I hope everyone is having a great week thus far! Being head strong into summer and WPC12
behind us all, it’s time to take the biggest year in Microsoft Product history and unleash an unprecedented amount of value on the world
. Microsoft Dynamics AX customers will benefit from all the great products, from SQL Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 and Visual Studio 2012. Let us also not forget about the value proposition that Windows 8 will bring for Phone, Tablet, PC and more!
With that said, today I wanted to wrap up my review of the recently released Microsoft Dynamics AX Data Migration Framework
. I started this coverage early this week, with the following two post covering the release and step-by-step setup.:
With this now understood, I spent some time looking into the current usability of this beta release for the Data Migration Framework.
Lets point out again, that this is the beta release and therefore there will be bugs, issues and it’s not a complete offering. With that, when we start to look at the use of this framework, we must start with the types of sources we can work from. We do this from the Data Migration Framework > Setup > Source Data Formats.
I want to point out that as you open the form, we can see there is a Type field. In looking at this closer however we can’t change this from the type of File. You can see this type in the above referenced screen shot. Further inspection of this form, and it’s table DMFDataSource and we see that the field type does not allow edit. This is shown in the screen shot below.
In looking at the Base Enumeration that this field represents, being that of DMFSourceType, we do find out that there are two other types.
These types are of Ax and ODBC. We can see that there are plans then for allowing both ODBC source types, as well as enabling AX-to-AX, source-to-target usage of this framework. Just not yet!
Again this is a beta, which I would think will be getting a refresh pretty soon to enable these other type source types.
Moving along, since this is file based on source types for the Data Migration Framework, out-of-the-box usage for the framework is limited. It’s powerful, and has a lot of great possible value, specifically when the AX and ODBC types are fully added. Further the framework does work well with the file sources, as I’ve tested and imported products via. If your source data is in flat files, or you can export to flat files, then you can start getting a lot of use from the framework now.
Just to show that Microsoft does plan on really helping to enable this framework to have a multitude of sources, you can see proof in the naming of .Net assemblies that come as part of the install. Specifically the below screen shot of the ‘Microsoft.Dynamics.AX.DMF.SSISHelper’
.Net assembly reference.
In looking for how this is currently used in the X++ code that is delivered along with the install of the model file, we find the ‘DMFGenerateSSISPackage’
class. As you can see from the below screen shots however, this is only targeted for file based sources, for now.
With all of this stated, if you have more complex data import needs, or your already well under way with the concept of using services to import data for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012
there still is value is the data migration framework for your needs.
If we take the above screen shot, we can see the installed DMFProductEntity
table. This is the staging table for products. This table, along with other staging tables, can be targets of such services or import targets for more complex importing scope.
Finally on this topic around value, there is a ‘Create a custom entity for migration’
wizard that can be called to target any out-of-the-box entities or custom ones that you may have. This is shown in the screen shot above. Further the screen shot below shows the Wizard in action with what table should be the target of a custom migration entity.
With everything said, it’s a great start to helping fill a need. As I mentioned before we have been using this approach for over 2+ years now on Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 projects. What this helps with is enabling a true framework, that is repeatable and everyone can build from. Like all things in AX, you can customize this, and for your custom entities you most likely will.
Well that’s all for this post, and my current coverage of the newly release Microsoft Dynamics AX Data Migration Framework. I will come back to this topic, at a later date when Microsoft has updates that are worth sharing around this topic. Further, starting tomorrow I will get back to my regularly scheduled topics around the Cloud, BI, EP Development – and our theme of Creating a System of Engagement with Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012. Till Next Time!
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Labels: AX 2012, AX 2012 Data Migration Framework, Data Migration, Data Migration Framework, Dynamics AX, Dynamics AX 2012, HowTo, InformationSource, Master Data, MDM, Microsoft