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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Dynamics AX - Why it's good: Value point two, "The Stack"

To continue our talks here about why Dynamics AX is good, and even more so in a recession, lets look at the next value point:

The Stack
This is refering to the stack of software that Dynamics AX sits on top of, is a part of and is surrounded by.

Lets look at what Dynamics AX sits on top. If you look at the core parts that make up Dynamics AX: Fat Client, Web Client & Parts, AOS & Database.

Fat Client
This is the normal, everyone is used to using standard front end to the Dynamics AX solution. This client is actually being moved more and more into managed code, but as of right now is built using C++ for it's core. These C++ codes are developed using Microsoft windows core Libs and OS abilities. So the Fat client sits on top of the core Microsoft Windows OS.

This client also has the ability to interact, via X++ Code calls, to .Net assemblies, therefore openning up to the side stack that runs as part of the client experince.

Web Client & Parts
Use to, this was just called web client in my mind, but that has changed with the release of Dynamics AX 2009. This is because Role Centers are being used, and Microsoft Office SharePoint Services are being used to host the Web client and it's many possible and customizable web parts.

This is extending the to the next level of information worker that is actually becoming more commonly used than the Fat client. This, as I already mentioned sits on top of Microsoft Office SharePoint Services, which rides on top of the Microsoft WIndows Server OS.

This part also has access to .Net assemblies / managed code and therefore can be really extended.

AOS or Application Object Server
This is the serving part of the Dynamics AX solution. A company may have many AOS instances working to serve a single Instance of Dynamics AX based on user demand and size. This part is also written right now in C++ but more and more is being ported to be wrote in managed code, or better refered to as .Net.

This sits on top of Microsoft Windows Server OS, and has access to the .Net assemblies / managed just like the others mentioned so far. This means it too can really be extended, even beyond the core possibilities of X++.

Database
This is the heart and soul of a Dynamics AX instance. If you have this running right, tunned and optomized, then you have happy users. This runs on top of Microsoft SQL Server, which itself runs on top of Microsoft Windows Server OS.

With the release of Microsoft SQL Server 2005, SQL Server from Microsoft became a true enterprise level RDBMS. This is the work horse, and offers all kinds of things from just being SQL Server, including: OLAP, BI, SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) and much more.

As you can see, just looking at the core parts of Dynamics AX and what it sits on and is closely coupled with, this is truly a business platform. The great thing is, it can be extended, customized and used by people who are already familiar with the Microsoft product stack. That means as a customer, you can take and capitalize on your existing employees knowledge of SQL Server, Windows, .Net, C# SharePoint, Office and so on.

This Value point builds on top of tha last, of being Dynamic, in that the stack is very important. It's important for: Value, Cost, Ability to learn, Flexibility and scalability.

All those are key words into why the stack should matter, and why it's our second value point of discussion for Dynamics AX as a Business Platform.

This leads into our next topic: Platform Check back soon, and see you then!




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