Microsoft Dynamics AX

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Microsoft Dynamics AX
Stable release
7.0.4127.16103 / May 27, 2016 (2016-05-27)[1]
Operating system
Platform.NET Framework 4.6
Available inArabic, Simplified Chinese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Hungarian, Icelandic, Italian, Japanese, Latvian, Lithuanian, Norwegian Bokmål, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish[3]
TypeEnterprise resource planning

Microsoft Dynamics AX was one of Microsoft's enterprise resource planning software products. It is part of the Microsoft Dynamics family. In 2018, its thick-client interface was removed and the web product was rebranded as Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations as a part of Microsoft's Dynamics 365 suite.


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]

In September 2011, Microsoft released version AX 2012.[5] It was made available and supported in more than 30 countries and 25 languages. Dynamics AX is used in over 20,000 organizations of all sizes, worldwide.[6]

The newest version, released in February 2016,[7] dropped the nomenclature of year and version and was simply called AX, although was widely known as AX7. This update was a major revision with a completely new UI delivered through a browser-based HTML5 client, and initially only available as a cloud-hosted application. This version lasted only a few months, though, as Dynamics AX was rebranded Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Operations in October 2016, and once more as Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations in July 2017. An additional version is available focusing on Retail branded as Dynamics 365 for Retail. This has a slightly different licensing price than Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations.

Development centers[edit]

MDCC or Microsoft Development Center Copenhagen was once the primary development center for Dynamics AX.[8] MDCC is now located in Kongens Lyngby and also houses Microsoft Dynamics NAV and several other Microsoft Dynamics family products. Microsoft Denmark is also found in the same building. 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, USA; Hyderabad, India; Moscow, Russia; Shanghai, China; and Pakistan.

Features (modules)[edit]

Microsoft Dynamics AX contains 19 core modules:[9]

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[10]
  • 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
  • Store, manage, and interpret data.[11]

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

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 comprises 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]

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. In reality however Microsoft will be discontinuing what is known as AX. There will not be an option of upgrading as seen between Axapta 2.5 -> 3.0 or from AX2009 -> AX2012 since the new Microsoft Dynamics 365 is based on a completely changed setup in every way possible.

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.[14] The oldest Axapta Technet post that can be found today dates to August 2000.[15] 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
  • The Microsoft Dynamics 365 For Finance and Operations (Dynamic netsoft Software Services) is a community for users of the software

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

extreme365 is a conference for the Dynamics 365 Partner Community which now includes Dynamics AX, featuring an Executive Forum.[16]

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-based predictive analytics and personalization company.[17]


  1. ^ Dynamics Lifecycle Services Communication (2016-05-27). "May 2016 release notes". Microsoft. Microsoft Dynamics Lifecycle Services Engineering Blog. Retrieved 2016-05-31.
  2. ^ a b "Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 System Requirements". Download Center. Microsoft. 6 June 2017.
  3. ^ "Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Operations: Product availability, localization, and translation guide" (PDF). Microsoft. 2 November 2016. Retrieved 30 July 2017.
  4. ^ "Microsoft acquires Navision (2002)" Microsoft website
  5. ^ "Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Launches Worldwide". Retrieved 8 May 2018.
  6. ^ What is Microsoft Dynamics AX?,
  7. ^ "Microsoft delivers enterprise-class ERP to the cloud - Stories". 9 March 2016. Retrieved 8 May 2018.
  8. ^ "Microsoft Development Center Copenhagen" Microsoft website
  9. ^ "Microsoft Dynamics AX Business Ready Licensing editions" Microsoft website
  10. ^ "Inventory management in Dynamics AX" Dynamics AX Training
  11. ^ Microsoft Dynamics AX Feature List
  12. ^ "Payroll Management - Microsoft Dynamics AX" Microsoft website
  13. ^ "The Environmental Sustainability Dashboard" Microsoft website
  14. ^ "Microsoft Dynamics AX Community" Microsoft website
  15. ^ "26.1 Any input to the benchmarking tool in Damgaard Axapta??". 2000-08-04. Archived from the original on 2012-10-24. Alt URL
  16. ^ "eXtreme365 celebrates record attendance, diverse learning opportunities at Lisbon conference". Extreme365. Retrieved 2018-06-22.
  17. ^ Infinite Analytics' Cutting-Edge Personalization Engine now on Microsoft Dynamics AX Platform "PR Newswire"

External links[edit]