Reporting Capabilities of MS Dynamics Ax 2009 – Part 1 (Ax Report Wizard)

In today’s competitive markets, success depends on business intelligence information available to the end users (individuals, teams and executives). Dynamics Ax provides rich set of reporting capabilities for both end users and developers.

  End users can create ad hoc reports themselves in Dynamics Ax without any developer support. In ad hoc report, user selects the data to display on the report and designs the layout of the report. There are two ways to do it using Dynamics Ax MorphX development tools.

  1. Dynamics Ax Report Wizard: Provides a wizard to select step-by-step options to create a complete Dynamics Ax native report.
  2. SSRS Report Builder: User can create a more complex report based on an already created report model. User need not worry about the complexity of table structure and their relations.

  Developers can create more complex reports in following ways:

  1. MorphX report designer: Dynamics Ax native reports.
  2. SSRS Dynamics Ax Report Library using Visual Studio 2008.
  3. Gantt Chart Reporting (data analysis based on different kind of scheduling jobs).
This article is from a series of articles describing Dynamics Ax reporting capabilities. In this article we will see how easily end users can create Dynamics Ax report using MorphX development tools for Dynamics Ax.

We will create a report using Dynamics Ax Report Wizard that gives a summary of all Sales Orders, and their line items. We will provide an approximate Sales Order total as well.

Creating Dynamics Ax Report using Report Wizard. 

Step 1: Open the Report Wizard

Open Dynamics Ax main menu Tools | Development Tools | Wizards | Report Wizard.

After selecting the Report Wizard option, the wizard will start and you can follow on screen option to design your report.

Please note the check box titled Show system names tables, fields, and methods. If this checkbox is enabled, the information displayed in the Report Wizard (table names, fields, etc.) will be displayed by name (or as actually shown in the AOT). If this box is not checked, the LABEL of the field will be used. This is what is normally displayed on a form (for example, the SalesTable or Create Sales Order form). I have used it with unchecked box, so object labels will be shown in this example. You can do either way.

Step 2: Specify report name and caption

Give your report a name. This is the name of the report in the AOT. Also give a caption to your report, caption is, what is displayed in the title line when the report is printed.
You can choose to create labels for your reports and also can select the file to save labels. Best practice says always use labels. Though, I have not used it in this walkthrough.

Step 3: Select report data source

This form allows the user to choose the table (or tables) that will be used as the data source (or data sources) for the report. Since this report is based on Sales Order information, the table SalesTable (Sales Orders) is chosen. Double click on Sales Orders or use arrows to select the table.

Notice in the lower left hand corner, a box is populated with related tables. Select Sales Lines (Order Lines) as well for SalesTable.

If you followed it right, than your screen should look like this.

Step 4: Add fields to the report

By default, if the table(s), being used as data sources have a table group called AutoReport, and this group has fields inserted into the group, these fields will be defaulted on to the report.

However, these fields do not have to be used. The AutoReport group can be removed by selecting the group, and pressing the remove button (button with less than sign “<”). Then, insert EACH desired field from the list (left hand portion of form) into the selected field list.

Click next to continue.

Step 5: Play with other report options

Next few screens will ask you to select fields on which you want summation, sorting, group totals, ranges (report parameters) and other options. Choose your option and select next to continue to the next screen.

Step 6: Select report layout and preview

On the report layout screen you can decide how your report should look like.
First is the layout box. This determines if the report lists the data in columns, or in a “table” format.

The second box (Orientation) determines the way the report prints (landscape or portrait, or let Ax choose).

The third box is a preview, which gives a generic view of what the report should look like when it prints.

The final box (Report template) is used to define a “default” layout of the report. This can include (or exclude) System date, number of pages, company name, and more. This information is defined in the report template. The best way to see what each template does is to choose the template, hit the Next button, and use print preview to see the report. You can then hit the back button to change the template to see what the other templates produce.

The Preview form allows the viewing of a layout of the report, an actual printing of the report, and how to launch the report.

The first button is the Design button. Pressing this will bring up the Design Editor. This form allows you to see a general layout of the report, and give you an idea of how the information will be presented when the actual report is generated. Layout of the report can be modified on this form, if so desired.

The second button allows the actual generation of the report to be done. This is the Preview button. Pressing the preview button will bring up the ranges form.

This form is used to apply any desired ranges that will be used to limit the data on the report. Once all ranges have been entered, press the OK button to continue.

Pressing OK brings up the Report Destination form.

This form is used to set any printer options that are desired, where the report is to be sent, printer to use, etc.

After the OK button is pressed, the report will be generated, and displayed on the screen.

Spend sometime on the report and see what you have on the report. You can print directly from the report or email it to the concerned person. Click on the hyperlinks on the report and it will take you to the Ax form from where this value is originated. Close report but don’t close the report wizard.

Step 7: Attach report to existing Ax menu and save it

On the preview wizard screen, select the radio button displaying “Yes, the report is to be opened from an existing menu.”.

Click next to continue. This will bring a screen displaying all Ax menus on the right pane, you can select any one and add report from left pane to the selected menu.

Click next to continue.

Click finish and you are done with creating Dynamics Ax report on your own without writing a single line of code. You can find this report in AOT under Reports node.

I hope this article has shown you the power of Dynamics Ax reporting. In my next article I will show you how to create ad-hoc SSRS Report Builder report.

Feel free to post your feedback / comments / queries here.

Reporting Capabilities of MS Dynamics Ax 2009 – Part 2

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Rahul Sharma
Rahul is a technology enthusiast, solutions architect, trainer, and blogger, working on various Microsoft and open source solutions with more than 18 years of industry experience. He specially takes interest in designing enterprise applications, cloud integrations, IoT, and other architecture rich business solutions.

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