d365technext: AX 2012 VS D365 Finance and Operations
Difference between AX 2012 and D 365 Finance and Operations
Apparently, in layman terms, we can say the Three main visible changes in D365 :
Packages: A package is a deployable unit, which may have multiple models.
Model: A model is a group of elements, a model is a collection of elements that represent a distributed software solution.
Element: Element is any object residing in AOT.
eg: Base Enum, any EDT, Table, Form which you see in AOT tree is an element itself.
Project: Projects are the logical container for everything that's needed to build your application.
A project can be associated with anyone model.
I got some detailed understanding of the changes from different blogs, which I am sharing below
Dynamics 365 for Operations is web/browser-based, hosted by Microsoft on Azure (like Office 365) is provides similar functionality, but has a completely new UI. It is part of their family called Dynamics 365 that merges elements of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, AX, and the financials from Dynamics NAV.
Enhanced User Experience :
The intelligence of Dynamics 365 is also miles ahead of previous versions. There is now full integration with CRM, Office 365, and PowerBI, not to mention Cortana, so the speed at which you can retrieve data and make accurate and informed decisions is quite impressive.
Changes for Developers :
1. Visual Studio :
MorphX is gone, Visual Studio (VS) is the new IDE. All of Microsoft Dynamics 365 is web-based, there is no longer a fat AX client and there is no MorphX development environment to get into. You will do all of your work in VS. It is well-documented, stable, and feature-rich.
2. Deployment Packages :
3. Extensions :
4. Form Patterns :
The required adherence to form patterns is the next big change. Form patterns are guidelines Microsoft has for how forms should be designed. Microsoft wants all forms in AX to look and feel similar regardless of who makes them so the end-user has a consistent experience. Form patterns are not a new concept; they exist in AX 2012. However, most AX developers were not aware of them in AX 2012 because they were a guideline and not a requirement.
In Dynamics 365 when you create a form, the first thing you do in the design of that form specifies the form pattern it is going to follow. If you don’t specify the form pattern, you will get compile errors.
As you continue to build the form’s design, the pattern for the form is enforced meaning you must fill out the requirements of the pattern and if you do not you will get compile errors. This definitely takes some time to get used to.
5. Introduction of Data Entities :
Introduction of data entities. Data entities serve as the new framework for integrating with AX. They are a replacement of two concepts in AX 2012, document services and the classes that comprised the Data Import Export Framework (DIXF).
With data entities, all data coming into and going out of AX follow the same path so you do not have to build two different things if you are calling an API or using DIXF to manipulate data.
The data entities are very easy to create. There is a wizard that walks you through the creation process similar to the wizard in AX 2012 used to generate document services.
Another notable change within integrations is that the services exposing data entities are restful state APIs using JSON formatted data.
In AX2012 all services were WCF services. This change means the way you call services is significantly different so if you are planning to do integrations on Dynamics 365 you will want to study up how to call the APIs.
VS project types:
There are Dynamics AX template project types that have been added to VS.
The template project types are:
Dynamics AX Best Practice Rules – used for writing best practices checks for code and metadata
Dynamics AX Developer Tool Add-in
Dynamics AX Project – main project template type for containing customizations
When creating a new project, first create a new model:
When you create the new model, the dialog asking about the new model will prompt for:
1. Files ending in AXPP are the replacement for XPO files.
2. To export and import projects similar to what you would do with XPOS in 2012:
In the Solution Explorer, right-click on a project and choose Export project
The project gets saved as a file with an extension of .axpp
a. The model the project is created in is saved in the app file
i. The model contains the layer info.
b. The AXPP file cannot be read with Notepad
3. To import the AXPP containing the project in VS go to the Dynamics AX menu and choose Import project.
a. The project is created in the model (and layer) and saved in the AXPP file.
i. If the model doesn’t exist in the imported environment, it will be generated.
4. Similar to AX 2012 and importing an XPO, in Dynamics 365 for Operations (AX7) you can do a comparison between the contents of the AXPP file and the current environment.
a. To compare objects during the import: When you select Import project a dialog opens asking you to select the location of the AXPP file.
This is because there will be a dependency between your customizations and the objects being customized.
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