This post is by Bob Schloman, Senior Content Publishing Manager for Dynamics AX Financials and HRM.

The Help Server, a new feature in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, makes it easier to install, update, and extend the product documentation. We moved to a server-based infrastructure in response to feedback from customers and partners. The new Help Server includes the following benefits.

  • Uses IIS to set up a secure web site that allows you to make content available to all your Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 users, without having to install a .chm file on each client computer.
  • Allows you to use the delivered Help content as a starting point and modify or add custom content to suit your specific business situation or practices.
  • Provides more options for searching for our Help content on the web.

Customize Help

You can use templates to create topics that contain information for your business processes or policies. These templates are included as part of your Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 installation. You can store the
content that you create in its own location, keeping it “safe” from being overwritten by updates to Microsoft content, as shown in the following illustration.

The Help that is delivered with the product is stored in the Microsoft folder, within the Content folder, on the Help Server. The topics that you can create are stored in a separate folder to ensure that are never overwritten by content updates from Microsoft.

Creating customized content is as simple as writing a Word document. When you create a custom topic you also assign a topic ID that enables your employees to display your topic from within specific forms in AX. You can also add search terms to make your content easy to find using search, or to specify which language(s) your topics will be displayed for.

For additional information about adding content to the Help Server, see  the related SDK content published on MSDN:  http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg882382.aspx

Receive Help Updates

On occasion, we will provide updated content to you between releases, so that we can improve our content, fix issues, and add implementation tips.  We will talk about how to install a help server update in a future blog post.

Other ways to find help

We also provide application user help on our TechNet site here, where help is updated regularly. It is also discoverable from search engines, and is fully indexed on Bing. Please see this blog post for more information about our help content overall: Official Dynamics AX Content – where is it, and how can you find out about updates?