Microsoft Dynamics AX

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Microsoft Dynamics AX
Developer(s) Microsoft Corporation
Stable release
7.0.4127.16103 / May 27, 2016 (2016-05-27)[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

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


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. Damgaard Data merged with Navision Software A/S in 2000 to form NavisionDamgaard, later named Navision A/S. Microsoft acquired the combined company in July 2002.[4]

While owned by Navision Axapta version 2.0, 2.1 and 2.5 was released. Version 2.5 is considered the first real stable version of the ERP system.

In 2002 Microsoft released Axapta 3.0 which became a huge success. Fully updated it's a smooth running, easy to maintain/customize ERP system and many companies still use this even though it's 15+ years old.

In 2005 Axapta 4.0 was released. At first it was full of flaws but over time Microsoft managed to make this just as stable as the 3.0.

In October 2008, Microsoft released version AX 2009. It no longer officially supported the Oracle database. Some companies did manage to use this though. A fully updated AX 2009 is today still considered one of the best ERP systems around.

In September 2011, Microsoft released version AX 2012.[5] It was made available and supported in more than 30 countries and 25 languages. Version R1 and R2 was full of bugs. Finally Microsoft decided to change the data model quite a bit and ended up with a very well functioning AX 2012 R3 System. Upgrading from R1 and R2 to an R3 became a very cumbersome task and many clients decided to stick to the R1/R2 version despite all the quirks.

The newest version was released in February 2016.[6] This version lasted only a few months, though, as Dynamics AX was rebranded Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Operations in October 2016. It was originally intended to be a version which could be installed "on-premise". This was promised by Microsoft on and off for about a year. They ended up with deciding to only have one type. Dynamics 365 for Operations is running as a cloud service. Modifying this system to accommodate a companys unique needs is very time-consuming thus costly.

Development Centers[edit]

MDCC or Microsoft Development Center Copenhagen was once the primary development center for Dynamics AX.[7] MDCC is now located in Kongens Lyngby and also houses Microsoft Dynamics NAV and several other Microsoft Dynamics family products. In the same building is also found Microsoft Danmark. Microsoft employs about 900 people of around 40 different nationalities in Denmark. In addition to MDCC, Microsoft carries out AX development in Bellevue, Washington, Fargo, North Dakota, Moscow, Russia, Shanghai, China and Pakistan. →→

Features (modules)[edit]

Microsoft Dynamics AX contains 19 core modules:[8]

Traditional core (since Axapta 2.5)[edit]

  • General Ledger – ledger, sales tax, currency, and fixed assets features
  • Bank Management – receives and pays cash
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) – business relations contact and maintenance (customers, vendors, and leads)
  • Accounts Receivable – order entry, shipping, and invoicing
  • Accounts Payable – purchase orders, goods received into inventory
  • Inventory Management – inventory management and valuation[9]
  • Master Planning (resources) – purchase and production planning
  • Production – bills of materials, manufacturing tracking
  • Product Builder – product mode creation and maintenance
  • Human Resources – employee information
  • Project Accounting – projects creation and tracking (primarily from an accounting perspective)
  • Basic – data configuration
  • Administration Module – system configuration
  • 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 solicitation 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


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

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 developers use to graphically design data types, base enumerations, tables, queries, forms, menus and reports. In addition to application object future versions of AX, it provides access to application code by launching the X++ code editor.

MorphX uses referencing to link objects, so changes in—for example—datatypes of field names automatically updates everyplace that uses those field names (such as forms or reports). Furthermore, changes made through MorphX show in the application immediately after compilation.

Microsoft Dynamics AX also offers support for version control systems (VCS) integrated with the IDE, which facilitates development collaboration. Another tool converts table structures and class structures to Visio diagrams. 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 derived from C++ (both lack the finally keyword for example) with added garbage collection and language-integrated SQL queries.

Code samples[edit]

X++ integrates SQL queries into standard Java-style code. The following three examples produce the same result, though the first 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)
    UserInfo userInfo;

    update_recordset userInfo
        setting enable = NoYes::No
        where != 'Admin'
            && userInfo.enable;

Sample #2

/// <summary>
/// This job is used as an X++ sample
/// </summary>
public static void xppTest2(Args _args)
    UserInfo userInfo;

    while select forupdate userInfo
        where != 'Admin'
            && userInfo.enable
        userInfo.enable = NoYes::No;

Sample #3

/// <summary>
/// This job is used as an X++ sample
/// </summary>
public static void xppTest3(Args _args)
    UserInfo userInfo;

    select forupdate userInfo
        where != 'Admin'
           && userInfo.enable;
    while (userInfo)
        userInfo.enable = NoYes::No;
        next userInfo;


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

Presence on the Internet[edit]

One of the most notable sources of information about Axapta (prior to the Microsoft purchase) was, a proprietary web-based newsgroup, which grew to a considerable number of members and posts before the Microsoft purchase in 2002.

After Microsoft incorporated Axapta into their Business Solution suite, they transferred the newsgroup's content to the Microsoft Business Solutions newsgroup.[12] The oldest Axapta Technet post that can be found today dates 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 more detailed information—from a complete SDK, to white papers and code samples.


The AX community consists primarily of employees of Dynamics Partners, end-users, and MS MVPs (Microsoft Most Valuable Professional).

There are number of organizations dedicated to augmenting information provided by Microsoft.

  • The Dynamics AX User Group (AXUG) is a community for users of the software
  • The Dynamics User Group (DUG) is an online community for users, partners, and freelancers
  • Mibuso (Mibuso) is an online community for users, partners, and freelancers

Additionally, Microsoft hosts a forum for the extended community at


AXUG Summit

AXUG Summit is held each fall and is an independent, user-led conference.

Extreme Conferences Is the leading conference for the Dynamics 365 Partner Community which now includes Dynamics AX, including an Executive Forum.

Personalization and Predictive Analytics[edit]

At the National Retail Federation (NRF) Conference 2016 in New York, Microsoft unveiled its partnership with Infinite Analytics, a Cambridge, MA based Predictive Analytics & Personalization company. With this partnership, Microsoft now offers predictive analytics based personalization for retail in its Microsoft Dynamics AX platform.[14]


External links[edit]