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Friday, December 01, 2006

Dynamics AX - "Snap to it!" - Part I

Moving forward now with where we left off on Enterprise 2.0 (Mashups / Composite Apps) discussion, I wanted to start the solution to show off an example of this with current technology. To start lets talk about design, and move from there.

In order to achieve a nifty little composite app. we need a design that will allow us to do so. With that said, in order to achieve what we are going to do, one will need the following:

- Dynamics AX 4.0 (Instance of Object server and DAX Application)
- SQL Server
- IIS
- WSS
- EP Setup and running
- DotNet BC setup
- Office XP or Later
- VS.2005 and DotNet 2.0

I believe the above should cover what we are wanting to achieve. Now, with that listed, lets talk about what we plan to do with this technology. Recently Microsoft started the Snap-In program for Dynamics. The goal of this is to allow elements of Dynamics AX to be used within the Office Suite. This is a great idea, as most people love office (Excel big time) and therefore makes sense.

So our solution that we will create will first offer a snap-in excel form, and then also offer a web part to be used with EP. The underlying logic for this solution will be contained within Web Services for the Snap in, and the actual business logic will live within X++ Class framework. This way the Web Part for EP can make native calls to it, and the snap-in widget will make use of the web service, to in turn make use of the business logic. Doing this in such a way, using web services, will allow the same intergration points to be used for other applications. (windows based / other web services / mobile, etc.).

What will be learned during this process will be:

- The use of the DotNet Business Connector from C# code.
- Creating a Snap-in widget that can make use of both the web service and directly the DotNet Business Connector.
- Creating a Web Part for use on the EP
- Creating X++ Class Framework
- Tieing all of this together

Now though creating this does not create a composite application, creating these aspects use technology for creating composite apps. / mashups and the major part that will be considered a mashup is when we add the web part to the EP and make use of it.

So the overall goal is to review each of these technologies, and then talk about how these technologies are used to create our solution, and also can be used to create true bigger composite app. solutions. At the end of this series I will also talk about how this could / will change with future technology releases, and the benefit this offers customers / users.

For now I will leave, so check back as we dive into part II of our solution!

P.S. Let me also add that I will do this over the course of many posts. I have a full time job, as I am sure most of you do, and therefore can only write when time permits. I also will have other post between these that offer other related information. In the end, I will compile these post into a single PDF file and post it for download and review.

Find a job at: www.DynamicsAXJobs.com

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