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Monday, June 11, 2012

AX 2012 - EP Warranty Management - AOT, Package & Deploy

I hope everyone is off to a great start. I wanted to continue our series today, on Enterprise Portal Design & Development, with the functional scope of Warranty Management. So far, we have had two post that has really started this EP dive. First, we focused around creating a new page on our EP instance for warranty management. From there, we were able to move forward, and add the warranty page to the navigation of our EP instance.

So far we have focused our efforts on specific task around SharePoint for page management, as well as task within the AOT for adding our Warranty Page to the Home Web Module, as a sub-Web module. This had both SharePoint and AOT specific task to complete. It's important to understand as we press forward with the focus around our EP journey that management of different aspects happen either within SharePoint or the AOT. What's also important, is that we always try to do whatever we can within AOT. This allows for correct placement of things like business logic, and further allows for us to focus on management and deployment of such created artifacts.

With that in mind, the first part of today's post will focus on adding our EP page, to the AOT itself. The biggest reason for doing such a task, is to enable promotion, version control and deployment options of EP custom artifacts from Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012.

I always like to point out existing resources that help us build upon a topic of focus, and this specific one is not different. We have, on MSDN a nice walk through of adding custom pages for EP to the AOT. How to: Import Pages into the AOT [AX 2012].

From the article.:
"If a page in Enterprise Portal will be packaged and distributed to other Enterprise Portal installations, a copy of the page definition must be imported from SharePoint into the AOT. From the AOT, the page can be packaged for distribution to other Enterprise Portal installations."

As the above states, and why we care to focus on this point, in order to package and deploy a custom page from one instance of AX 2012 to another, we need to have the page's definition living as a part of the AOT. This is a paint point that existed before with EP, and now with AX 2012 - packaging and deployment of EP pages has become easier. Lets now take the time, and do a walk through for adding our custom idbWarrantyManagement page definition into the AOT.

This is a very straight forward task, and it builds upon having successfully tied a URL Web Menu Item, to our custom page. Having done this, we simply need to highlight our URL Web Menu item, right click and then left click on import page.

Having done this, we should now see our page living under the AOT / Web / Web Files / Page Definitions. Keeping with best practice's for Microsoft Dynamics AX we need to make sure and create a new project group, and place our page definition within our idb project, as shown below.

From this point, we are now able to promote the page, along with any other scope we create for our Warranty Management Enterprise Portal Solution. This allows for ease of deployment, to help close our this post we have another MSDN walk through.: How to: Deploy Pages from the AOT [AX 2012]

To finish this then, once we moved our project, via Model File, Model Store or XPO - to a target instance of AX 2012, we can simply highlight the page definition, right click and left click on deploy. It will use the web site information we have setup for Enterprise Portal, contained within the System Administration module.

That's all I wanted to cover on this part of the Enterprise Portal post. We will continue with this series, as we move forward and add tables, classes, and web forms in a View-Edit design pattern choice. This will be to manage our Warranty Management master & reference data. I hope everyone has a great and productive week. Check back soon as more to come! Till Next Time!
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