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Monday, October 30, 2006

The Future of Dynamics AX and Web 2.0

Well I have been super busy, but I hope everyone has not had some time to catch up on the different technologies that make up Web 2.0 (aka: Enterprise 2.0). To continue my post on this, and how this will shape the future of Dynamics AX, I wanted to talk about the current Dynamics AX 4.0 and how it already is giving hints into the direction it will be going.

One of the first things is the addition of the node in the AOT called Perspectives. This is a first glance into the Business Data Catalog. The BDC, is what will enable the move or abstraction, so that information workers can more easily access Business data, and have the data make sense, and have meaniful values.
To talk about this further lets look at an example. So for instance, you have an enumeration that represents possible different values for a given field in the SalesTable. Well if you look at the SalesTable from within Dynamics AX or through the Business Connector then you can work with the actual named values of the given enumeration. However if you work with the raw SQL data, you only get to work with the actual enumeration value, vs. the named value. This makes it to where you have to build your processing or reporting logic to account for this, and then translate the value into a more meaningful one.
With the BDC, data can be represented in such a way to where the enumerations numerical values can be transversed into the named values, or any value you want them transvered to.

This is similar to views, in a since, but the goal is to have these perspectives drive the interaction with this business data. The end goal is to have an information worker is might be making the use of Dynamics AX business logic and reporting on data (through the use of the BDC and Perspectives) that will then allow the information worker to build a customer report in Excel or word, without having to bother the actual IT dept. for creating that report.
Right now achieving this takes a lot of extra work, and it's not as seamless and initutive as the end goal for this is to be. Also all perspectives have to be built for the current verison of Dynamics AX.

Another tale tale sign is the move of the EP to SharePoint Services. The next release of the SharePoint products is going to be big! It's will allow for a greater richer, internet application experince for the information worker, and also allow greater flexibility for creating mashups to make use of. The current DAX 4.0 EP now living on SharePoint means that you can develop interfaces for a given clients information workers to achieve thier daily routines through SP and DAX 4.0 EP. This is very important for people to realize and start to take advantage of, as this is the future interface to Dynamics, and the future interface for the everyday information worker.

I will leave this post now, but as I said above the two mentioned area's show tale tale signs of the direction this is going. Web 2.0 (aka: Enterprise 2.0) technologies and methods are the driven force behind this move. We as consultants, IT workers, etc. must embrace this and start thinking in such ways in order to make use of it ourselves and to help keep our clients and companies and the up and up for gaining the most out of their solution.

Check back more as I continue my series on Dynamics AX, Web 2.0 and the future that is shaping before us!

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Blogger James Andrew Bruiners said...

Hi Nice article,

I am trying to connect up the BDC to the Dynamics AX 4.0 sql db. I can connect up one entity but when I try to create a connection it wont find the item, do you know if there are any predifined BDC definition files for dynamics AX (not CRM)...?

Or any ideas in general.



5:45 AM  

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