mfp's two cents

...on Dynamics AX Development!
  • mfp's two cents

    Holiday season X++ Crossword


    As the holiday season draws nearer, what is more appropriete than giving away a nice prize. To challenge you a bit I've greated a small crossword. In the spirit of AX the crossword is only using X++ system functions - so if you are stuck, you can start up your favorite AX client to get some hints.

    The prize is: One copy of "Inside Dynamics AX" - signed by the authors.

    To participate in the competition:

    1. Solve the crossword below
    2. Arrange the letters in the red boxes into a magic word
    3. Send me the magic word no later than December 20th 2006.

    The winner will be drawn randomly from all correct answers. The winner's name and country will be published on this blog, and I will subsequenty contact the winner for mailing address, so I can send the prize.

    The competition is open to all non-Microsoft-employees. The competition doesn't require any purchase. By submitting an answer, you accept the competition rules. 

    1: Which function deletes all non-alphanumeric characters from the text string specified by text.
    2: Which function converts the time text string specified by text into an integer value.
    3: Which function converts the date specified by date to a text string.
    4: Which function calculates the length of the text string specified by text.
    5: Which function returns the User ID for the current user.
    6: Which function returns the printable name (the label) of the specified field.
    7: Which function returns 1 if arg specifies an ultimo date, 0 otherwise.
    8: Which function converts to a string representing the field name of the field specified.
    9: Which function returns the current value of an annuity.
    10: Which function returns the date in the previous year which corresponds most closely to the date specified by date.
    11: Which function removes the characters specified in text2 from the text string specified by text1.
    12: Which function returns the number of intervals for the given period.
    13: Which function returns the fractional part of the argument decimal.
    14: Which function returns the real starting date (the normalized date) for the period.
    15: Which function returns the date in the following quarter which corresponds most closely to the date specified by date.
    16: Which function returns the date which corresponds to the specified number of days since 01\01\1901.
    17: Which function returns a null container.
    18: Which function converts the decimal number specified by number to a text string.
    19: Which function calculates the contribution ratio, based on the sales price specified by sale and the purchase price specified by purchase.
    20: Which function returns the current time on the computer system.
    21: Which function converts to a string representing form if it is an existing form.
    22: Which function returns the constant depreciation amount for the specified asset for each period of the asset's life.
    23: Which function returns the lesser of the two figures specified by figure1 and figure2.
    24: Which function returns the absolute value of figure.
    25: Which function returns the hyperbolic cosine of argument arg.
    26: Which function calculates the future value of an investment.
    27: Which function expresses the natural logarithm of the decimal figure specified by figure.
    28: Which function returns the percentual increase of the amount specified by amount.
    29: Which function returns the arc cosine of the argument arg.
    30: Which function returns the sine of the argument x.
    31: Which function converts all letters to lower case in the text string specified by text.
    32: Which function returns the cosine of argument arg.
    33: Which function calculates the year which contains the date specified by date.

  • mfp's two cents

    Channel9 - AX screencast on 3-tier development


    The second installment of AX screencasts is now available on Channel9. It is a 34 minute video on 3-tier development in Dynamics AX 4.0.

    Here is the link:

    Over the coming months I plan to create more screencasts on general development topics in Dynamics AX. If there are any specific topics you would like a screencast to cover, please let me know.

  • mfp's two cents

    Building a layer file from XPO files


    Updated 30-06-2012 official beta version available here:

    Updated 14-01-2011 to support UniCode XPO files. Notice the change in parameters.

    So now you are using version control - and you just realized the master is no longer the AOD layer file, but instead a zillion of XPO files. Still you want to provide an AOD file to your consumers, as that is the way to deploy an AX application.

    Page 96 in Inside Dynamics AX 2009 contains a description on how to build an AOD file from XPO files. In this section an SDK and a tool are mentioned. While we are working on providing you with the SDK for building a layer file, I can make the CombineXPOs.exe tool available.

    See the attached file.

    Usage: CombineXPOs.exe -XpoDir XPOfolder -CombinedXpoFile DestinationFile.xpo -utf8

    Example: CombineXPOs.exe -XpoDir USR -CombinedXpoFile myFile.xpo

    Files in the XPOFolder folder must match the AOT structure. This is automatically ensured when using AX version control integration.

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




  • mfp's two cents

    TechEd 2006 count down


    I can't believe it - Tech-Ed 2006 is next week!


    Browsing through the session catalog brings back the excitement from previous years. And this year the contents are even more exciting with all the product launches happening: IE7, Vista, Office 2007 - just to mention a few.

    You may also have noticed that the number of Dynamics sessions this year is limited.  However, I will be hosting a session with Arvid Nielsen Friday November 10th at 15:15:

    MBS303 - New Features in MorphX and Integration Possibilities
    This session addresses how to make customizations that are robust, easy to upgrade and easy to test. This includes new features in the development environment and various ways to make integrations with other applications.

    If you are attending Tech-Ed and have Dynamics AX questions, concerns, proposals, idea, or similar (preferably of a technical nature) you can contact me through the Ask The Expert network.

    I will also be available for a less formal chat on the Dynamics AX Booth in the Exhibition Area.

    See you in the city of Gaudi!

  • mfp's two cents

    Channel9 - AX screencast on Unit Testing


    I've just uploaded my first AX screencast to Channel9. It is a 20 minute video with a demo of the Unit Test Framework in Dynamics AX.

    Here is the link:

    Over the coming months I plan to create more screencasts on general development topics in Dynamics AX. If there are any specific topics you would like a screencast to cover, please let me know.

    Feedback, please! If you have any comments to this screencast, please add a comment to this blog post. I would really like to know if you find this screencast useful. (or not).

  • mfp's two cents

    Demo data survey opened

    Would you like to have better Dynamics AX demo data for pre-sales presentations? Tell us what you need by taking this 3 minute survey so we can use your input to plan the next set of demo data. Tell us how you would like to use demo data so we can provide you with the right set.
  • mfp's two cents

    We are hiring!


    Do you want to be a member of team dedicated to make life easier for AX partners? My team is full of energetic and highly skilled team members with a desire to deliver tools and content enabling partners to smoothly and succesfully implement AX. Being a member of the Partner Productivity team enables you to:

    • Make an impact on the entire partner community.
    • Work with other AX experts.
    • Influence the future directions of Dynamics AX.

    We have 3 open positions:


  • mfp's two cents

    Implementation survey opened


    I'm a member of the new team called the Microsoft Dynamics AX Partner Productivity team, which is part of the Microsoft Dynamics AX product development organization. Our charter is to provide tools and content to empower partners to complete more implementations with their existing resources. Our goal is to understand your key pain points during an implementation and we have created a survey to collect your feedback to help us prioritize projects planned for upcoming releases.

    Here is a link to the survey:

    We request feedback from all disciplines involved in a Microsoft Dynamics AX implementation: Pre-Sales, Project Management, Consulting, Development and Testing. Please forward this to the appropriate people in your organization so we can get a complete picture of your implementation cycle.

    You can also review implementation tools already available at our landing page on the MBS PartnerSource portal at

    We hope you will also engage with us at the Microsoft Convergence 2006 EMEA in Munich, Germany. Look for the Partner Productivity team at Microsoft Dynamics AX Expo booths as well as roundtable sessions during the conference in November. Register for Convergence at 

    Thanks you sincerely for your participation,

                Microsoft Dynamics AX Partner Productivity team

  • mfp's two cents

    MorphX Metrics


    Do you have the overview of the number of compile errors/warnings/to-dos and best practice errors in your customizations? Do you have the information broken down per team or even by module? Do you have an overview of the size of your customizations?

    If you answered Yes to all the questions above read no further!

    The heart beat of most development projects is the build. The more frequently the build is the more often you know the state of your project. If the build is broken you have a problem, you must hunt down! Preferably before breakfast!

    A Dynamics AX project, however, can succeed without a single build, due to the rapid development features in MorphX. Eliminating the need for a build is both good and bad.

    From a developer productivity view point it is awesome! There are no built-in coffee breaks interrupting the flow of development all day long. Ask any developer what he rather give up - the company car or the instant-run capabilities in AX. This may give you new insights into how you can spoil your developers in the future. 

    From a management point of view it can become a nightmare. There is zero visibility into the state of the project. There could be compile errors all over the place - or even worse: Well hidden deep in a dark corner, where only your customers will venture.

    In Dynamics AX 4.0 you can get visiblity into the state of the project; while maintaining developer productivity. Dynamics AX 4.0 can extract the state of the each element in the AOT and populate it in an Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.

     Here are the instructions:

    1. Download the attached Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. 
    2. Create rows in the spreadsheet to model your organization/team.
    3. Schedule a recurring execution of AX with a special startup command. (Preferably on a server in the basement - it will take hours to complete.)

    Details are available on the Instructions page in the spreadsheet.

  • mfp's two cents

    Survey opened: Microsoft Dynamics AX Code Upgrade Estimation


    If you have any experience upgrading Dynamics AX code, we need your help to implement the right feature enhancements for the code upgrade toolset in Microsoft Dynamics AX.

    Please spend 3-5 minutes on this short survey. 
    Link to survey.

    Your input is much appreciated.


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mfp's two cents

...on Dynamics AX Development!