Retail Inventory Availability with Proximity for Dynamics AX 2012 R3

By - October 27, 2014

Inventory availability views and calculations has gone through quite a few changes over the last few versions of Dynamics AX, and R3 is no exception. When you first start to work with R3, you may notice (unlike the image below) that no stores are displayed in the inventory availability screens.

Enterprise POS – Inventory Lookup

Inventory availability Image 1

To troubleshoot this, I first looked at the store locator group setup. This was a feature that was introduced in a previous release. The idea behind this feature is to limit the amount of stores that will be displayed when searching for inventory in nearby stores. This is a good idea for larger chains as the information becomes overwhelming for the cashier.

After checking the inventory locator groups, I determined that the settings look correct. I double checked that the values in the local database were also correct, but I still did not see any stores show up in the inventory availability screen.

After some digging around, I found some interesting new R3 changes. In R3, there are a couple of new enhancements that have made their way into the inventory availability. For the online channel and modern POS, when displaying inventory availability for store pickup options, the user is shown a map with pins next to a listing of stores that have stock.

You may have seen demos for the online store where the inventory availability screen at pickup selection was updated with an actual maps with pins for locations. I put a screenshot of these below. Since all of the channels are using the same engine for these things, they all behave the same way.

Modern POS – in store pickup with store proximity

Inventory availability Image 3

Online Channel – in store pickup with store proximity and inventory availability

In order to enable those nice new pins and map functionality, Microsoft added another layer of filtering to the store locator groups. In addition to the subset of stores that AX will complete an inventory availability calculation on, the POS will take the list and further refine it using a proximity search based upon latitude and longitude coordinates. This means that if you don’t have these coordinates in your store setup, no stores will be displayed in the inventory availability screens. The setups require the following steps:

  • Find your store in the Internal Organization list:
    • Organization Administration>>Common>>Organizations>>Internal Organizations.
    • Select the organization that is a retail channel and select “Edit” from the ribbon
  • Create or Edit an address for your store:
    • Open up the Address Fast Tab
    • From the More Options button select Advanced

Inventory availability Image 4

  • Edit the Advanced Address Options with a Latitude and Longitude
    • Open the General Fast Tab, Enter in the Latitude and Longitude


Inventory availability Image 5

(Optional) select the Map button and a browser will open Bing maps with a location.

Inventory availability Image 6

If you are technical and want to know why this is now happening, it is because of a specific design change. After AX returns the list of stores with inventory quantities based upon the store locator groups setup, the POS application further refines this by filtering the list on proximity. This is not a configurable option.

The code for this is in a Table-valued function in the POS database called “crt.GETNEARBYSTORESFUNCTION”. The code actually uses some geo spatial calculations that are available with sql to come up with the result.

Now that you know to put your Latitude and Longitude in with your store setups, you should enjoy a seamless geospatial experience!

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