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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!

Find a job at: www.DynamicsAXJobs.com

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Web 2.0 Workgroup - A network of Web 2.0 resources

To kick off my writings about web 2.0 I thought I would post a few useful resources that I have came across. The web site listed below is a network or grouping or blogs and sites that are 100% geared towards the propogation of web 2.0 technology and uses. I will be posted a bunch of different posting like these to build up to my thoughts and discussion on Web / Enterprise 2.0. So check out the following group of sites for enough reading to keep you going for a year straight!

Web 2.0 Workgroup - A network of Web 2.0 resources

Also look for the up coming big post of Web / Enterprise 2.0 and what it means for the Dynamics AX platform!

Back from Vacation


I had a very nice and refreshing vacation time with my family. It was nice to get refreshed, and all. I am now back and ready to tackle once again the world of Dynamics AX.

With that, this weeks post will focus on the ever increasing thought and movement towards the Web 2.0 (aka: Enterprise 2.0) technologies and how this movement will shape the future of the Dynamics platform and underlying technologies. I also will start posting my experince with setting up Enterprise Portal in Dynamics AX 4.0. This, for me, was a wild ride of hotfixes, and the like. It's to be expected though, and that's why SP1 will be coming out soon. I also will post about the SP1 fixes, and the major area's in which it will hit. This is a much needed service pack, and it is suppose to releave a lot of headache that we VAR's are experincing with the RTM version of Dynamics AX 4.0.

I hope everyone is having a good week, and check back tomorrow and the rest of the month for more great post!

Find a job at: www.DynamicsAXJobs.com

Thursday, October 12, 2006

On Vacation

We all need vacation from time to time, and I have reached that point! Therefore I will be on vacation from Yesterday till 10/17/06. When I get back I will continue posting about DAX 4.0 and still as needed Ax 3.0.

Some exciting news for DAX 4.0 implementations, and new ones that are going on SP1 is coming out, that has a Lot of fixes in it! Well see everyone after vacation time! :-)

Find a job at: www.DynamicsAXJobs.com

Monday, October 09, 2006

Make us of Outbound web services using AIF

Currently in Dynamics AX 4.0 there is a known bug with Outbound web service adapters and the AIF. This known bug will be fixed in the up coming release of SP1. I did however find a great blog posting by David Pokluda who gives a very detailed example / how to that allows you to by pass the bug and make use of Outbound web service calls. So check it out below:

David Pokluda's blog : Outbound web service (AIF)

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Dynamics AX 4.0 - Unit Testing and Test Projects

One of the most wonderful things that is new in DAX 4.0 is unit testing classes and projects. With this new possiblity, this begs the question of should X++ developers now adhere to Software Engineering best practices of creating business requirements, and then from thos business requirements move directly to creating unit test projects from which you code to satisfy those unit test projects.

In the past we had to create our own unit type of testing through the use of jobs, but now true unit testing can be achieved.

With this post I wanted to breifly talk about the Unit Test or Test Projects that can now be created. I want to get other developers, architects, engineers, etc. all thinking about taking a step back when looking at coding, etc. and possibly taking the approach of:

1.) Create the business requirements
2.) Identify the gap between what exists in the standard App, and what needs to be developed to meet the business requirements.
** NEW ** 3.) Create Test Project that has unit testing code to test for the needed business requirements
4.) Code to fulfill the unit testing scripts and test project
5.) Preform unit testing and document results
6.) Repeat steps 3.-5. until business requirements are meet.

This is a wonderful step in the software development lifecycle, that will help standarize the developed of X++ code, and really push the coding the DAX into a more manageable form. Couple this with the Version control abilities of DAX 4.0 and now we have an IDE that will allow for a true SDLC. Now all you have to have is a changement policy and bug tracking module, and your set!

Check back soon as I will be posting an exmaple test project, along with a business requirement it was wrote for, and walk through the steps of taking this theory and making it a useful reailty!

Find a job at: www.DynamicsAXJobs.com

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Dynamics AX - Create a Layer Project

I wanted to post a very helpful way of finding out all objects that have been modified at a given layer. In my experince I have found such a thing very useful. Well with that said I created a little PDF file that tells you exactly how to find out every object that has been touched at a given layer:
Create a Object Layer Project for a given Layer.

As always check back soon for more!

Find a job at: www.DynamicsAXJobs.com

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