SSRS Tip: Speed up RDP based SSRS reports testing in Dynamics Ax 2012

September 11, 2013 15 comments

When working on precision designs a lot of time is spent on waiting for the preview to run. If your precision design uses an RDP dataset here is a simple and fantastic tip to speed up.

1. Convert your temporary table to persistent by modifying the TableType property to Regular

2. Now run the report once. Either from Visual studio or inside Ax. This fills the data in the temporary table.

3. Comment the code inside processreport method or simply write a “return” statement on the first line of the method.

That’s it. you are now geared for a faster execution of the reports. Remember to revert back once you are done or wait for the testers to find it ūüôā but don’t let it go to the production.

For more tips and learning about SSRS РAX 2012 order the book Dynamics AX 2012 Reporting Cookbook authored by me.


SSRS tip: No row message in Dynamics Ax SSRS 2012

September 9, 2013 13 comments

Some sections in your report may not have data but the header sections ¬†might print. In these cases to make it informative for the user a “No data available” message might be helpful since the user is then assured that there is no data for that particular data section. This tip will guide you on how to setup “No data available”.

Select the Tablix/List/Matrix control where you want the message to be available and open the properties window, Find the property “NoRowsMessage”. This property can be filled in with text or for dynamic text using expressions. Type in something like “No data available”


When there is no data for that particular section SSRS automatically prints the text under “NoRowsMessage”

For more tips and learning about SSRS РAX 2012 order the book Dynamics AX 2012 Reporting Cookbook authored by me.


SSRS tip: Take care that VS and AX client are in the same layer for SSRS – Dynamics AX 2012

September 5, 2013 14 comments

Some times when you use configuration files to start your AX client like this in the image and also work on visual studio, make sure your default client configuration is pointing to the same layer as in the configuration file.


This is because the Visual studio opens in the layer that is specified in the default settings in AX Client Configuration window. Though your AX client is on VAR layer if your default client configuration setting is pointing to the USR layer then the visual studio reporting project gets saved to the USR layer. You end up in deleting and reimporting the entire project. So make sure to verify the layer setup before you start working on reporting projects.

To setup the default layer configuration, 

Open the run window and type axclicfg

In the window that opens create a new configuration or on the existing configuration go to the Developer tab and verify the layer information including the license


For more tips and learning about SSRS РAX 2012 order the book Dynamics AX 2012 Reporting Cookbook authored by me.


Book review: Extending Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Cookbook

September 3, 2013 2 comments

Packt recently has come up with good titles related to Dynamics and specifically AX. So here is the new addition to the list Extending Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Cookbook by Murray Fife. Murray Fife is quite popular in the community through his slideshare presentations that are detailed, ready to implement and interesting articles that would benefit you immediately. This book again is a fantastic addition from Murray. You can read the interview with Murray where he discuss his experience writing this book and future plans here. 8331EN_cover The book is simple, crispier and has a good flow overall. It is non theoretical get in to action type meaning right from the first chapter and the first page you have something that can be accomplished out of it be it adding a role center page or publishing your reports to the role center. As you run through the chapters you would be surprised to see how much can be accomplished without getting your hands dirty with programming. The book covers recipes related to SharePoint, Power view, Performance point, Lync, Workflow, Office, Infopath, OData in relation to Dynamics AX. The author has broken down the chapters in to smaller recipes in a manner that at the end of the chapter the recipes together create a meaningful addition to Dynamics AX. My personal favorites have been chapter-3 related to Dashboards, Charts and scorecards and the chapter – 10 related to web service and forms. Find what looks interesting for you here…


What the author promises to reveal through the book,

  • Easily create attractive dashboards and reports using Performance Point, PowerView and Excel
  • Improve and maximize the potential of user communication and collaboration with Outlook and Lync
  • Create and configure roles centers for your users
  • Build personal portals and document libraries within SharePoint
  • Create a streamlined organization through workflows
  • Build new help files specific to your business
  • Develop personalized and customized screens

I would recommend this book for lead functional consultants who do implementations, pre-sales consultants, IT administrators and developers who are engaged with end user systems and implementations. The book is definitely worth a buy and is a interesting read. Order it here today. Please read the authors interview about the book here.

Interview: Murray Fife – Author Extending Dynamics Ax 2012 Cookbook

September 3, 2013 1 comment

In this short interview with Murray on his release of book Extending Dynamics Ax 2012 learn more about his experience of writing his book, how this book can benefit users, his future plans and get to know the software tools that makes Murray a productive man in the AX world. I would like to Thanks Murray for offering his time towards this interview.

How is the experience of authoring a book, this being your first book in spite of many publications on the web so far?

Murray Fife ImageWriting the book was thoroughly enjoyable, and was not as hard as I thought it was going to be.  This was partly because I had already compiled all of the content through my past blog posts, and also because I had got into the habit of writing because of the blogging.  One added benefit, I think that writing the book improved by blog posts as well, because I now structure them in a way that I can easily convert them over to more of a chapter format if I need too.

One aspect that was a new experience though while writing the book was the editing and critique.  For the first chapter, I was caught off guard, but after sucking back my pride, and taking an objective look at what the editors and reviewers were suggesting, I soon realized that critique is great, and incorporating their suggestions only made the book better.

 How will readers benefit from this book?

This book is all about doing more with what you already have.  Dynamics AX is a great application, but there are other tools that you probably have laying about within your organization that you can use in8331EN_cover conjunction with Dynamics AX to make it even better.  I tried to make the examples in the book useful enough to be used at least as a starting point for solving common problems that everyone is having.  Once you have mastered a chapter, you may find that you are able to extend out even further than the book does.

Also, there is probably about 20 lines of code in the whole book, and even those examples are simple enough that a non-developer would be able to add them to Dynamics AX.  I did this on purpose, because a lot of the examples are configurable, not developed.  I wanted the power users to take control of Dynamics AX and do more with it.

What tools or software’s that you use to make yourself productive and would recommend other Dynamics Ax community?

Apart from the tools that everyone is probably familiar with like PowerPoint (which is my storyboarding tool), SkyDrive (which allows me to access all of my files from any of my computers), Word (for collaboration and review), and PaintShopPro (for image cropping), I need to highlight one of the most useful tools in my utility belt, which is DuckLink Screen Capture (  This is free, and is the Swiss Army knife of screen capture.  I don’t know where the name came from, but I don’t care, because I could not live without it.

 What topics are you currently working with respect to Dynamics Ax?

I am continuing to learn the other areas of Dynamics AX ‚Äď there is so much functionality in the system, and so many gems hidden away that I doubt that I will stop.

 I already have enough content for a second Extensions Cookbook and have submitted it to PACKT for approval.  This one will be a little more functional, and show how you can configure the secondary features that people want to use, but are maybe a little too intimidated to try tackling.  Including Lean Manufacturing, Retail, Costing, Development of new Workflows, and Service Management.  I think that illustrating these examples will show people that they are really not that hard to configure, but still very useful and something to take advantage of.

 A follow on project that I have just started planning out is a guide for configuring Dynamics AX from a blank system.  It may seem daunting to configure a completely new system, but it’s not that hard.  Getting the base data in to a point where you can start running common business transactions is not hard if you don’t over-complicate it.  I am sure that companies just starting to implement Dynamics AX will like the content.

Read the review of the book here

SSRS tip: How to set the page size for a SSRS report in Dynamics Ax 2012

September 2, 2013 16 comments

This article will give you a simple tip to set the page size in SSRS report.

Setting the page size is important to get it printed right in the printer and when you export it as PDF.  Using just the page setup in printer dialog without modifying the page size in report design might make the report look odd say when you print a report configured for portrait as landscape.

Open the properties window in the designer window (F4) and ¬†on the drop down in the properties window type “Report”


Find the property Page Size, expand it and enter the Width and Height. So to change the page from A4 portrait to A4 landscape you set the width to 11in and height to 8.5in.

Once set-up here the print option on the report by default prints it to A4, A3 Portrait or Landscape.

For more tips and learning about SSRS and Ax2012 order the book Dynamics Ax 2012 Reporting Cookbook authored by me.

Dynamics Ax 2012 reporting cookbook for SSRS – Dynamics Ax 2012

August 28, 2013 38 comments

Interested in learning Ax-SSRS report development ? Looking to improve your skills with Ax based SSRS report development ?

Here is a solution. Pre-order the Dynamics Ax 2012 Reporting cookbook I have authored.


Dynamics Ax Reporting Cookbook

This book will

  • Take you in to the depths of SSRS ¬†and build reports with confidence,

  • Make sure you utilize every feature possible with SSRS

  • Detailed examples on using controls like List, Chart, Gauges, Maps

  • Offer nice tips to enhance your development ability

  • Interesting methods to speed up report testing and development

  • Introduce you to tools that can help analyze report usage

  • Helps you stop hitting ¬†google for every problem with SSRS ūüôā

and much more.

Pre-order today for a discounted price.

The book is expected in September 2013.

Dev tip: Finding if a range is specified in a query – Dynamics Ax

August 26, 2013 2 comments

Here is a simple tip.

Recently i had a requirement which wanted to validate if a range has been entered in a query. The obvious approach would be running through the ranges in the query data sources and verify if each of them has a range. When you have multiple data source this is obviously not an interesting way to solve it and can be fooled around by just entering a value like ‘*’. So i was thinking out on a better approach and luckily i seemed to find it. Here it goes, the idea is to get the count of the records through the Query and get the count of the records directly through a DML, when compared if they are equal then there is no range entered.

InventTable inventTable;
int cntTotal;

cntTotal = SysQuery::countTotal(gQueryRun);

select count(recid) from inventTable;

if (inventTable.RecId == cntTotal)
throw error('Atleast one range must be specified for the item selection.');

Where can this be used ?

You can put it to use to prevent long running reports to ensure that there are proper ranges.

Related articles

Dev Tip: Finding test data across companies – Dynamics Ax

August 14, 2013 4 comments

This is going to be an obvious tip but the application is really very useful..

Most of the time as developers we get in to the daunting task of preparing test data to validate our changes. As developers we might either find it a mammoth task to fill all the data and do a test. The easiest shortcut we would look for is finding an existing data. The challenge we get in to often is a strange table which we don’t know how it gets filled even and we need to find if there is a data in any company. Searching the data comes with the difficulty to switch across 10 companies, opening the table browser and look for data. Here is a quick way to cut down your efforts.

Idea 1: Go to the SQL server management studio and right a simple group by statement.

Draw back: As a developer not all times i have the comfort of access to the SQL server

Idea 2: No issues. we have the power ūüôā Use the cross company feature :)…

In the example shown here we are searching for the list of companies that have record for tax trans.

    TaxTrans taxTrans;

    while select crosscompany  *  from taxtrans
    group by dataareaid

you can apply this query with more conditions and joins to narrow down your search.

Read here more on cross company query

Happy finding !!!

Project creation tool for extended classes – Dynamics Ax 2012

August 12, 2013 3 comments

Productivity Enhancement tool – Ax 2012

Though cross reference is the best tool to find out references and usage details there are times when we want to search for a certain keyword to identify an example.  With the number AOT components increasing the search process is also painfully long so if we can narrow down the search then there is nothing better like that.

Recently i have been working on the SysOperationFramework and SSRS reports. I frequently used the type hierarchy browser to ¬†find the classes that extend a base class say the UI builder in an effort to look for class that implements a certain method or usage examples of certain kind of control like the reference control. The bad part of type hierarchy browser is that you can’t search over it. So here is a simple tool that i built for myself to help through this.

This tool when initiated will prompt for a base class through a dialog, post clicking ‘ok’ it will add all the classes to the project node. This helps to narrow down the search. ¬†Watch the video to understand and click here to download.

The other problem with type hierarchy browser was that i always wanted to open the classes shown in the tree node through a double click but i don’t know for some reason this was not done. I always had to right click and select edit. This project also additionally contains the minor change that will allow you to open the classes just by a double click.¬†Watch the video to understand and click here to download.