How to Create a Project in AXapta

For a fully customizable overview of the elements, you can use projects. In a project, elements can be grouped and structured according to the developer’s preference. The Project Designer is a powerful alternative to the AOT because you can collect all the elements needed for a feature in one project.
Creating a New Project
You open the Project Designer by clicking the Project button on the toolbar. Figure 1 shows the Project Designer and its Private and Shared projects.

Figure 1. Project Designer, showing available private and shared projects

Except for its structure, the Project Designer behaves exactly like the AOT. Every element in a project is also present in the AOT.
When you create a new project, you must decide whether it should be private or shared among all developers. You can’t set access requirements on shared projects. You can make a shared project private (and a private project shared) by dragging it from the shared category into the private category.

Central features of Dynamics AX 2009 are captured in shared projects to provide an overview of all the elements in a feature. No private projects are included with the application.
You can specify a startup project in the Options dialog box. If specified, the chosen project automatically opens when Dynamics AX is started.

Automatically Generated Projects
Projects can be automatically generated in several ways—from using group masks to customizing special project types—to make working with them easier. We discuss the various ways to automatically generate projects in the sections that follow.

Group Masks
Groups are folders in a project. When you create a group, you can have its contents be automatically generated by setting the ProjectGroupType property (All is an option) and a regular expression as theGroupMask property. The contents of the group are created automatically and kept up to date as elements are created, deleted, and renamed. Using group masks ensures that your project is always current, even when elements are created directly in the AOT.
Figure 2 shows the ProjectGroupType property set to Tables and the GroupMask property set to <xRef on a project group. All table names starting with xRef (the prefix for the Cross-reference tool) will be included in the project group.

Figure 2. Property sheet specifying settings for ProjectGroupType and GroupMask

Figure 3 shows the resulting project when the settings from Figure 2 are used.

Figure 3. Project created by using group masks

You can also generate a project based on a filter. Because all elements in the AOT persist in a database format, you can use a query to filter elements and have the results presented in a project. You create a project filter by clicking the Filter button on the project’s toolbar. Depending on the complexity of the query, a project can be generated instantly or might take several minutes.
Filters allow you to create projects containing the following kinds of elements:
  • Elements created or modified within the last month
  • Elements created or modified by a named user
  • Elements from a particular layer

Development Tools
Several development tools, such as the Wizard wizard, produce projects containing elements the wizard creates. The result of running the Wizard wizard is a new project that includes a form, a class, and a menu item—all the elements comprising the newly created wizard.
You can also use several other wizards, such as the Report Wizard and the Class Wizard, to create projects. You can access these wizards from the Microsoft Dynamics AX drop-down menu by clicking Tools\Development Tools\Wizards.

Layer Comparison
You can compare all the elements in one layer with the elements in another layer, called the reference layer. If an element exists in both layers, and the definitions of the element are different or the element doesn’t exist in the reference layer, the element will be added to the resulting project. You can compare layers by clicking Tools\Development Tools\Code Upgrade from the Microsoft Dynamics AX drop-down menu.

Upgrade Projects
When you upgrade from one version of Dynamics AX to another or install a new service pack, you need to deal with any new elements that are introduced and existing elements that have been modified. These changes might conflict with customizations you’ve implemented in a higher layer.
The Create Upgrade Project feature makes a three-way comparison to establish whether an element has any upgrade conflicts. It compares the original version with both the customized version and the updated version. If a conflict is detected, the element is added to the project.
The resulting project provides a list of elements to update based on upgrade conflicts between versions. You can use the Compare tool, to see the conflicts in each element. Together, these features provide a cost-effective toolbox to use when upgrading.
You can create upgrade projects by clicking Tools\Development Tools\Code Upgrade\Detect Code Upgrade conflicts from the Microsoft Dynamics AX drop-down menu.

Project Types
When you create a new project, you can specify a project type.  Two specialized project types are also provided in Dynamics AX:
  • Test project Project used to group a set of classes for unit testing
  • Help Book project Project used for the table of contents in the online Help system
You can create a custom specialized project by creating a new class that extends the ProjectNode class. Specialized projects allow you to control the structure, icons, and actions available to the project.