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Friday, March 26, 2010

Integrating Third party VCS with Dynamics AX 2009

Just over a month ago, Microsoft released a new white paper which talks you through how they integrated Team Foundation Server, TFS, into Dynamics AX.

That white paper can be found here.:
Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 White Paper: Integrating a Third Party Version Control System into Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009

"The MorphX Integrated Development Environment (IDE) can integrate various Version Control Systems (VCS). Team Foundation Server (TFS) is a newly integrated VCS with the MorphX IDE in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009. This document provides detailed step-by-step instructions to integrate a VCS with the MorphX IDE, by using how TFS was included in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 as an example.

The Version Control Extensibility Framework was refactored in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009, which is now used by the integration with TFS."

In looking at this I started looking around for cloud based VCS software, that was similar to Visual SourceSafe, and already integrated to work with Visual Studio. I came across the following.: www.DynmaSoft.com The product they have can be hosted in the cloud, on-premise, and has a published COM based SDK.

It already integrates with Visual Studio, and that was key for this, because in most Dynamics AX solutions, with 2009 and beyond, Visual Studio solutions and projects are very much a part of the Source Code that make up a given AX implementation.

So with this in mind, I started to dig a little deeper in what would it take to integrate this DynamSoft product into Dynamics AX.

After looking into this, I found of course you will need to sign up for at least a free account. Next you will need to download the following two items.:

After getting these two, of course make yourself familiar with the COM SDK, and then go through the steps listed in the Microsoft Whitepaper for enabling DynamSoft cloud based VCS with your given Dynamics AX instance.:

  • 1. Add a new class that represents the VCS and implements the sysVersionControlFilebasedBackEnd interface.

  • 2. Add a new base enumeration value to the SysVersionControlControlType base enumeration type. For TFS, the SysVersionControlTfs base enumeration value was added.

  • 3. Add new class construction logic to the newType method of the SysVersionControlSystem class.

  • 4. Implement the VCS setup methods. These methods are the bootstrap methods that are responsible for initializing the backend instance. Therefore, they must be implemented for each VCS.

  • 5. Implement the basic VCS operation methods in the new class such as the fileGetVersion, fileSetCheckIn, fileCheckout, fileAddToVersionControl, and fileDelete methods.

  • 6. Use the advanced VCS methods to implement additional VCS features. The framework also defines a list of runtime surrogate methods to let the VCS notify the framework whether these features are supported by the VCS. These features are optional.

  • 7. Implement the plumbing methods that are required by the framework.

I have plans to now take the above information, a free account and actually develop this and place in an XPO project for sharing. I wanted to get this out here though, making this a part 1 in this series, to help bring into focus Change Management possibilities that exists with Dynamics AX, specifically related to VCS options.

With what Microsoft has given us here, we now have the ability to really integrate Dynamics AX 2009, with near any VCS solution we desire. Be that Cloud based, on-premise, Custom, Open Source, or purchased.

I think this shows the flexibility of Dynamics AX, and also gives customers choices in their VCS options.

There is something technical you need to keep in mind, in regards to VCS solutions with Dynamics AX. This is designed so each developer has their own AOS installed on their developer workstation.

With what we have in this white paper, however, we have the ability to create a server side integration into a VCS that will work, with having a single AOS and 1 to 1,000+ developers! I will save that for a later post on this subject.

Hopefully this post has you thinking, and hopefully you have plans or already have in place change management policies, that include management of code.

That's all for now, but check back soon as more to come!

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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Blogger Shu said...

"With what we have in this white paper, however, we have the ability to create a server side integration into a VCS that will work, with having a single AOS and 1 to 1,000+ developers! I will save that for a later post on this subject. "

I can't wait to hear about this subject :)

10:39 AM  
Blogger Shashi said...

With TFS integration, it gives us the option to branch our development / bug fixes and merge it into the trunk which would be the release. However TFS wants a team server installed per application and per dev machine to issue ID's. Even if i do manage to integrate something like SVN with AX i would still need an ID server to issue ID numbers. Do we know how to implement a custom ID server?
Would love to hear more regarding this topic.

10:35 PM  

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