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Reporting in Microsoft Dynamics AX [AX 2012]

Updated: July 17, 2013

Applies To: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2, Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Feature Pack, Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012

This section describes how you can use Reporting Services reports in Microsoft Dynamics AX. For more information about choosing the right Business Intelligence tool, see Business Intelligence Capabilities and Tools.

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The following table describes the role of different tools that you can use for Business Intelligence in Microsoft Dynamics AX.

Category

Capability

Option

More information

Query

Pre-defined query

  • Operational queries

  • Lists of operational or financial data

  • Printing lists of operational or financial data

Cues

List pages

Auto report

Cues and Cue Groups

List Page Forms

List pages

Create a report by using the Microsoft Dynamics AX auto-report wizard

Walkthrough: Creating an Auto Design Report

Query

Ad hoc query

  • Query operational or financial data

Microsoft Office Excel add-in for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012

Using the Microsoft Dynamics AX Add-in for Excel

Reporting

Ad hoc reporting

Statutory and financial reporting

Charts and info-graphics

Production reports

Microsoft SQL Server Report Builder v3 or Excel with Cubes

Management reporter

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2 chart controls

Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) reports

Types of reports

Create a report by using SQL Server Report Builder to connect to a cube

Walkthrough: Analyzing Cube Data in Excel

Documentation for Management Reporter

Chart Controls Overview

Development Tasks for Reporting

Analytics

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Scorecards

Ad hoc summarization and exploration

Role centers and Business overview web part

PerformancePoint Services in Microsoft SharePoint Server

Power View reports

Data mash-up with Microsoft Excel PowerPivot

Walkthrough: Displaying KPIs in a Role Center

Development Tasks for Analytics

Create a report by using Power View to connect to a cube

Walkthrough: Creating an Analyze Data Button on a List Page

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2 and SQL Server Power View

Query tools can be grouped into two categories. Predefined queries are the most frequently used queries. They are defined once and consumed frequently, often by a group of users. Ad-hoc queries are mostly situational. They are built for a specific purpose when they are needed.

  • Cues and list pages – A casual business user can define a query by using a list page with a simple gesture. These queries are known as cues, and they can be pinned to a Role Center for ease of access. Cues show results immediately as data changes. When selected, cues display detailed data on the same list page where they were defined.

  • Auto-Report – A casual business user can generate a report in one click from any form by using a wizard-driven approach. The data in the form is shown in a report format, and this report can be sent as email or printed. Auto-Report is an easy way for a casual user to generate a printable report that uses the data shown in a form.

  • Excel add-in for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 – A business user can generate an ad-hoc report in Excel that has secure access to data by using the Excel add-in for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012.

    The user can begin by exporting the data shown in a form or on a list page to Excel. Exported data can be enriched by adding additional fields. It is also possible to create a new report by starting in Excel.

    In addition to ad-hoc reports, a business user can generate documents such as sales quotations and collection letters by using the Word add-in for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012.

  • SQL Report Builder v3 with cubes – A business user can create robust, professional-quality reports with the data contained in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 cubes by using SQL Report Builder v3. Report Builder leverages the power of SQL Server Reporting Services server for report processing and distribution. In addition to providing the capability to author professional-looking reports, these reports enable parameters and conditional logic to be included in such a way that they can be consumed by a large population of users in the organization.

  • Excel with cubes – A business user can explore Microsoft Dynamics AX cube data and also create ad-hoc reports by using built-in capabilities of Excel, such as pivot tables and Power View. Because cubes pre-aggregate data, this is a highly performant way to explore and report on aggregate data without impacting the load on the production database.

  • Management Reporter – A business user can develop advanced financial statements that use Microsoft Dynamics AX data. Management Reporter is an add-on tool that integrates with Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012. Management Reporter can consolidate data from Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009, and other Microsoft ERPs for financial reporting purposes.

  • Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2 charting controls – Charting controls are a capability that was added in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2 to enable developers to build highly performant visualizations on Role Centers. These controls are developed by using the Enterprise Portal development framework – that is, by using concepts that are already familiar to developers.

  • SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) reports – For production and operational reports that are crucial to the organization, a developer can use SSRS reports. Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 and Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2 add a layer of tooling and runtime components to integrate the SSRS server with metadata, business logic, and the runtime. To develop production reports, a developer uses Microsoft Visual Studio tools for Microsoft Dynamics AX.

  • Business Overview Web Part– A business user can pin pre-built KPIs and indicators to Role Centers by using the Business Overview Web Part. Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2 provides the capability to add user-defined filters to existing KPI definitions in such a way that users can pin the same KPI to Role Centers by adding filters to reflect their area of interest.

  • Microsoft Office PerformancePoint Services (PPS) scorecards – A business user can define scorecards and strategy maps by using Microsoft Office PerformancePoint Services and tools. These dashboards can be exposed on Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Role Centers or in a corporate portal that is based on Microsoft Office SharePoint Server.

  • SQL Power View on list pages and Role Centers – Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2 provides the capability to explore data on a list page by using SQL Power View. Reports created by using SQL Power View can be exposed on Role Centers or saved as PowerPoint slides.

  • Data mash-up with Excel PowerPivot – Often, there is a need to integrate external sources of data to make decisions. Excel PowerPivot is an add-in that is available with Excel 2010 and later that enables mashing up different data sources for integrated reporting. The PowerPivot add-in leverages in-memory BI technology and data compression that enables Excel to scale to hundreds of millions of rows of data.

    A power user can extract data from Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 either by using cubes (if aggregate data is required) or via the Excel add-in. (if operational data is required). Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2 provides another option for exposing data by using the OData protocol in such a way that operational data can be exposed to Excel users even if they don’t have the Excel add-in installed on their desktop.

    After the relevant data sources have been assembled in Excel, the data can be analyzed either with Excel pivot tables or, in Excel 2013, with built-in Power View.

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