Dynamics AX Technical Conference 2011

19 01 2011

So I’m here in Seattle/Redmond WA sitting and soaking in all the goodness of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 (codenamed AX ‘6’ quotes included). So far I am very impressed by all the changes that they have put into place in this new version. Of course it would be great to actually play around with the software, but for the moment I will be content to just watch the demos.

So far after day 1 of the conference my favourite features in 2012 are:
1. Models: This single feature stands out as the most significant advancement in the development environment/architecture of the new version. As an ISV we will now be able to manage our various products much so better and be able to install them easily on clients sites with out having to merge 2 or three products down to a single layer. It will also aid in our development process in terms of good programming practices, we will now with the aid of event handlers be able to create nicely black-boxed solutions that can still communicate easily with other products.
2. Event Handlers: Event handler functionality added in 2012 enables a developer to hook into pre-existing methods without modifing them. This as far as i understand them can be done in 3 different ways. 1. Pre-handers – Allows for a custom method to be executed before the method in question is executed. 2. Post-handlers – Allows for a custom method to be executed after the method in question is executed. 3. Delegates – Allows you to hook a custom method in at a position defined by the developer of the original method. This functionality may require a bit of a mental adjustment amongst our developers, but the ramifications for upgrades, installations and code management are vast!
3. IDE Improvements: The dev team has added a host of really neat tools to the improved AX IDE, including (my favorites) : A separate development workspace (no longer done inside the standard AX window), the ability to have multiple coding workspaces, an awesomely improved intellisense system that picks up your XML based documentation (finally), color highlighting of lines that have been changed since your last save/last time the editor was opened, color highlighting of todos, auto capitalisation of declarations (e.g. ‘extends runbase’ is automatically changed to ‘extends RunBase’) and hovering over labels displays the label’s text (this will save so much time).

I’m really looking forward to the rest of the conference and what this experts have to teach/show us, especially tomorrows presentation on workflow (the previews of this so far look amazing).

Hope to meet some of you here at the conference.

Happy DAXing

Jonathan

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