AX 2012 Reporting Architecture Model Review
With the release of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, so many great improvements have taking. One of these area's that has improved greatly is the reporting model used.
In AX 2009, there were two reporting model options really, the X++ reports, and SSRS reports. The option for SSRS reports however had some limits. For example, sub-reports would not work correctly. Also, the ability to use Query objects as the default datasource was limited by the fact of now being able to do outer joins easily with the Query object designer for MorphX.
This is changed however, AX 2012 has a single reporting model, which it uses SSRS for all reports. Now, let me state it is true the older X++ MorphX reporting model is still technically in AX 2012. It's Only there however for backwards compatibility, and is not meant for supporting new development efforts.
Looking at what we have now, there is a very nice, and straight forward MSDN article, that walks through the reporting Architecture from Menu Item, to Report Viewer rendering of the report data. MSDN: Reporting architecture [AX 2012]
We can see that, in the reporting model for AX 2012, SSRS is at the core of reporting. Also, with the improvements that exists with AX 2012, for example adding the keyword having and it's use within Query objects, as well as the ability to have left and right outer joins, easily setup as part of Query objects, the hurdles that existed for SSRS and AX 2009 are all but gone.
This also means, that those who chose to use a hybrid approach for report design in AX 2009 and SSRS, where as the report design included going straight to the Database, creating a new for duplicate security models, no longer is a need. You should never, ever, ever, ever, ever --- ever go directly to the Databases for anything in AX 2012. (hope that's clear!)
If you did go directly to the database, then my recent article on the use of XDS would break as it would not be applied. In AX 2012, if a user does not have access to a field that is part of a report, and the report is rendered correctly through AX+SSRS, then the data for that field will not appear in the rendered report.
I think this is a huge improvement, and there are some really great MSDN articles as well as video's that cover all kinds of reporting examples with the new Reporting model concepts. This area is for sure right on the marketing tag line of Powerfully Simple, as this is a vast improved area over previous versions of AX.
Well that's all for now, check back soon as we continue to dive into AX 2012, get into more Workflows, Security Model, Neat X++ things, as well as launching a new series this October of post, "Freaky Tech Friday's". Till next time!