Monday, May 5, 2008

Microsoft Dynamics AX

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 by Damgaard Data A/S as Axapta in Denmark before Damgaard was merged with Navision Software A/S in 2000. The combined company, initially NavisionDamgaard, later Navision A/S, was then ultimately acquired by the Microsoft Corporation in the summer of 2002. Before the merger, Axapta was initially released in March, 1998 in the Danish and U.S. markets. Today, it is available and supported in forty-five languages in most of the world.
Custom AX development and modification is done with its own IDE, MorphX, that contains various tools such as a debugger, code analyzer, and query interface. This development environment 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. The development language used in Axapta is X++.
On June 9, 2006, Microsoft completed developing the latest version (4.0) in facilities spanning the globe and including sites in Vedbæk, Denmark; Kiev, Ukraine; Fargo, North Dakota, USA; and Redmond, Washington, USA.
The history becomes apparent in the mixed concepts in design and programming and in the rudimentary documentation which has been removed to a large extent (which was deemed better than providing it with contradictions or wrong information).

MDCC or Microsoft Development Center Copenhagen was once the primary development center for Dynamics AX. For a long time, the development of several key components of AX has been moving to other sites like Redmond and Fargo. 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, with current hiring focus oriented towards Sweden, Denmark, Poland, Ukraine and Romania.

MorphX and X++
MorphX is an integrated development environment in Microsoft Dynamics AX that allows developers to graphically design datatypes, base enumerations, tables, queries, forms, menus and reports. MorphX supports drag and drop and is very intuitive. It also allows access to any application classes that are available in the application, 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).

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