Update on the Dynamics AX SDK Team

The Dynamics AX SDK team is responsible for the product developer documentation. Lately, I have been getting the word out about what the SDK team has been doing lately and catch up anyone who's interested on what’s new with the developer documentation. We have been up to a lot since the 4.0 release.

The full update follows below in this post and is also attached as a Word doc.




Microsoft Dynamics AX

Developer Documentation Update

September 2007

The Microsoft Dynamics AX SDK contains documentation for developers who are responsible for customizing and extending AX. This update is to let you know what’s new in the SDK content since the release of Microsoft Dynamics AX 4.0.

The SDK Team 2.0

The writers for the Microsoft Dynamics AX SDK are located in the three locations where the development work is done: Fargo and Redmond in the US and Vedbæk in Denmark. In March 2007, we welcomed four new SDK writers to the team from another project, and in July, two writers from the Dynamics GP team also joined the SDK team.

These additional writers have enabled the SDK team to take on additional projects and add more 4.0 content as well as start work on documenting the 5.0 release.

New Content

Since the 4.0 release, the SDK team has been hard at work adding over 5,500 new topics to the online Help. These topics include information about:

· Class and table reference – Several thousand new topics have been released describing some of the most commonly used class and table methods. We’ve also added some basic information about syntax and the run on value to other method topics.

· Creating forms – New topics contain updated information about how to create and customize forms using the AOT and by using X++ code.

· Developer tools – Topics describe new tools such as the unit test framework, the version control system and the reverse engineering tool. The documentation for other tools has been updated and improved.

· Development best practices – The new best practices checks for 4.0 are described, and the documentation for the existing checks has been extended and revised.

· Code Access Permission framework – This documentation describes how to use classes protected by code access security, lists the classes that are protected and describes how to protect your own APIs.

· Database – New topics contain updated information on the database objects in Microsoft Dynamics AX 4.0 including tables, maps, views, queries, and indexes. Documentation about optimistic concurrency control has also been updated.

· Application Integration Framework (AIF) – The AIF developer documentation for 4.0 is now complete. It contains updated information on the AIF framework as well as walkthrough documentation on creating a custom general ledger document class.

AX Developer Center

Microsoft Dynamics AX developers now have a centralized resource on MSDN—the Dynamics AX Developer Center. This resource provides developers with a single location to learn more about developing in AX. The Dynamics AX Developer Center can be found at: http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics/ax/default.aspx

Here’s a quick guide to what you’ll find:

  • Home – The developer center home page provides links to the latest SDK content, top blog posts and top newsgroup discussion items.
  • Library – This tab takes you directly to the Dynamics AX Help on MSDN. To get to the SDK documentation, click the Developing for Microsoft Dynamics AX node in the table of contents on the left side of the page.
  • Learn – This tab provides links to Help topics, technical articles and other resources for customizing Dynamics AX.
  • Downloads – This tab provides links to all the Dynamics AX-related downloads on the Microsoft download site. You’ll also find links for the top downloads.
  • Support – This tab contains a summary of the support resources that are available for Dynamics AX.
  • Community – This tab is a collection of the Dynamics AX-related resources provided by external users as well as Microsoft. You’ll find user groups, blogs, wikis and discussion groups.

Monthly Updates

The SDK team follows a continuous publishing model which means that each month SDK content is added and updated on MSDN. This content can be found at: http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa493472.aspx. To download a list of what’s new in the latest SDK content on MSDN, go to http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=23fa33f1-1879-4982-8c16-583d89c40901&displaylang=en.

If you search for help in the .chm help files that ship with Microsoft Dynamics AX and don’t find what you’re looking for, be sure to check online at MSDN.

New HelpKit

Did you know that the Help files that ship with Microsoft Dynamics AX are extensible? If you want to add to the current Help content or if you have custom screens or modules that you would like to document in the Help, you can do so.

To get a jump-start on customizing the Help files, we have created a “HelpKit.” The HelpKit enables partners and customers to create their own .chm files and link them directly into the AX documentation system. Download the HelpKit from MSDN at: https://mbs.microsoft.com/nr/rdonlyres/a9cba030-ff0a-45b0-9c26-a37b78ca8438/9350/helpkit.zip.

More White Papers

New white papers that cover setting up AIF and version control are available.

· Configuring the Application Integration Framework (AIF) BizTalk Adapter for Data Exchange – Takes you step-by-step through configuring the BizTalk adapter and exchanging data using BizTalk Server 2006.

· Version Control System Setup – Guides you through the process of setting up and configuring version control using Visual Studio 2005 SourceSafe (VSS). This paper is available on PartnerSource and CustomerSource (you’ll need a valid login to either of these sites access these white papers).

New Book for Developers

In the fall of 2006, Microsoft Press released a book for Microsoft Dynamics AX developers entitled Inside Microsoft Dynamics AX 4.0. With this book, you’ll learn how to use the development tools, work with the X++ programming language, as well as customize tables, class forms, and reports. This book also covers advanced development topics including the reflection APIs and performance.

Future SDK Plans

The SDK team is hard at work creating new documentation to help you navigate the Microsoft Dynamics AX development environment. We are currently working on documentation for the 5.0 release. Some of the things we’re looking at adding to the content for the next release include:

  • A guide for people integrating other applications with AX
  • More documentation on .NET Business Connector
  • More documentation on Enterprise Portal
  • Additional AIF document classes
  • X++ quick reference guide for people familiar with other languages such as C#