Sunday, August 10, 2008

Microsoft Dynamics Ax 4.0 and Integration Methods (Part-1)

Microsoft Dynamics Ax 4.0 and Integration Methods (Part-1 WebServices -
Application Integration Framework, AIF)

My Dynamics Discovery :-) (nice term) reached to bank of the river "AXAPTA",
few days ago ... Well I have worked for Axapta in a very small project but
long time ago and with previous version too. So it's my turn to refresh and
edge my knowledge on technology Ax. Blogging is my hobby and I can stop my
self to write the first post of the series.

These days if something is making me exciting is Microsoft Dynamics and bet
this is the most hottiee topic these days among Microsoft Professionals. Let's come to the technical subject. Axapta support many integration methodologies to get Integrated across the platforms, like BizTalk Adapter (Axapta), WebServices, X++ AOS Classes and .NET / WCF. Here in this part of article I am focusing on AIF WebServices and possible innovation, I humbly invite you to share your views and ideas on this article.

AIF already has very strong and competitive AIF infrastructure to develop and
config functional WebServices which has direct interaction at AOS Level
(Application Logic). To create such AIF WebServices you need can refer below
steps. In step of creating WebService integration point (Action) you must have at least one WebSite configuration to create respective webserice and supportive files. That website should have configured with Windows integrated authentication as it supported by default in web.config, later you can change and reconfigure it.

1. Configuration of WebSite.

2. Adding WebServices inside Actions.

By clicking on generate button, Axapta will populate all webservices, reference assemblies in Bin folder as well as supportive schema documents in web share folder. Axapta only generate 'Microsoft.Dynamics.IntegrationFramework.WebService.dll' assembly in Bin folder and you need to place dependencies like 'Microsoft.Dynamics.IntegrationFramework.WebService.Process.dll' and localization resource assemblies in respective folder of the ISO Standard name in Bin folder. If you are configuring it in default location it will be present there but for another location you need to configure it manually.

3. Review the Web.Config file.

4. Generated files.

5. WebService view.

6. WebService Method view.

Till here the article demonstrate to configure AIF WebServices with default processes. Axapta also support advance customization and on top logic over Axd classes. Here for an example I am going to explore the customization in logic for AxdSalesOrder class. As well as any new Axd sys level class can provide action point and ability to generate such webservices to integrate data between systems. Please have a look to below steps to do advance customization in AIF actions.

7. Code help explorer.

Code help explorer can help and guide you about the classes and diffrent methods they support, by using it you can find out meta information for every action class and their methods as well as cross references.

8. Class tree to explore AxdSalesOrder Class.

9. Edit and customize code logic inside AxdSalesOrder.

You can see above the all implemented logic behind AxdSalesOrder for action methods. You can customize it as per the requirement.

In further to discuss about the AIF WebServices, they are inbound as well as outbound data services, these days when service orientation is on demand and proving it self as very cost efficient, open end and system friendly in such age AIF is big step towards make implementation and organization more service oriented. As WSE* standards are fully compatible with across the table and technologies as well as if I focused on Microsoft only then newly introduce technologies like WCF and WF could be also do well in such domain with Workflow processing and open end secure communication with Axapta. Defiantly web site integration will be a great advantage of the method too. I welcome your comment and views on the thoughts.

Hope you like my article and please give your feedback to