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Sunday, January 29, 2012

AX 2012 - Diving into BI Analytics

A major focus for my self, and my work is around driving value for customers, with their AX investments. It's so easy to get caught up in the implementation, and getting the transaction side of a project up and running, that too many times the full solution, and total value that AX as a whole can bring is not fully realized.

To often, the value of out-of-the-box offerings around Business Intelligence (BI), is apart of that overlooked area of AX. This is sometimes, a major part of why, during the sales cycle a company made the choice of going with AX over some other brand of ERP software. At least to a large degree, it is usually a major deciding factor. Why shouldn't it be, with all the wonderful BI concepts built into AX as a product, not just in the formed of typical reports either, but even with contextual BI elements and beyond.

With this in mind, I wanted continue my focus that I started last year, around the BI capabilities for AX 2012, and what it can bring, helping you complete your total solution, and driving further value from what you have already invested in. The next focus, in this BI journey for AX 2012, at least for me and this blog, is around AX 2012 Analytics.

We see the above image, comes from the following section on Microsoft TechNet, talking through the architecture that makes up Analytics side of AX 2012, out-of-the-box offering. Its important to understand the full picture, including how this architecture actually works. As you can see, like the other technologies, used in the Microsoft stack for AX, SQL Server Analysis Services is a key technology to enabling OLAP cubes in AX.

Taking this architecture forward, I think it's important to also see the great resources that Microsoft has given us in this release for AX 2012, around this topic, specifically for the developer in mind, and the development task that are needed to enable, customize and complete a customers BI story, from the Analytics point of view.

These resources I'm speaking to, start with Development Tasks for Analytics [AX 2012]. Going to that resource, you can see several walkthrough's from Creating Cubes within the AOT, to Creating and Displaying new KPI's.

Having this resource, as our starting point, I plan to take this focus on BI further, with using the Contoso database, and showing this offering that is a part of AX 2012, and how it can be used, by you or your customers, the right way - with the goal of driving value.

That's all for today, I hope that you have a great start to the week, and check back soon as a whole lot more to come! Till Next Time!

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