Customizing Dynamics AX or Former Axapta Notes and Comparisons with Other ERP Applications

December 23, 2017 by  Filed under: Computer 

We would like to compare AX programming with other mid-market and small business Corporate ERP systems altering, such as Great Plains and SAP Business One.  First of all we would like to make a note about reasonable complexity, comparing to older mid-market Corporate ERP applications.

AX deploys three tiers architecture, where Client application, presentation server and database server are separated.  Older systems, such as Dynamics GP or former Great Plains use two tiers, where client application talks to SQL Server via ODBC connection (or in older versions with Pervasive SQL/Btrieve database) directly.  MorphX with X++ programming language in the case of Axapta might look more C++ programmer friendly, comparing to Great Plains Dexterity Sanscript, but in the case of AX you have to deal with Layers, where you have to understand the architecture in more details.  Direct access via SQL data altering queries is not recommended, just a comparison with Great Plains, where you are OK to insert or update records in the tables directly, if you know what you are doing.  We would like also to come through international implementation aspects, where multinational corporation might be interested.  Let’s come through development tools and some recommendations:

1. MorphX.  This is Integrated Development Environment, or in abbreviation IDE.  Here you are dealing with developing and debugging of business and data tiers: metadata, proxies, pages, lists, etc.

2. Microsoft Visual Studio.  Here you deal with Enterprise Portal web user interface.  Plus you may customize here client presentation interface

3. Comparison with Dynamics GP.  As we are doing both in the sense of modification and as some programmers might be in transition from coding Dexterity to MorphX and X++, we would like to share our opinion.  In Great Plains Dexterity the framework, such as existing tables in Dynamics.dic are pretty rigid and in order to customize the table, for example, you would have to create the custom table, which has the same primary key and in essence it should extend the table.  In AX, there is graphical interface in MorphX to add new dimensions to the table and enable them in the forms, queries.  And then you can animate additional dimension with X++ code

4. Comparison with SAP Business One.  Of course this system is for smaller business automation, but here you also see three tier architecture and such features as adding new custom (user defined) tables as well as extending existing tables and enabling their fields in master records or transactions (such as Sales Invoice, for example).  Custom fields logic could be programmed in SAP B1 SDK (Software Development Kit) in C# or VB.Net in Microsoft Visual Studio

5. Dynamics Business Portal.  Here you can see the trend to enable portion of the business logic of all Dynamics ERP family members: AX, GP, SL, NAV.  Business Portal obviously has web interface and could be enable for worldwide access via internet connection.  Plus it is .Net web application, backed by Sharepoint technology (this is not Citrix, it is direct Microsoft .Net web application).  In our opinion AX has pretty advanced modification enabling, comparing to other Dynamics ERP, such as GP, where Business Portal user interface is pretty restricted and we had to in some cases outsource such Business Portal modules as Requisition Management to such ISVs as Tectura

6. Some Words to International Customers or Multinational Corporations with offices Worldwide.  Well the good news is the fact that Axapta is translated to the major regional languages and is localized as Corporate ERP application (compliance to foreign country business and taxation related legislation).  This means that you could implement Axapta for your international subsidiary or branch.  However, if your foreign facility has lower profile, the implementation and especially customization cost might be not proportional.  If AX is too expensive, consider other applications, targeted for smaller operations, such as SAP Business One with integration to your Headquarters via Consolidated Financial Reporting via Microsoft Management Reporter or FRx 6.7.  Plus consolidation is possible of General Ledger transaction import overnight.  Axapta supports Unicode characters and enables such languages as Chinese, Korean, Japanese.  It is also available in Eastern Europe, including Russia, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Uzbekistan.  Plus it is available and localized in Arabic in the Middle East and northern Africa.  It is also localized fop Brazil and most of the Spanish speaking Latin America

7. Current version is 2009.  We expect version 2012 to be release later this year (we are writing these lines in May 2011)

8. If you are software developer and your expertise is currently GP, Small Business Financials 9.0, Great Plains Accounting for DOS, Windows or Mac or SAP Business One 8.81, 2007, 2005 SDK programming in C#, we respect your desire to expand your programming skills to AX 2012 or 2008.  Please, note that in this case your employer has pretty strict certification requirements to have access to Axapta registration key, Partner Source knowledge base

9. 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

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