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One of the most notable changes we've made "under the hood" in this release of Microsoft Dynamics AX is that we've adopted a new reporting framework. Although the basic reporting capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics AX remain intact, and simple reports might look the same on the surface, this is a significant shift, especially for people who create or work with reports on a daily basis.
We've migrated the reporting framework from the X++ reporting framework to Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services, which offers some significant improvements, both in performance and features. As a core component of the Microsoft BI platform, SQL Server Reporting Services provides a more robust platform for analytics and reporting, and it enables us to take advantage of the Microsoft BI technology stack-including the performance and services within SQL Server-for analytics and reporting, introducing richer reporting capabilities that simply aren't possible in X++.
In Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, reporting isn't just about printing out forms-it provides an entirely new way to experience your business data. SQL Server Reporting Services enables some exciting features, such as rich charting and interactivity, which add a new dimension to ERP reports. Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 gives you the ability to expand or collapse lists, drill up or down through data, and dynamically highlight values in reports. By using the new reporting framework, you can work with advanced BI functionality through SQL Server Analysis Services and view ERP information alongside online analytical processing (OLAP) data, key performance indicators (KPIs), and other statistics.
Although the X++ reporting framework is still supported by the application, from a product development standpoint, it's in "maintenance mode" and won't be upgraded or enhanced in the future. As part of our core BI technologies, SQL Server Reporting Services will be the focus of significant development efforts going forward. We believe our customers and the application will both benefit from the enterprise-class reporting framework we've adopted.
Many of our existing customers are wondering about the time and cost associated with migrating existing reports from X++ to SQL Server Reporting Services. We recognize that there may be significant development time required to reimplement complex, highly customized reports; unfortunately, it's impossible for us to say how much effort will be required in a specific case. To ease the transition, we're shipping hundreds of out-of-the-box reports built on SQL Server Reporting Services. In most cases, reimplementation can be streamlined by using one of these existing reports as a starting point and performing incremental modifications to meet your needs. In fact, we've already migrated more than 1,200 out-of-the-box reports, so much of the work has been done for you!
Customers and partners are also asking about readiness; they want to know how they can prepare to migrate their organization's reports and if there are resources available to streamline the migration. The most important things that a developer or administrator can do are to become familiar with the new application concepts we've introduced in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, such as the security model and database schema, and with SQL Server Reporting Services in general. We expect that developers will quickly get up-to-speed on the new model while they familiarize themselves with the new version, the available templates, and the report-building tools available in Microsoft Visual Studio.
For organizations that rely heavily on building custom reports and the developers who design and build these reports, we have provided lots of documentation and we encourage you to read the many blogs and forums dedicated to reporting in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012. These resources include detailed technical information from the product team, as well as forums where Microsoft Dynamics partners and developers share information and best practices. Below is a list of these sites:
Caption: Example of a report that retrieves data from a Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 query. Blue text represents working hyperlinks, which open the form for a specific customer.
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