torsdag den 29. marts 2012

Dynamics AX 2012 annoyances (for (old school) developers).

Dynamics AX 2012 annoyances (for (old school) developers).

Sorry about the parathesis.

Having worked with Dynamics AX 2012 way back when it was called Axapta, I remember the days where the IDE had not undergone the Microsoft transition of being more Visual Studio like.
And I long for some of the features I had back then.

Now don't get me wrong I am all for the new possibilities the new IDE and editor gives a developer, but I wish that not all of the nice features we had in the old IDE had been removed in the new one.

Keeping in mind that I will be sounding some of my customers, when they get a brand new AX installation: "That was possible in our old system!". ;0)

Inspired by http://www.annoyances.org/ I decided to blog a little about the annoyances I have found working with Dynamics AX 2012's new IDE.

So the annoyances I have encountered until now are:

No "New form from template" in code projects

The new feature that I expect is there to help us developers produce more uniform forms (no I am not stuttering), called "New form from template" is quite nice. But why is it that you can only call it directly from the AOT-tree ?

When doing a customization to AX I normally start by creating a code project, so I can put the customized elements in one place for tracking reasons. In the code project, you can create groups, that helps you categorize the customized elements like a group form forms and a group for tables etc.
I normally do this too, because I like things to be tidy.

But when trying to use "New form from template" directly from my Form group node in my code project I am annoyed to see, that this feature is missing. So I have to go back to the AOT to create my form using a template, and afterwards drag it back to my code project.

No drag’n’drop of element-names from AOT into code

Sometimes you need to write an init-method which uses a lot of fields from a table.
In the old IDE, you could open a new window, open the datadictionary and the open the fields node in the table you were working with, highlight the fields you wished to use in your code, and drag it to the editor window.
This is unfortunately not possible any more. Not even for type names, class names.

Intellisense

Maybe it's just me and my habits but I actually miss the function keys from the old IDE, which could give you a list of say tables, or EDT's directly in the editor-window where you could quickly find what you needed.

Now you actually have to know what the element you are looking for is called and start typing that and so Intellisense will help you. I like Intellisense, but I would just looove a combination of the two.

CTRL+O on tables - just not system tables

It's great that you can open a table browser on a table using CTRL+O, quick and easy. Nice.
But why is it not possible to do the same on system tables ?


These were four little things that often annoys me in the Dynamics AX 2012 IDE.

UPDATE - regarding Intellisense.

I actually have an example where the old school ways of drag'n'drop of element from the AOT to the editor, og the shortcut key showing the tablenames and their fields would come in very handy, because of the short comings of Intellisense in the AX IDE.

If you write an update_recordset command in you code then Intellisense is not able to help your determine which field you want to use in the setting-clause.

In the example shown below I need to be able to see what field in the cstLedgerAllocationReference table that I want to be update, but Intellisense is not very helpful. (The field in this example is called AllocationJournalTransRefRecid). So I have to open another AOT, go to the datadictionary / Tables, find the right table, expand the fields nodes to see what the field is called, which is more time consuming - and annoying - than just pressing F2 or having the Intellisense function properly.

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