Microsoft Dynamics AX

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Microsoft Dynamics AX
Microsoft Dynamics Logo.png
Developer(s) Microsoft Corporation
Stable release 6.2.1000.4051 (2012 R2 CU7) / November 1, 2013 (2013-11-01)[1]
Development status Active
Operating system Windows Server 2003/2008 (AOS), Microsoft Windows (Clients)[2]
Platform x86 / x64
Available in Arabic, Chinese (Simplified), Czech, Danish, Dutch (Netherlands), English, Estonian, Finnish, Dutch (Belgium), French, German, Hungarian, Icelandic, Italian, Japanese, Latvian, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian,Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish[3]
Type Enterprise resource planning
License MS-EULA
Website microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics/erp-ax-overview.aspx

Microsoft Dynamics AX is one of Microsoft's enterprise resource planning software products. It is part of the Microsoft Dynamics family.

History[edit]

Microsoft Dynamics AX was originally developed as a collaboration between IBM and Danish Damgaard Data as IBM Axapta. Axapta was initially released in March 1998 in the Danish and U.S. markets. IBM returned all rights in the product to Damgaard Data shortly after the release of Version 1.5 before Damgaard Data was merged with Navision Software A/S in 2000. The combined company, initially NavisionDamgaard, later Navision A/S, was acquired by Microsoft in July 2002.[4]

In September 2011, Microsoft announced the release of new version AX 2012.[5] Today, it is available and supported in 25 countries and 23 languages.

Development Centers[edit]

MDCC or Microsoft Development Center Copenhagen was once the primary development center for Dynamics AX.[6] MDCC is located in Vedbæk and also houses Microsoft Dynamics NAV and several other Microsoft Dynamics family products. MDCC employs about 900 people of around 40 different nationalities.

In addition to MDCC, AX development is now performed in two additional sites in Bellevue, Washington and Fargo, North Dakota.

Features (modules)[edit]

Microsoft Dynamics AX contains 19 core modules:[7]

Traditional core (since Axapta 2.5)[edit]

  • General Ledger, composed of ledger, sales tax, currency and fixed assets features
  • Bank Management, where cash is received and paid out
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM), where Business Relations (customers, vendors, and leads) are contacted and maintained
  • Accounts Receivable, where orders are entered, shipped and invoiced
  • Accounts Payable, where purchase orders are issued and goods received into inventory
  • Inventory Management, where Inventory is valued and managed[8]
  • Master Planning, where purchase and production planning takes place
  • Production, where bill of materials is defined and manufacturing is tracked
  • Product Builder, where product models are created and maintained
  • Human Resources, where employee information is kept
  • Project Accounting, where projects are created and tracked primarily from an accounting perspective
  • Basic, where data configuration is performed
  • Administration Module, where system configuration is performed
  • Procurement and Sourcing
  • Sales and Marketing

AX 2012 R3

  • Call Center - employees take orders over the phone and are able to create sales orders
  • General Ledger - the ability to transfer opening balances in balance sheet accounts to a new fiscal year
  • Inventory and Warehouse Management - compare item prices, enhanced posting routine and a new Inventory aging report
  • Master Planning - estimate future demand and create demand forecasts based on transaction history
  • Procurement and Sourcing - create your own soliciation request for RFQs, and more
  • Production Control - a new option to automate material reservations
  • Project Management and Accounting - new on-account billing rules and fee transactions that modify invoice proposal sales prices
  • Public Sector - now able to publish a request for quotation (RFQ) to the Vendor portal and now have the ability to view details of closed RFQs
  • Retail - commerce Data Exchange, updated retail server, new retail hardware station, and more
  • Sales and Marketing - register serial numbers during sales processes when preparing the packing slip or the sales order invoice
  • Transportation Management - plan transportation for inbound and outbound shipments, configure rating structures and view driver check-in and check-out history
  • Trade Allowance Management - define merchandising events, manage trade fund budgets, process customer payments (including deductions, and more
  • Warehouse Management - configure inbound and outbound intelligent workflows, use scanners/mobile devices to optimize precision in the picking and put-away processes, and more

For the full list of AX 2012 R3 features, click here

Extended core[edit]

The following modules are part of the core of AX 2009 (AX 5.0) and available on a per-license basis in AX 4.0:

External components[edit]

Several external components are also available:

  • Enterprise Portal for Dynamics AX (built on Sharepoint Services)
  • Microsoft SQL Reporting Services integration
  • Microsoft SQL Analysis services (KPIs)
  • Project Server Integration
  • WorkFlow
  • Application Integration Framework (Webservices + Biztalk adapter)
  • A .Net Business Connector for third-party software (A COM adapter is also available)
  • Microsoft Dynamics Mobile 1.5 development tools
  • Microsoft Project Client
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Office 365

Architecture[edit]

The Microsoft Dynamics AX software is composed of four major components:

  • The Database Server, a database that stores the Microsoft Dynamics AX data
  • The File Server, a folder containing the Microsoft Dynamics AX application files (in AX2012 application files are stored in the database)
  • The Application Object Server(s) (AOS), a service that controls all aspects of Microsoft Dynamics AX's operation
  • The Client(s), the actual user interface into Microsoft Dynamics AX

See also the book Inside Microsoft Dynamics AX 4.0[11]

MorphX and X++[edit]

"MorphX" redirects here. For the video game, see MorphX (video game).

Custom AX development and modification is done with its own IDE, MorphX, which resides in the same client application that a normal day-to-day user would access, thus allowing development to take place on any instance of the client. Since the Dynamics AX 2012 version, development can also be performed in Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 through a Visual Studio plugin.

MorphX is an integrated development environment in Microsoft Dynamics AX that allows developers to graphically design data types, base enumerations, tables, queries, forms, menus and reports. In addition to design of application objects, it also allows access to any application code by launching the X++ code editor.

Because MorphX uses referencing to link objects together, changes in, for example, datatypes of fieldnames will automatically be reflected in all places where they are used (such as forms or reports). Furthermore, changes made through MorphX will be reflected in the application immediately after compilation.

Microsoft Dynamics AX also offers support for version control systems (VCS) integrated with the IDE, allowing collaboration in development. There is also a tool for reverse-engineering table structures and class structures to Visio. The actual implementation limits the practical use of both these features.

X++ itself is the programming language behind MorphX, and belongs to the curly brackets and .-operator class of programming languages (like C# or Java). It is an object-oriented, class-based, single dispatch language. X++ is a derivative of C++ (both lack the finally keyword for example) to which garbage collection and language-integrated SQL queries were added.

Code samples[edit]

X++ integrates SQL queries into standard Java-style code. Following are three equivalent examples (result-wise), though the first one has generally better performance. Samples #2 and #3 hint at an object-like behavior from table buffers.

Sample #1

/// <summary>
/// This job is used as an X++ sample
/// </summary>
public static void xppTest1(Args _args)
{    //rajeev singh(ATS)
    UserInfo userInfo;
    update_recordset userInfo
        setting enable = NoYes::No
        where userInfo.id != 'Admin'
            && userInfo.enable;
}

Sample #2

/// <summary>
/// This job is used as an X++ sample
/// </summary>
public static void xppTest2(Args _args)
{
    UserInfo userInfo;
    ttsbegin;
    while select forupdate userInfo
        where userInfo.id != 'Admin'
            && userInfo.enable
    {
        userInfo.enable = NoYes::No;
        userInfo.update();
    }    
    ttscommit;
}

Sample #3

/// <summary>
/// This job is used as an X++ sample
/// </summary>
public static void xppTest3(Args _args)
{
    UserInfo userInfo;
    ttsbegin;
    select forupdate userInfo
        where userInfo.id != 'Admin'
           && userInfo.enable;
    while (userInfo)
    {
        userInfo.enable = NoYes::No;
        userInfo.update();
        next userInfo;
    }
    ttscommit;
}

Future[edit]

On its PartnerSource web site, Microsoft publishes a "Statement of Direction" for Dynamics AX that describes future development plans. It states that increased vertical market functionality, cloud computing, and HTML 5 will be included in future versions of AX.

Presence on the World Wide Web[edit]

One of the most notable sources of information with regards to Axapta (prior to the Microsoft purchase) was technet.navision.com, a proprietary web-based newsgroup, which grew to a considerable number of members and posts up until 2002.

Following the incorporation of Axapta into Microsoft's Business Solution suite, the newsgroup's content was transferred over to the Microsoft Business Solutions newsgroup.[12] The oldest Axapta Technet post that can be found today dates back to August 2000.[13] During the Axapta 3.0 era, this newsgroup in conjunction with secured official Microsoft websites (Partnersource for Microsoft Partners and Axapta resellers and Customersource for licensed Axapta customers) accounted for most of the official documentation sources on Axapta. During this time freely accessible documentation remained scarce. Following Microsoft's release of Dynamics AX 4.0, Axapta's presence on the World Wide Web greatly improved through heightened interest from professional blogs as well as a continually improving presence on MSDN. Though MSDN contained mostly placeholders immediately following the release, it now contains a wealth of information from a complete SDK to white papers and code samples.

Community[edit]

The AX community consists of professionals, typically employees of Dynamics Partners, End-users and MS MVP's (Microsoft Most Valuable Professional).

The Dynamics AX User Group (AXUG) is the largest, user-led community for companies using the software.

Competitors[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]