The solution is here!

The developer documentation for Dynamics AX has moved to a continuing publishing model. This means more and more documentation topics will be available as they are written, and not as previously only when a new version is released.

However, despite good intentions, the developer documentation released with Dynamics AX currently primarily contains the boiler-plate: "At the time of publication, no information was available for this topic." This even happens for topics that were documented in previous versions.

The documentation teams at Microsoft have work hard on verifying, proof reading and moving topics into the Html help. Only topics they have signed off are available in the Dynamics AX 4.0 RTM.

If you, like me, prefer less-accurate information to no-information, the solution is here.

Attached is an xpo-file, that when imported, will tweak the help system's behavior: If a help topic actually is available in the Html Help it will be displayed, just like the normal behavior. However, if a topic in Html Help just contains the boiler-plate message, then the legacy help system will take over, and display the topic from the legacy system.

This provides three benefits:

  • Even when no help is in the legacy help system, auto-generated help will be displayed, including quick access to Application Hierarchy Tree and Cross-reference information.
  • This unlocks a lot of new help topics, that was written by developers, but hasn't yet been moved into Html Help.
  • When new topics are published through the continuing publishing model, they take precedence over legacy topics.

The downsides are:

  • The help topics you see in the legacy help system have not been scrubbed, and thus the quality may vary.
  • The help system is slowed down a little bit, as the Html Help topic must be examined before displaying any help.
  • When the two help systems will live side-by-side, the user experience leaves some to desire. For example, the COM class's documentation shows up in Html Help, whereas the new method on the COM class is displayed in the legacy help system.
  • Links from Html Help to the legacy help is not supported. (The other direction is).

[Update: The attached solution now also supports the 4.0 SP1 help]
[Update2: The attached solution now also supports incorrectly mapped topics ]

This post is provided "AS-IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.