(Edited March 2012 to include WebSearchAX, Community, InformationSource, and updated news about what we are working on now.)

Hi - I’m Margo Crandall, a principal writer on the Microsoft Dynamics AX documentation team. Our team is passionate about providing the right documentation for customers and partners who are implementing, customizing, developing applications for, or using Microsoft Dynamics AX. I’d like to explain where you can find our content, what we’re working on now, what we’ve changed from previous versions, and how you can communicate with us.

Download a printable datasheet of the information in this blog post

Where can you find our content?

Content for Application users - Application user content includes information on configuring modules, performing tasks within a module, product-wide features, and productivity tools.

  • The most up-to-date content for users is on TechNet, in the Application Users section.
    Some content is only available on TechNet, such as the
    Report Catalog.
  • The same content, current for the released version of the product, is available from within the client at Help > Application user Help.
  • From within the client, you can also use the web search page (WebSearchAX) that is available from Help > Application user Help on the web.
  • Context-sensitive help is also available for forms in the client and in Enterprise Portal.

The Application User Help can also be customized for your organization by your partners, or internally, by adding topics to the Help server. For more information, see the Help server topic on TechNet.

Content for System administrators - System administrator content includes information on deployment, patching, and upgrade, managing different types of servers, and security.

Content for Developers- Developer content includes information on using the IDE and debugging tools, Visual Studio integration, User experience guidelines, and reference content for X++ and APIs.

Web Search AX

Although the web search page (WebSearchAX) is called from within Microsoft Dynamics AX, it is a website that you can bookmark and use externally. It enables you to search for content by user role, product version, module, and topic type. You can also include blogs, community, code samples and white papers in the search results. 

Installable Help updates and localizations

Installable Help updates and localizations for Danish, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian and Spanish are available in Cumulative Updates 1 and 2.

The application user Help that has been released to TechNet since August is also included in the Help update that shipped with the Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Feature Pack Release.

The following graphic shows where our in-product content resources can be found:

   

What content can you find on the Community site?

Community.dynamics.com hosts blogs, forums and videos. We have also recently added resource pages that provide information to help you resolve top customer issues. Current resource pages include:

To keep up with newly-released and updated resource pages, on the Community site you can subscribe to the RSS feed for the Resource Page blog.

The following graphic describes the content that you can find on our public sites.  

What content can you find on PartnerSource and CustomerSource?

PartnerSource and CustomerSource host licensing information, KB articles, hotfixes and updates, and allow you to submit support requests. PartnerSource also provides partner-specific content. From PartnerSource and CustomerSource you can also search for links to content on TechNet, MSDN, and the Download Center.

To find hotfixes and updates on CustomerSource, start from the following pages:

 

What content can you find on InformationSource?

InformationSource is a site that provides services that enable customers and partners to deliver predictable implementations of Microsoft Dynamics AX. It provides resources to enable you to analyze, design, configure and customize Microsoft Dynamics AX by following best practices determined by the Microsoft Dynamics AX solution architecture team.

For customers and partners, the site provides supported services that can be used to improve implementations, such as the Application Analysis Tool, Intelligent Data Migration Framework, Security Upgrade Advisor, and Code Upgrade Service.

The site also provides access to core concepts about application architecture and implementation strategies, in the form of the following content types:

  • Datasheets Two page documents that describe a feature. Intended for pre-sales conversations.
  • Elevator pitch PowerPoint slides Slide decks that describe a core concept or feature.
  • White papers Core concept and design insight papers describe features and decisions that were made as the features were designed.
  • Videos How-to videos that demonstrate how to perform a task.

For partners, the site provides answers to commonly asked questions from Requests for Proposals (RFPs) in the Q&A search.

What is the documentation team working on now?

We've finished most the content that we plan to complete for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, and the Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Feature Pack Release and are shifting to focus on developing content for other upcoming releases. In the content update posts on AX Support, you'll be seeing far fewer new topics, and a larger percentage of updated topics. The new content is available through search on TechNet and MSDN, or you can find the lists of the updated topics (tagged as Content) on the AXSupport blog. The new and updated application user Help topics are also included in Help updates that shipped in the Feature Pack Release.

We've also started work on “Inside Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012”, the latest version of the popular “Inside Microsoft Dynamics AX” developer series from Microsoft Press. The book will provide developers with holistic, in-depth information about developing for Microsoft Dynamics AX in a single place. “Inside Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012” will be available in retail channels in both print and eBook format at the end of October, 2012.

How is the Help for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 different from the Help for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009?

Our goals for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 were to provide customization opportunities for end user help, to improve discoverability by providing all of our help content on Microsoft’s web properties, and to make content available more frequently. Following this strategy, we have eliminated most compiled help (.chm) files from the product.

Customizable application Help

The Help server provides a client/server approach to help delivery by storing the help files on a central server, so that they don’t need to be installed on all client desktops like .chm files.

The Help server enables you to:

  • Publish an HTML file to a web server when you want to add or change a topic.
  • Deploy and manage Help from a centralized location.
  • Apply Help updates that are provided by Microsoft without deleting your customized topics.

Improved discoverability

  • Developer Help is exclusively on MSDN.
  • System administrator Help, except for form Help, is exclusively on TechNet.
  • Application user Help is both on TechNet and in the product.

More frequent updates

  • Additions and updates to content on MSDN and TechNet are made regularly.
  • Microsoft ships Help updates that you can install on your Help server as part of Cumulative Updates, and the Feature Pack.

What do we need from you?

Feedback! We really need to know what you like, and what you don’t. Ratings are nice, but comments really help us improve.

The location of the feedback links on TechNet and MSDN vary by which view you have set in your preferences.

  • In Classic view, the default for TechNet, you can provide feedback on any topic by clicking the Feedback control at the top right of the page:

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  • In Lightweight view, the default for MSDN, the feedback link is at the bottom of the page, next to the copyright statement:

  •  In ScriptFree view, the feedback link is back at the upper right.

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You can also always email us at adocs@microsoft.com—let us know if something is missing, or doesn’t meet your needs.

Where can you hear from us?

We’re starting to be more visible on social media, beginning with posting here. Approximately 10 times a year, we’ll also be posting notes about which content we’ve recently published and updated on the AX Support blog.

You can also follow us on twitter (AXContent for the team, or MSMargoc for me personally), and we’re also active on LinkedIn groups.