How to open AX with a User Role and debug it at the same time in Dynamics #AX2012

Recently came across a scenario where we had to debug a user session that had limited rights to the system, one way of doing that could be for instance walking through a trace of the user session and another would be to debug code while user steps through the process but that would be done only for server side calls. So what if we need to debug client side calls as well, how to go about doing that was the challenge. Since if we assign the user role to an admin and execute the process we also have admin privileges which are higher up the ladder and do not limit access to what that user role has. Not to worry there is a way you can do this by following the steps below:

1. Run Dynamics AX as an administrator
2. Add the role you want to debug to your own user, let the Sys Admin role stay as well.
3. Open a new development Work space.
4. Place breakpoints where you need them.
5. Create below job
static void NonAdmin(Args _args)
{
securityutil::sysadminmode(false);
}
7. Execute the above job
8. Open a new workspace
9. Run the process you wanted to debug.

You should now be able to hit the break point you placed in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Debugger as the User role.

P.s I found this thanks to an old post by a colleague of mine.

 

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How to read data from a production instance in D365 #Dyn365FO

Recently I was trying to find the best way to read only updated/changed data from AX for some entities like customers and vendors in D365. To do this in AX 2012 we would generally get a read only database copy made of  production, enable modifiedDateTime fields and query the recently changed data from that database for our reporting needs but in D365 a cool new feature has been provided called change tracking. Through this you can get AX to push changes to your records to an external database outside of AX. A brief overview of this is that we use data entities to list what we need pushed out and configure them to export to our database. Read more on this here: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/unified-operations/dev-itpro/data-entities/entity-change-track

In Data management:

Register read only DB outside AX, providing its connection string:

 

Change tracking options:

Error on MPOS sync jobs #Dyn365FO

Errors:

Failed try of uploading data package to blob storage, error message: System.Reflection.TargetInvocationException has been thrwon

connection could be made because the target machine actively refused it

The change tracking information related to scheduler job 1090 and channel database group Default are only partially available, due to the headquarters data base change tracking retention period settling.

 

Solution:

Make sure your azure emulator is running.

Solution: The Table.Field does not have a corresponding parm-method on the AxBC-class

If you have added new fields to an existing table and receive the below best practice error, it means you need to create a parm method. This can be automatically done with a simple one line code.

For example If we add the field below

We’ll receive the following error:

“The Table.Field does not have a corresponding parm-method on the AxBC-class”

Solution:

Create a job and execute this code below

static void Job8(Args _args)
{
AxGenerateAxBCClass::newTableId(tableNum(PurchTable)).run();
}

This creates the parm method which will not only get rid of the BP error but now you have your new field synced with the table creation field when an AIF service, a data migration entity or initialization is done.

How to check which IIS your AX Finance and Operations web App is hosted on in D365 #Dyn365FO

This can be done by going through the web.config xml file which is located at  “X:\AOSService\webroot”. Several parameters are configured here for for the application and i’ll go through some below, as a developer or administrator of Dynamics AX it is essential to know what configs are set here, so do give it a read and go through each element.

Hosting configs:

<add key=”Infrastructure.HostName” value=”usnconeboxax1aos.cloud.onebox.dynamics.com” />
<add key=”Infrastructure.HostUrl” value=”https://usnconeboxax1aos.cloud.onebox.dynamics.com/&#8221; />
<add key=”Infrastructure.SoapServicesUrl” value=”https://usnconeboxax1aos.cloud.onebox.dynamics.com/&#8221; />
<add key=”Infrastructure.InstanceEndpointIPAddress” value=”localhost” />
<add key=”Infrastructure.MaxInstanceEndpoint” value=”10010″ />
<add key=”Infrastructure.MinInstanceEndpoint” value=”10000″ />
<add key=”Infrastructure.PersistentVirtualMachineIPAddress” value=”localhost” />

Package directory folder settings:

<add key=”Aos.AppRoot” value=”C:\AOSService\webroot” />
<add key=”Aos.PackageDirectory” value=”C:\AOSService\PackagesLocalDirectory” />

Database info in the file:

<add key=”DataAccess.Database” value=”AxDB” />
<add key=”DataAccess.DbServer” value=”localhost” />
<add key=”DataAccess.SqlPwd” value=”XXX” />
<add key=”DataAccess.SqlUser” value=”axdbadmin” />

 

Creating a Data entity to export records for a Date effective Table in Dynamics 365 #Dyn365FO

When creating a data entity for a data effective table there are a few properties we need to consider for our imports and exports to work correctly. There can be two scenarios.

1. Data entity is not date effective but one or more data sources within the entity are date effective.

For example we have to export details of a Party record. Now the Party record is saved under DirPartyTable that is not date effective but its First, Middle and Last names are stored in DirPersonName table that is date effective. In order to make sure that we get the latest names of this party while exporting data we need to configure the entity to do so, else it will send whatever record is first in DirPersonName against the party record. To configure it we simply need to set the Apply Date Filter Property to Yes for DirPersonName and make sure we add the ValidTo and ValidFrom fields of DirPersonName datasource to the entity field list.

Parent data source DirPartyTable, not DateEffective:

 

Child data source DirPersonName, that is date effective:

2. Data entity is date effective

What this means is that our data entity has at least one date effective data source and itself implements the date effective framework. Keeps track of latest and old records rather than overriding existing records on update. Will discuss this further in my next blog.

For more information about date effectivity in data entities see: Date effectivity

Things to do while Restoring a production backup on a test or a Dev box in #AX2012

Once your db restore is done. Before starting services make sure you do the following:

Stop any batch jobs to avoid posting or pushing data to systems configured in production. This can be done by below SQL

UPDATE [DynamicsAXDev].[dbo].[BATCHJOB] SET [STATUS] = 0

WHERE [STATUS] IN (1,2,5) 

 

An Admin User would already exist, Use below query to set your user as Admin:

UPDATE USERINFO
SET Name = ‘Mohsin’,
SID = ‘S-1-5-21-542508066-1570976776-XXXXXXX-54688’,
NetworkDomain = ‘XXXX.XX’,
NetworkAlias = ‘XXXX’
WHERE ID = ‘Admin’

Start services and replace the settings described in the video below to set your batch servers.

D365 Mystery Hosting Explained #Dyn365FO

Mystery: IIS was stopped but D365 app was still running. How could this be? Its a single box Azure VM and everything, not just the AOSService but ISS itself is off. I verified the app is connecting to the right database and verified the webconfig file points to my own server so some other machine could not be hosting the App, I checked all configurations and none point to a different server so what magic is going on here.

 

I’m sure this would not be a mystery for everyone but for a short time it became a mystery to me and might become to some others as well so I had to get to the bottom of the magic happening. After some research I got to know that after the recent platform update 12 D365 is hosted on IIS Express, and as you know IIS express runs on visual studio, so if you have Visual studio open your app will be hosted. I ran a few scenarios after this so here is a list of them.

 

  1. If Visual Studio is open, your IIS is stopped, D365 would still run on based on IIS Express.
  2. If Visual Studio is closed, your IIS is stopped, D365 url will give you a Service Unavailable error
  3. If Visual Studio is closed, IIS is running, D365 will run based of your AOSService site.
  4. If Visual Studio is Open, IIS is running, D365 will run.

Thanks to a post by Faisal here which lead me to this. It explains what else was done wrt to update 12 like elimination of Admin user on lcs and availability of a Developer user.

 

Mystery Solved!

 

Address and contact information table relationships to a party in #AX2012 & #Dyn365FO

Both address and contact information on a customer, vendor or any party record is stored at the party level. So while the parties Customer and Vendor are company specific the party record is cross company. If you create a customer against the same party in two companies and modify the address of Customer A in company X you will see the changes for Customer B in company Y. This is because when we are modifying a customers address or contact, it is actually modifying the party address and contact. You can test this out without getting into the development environment by creating a customer in one company with an address and contact, note down its party number that was created, then create a customer in another company and use the change party association option to assign the newly created customer the party number of the previously created customer. After this, change the address on any one of the customers and you will see the changes reflect on the other company customer as well. Now generally this is not the case as when you create a customer in a company a new party record gets created against it and within AX you always create a customer or vendor first and not a party itself.

Coming down to the technical’s in play for this. A party record is stored in the DirPartyTable and in order to query its locations(addresses/contact information) you can query the DirPartyLocation table which will give out  records that each represent an address and one record that represents all contact information records, to identify these there are NoYes enum fields such as IsPostalAddress. For example if there are 3 addresses on a customer and 5 contact information records, this table will show you 4 records. Each record contains a Location field that represents the RecId of  the LogicticsLocation table, this table contains links to the address and contact information records. Addresses are saved in LogisticsPostalAddress table and contact information is stored in LogisticsElectronicAddress table, each table has as relationship with the LogisticsLocation table as shown below.

Contains 4 records, 3 for addresses and one for contacts:

These records can be used to query the address in LogisticsPostalAddress table below, wrt to the following relationship:

Hopefully this gives you an idea of the crud operations of an address and contact information in AX. This applies to both AX 2012 and D365.

Regenerate / Update staging tables in #Dyn365FO Data Entity

Regenerating/ updating a staging table in Dynamics 365 has literally been made as easy as a one click operation but somehow not well documented so I though i’d write a quick overview on how to update or regenerate a staging table based on your Data entity changes.

Open your data entity in visual studio and right click on the entity name like below this will show you the two options. Please note that if you regenerate a table all custom changes you made to that table will be lost. However if you use the update table option, only new changes will be added. For example if you add a field only on staging table and regenerate staging table the custom field will be lost, therefore if you would like to maintain your additions and update, use update staging table option.