New in reporting tools for Dynamics AX
You might be asking yourself – What’s new in the Dynamics AX? Actually the whole new AX7 is a rebuilt from the ground beauty with modern HTML5 UI and all the best things we have in 2012 version. However…
if you look at the BI stack for the new Dynamics AX, you will see our old friend SQL Server Reporting Services in the Application platform:
Saying, that nothing has been changed in terms of reporting for new AX would be wrong, as Microsoft introduced a new web friendly report viewer control, plus now we finally moved to the SAAS SQL. As you know Azure SQL DBs can be easily replicated in seconds and we believe this is one of the best things happend to Dynamics AX reporting layer so far. What you will get now is a real time read-only secondary data base, which you can use for your reporting needs – Power BI, SSRS reports, Excel…
Now imaging that you can have your SSRS reports, connected directly to fast read-only secondary DB? Could it be good to have those reports integrated directly into AX7 with one unique security model, batching capabilities and with all good things we know about AX reporting? This all can be done in our new “My Reports” framework for AX7 and AX2012.
“My Reports” Framework
Our framework will enable you to create SSRS reports using T-SQL and publish them directly to AX SSRS server, without a need of deploying models, classes and other AX objects. As you know, current reporting framework in Dynamics AX allows you to create SSRS reports using X++ language and the business logic of your report becomes part of the system code. It might be good and bad at the same time. Let’s look closer at pros and cons
Pros and Cons
Using X++ it is easy to develop reports, as most of the business logic can be easily taken from existing classes. However X++ also brings some complexity. Assume that you have access to AX transactional DB and you just want to build a simple SSRS report, hosted on your Reporting Services portal vs. build the same report in AX (x++)
- SQL is a common and well known language. Most of the developers and even business users can write SQL statements
- Incredible performance, compare to the X++
- Release reports outside of AX release cycle. You can change labels, query and just publish it. No need for .XPO or model release/deployment.
- Development and Release withing Visual Studio. TFS for version control.
- Reverse engineering of existing logic can be complex
- Security model is outside of AX. You will have to come up with number of Active Directory groups to manage permissions on SSRS portal
- Batching and smart filtering is not available in SSRS Reporting Portal.
You have moved to the new ERP and you have other systems with own SSRS reports. How can you integrate them into Dynamics AX?
One of the best feature of our Framework will allows you to bring your other SSRS reports under the same umbrella of AX security model and user interface. Can you imaging all your reports available in one stop shop, driven by well defined security model? You can have a set of old built SSRS rports, which still works perfectly for you and now you can make them available through AX in seconds for users. Ax will become a unique place for all your reporting needs.
If you would like to know more, please contact us or check out our next post about how you can create a new SSRS report in 5 minutes and make it available to users.