D365 Finance & Operations and Dynamics AX Forum

  • 1.  what is the best way to learn about AX programming and system admin?

    Posted Dec 09, 2015 11:11 AM

    Hi, there,

    As I have been the system security admin and Management Reporter's designer for year after we go live. I would like to learn more insight about AX 2012, both system admin and development side.

    I am considering setup a lab environment in home to play with, but I found it is difficult to find sample data to build it up. 

    or it just too dumb to do it in this way?

    Any advices?  thanks!

    PS: I did try the customer source from MS, but online video or PDF would help much, I will to practices in real. And yes, I don't have much experience on Visual Studio neither.

    Kelvin Liang
    IT Supervisor
    Dextra China Ltd
    Wan Chai

  • 2.  RE: what is the best way to learn about AX programming and system admin?

    Posted Dec 09, 2015 11:19 AM

    Customer source has PDF downloads for training materials for the four development courses.  Course 1-3 are quite easy to go through if you have some .NET/C# programming experience and understand object oriented programming fundamentals.  The material at the end of each unit (labs) are essential to practice what you've learned.  If you have a development environment to play in you can execute each lab there and learn hand on.

    The 4th dev course is much more in depth into the functional content of Dynamics AX and how it relates with the various entities in the schema of the database.  It will be a great ongoing resource to refer to when you're stuck trying to seek out the correct entity to make a modification around.

    There are supplementary course materials on AIF (web services), SSRS reporting, Retail, and Enterprise Portal (web).

    Here's the link to the training materials: https://mbs.microsoft.com/customersource/northamerica/AX/learning/student-training-materials/

    Kind Regards,

    Robert Allen
    Solution Architect | IT Manager
    AMA Inc.
    Edmonton AB

  • 3.  RE: what is the best way to learn about AX programming and system admin?

    Posted Dec 10, 2015 07:30 AM

    Robert's advice is correct.  CustomerSource the training material is the place to start.

    Test data comes in the form of the Contoso demo environment which is available in the downloads section of customer source.  First look at the product release you are interested in (FP, R2, R3) then look at the demo images and tools section. 

    There are many blogs out there details specific areas of administration. I would advise that you focus on a specific area to learn at a time.  AX has both width and depth,  trying to learn everything at once means you will miss the depth required to do a good job.

    For example, learning the basics of X++ is relatively easy, even learning some of the data structures in AX is not too bad.  However learning how to apply that knowledge in a complex deployment environment is hard.  You must understand how models and layers interact and how they are used to facilitate code upgrades.  You need to understand the code life cycle from developer through testing and onto production.  Then there is the performance concerns, the easy way to code something is rarely the best.

    Corey Vantilborg
    Tigercat International Inc.

  • 4.  RE: what is the best way to learn about AX programming and system admin?

    Posted Dec 10, 2015 09:12 AM

    Great advice for getting started with development.  

    I have been working in AX dev for a year now.  I would recommend the following areas to research to make life easier and ramp up faster:

    • Layers: Learn about architecture - how and where your (and vendor/ISV) customizations will reside.  
    • Plan for source control. You have several options that play (somewhat) well with AX. We use TFS.  There are some caveats to be aware of with TFS... it's integral to our overall development strategy.  
    • XPOs, Models, and ModelStores - They work differently with importing/exporting. It's critical to know this, or it will bite you later.  We use XPOs inherently with TFS and our build server.  From that point we only promote code through environments via ModelStores. 
    • Element IDs -  XPOs, Models, and ModelStores directly relate!
    • Process for a build strategy - We use TFS and a dedicated build server with PowerShell scripts to automate the whole process. 
    • Don't be a hacker!  Code without source control and ignorance toward element IDs will get you into a heap of problems that can be avoided! 
    Thomas Weyer
    Medxcel Global LLC
    Indianapolis IN

  • 5.  RE: what is the best way to learn about AX programming and system admin?

    Posted Dec 10, 2015 09:23 AM

    Yes, what Thomas said. To say it in a more generic way: X++ is a language and AX provides a framework by which you can use X++ to do lots of cool things. But just like how you you need to know how to use all the tools in the toolbox in your garage, you have to know about and use all of the tools available to you in AX. 

    There is lots of good info from MS on customer source and e-learning. Plus blogs, videos, forum posts, all sorts of sources. Plus, if you have any questions on something and can't find any info, you can ask here.

    e-learning: Learner Home

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    documentation listing: CustomerSource

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    Nathan Clouse
    Bedrock Manufacturing Co, LLC
    Detroit MI
    Blog: AtomicAX.com

  • 6.  RE: what is the best way to learn about AX programming and system admin?

    Posted Dec 10, 2015 10:32 AM

    Kelvin.  If you want to setup a test environment that has configuration and data, you can download the demo VM from customer source.  This would give you a better playground to do your learning.  Here is the link.

    Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Solution Demos

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    Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Solution Demos
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    Kaare Boraas
    Solution Delivery Manager
    PCL Constructors Inc.
    Edmonton AB

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