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Microsoft Dynamic AX 2009 : Report Customization (part 1) - Creating Promotional Materials

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Reports, like forms, can be customized to include and exclude information, and you can modify their design and layout. As with forms, the design and layout of a report depend on settings on the table and on the report itself. The best practice is, once again, to keep as much of the business logic as possible with the table methods or metadata. The X++ code in reports must deal with the functionality for the specific report. All other X++ code must generally be implemented on the table to be reused by other areas in the application. Here are some of the advantages to such an approach:

  • Customizations made to a report are isolated; customizations made to a table affect all reports using that table, resulting in a consistent user experience wherever the table is used.

  • Customization of a report copies the entire report to the current layer; customizations made to tables are more granular because customization of fields, field groups, and methods results in a copy of the specific element to the current layer only. This makes upgrading to service packs and new versions easier.

  • Methods in reports always execute on the tier where the report is generated; methods on tables can be targeted to execute on the server tier. Where a report is generated is controlled by the RunOn property on the menu item that starts the report. The property can be set to Client, Server, or Called From.

1. Creating Promotional Materials

The example in this section demonstrates how to customize the sales order invoice report named SalesInvoice (AOT\Reports\SalesInvoice). The invoice is customized to include promotions based on items listed on the invoice. The promotion appears below each item on the invoice associated with a promotion. Figure 1 shows an example of an invoice that displays a promotion for a water bottle.

Figure 1. Promotion on an invoice

Like the forms example, this example uses the document management feature in Dynamics AX. You use document handling to store the text and image in the database. The information is attached to the item table as two different types of document information, named PromoText and PromoImage, for storing the text and image. Figure 2 shows the PromoText and PromoImage document types.

Figure 2. PromoText and PromoImage document types

Figure 3 shows the text and image attached to an item named PB-Bike.

Figure 3. Text and image attached to an item

The X++ code used to display the promotion on the invoice looks up the item in the InventTable table and searches the document handling for documents of type PromoText and PromoImage to print on the invoice. If neither type is attached to the item, no promotion information prints.

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