AX User 101 – Tips and Tricks for Using AX

A few months ago I wrote a series of posts on things I wish somebody had told me as an X++ developer right at the beginning of my explorations into the world of Dynamics AX. Today I want to start on a new list, one prompted by years of looking over the shoulders of users and realizing that many of the very basic navigation tools that I know and take for granted are often not taught to or effectively utilized by users.

For example I’ve seen way too many users copying field data on one form E.G. Employee Id on Purchase requisition and then navigating to the Employee form to go and search for it instead of simply right clicking and then clicking view details.

The target audience of this series is not seasoned users of AX (although you may benefit too) but rather new users wanting a quick centralized list of tips and tricks that can be used to make your usage of Dynamics AX that much more efficient. Where possible I have will try to link the tips to pre-existing blog posts from other experts rather than than create yet more of the same AX posts for the web.

Navigation (Using the interface).

  1. Drilling down to parent/source records.
  2. Viewing all available fields for a record.
  3. Running multiple workspaces.
  4. Quick navigation through records from edit form.
  5. Reporting
    1. Saving reports to PDF
    2. Saving reports to Excel
    3. Emailing reports via Outlook.
    4. Auto-Reports

Working With Data.

  1. Filtering
    1. View Filter Grid – Ctrl+G
    2. Quick Filter by value.
    3. Advanced filter operators
    4. Save Queries/Filters
    5. Quick filters on lookups
  2. Interacting with Excel
    1. Export to Excel – Ctrl+T
    2. Copy & Paste to Excel
    3. Export subset of data
  3. Alerts
    1. Change based alerts
    2. Due date alerts.

Customizing your experience.

  1. Adding/Hiding fields on your form.
  2. Saving form customisations
  3. Retrieving form customisations from alternate users.
  4. Favorites Menu.
  5. Creating custom favourites with filters.
  6. Useful default user options
    1. Change default company
    2. Always open forms in Edit mode.
    3. Default filter by grid

References / Additional Reading:

  • http://atinkerersnotebook.com/2015/01/24/creating-one-master-menu-to-get-just-what-you-need/
  • http://blog.ignify.com/2015/07/07/personalization-with-microsoft-dynamics-ax-five-ways-to-streamline-your-user-interface/

Determining what kernel hotfix has been installed on a System

When one is exposed to a new AX environment, one of the first things to do is check exactly what version of AX kernel is running. Obviously the easiest way to do this is to open the “about” box in AX and note the build number and compare it with the common build numbers on a site such as Axaptapedia or MSDN

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/axsupport/archive/2012/03/29/overview-of-ax-build-numbers.aspx
http://www.axaptapedia.com/Build_numbers

However on occasion when a kernel hotfix has been installed you will not find your build numbers on these pages. Searching for the build number on google, customersource or partner source also doesnt reveal anything. So here is the slightly round-about way I have found to find out what kernel hotfix has been installed. If you have an easier way, please let me know!

1. Take note of your kernel number in the about box of Dynamics AX
2. Confirm that the build number is not a major CU release by reviewing the sites above
3. Open up programs and features on the AOS, select “View installed updates”
4. Locate the section on “Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Object Server”. Take not of the KB article numbers listed
AX_installed_updates
5. Logon to Microsoft customer or partnersource.
6. Open any existing KB article e.g. https://mbs2.microsoft.com/Knowledgebase/KBDisplay.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;2998197
7. Replace the KB number in the URL with the KB number noted in step 4. E.G:

https://mbs2.microsoft.com/Knowledgebase/KBDisplay.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;2998197
becomes
https://mbs2.microsoft.com/Knowledgebase/KBDisplay.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;2936094

This example reveals that we have a hotfix to resolve “SysGlobalObjectCache is not invalidated in multi Application Object Server (AOS) environment for CIL code”

I hope this helps anybody who has ever struggled to find out what kernal hotfixes are installed.
I also hope there is an easier way!