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Monday, May 11, 2009

Dynamics AX 2009 BI: Practical use with SSRS and looking at OLAP

We have looked at BI from the SQL Server Level (SQL BI - I, SQL BI - II), and dove into the technologies that make up BI for Dynamics AX. (Dynamics BI for the Masses) We have also looked into the future for BI, Microsoft Project Gemini. (Project Gemini)

Now that has taking place, lets take a turn into the practical. Lets look at what it takes to create an SSRS report inside Dynamics AX 2009. Let's also then take a dive into the AX Cubes that are out of the box, and other tools and links that are for pratical use with Dynamics AX 2009.

Lets look at what it takes to make up an SSRS report for use inside Dynamics AX 2009.

In order to create a custom SSRS report for use inside Dynamics AX, SSRS and all the infrastructure must already be in place. Also this assumes you have deployed Visual Studio 2008 to the machine for developing reports, and the Report Development Project Template for AX SSRS Reports.

once that is in place, Dynamics AX and Visual Studio 2008 will be used to create a custom SSRS report.

An SSRS report used within Dynamics AX is made up of:
- A Query AOT Node.
- A Visual Studio 2008 DAX Report Project.
- A Report created inside the VS 2008 Report Project.
- A Dataset inside the report definition, that references your AOT query.

There is actually a great setp-by-step guide for creating a custom SSRS report and deploying it to an instance of Dynamics AX for use and reference from within the AOT.

Here is that link: Saveen Reddy's Blog: Dynamics AX 2009: Creating a simple SSRS Report

So now we see what we have been talking about the past few weeks in action. We now see the pratical use of BI technologies in use with a Dynamics AX 2009 instance.

The next area we want to talk about, in terms of pratical BI for Dynamics AX is OLAP and OLAP cubes.

First let me reference the Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 - BI Cube Reference PDF File.

That file goes into great detail about the OLAP cubes that come part of the out of the box offerings for OLAP cubes with Dynamics AX install. I recommend highly that these be looked at, and understood. These can be the base for your own custom OLAP cubes, and could be modified to include your own custom dimensions and needs.

To go hand in hand with that reference PDF file, is the Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 - White paper for configuring the Default OLAP cubes.

That white paper will walk you through deploying the default cubes covered in the reference guide.

Once last thing to help you, is the Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 - Cube Advisor Tool. This was recently released and is used to help you determine the cubes you have installed and setup that you don't have a license for or it's Role Center, and therefore can be removed to release resources.

So now we have some practical uses, and information for making use of the BI offerings that eixsts from within a Dynamics AX 2009 instance. We will move forward in the future with this to include making use of Excel for readin in an OLAP cube into a pivot table, and drilling down to the transactions inside Dynamics AX instance that make up the cube dimension data.

Well that's it for now, check back soon as I have more great post coming out. See you then!

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Anonymous Steve.rely@acerta.be said...

Hi Brandon,

Good post. Only I'm wondering about the following: It's not good to build your reporting environment on the OLTP environment. If you replicate the database you loose the security features from the AOS server. Is there a solution for this?

Is there also a sharper image of the last picture on this post

5:10 AM  
Blogger El Boa said...


But in order to generate the data based on DynamicsAXOLAP data provider, there is a graphical way to do it or should be done via MDX Queries?

9:52 AM  

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