Dynamics AX 2012 is a powerful product that sits on top of advanced products like SQL Server, SSRS, Sharepoint, and other Microsoft technologies. Because of the overwhelming amount of possibilities available to customize Dynamics AX, and the complexity of each and every one of the technologies involved, sometimes simple questions like ‘Where do I start?’ are difficult to answer. In my opinion, the best answer to this question is: it depends on what you want to accomplish.
Not the answer you were looking for? Well, nobody implements Dynamics AX because it is easy to implement or customize. The selling feature of Dynamics AX is its flexibility, its capacity to adapt to any business, its reliability, etc. Once you are immersed in the AX world, you’ll realize that you’ll need some technical training to accomplish basic tasks like writing reports, customizing forms, and even adding columns to a table.
Don’t get me wrong, the purpose of this article is not to scare you, but to let you all know that there is a learning curve that has to be followed before you reach that light at the end of the tunnel.
For starters, let’s look at the famous Dynamics AX object tree (AOT). The AOT is the first place to go if you want to start modifying AX. (Now you can answer the ‘Where do I start?’)
The AOT is the repository where all Dynamics AX objects are located. Each component in Dynamics AX is a building block or object in AX. Reports, forms, fields, data types, extended data types, queries, maps, menus are all good examples of AX objects. Having all the objects arranged in a tree layout makes it simpler to find them.
Just hit CTRL-D to go to the development environment and the AOT window will be waiting for you. Of course, you can hit the keyboard sequence many times if you want to open more AOT windows. This is useful when you want to see two or more sections of the AOT side by side on your screen.
I would recommend getting a big screen monitor (if you don’t have one by now) so that you can have multiple windows open at the same time. You’ll find this convenient in the future because these windows pile up at breakneck speed.
The next big question to answer is: ‘How do I know which object to edit or customize?’ And that will be the topic of future articles. Stay tuned.
Written by Eduardo Sicouret, Dynamics AX Technical Consultant for Tridea Partners. Tridea Partners is a Southern California based Dynamics AX partner.