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EFaru Dynamics AX Programming in X++ Introduction

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Andrew Karasev

Joined: 03 Aug 2006
Posts: 1505

PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 6:08 am    Post subject: EFaru Dynamics AX Programming in X++ Introduction Reply with quote

Formerly known as Axapta this mid-market Corporate ERP application is very flexible to all kinds of customizations. It is possible to create new tables with automatic forms directly in MorphX metadata (it is AX IDE and architecture), as well as in MS Visual Studio (where Metadata is also exposed). However typical software development project includes X++ coding. This paper is not intended for programmer, it is rather for company management to decide if they would like to undertake AX custom programming in the phase two of the Corporate ERP implementation. We used some technical terminology, but modern manager probably should have reasonable exposure to IT and software development world. Letís come through some highlights:

1. X++ programming language. Normally you order customization through Microsoft Dynamics partner, who is reasonably strong in modifications and programming. In the case, when you are large organization, you may decide to have your internal X++ programmers or temporary contractors. X++ is relative to such programming languages as C, C++, C#, Java. So, technically speaking generic C++ programmer should be able to read and analyze X++ code. However, this programming language is coupled with Dynamics AX database, forms and reports, plus it has to deal with three tier architecture: database, application server and client interface layers. Having said that we recommend you to look for programmer who is also familiar with SQL queries (database layer) and have this person trained in such areas as AX tables structure, forms, reports (both native MorphX and SSRS). X++ supports all the concepts of Object Oriented Programming (Inheritance, Encapsulation, Polymorphism), so be sure that you are hiring C++ programmer, who is reasonably experienced and had advanced certification or got its master degree in object oriented programming

2. MorphX and Layers. Developer has access to the source code of the core layers (available to Microsoft internal programmers or Dynamics ISV partners). When your internal programmer modifies the code (say to handle newly added fields to existing tables, such as Inventory Items, Customers), the modified object (such as class or form) is copied to the more utter layer, available to you as end user software developer. This architecture is smart in the sense of testing and possible rolling back simplicity. However be prepared to review your customization object in the version upgrade project

3. AX openness to internationalizations. Yes, it supports Unicode and ready to such languages as Chinese, Russian, Latvian, Brazilian Portuguese to give you few exotic ones. In order to make your modification to be foreign language friendly, consider realizing all the text elements on your forms as Labels. Labels are stored in text editor friendly file, which could be translated by foreign language native speaker, who is not necessary IT professional. If you follow the Labels recommendation, then your code could be considered as localization neutral and you can concentrate on the business logic programming without the need to think about how it could be later translated into Korean or Japanese hieroglyph based languages. We do recommend Axapta for multinational corporation, where you should consider to implement centralized MS SQL Server in the Headquarters (US, Canada, Europe), which hosts foreign subsidiaries companies. You then open these companies to the foreign office users via Citrix (Windows Interface), or Enterprise Portal (web user interface)

4. Version 2012 (to be released in mid-2011, we are writing these lines in May 2011). Here we see advanced openness to Microsoft Visual Studio, merging custom features in both Windows Client and Enterprise Portal, easy wrapping your custom query as web service and opening it via SOAP to non-Microsoft users (Linux with PHP MySQL based ecommerce web site for example). It is also reasonable move of former files of the metadata directly into MS SQL Server database, which could be easily exposed to SQL backup and restore

5. CLR and COM objects programming in Dynamics AX. This openness was added in version 2009, where CLR is case sensitive in its variables and objects definition (while native X++ is not case sensitive). As the member of Microsoft Dynamics ERP family this application is moving toward .Net and Microsoft Office stack openness

6. Microsoft Sure Step 2010. As AX is dedicated to the upper mid-market, project implementation tool is recommended. And it is Sure Step

7. Please call us 1-866-304-3265, 1-269-605-4904 (for international customers, where our representative pick up the phone in St. Joseph, MI call center). We have local presence in Chicagoland, Southern California, South West Michigan, Houston and Dallas areas of Texas. We serve customers USA, Canada, Mexico, Brazil nationwide and internationally via web sessions and phone conferences (Skype is welcomed). Our consultants speak English, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Chinese. Our core expertise is in International Business

Andrew Karasev is Great Plains Certified Master, MVP, 1-866-304-3265, 1-269-605-4904. He is also the initiator of eFaru project and founder of Alba Spectrum information space
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