AXUG / D365 User Group

This will be a less focused and problem/solution oriented blog post than usual for me. I’m currently taking a short break while attending the Dynamics AX / 365 User Group Summit. Midway through, we’ve heard the keynote, I’ve hit a few sessions, and I’ve gotten an idea how this thing works and what to expect next year (in Orlando, Florida, if you want to register for next year).

Attendance seems to be roughly 1/3rd IT people, with enough developers to fill sessions pretty well.

There have been sessions focused on X++ coding, but mostly higher level (you can only do so much in an hour long session). Best session so far that I attended went over the difference between “overlayering” (what you’d call “customization” in older versions) and “extensions,” which I already knew; but with useful explanation about the new-ish Chain Of Command functionality. Also a great (but again high-level) session on automated testing, something I’ve never looked at as a newer developer; I now have a rough idea how to set up Unit Tests and Type Provider / Integration Tests, which I look forward to diving into.

Common Data Model is big. (Is this the same as Common Data Service? I’m sure Microsoft doesn’t mind any confusion. See also renaming VSTS to “Azure DevOps,” a confusing name that I really hope does not stick.) Power BI and Flow are huge topics. Although ostensibly friendly to end users, developers should not ignore these tools. You WILL be integrating Power BI into D365 as a developer, especially if there are custom reports; and you’ll find Flow helpful with some integrations.

There are no shortage of tools to learn that part, at least. Microsoft mentioned during their keynote (in between basically demoing the whole family of products and how easily they talk to each other, in a perfect world at least…) which should be a good starting point for learning many things… still no real path for X++ programming, though. The expectation still seems to be that either you’ve been working in AX 2012 and earlier and need refreshers, or you’re coming from C++ and learning from a generous employer; third parties are starting to fill the gap by offering training, but that is your only real option if you can’t get on-the-job training.

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