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Friday, February 08, 2013

Dynamics AX 2012 R2 - OData Improvements

I hope everyone has had a productive Dynamics filled week! Today I wanted to spend time, talking about a topic that I've covered a good bit in the past 12 months. Specifically, that is the improvements that have came with the release of Dynamics AX 2012 R2 around the topic of OData.

If your just now reading about this topic for the first time, OData is an underlying technology protocol that helps enable Personal BI concepts for use with Microsoft Dynamics AX. With the release of Dynamics AX 2012 R2, we do have some improvements to speak towards in this area. Specifically these improvements revolve around Document Data Sources. You can find this, under Organization Administration > Setup > Document Management > Document Data Sources.

As seen in the above screen shot, the document data sources form has changed a bit with this new release. Specifically what is pointed out, is the option for creating custom query elements. Also, the edit button, which happens to be disabled until after selecting and registering a query for target of custom filtering.

That is actually the biggest improvement with this release, in regard to the topic of OData. Someone that is an Administrator, not necessarily a developer, can filter queries beyond what they have in their specific designs.

What we see in the image above is the screen that pops up after selecting a custom query option, and having a target query element to create customer filtering options for. We are able, similar to the query options on most grids and forms, select and give specific values for query execution.

Having this set, we are then able to see the Edit Query button enabled for such custom query elements within the Document Data Sources form. Further, once we have our query filtering set, we can rename such elements in the form, that better reflect the nature of the filter being applied. This can be seen in the following image.

Having this, we can now consume the ODataQueryService that comes as part of every AOS for creating Personal BI artifacts through tools like PowerPivot & PowerView. That is what we see in the following image, our valid OData query elements within the design space of PowerPivot.

Now I will point out, the majority of the design requirements for query elements to be valid OData feeds has not changed. You can find out more specific information on that topic, from the following CodePlex Open Source project.: AX-OData Project.

Well that's all for this week. I plan on getting back into a more 2-3 post routine, per week very soon. There is a lot going on in the Dynamics space, and specifically with my new Role as Director of Business Intelligence for Sunrise Technologies, Inc. I will be posting a lot about Dynamics AX and BI in the coming weeks and months, further launching something brand new with MyDynamicsBI.com More on that soon. Make sure to check back next week! Till Next Time!

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