), especially useful with SharePoint

-        Improved review/preview of documents including alternative destinations within Review

-        Option for unique archiving even when having multiple designs linked to same Journal

-        Improvements in Test & Performance Suite

o   Report playback / destination

o   Option to Ignore usage data (last values)

o   Use contents (XPath) in XML-file for validation

o   Re-recording of existing recording(s)

The feature What’s used and the option to Update Lasernet design within Lasernet FO Connector are extremely useful: the former provides the option to identify which tables and fields are used, the latter allows to “auto-adjust” an existing design.

What’s used

We have created this function because, until now, Consultants would need two screens in order to compare the Lasernet Connector and the Lasernet Developer, and validate which fields are used and which can be deleted.

The idea behind the What’s used function is to be able to import a design (Form) from Lasernet (.lnobject, .lnobjectx) into Lasernet FO Connector.

Now, once the design is imported from Lasernet, the Lasernet Connector for Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations can show which tables (patterns) and fields (re-arranges) are being used within the Form in Lasernet.

Green - Shows which data sources/tables are used in Lasernet

Red - Shows unused data sources/tables

Similarly, in relation to the used fields:

image.png

Unused tables (patterns) and unused fields (re-arranges) might have either been previously added for debugging purposes, or been there due to new or changed business requirements.

Having only the fields that are effectively used within the Lasernet Connector Query can increase performance and handover satisfaction between Delivery/Implementation team and Support team.

Read more in the What’s used (example) section.

Compare PDF Files

This version contains a powerful option for comparing PDF files.

This is useful when the user needs to validate whether the final document output (PDF file) matches the output prior to the upgrade.

The idea is to save checkpoints containing the XML/PDF files prior to an upgrade and use the same checkpoint after an upgrade for comparing the files.

Read more in the section Test & Performance Suite, Compare PDF Files.

Browse files within Azure Storage

It is now possible to browse files from different storage types, the same storage types that can be used to save the XML file used for the communication between Lasernet FO Connector and Lasernet (File, Azure Storage and Sharepoint).

Feature found at Lasernet > Setup > Administration > Connections > Browse.

Clicking the Browse button opens a file explorer with the standard “file management” features:

The file path is clickable, so you can use it to navigate back through the directory structure.

The home button allows you to return to the root directory of the file system quickly and easily.

Filtering/Search
The search feature presents two points of interest: a search filter and a condition-based search. Through the search filter, it is possible to filter files based on their names. Through the condition-based search/filter, it is possible to set up conditions for the search.

Change to “Perform operation”

The button previously known as Perform operation has now been renamed Action and moved inside the new Browse feature.

Previous version of Lasernet FO Connector

Lasernet FO Connector 6.19

Et billede, der indeholder tekst, software, Font/skrifttype, skærmbillede

Automatisk genereret beskrivelse


Et billede, der indeholder tekst, Font/skrifttype, software, nummer/tal

Automatisk genereret beskrivelse


Et billede, der indeholder tekst, software, Font/skrifttype, linje/række

Automatisk genereret beskrivelse

Import/Export report backup
The update also includes the Import/Export of report backups.
Location: Lasernet > Common > Reports > (Import report backup / Export report backup).

In this example, we will describe a scenario where the Import report backup is used.

Upon importing a report, the Endpoint type should be set to Lasernet connection for the new feature to be visible. To find a report, the Connection should be the storage that contains the report. This allows to explore the storage, find the intended report and import it.

After the file has been found, it is possible to click Open as shown in the following image:


Once the file has been opened, the name of the file will appear inside the Filename field. When all the information is correct, click the OK button to finalize the import.

Toggling the Dynamic button to Yes allows getting to the next step without reading the file.

This provides the option to configure the batch schedule without needing to add the file, as the system would otherwise not allow proceeding to the next step.

image.png

Storage explorer

This version contains a storage explorer that can show the content of the storage types used for the integration between Lasernet FO Connector and Lasernet, such as File system, Azure, SharePoint.

This is useful when the user needs to debug/check whether the XML file has been created and whether it looks ok. It can also be useful when checking the outcome from Lasernet, such as whether both the PDF and EDI/OIO files have been properly created.

It is possible to both upload and download through the storage explorer, which is also useful when needing to share information.

This can also be used to move file(s) between environments, such as when XML files need to be within a UAT environment for which only the records (DB) are restored from PROD.

Auto-update of Lasernet design

The option to auto-update a Lasernet design was introduced in Lasernet FO Connector 6.17 and has been significantly improved.

In previous versions of Lasernet FO Connector it was only possible to auto-adjust a design in case the layout dimensions were lowered (a layout would have to go from Maximum to Medium, from Medium to Minimum, or from Maximum to Minimum).

The layout specifies the level of context added to the XML file, such as whether Detail Collection and Details should be added or not.

This version can also auto-adjust a design when its dimensions are increased (the layout goes from Minimum to Medium, from Medium to Maximum, or from Minimum to Maximum).

Lowering the layout means creating smaller files, whereas increasing the Layout means creating lager files (XML files).

Using a maximum layout means having larger XML file(s), which, in some situations, can be useful as it provides the option to “collect” (expand/collapse) the data and could, therefore, provide an easier and more readable document within the Lasernet designer.

The idea behind Update design is to provide the option to keep the history of the modifications made to the layout over time.

In a future version of Lasernet FO Connector, it will be possible to check-in/check-out the version to TFS (DevOps).

The form now also contains information about the Input object and Output object used in Lasernet, which is often quite useful, especially when working with calculations across patterns in Lasernet, as it is through this form that it is possible to search across all the patterns.

Update design is also useful in case the user is updating an older version of Dynamics where Lasernet was already used (such as upgrading AX2009, AX2012 into Dynamics 365): this is achieved by exporting the existing design and importing it into Lasernet FO Connector.

The field Lookup provides the option to remap fields if there are new fields or the existing re-arrange has changed.

The auto-update function also provides the option to adjust a Lasernet design in case the structure (Output) is changed in Lasernet FO Connector.

Read more in the Update design (Example) section.

Review/Preview of documents

This version supports the following three file types being displayed within the same document preview form:

  • Document file (normally a PDF file)

  • Custom file (EDI, XML/OIOXML, CSV, EXCEL, Word etc.)

  • XML/Grab file

A similar approach is used when previewing original documents from the journals in Lasernet FO Connector.

It is possible to toggle between the document (PDF), Custom document and XML file.

Alternative destination when reviewing a document

Reviewing a document provides the option to approve the document before it is delivered. This also provides the option to hold back a document, such as an attachment that needs to be added before the document is delivered (CRM / Bill of lading etc.).

In previous versions of Lasernet FO Connector, it was not possible to change/alter the destination when reviewing a document.

This version provides the option to change/alter the destination when reviewing a document.

This example shows the option to make a print-out of a document before it is distributed. Sometimes a print-out provides a much cleaner/clear view of the document.

Document review can also be useful for validating the destination(s) found through the pre-defined destinations (rules for destination), such as a TEST, UAT environment where the delivery is required.

New options for attachments

This version provides the following four options to add an attachment: URL, Base64 file, URL XML, URL original. All options work well with review of documents, where it is also possible to add additional attachments.

These are especially useful for attachments coming from SharePoint as they give the option to parse the attachments through either an alternative Storage or by using a URL linked to the original location of the attachments.

"Graph" is used as a prerequisite for SharePoint in both Lasernet and within our Lasernet FO Connector . However, it is possible to use legacy, although this requires a specific connection (the internal connection-id in Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations).

URL

Using URL ensures that a copy of the attachments is brought into the connection specified in Connection to reports storage (Optional, advanced).

Lasernet will receive instructions to pick up the attachments from this connection/storage and delete the attachments after they have been processed (such as after emailing/printing the document).

It is possible to have connections for different storage types (hybrid), such as Azure, File and SharePoint.

Warning

Concern: file naming and concurrent (high) sessions/users processing and when re-using same document/attachment.

The link to the attachments in Sharepoint is parsed within the XML file.

Base64 file

Attachments are Base64 encoded into the XML file and multiple attachments are supported.

Lasernet decodes and adds the attachments as part of the process (email/print) and there is no need to remove any entries in a Storage (File, Azure, SharePoint) as everything is Base64 encoded into the XML file.

It is possible to have connections for different storage types (hybrid), such as Azure, File and SharePoint.

No concerns in relation to file naming.

URL XML

The system will ensure a copy of the attachments exists in the connection/storage specified in the Dynamics 365 connection to report XML data files storage.

After processing, Lasernet will remove this copy of the attachments.

It is possible to have connections for different storage types (hybrid), such as Azure, File and SharePoint.

Warning

Concern: file naming and concurrent (high) sessions/users processing and re-using same document/attachment).

URL Original

The original location of the attachments is parsed to Lasernet. The following example shows that the original location for the attachments is SharePoint but the connection between Lasernet FO Connector and Lasernet is using Azure (Service bus queue and Azure Storage).

"URL/Link" to the attachments is parsed within the XML-file.

Remember that it is possible to override/set the encoding in the report. Enabling the Deliver as Base64 has the highest precedence and overrides the setting in the Lasernet server. Having it disabled respects what is specified in the Lasernet server.

Improved document handling

This version introduces the option to specify whether the Document and/or Custom file should be saved or not.

This feature provides the option to skip saving of the Document (normally a PDF file) and/or Custom file (EDI, XML, Excel, Word etc.) in the Document handling.

Multiple designs link to the same record within the Archive

This version is introduces an option to support different reports/designs linked to the same entry/record within the Journal.

This is located in the Form links for the report.

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