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Microsoft Dynamics Ax 2009 Programming: Getting Started [Paperback]

Erlend Dalen
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

20 Dec 2009
This book takes you through the important topics of Microsoft Dynamics AX with clear explanations and practical example code. It is an easy-to-read, illustrated tutorial with plenty of step-by-step instructions for AX development projects. This book is for developers on the Microsoft platform who want to develop and customize the Dynamics AX product. The book assumes that you have some experience with developing in the Microsoft environment, but no experience of development with AX is expected.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 348 pages
  • Publisher: Packt Publishing (20 Dec 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847197302
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847197306
  • Product Dimensions: 23.5 x 19 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,080,073 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Erlend Dalen


Erlend Dalen started working as a developer with the first version of Axapta in 1998. From 2000 he spent 2 years developing eCommerce, mobile, and integration solutions in Java for a Norwegian IT consultancy company. He has worked for Columbus IT since 2002, first as a senior developer in Norway and in USA and now as the technology manager of the Norwegian branch, where his responsibilities have been to implement new technology areas, creating an eCommerce solution for Dynamics AX, and being the technology solution architect in internal and customer projects.


Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
I would have loved having this book when I started developing in Microsoft Dynamics AX. Even though it covers a lot of ground, in relatively few pages, you will gain the knowledge to begin writing sound modifications and solutions with Dynamics AX.

Along with basic knowledge about the architecture, concepts and tools, you'll find plenty of good code examples to illustrate the explained topics. Even as an experienced AX developer you'll find either information that is useful for later reference or simply neat pieces of sample code for your code repository.

I wouldn't recommend the book as your only source of information on AX development though. After reading, working a bit with AX and getting some experience, it would be only be naturally to go on an read "Inside Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009, 2nd Edition" to get to the next level of knowledge.

I miss more in-depth coverage of the different topics and I miss a chapter about workflow in Dynamics AX. Also a few word on the unit test framework might have been in place.

As this is a "Getting Started" book, I must recommend it as being worth the money.
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book for the functional AX folks who wants to step into AX development 3 Mar 2010
By Alper Akan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is a great book for functional AX folks who wants to step into AX development but it is a little short on the developers who wants to learn about AX development. As it can be understood from it`s title it just gets you started in this area. For more information, official AX development manuals are needed since they are over 1000+ pages. It is well put together and starts with a little bit of general information about AX and then gets complicated with AOT and X++. It really summarizes how the different modules interact with each other in a functional way so the developers can understand the work-flow in AX better. I think this is a very key point that the official dev. manuals are missing. ERD`s really helps developers to understand and visualize the lay-out in AX in a time efficient way. The book starts developing a car rental application and walks you through necessary steps. I think this is a great idea and something can be used in real life. It includes creating tables, forms, queries, reports and menu's basically all the information to create a basic module from scratch.

In my opinion in some areas, the book is over-focused on unnecessary things like export/import and missing some other key elements where the official manuals come into play.The codes that are provided seemed pretty accurate excluding the typos. I think the editor could do a better job on this rather than using word spelling check.

Overall, I am giving this book 4 stars. The reason I am giving 4 stars is that some of the information is kind of outdated. The book got stuck into 4.0 version and did not consider the improvements in 2009. Since the new version is coming out soon, some of the information is going to be useless. It is still a good starting point for the functional consultants who want to get an overall idea about the development world without going too much into detail. I would still recommend the official devI-II-III-IV manuals for the technical folks if you have access to them. This book might be a little shorthanded for the developers.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If you are new to AX development - start here! 16 Jan 2010
By Michael Fruergaard Pontoppidan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is an excellent book for getting started with AX. The book's language is straight forward and simple, so you don't need a computer science education to reap the gold nuggets buried inside.

The first half of the book is a case study of a step-by-step implementation of a car rental application. This is a great idea, as these steps take you through many areas of AX development, and on the way introduces you to most of the building blocks of X++. The approach used is to jump straight into the action, without spending many words on background information, which quite impressively doesn't make the material harder to grasp, but rather makes the book a pleasant and easy read. The book is full of source code examples and screenshots, which will make it easy for you to follow the same steps in your own AX installation.

The second half of the book is a collection of standalone chapters. I particularly liked the chapter on integration with various AX modules. This chapter provides a 10,000 feet overview of the main modules in AX, such as GL, AR, AP and Inventory. Further it provides code samples on how common customizations can be implemented.

There are two kinds of books. Those that struggle to reach the final page count by cutting the original manuscript, and those that struggle to produce enough pages to justify calling it a book. (Something similar is true for sauces). This book is of the latter kind, which is a shame. Important information even for beginners is missing in critical places; whereas plenty of pages are spent on low value information. For example, the book contains a 10 page source dump of an data export/import feature the author has implemented - not because the one already in AX isn't good enough, but simply because he could.

The vital information that is missing is the primary reason I cannot give this book 5 stars. Here are some examples: In the same chapter the book explains the benefits (speed) of using set-based data base operations, and the powers of overriding table trigger methods like insert() and update() - but the book forgets to mention that overriding such a method will reduce all set-based operations to row-by-row operations on the AOS (incredibly slow in comparison). This cause and effect is one of the typical reasons AX customers are having performance problems. Similarly the book explains the concurrency model of AX4 (pessimistic) and not the concurrency model of AX2009 (optimistic). Another important topic not covered is how to develop a 3 tier application - without such information it is hard to write an application that scales beyond a few users.

It is clear that the author has worked with AX for a long time. Some of the information provided is outdated in AX2009. For example, the chapter on how to create a web service in AX explains all the hassle you had to go through in AX4, instead of explaining how simple the same could be achieved in AX2009 using the Services node in the AOT. The same is true for the [...] examples that use the AX4 way of talking to AX, instead of using the automatically generated proxies available in AX2009, which are much simpler to use - and much more reliable.

Finally, the technical accuracy of the book is high - it rarely state something that is wrong, but often omits what I believe is critical information. So kudos to the author. However; the editors of the book didn't do a very good job. The book is full of typos, double words, poorly phrased sentences and what appears to be copy-paste errors. And I do mean full - I spotted one on almost every other page. It is clear that no one took the time to read the book end-2-end before printing it. For example, the appendix with useful web links has half of the URLs wrong - they are duplicates from the previous page and don't match the description at all.

I'm giving this book a 4 out of 5 star rating, because it does deliver what it promises: A quick start on developing in AX without providing too much background information.
4.0 out of 5 stars New to Dynamics AX and want to learn fast? Start here.. 25 Feb 2010
By B. J. Van Berg - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
If you want to learn customizing Microsoft Dynamics AX fast and you have some programming experience, this book will save you time. If you have learned AX in the period that it still was called Axapta, it still might be a good idea to read this book as it provides you with a nice brush up of your theory and new features. Since the early versions a lot has been changed, especially on the outside, like reporting services, enterprise portal, web services and XML.
It is written in a style that is easy to read and has a logical build up of the subjects and it uses plenty of consistent examples. During reading this book the author takes you on a journey to build your own car rental application. Starting with some general explanation of the environment and the language, moving forward by creating your tables and some elements like forms, queries, reports and menu's. You can recreate the examples and that way get some hands on with the application or take a shortcut and download the examples to fool around with.
Some critical note here is that I do not see why the chapter about Export/Import is there with over ten pages with only the source code unless the authors is very proud that he wrote it from scratch. If this example was needed, why not make an example by extending the standard Ax export/import. Or better, spend the pages on more information about how to set proper indexes and performance tuning (since this will have a major impact on what you deliver as newbie, as will it for some seniors ;-)
For some subjects this book only scratches the surface but there is only so much space in a single book. If you are very experienced and need much in depth information on the subject, you might want to look at a book like the Inside Microsoft Dynamics Ax 2009.
The author gives lots of valuable tips and hints that can prevent you for some pitfalls. Especially the best practices about how to integrate with standard Ax is useful since most people have to find out the hard way, that creating journals is the only way, and to keep your hands of the transaction tables when creating ledger or inventory transactions. And so is the information about dimensions and number sequences.
All by all I do recommend reading the book especially when you are new to Ax and want to learn modifying it fast.
4.0 out of 5 stars AxCider's review 24 Feb 2010
By Maxim Belugin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
See the book description on the publisher's site: "Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 Programming: Getting Started"

When I've received the book, I first thought about beginning of my experience with Ax: in 2003 I worked with BAAN and planned to become a developer for Ax 3. I have decompiled developer's guide and best practice chm, downloaded it to my Sony SL10 and read it for month or two in the Moscow subway during daily commute. I can recall some difficulties I've met and I expect from every book for beginners to go beyond Dev Guide and BP describing these particular areas.

I think the main two topics to learn for every Ax developer are:

Dynamics Ax development platform

X++ code that implements business logic

Historically, platform was the more clear area docs, but has some dark corners, but business logic was less documented and the knowledge transferred mostly from the code itself, more experienced colleagues, and online communities.

So I tried to search for following topics:

Links to external information sources such as MSDN, Partner Source, internet communities

Data access (Ax have a very specific SQL implementation)

Forms layout

Business logic patterns

Tools and techniques to extract information from X++ code

BTW one of the book reviewers, Harish Mohanbabu, is known by his blog and free Ax tools.

First, the book contains list of online resources links related to Ax, such as blogs, axaptapedia, official sites, so on. The only thing I wish to add it to explain what partner source and what customer source are, and how to get access - it is very frequent question from newbies.

Database manipulation is described in several chapters, the description is easy to understand, full of example screenshots and can be useful for new developers, but I missed description of union joins (which is new to Ax2009 and I haven't seen much usage in the existing X++ code)

Forms-related information is shown mostly by example; you should refer to developer's guide for more detail. I think, it should be better to provide more information on different form layout templates, and some existing form patterns. Anyway, I think, a novice programmer can learn basic form structure prom the chapter and can use some more advanced techniques such as splitters and edit methods.

There are some chapters related to most frequently used business modules, such as inventory, ledger and accounts receivable/payable, each starting with small entity-relationship diagram of basic tables with examples of using Ledger posting framework, adding new dimension, etc..

The topic about tools contains example of usage of cross reference with screenshots, but profiler and trace parser have not been mentioned.

So these were topics that I was interested in due to I remember I had problems with, when I started to learn Ax.

In addition there is lots of information related to:

Other platform areas (such as X++ basics, AOT nodes, architecture, File export and import), which have not caused learning problems for me but maybe can cause to other novice developers.

Parts of platform I have not used (Application Integration Framework , Enterprise Portal, Webservices) - so I cannot say anything about them

The book contains an example of car rental module (with full sources in xpo's). Chapters of the book describe corresponding pieces of example code and I think it's a good manner to write books for developer.

I definitely recommend the book for novice developers as a good addition to manuals that go with the product and msdn.
4.0 out of 5 stars Living up to the title; It will get you started with AX 2009 development 14 Jan 2010
By Palle Agermark - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I would have loved having this book when I started developing in Microsoft Dynamics AX. Even though it covers a lot of ground, in relatively few pages, you will gain the knowledge to begin writing sound modifications and solutions with Dynamics AX.

Along with basic knowledge about the architecture, concepts and tools, you'll find plenty of good code examples to illustrate the explained topics. Even as an experienced AX developer you'll find either information that is useful for later reference or simply neat pieces of sample code for your code repository.

I wouldn't recommend the book as your only source of information on AX development though. After reading, working a bit with AX and getting some experience, it would be only be naturally to go on an read "Inside Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009" to get to the next level of knowledge.

I miss more in-depth coverage of the different topics and I miss a chapter about workflow in Dynamics AX. Also a few word on the unit test framework might have been in place.

As this is a "Getting Started" book, I must recommend it as being worth the money.
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