Release 1.10 of VAPS for Dynamics 365 Business Central (August 2022)

Posted by Ute Gillet on Aug 17, 2022 11:00:08 AM

We are happy to provide you with new versions of our visual scheduling extensions for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. Together with versions 1.15 of the Visual Production Scheduler and the Visual Jobs Scheduler (watch out for the respective blog which is to come shortly), we have released version 1.10 of the Visual Advanced Production Scheduler which has already been approved by Microsoft and can be downloaded from AppSource as well as from our Teams-based partner portal as of now. 

For detailed information, please read the release notes

#1 Show/hide non-working times

This feature, activated by a newly added menu item, allows to hide or show the common non-working period. 

vaps-show-hide non-working-times

Handling of standby resources

Currently, the calendar of the related work center is applied to standby resources, so that when the non-working period is hidden, the non-working periods that are shared by all calendars will not be displayed and the timescale gets collapsed during these periods.

On the other hand, switching the non-working periods on means that those periods that are common to all calendars will be displayed.


#2 Info symbol indicates comments on the routing line

In Business Central, users can add additional information to a production order routing line by creating comments, e.g., for describing certain specialties that need to be followed during the production process. As this is, of course, valuable information, the VAPS now helps the planner to quickly recognize whether a production order line has such a comment so that the special requirements are not overlooked.

VAPS - comment symbol on operation


To activate this feature, tick the according option in the "General" settings of the VAPS setup dialog:

VAPS - general settings - show comment symbol

#3 Apply EMAD tolerance to an item

As is commonly known, the EMAD calculation provides a date from which the required quantity of component demand is available and before which the production order must not start. The newly implemented EMAD tolerance allows defining the criterion not too narrowly so that, e.g., an order could already start if only 95% of the required material is available.

To be able to do so, we have enhanced the item card with the respective setting option. When calculating the demand, the entered value is multiplied by the available quantity.


VAPS - apply EMAD tolerance


#4 Run EMAD calculation from Job Queue

With the help of the Business Central job queue, you can schedule certain background jobs for regular execution. The EMAD calculation, which until now could only be called via the VAPS (interactively with - depending on the data volume - long calculation times), can now be triggered via the job queue as soon as the VAPS is installed. Thus, it could be run at night, for example,  without supervision and without the need for someone to log on to the system to start the VAPS.

Setting up the job queue has to be done within Business Central by the administrator.


#5 World view

Especially in large plans, it often happens that the planner loses herself a bit in the vastness of operations. To help them find their way and to not lose track of the overall situation, we implemented the new "World View" that shows a small additional window underneath the actual plan:


VAPS-world view


By dragging the red rectangle in the "World View", you can quickly shift your focus to another part of the plan.


vaps-show-hide worldview



#6 Refactor the handling of alternate routing sets

When working with alternate routing sets there were some issues concerning multiplicator values of 0.0 or missing one entry with multiplicator = 1.0. We have worked on this and now the base setup/runtime value (=100%) can be seen and manipulated in maintaining dialogs for routing lines and production order routing lines. The setup/runtime value now always contains the base value with the current multiplicator applied. This allows working with alternate routing lists where none of the alternative resources must have the base value of 100% (multiplicator = 1.0).

The improvements in detail:

  • the setup time is now always calculated by [Base setup time] * [Setup time multiplicator].

  • the run time is always calculated by [Base run time] * [Run time multiplicator]

  • it is possible to create an alternate routing set with a single resource

  • an alternate routing set must not contain any alternative with multiplicator = 1.0

  • a multiplicator of zero is possible now.

  • “Refresh production order” and the planning worksheet will select the correct setup/runtime depending on the base setup/runtime value and the multiplicator from the alternate routing set

  • the maintaining dialogs for routing lines and production order routing lines now show both values for base and actual value. This makes it easier for the users to understand the relation between base value and current setup/runtime value.

The routing line dialog provides the base value, current value, and (informational) multiplicator for the selected machine:


The production order routing line dialog provides the base value, current value, and (informational) multiplicator for the selected machine:


#7 New field "Earliest Start Date"

The VAPS comes with the convenient automatic scheduling functions "Add all", "Fill idle times", "Apply routing," and "Tighten operations". With the new version, users can limit these functions to only schedule production order routing lines/operations so that they start at or later than the date defined. This is done by the new field "Earliest Start Date" that has been implemented on production order, production order line, and production order routing line level. Clicking an operation with an earliest start date will display an according date line.


vaps - earliest start date


If the earliest start date is defined on all levels, the latest available date will be used for scheduling and if the "Consider EMAD" option is activated, this date will also be taken into account, meaning that the latest of all four dates will be considered.

Operations with an earliest start date can nevertheless still be dragged manually to an earlier start.


#8 Info window shows progress when loading/reloading

When a simulation gets loaded into the VAPS, multiple stages of data processing are executed until the visualization finally appears and the user can start working with it. Especially when there are large amounts of data to be loaded/reloaded, this can take some time during which the users do not know what is happening and are often unsure whether the application is still working. 
To give the users more feedback as to what is happening during the loading process, we have implemented a new info window that:

  • gives feedback that something is happening at all (meaning the extension has not crashed) 

  • informs about the amount of data getting loaded, thus explaining why the process might take so long 

  • informs about how long this process might take and how long the users might need to wait

  • also helps our support team during customer trainings or support cases to get a better understanding of the customers' environment. 


#9 Comprehensive performance improvements

We did some internal clean-up and maintenance work, thus gaining a remarkable increase in performance:

  • 10% load performance increase (sample data with 1000 production order routing lines).

  • 80% usage performance increase when changing the view color mode (sample data with 1000 production order routing lines).

  • Increasing performance gains with an increasing number of data (production order routing lines).


That's it for today, I hope you'll enjoy the new functions and enhancements. As always, the complete information can be found in the release notes. And don't forget to browse our knowledge base for more detailed information.



Further information

Learn more about visual scheduling: get a free Ebook.

Topics: Business Central Production Scheduling, Business Central Visual Scheduling Extensions, Release VAPS