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Reverse Engineering Tool Overview [AX 2012]

Updated: January 9, 2013

Applies To: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3, Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2, Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Feature Pack, Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012

The Reverse Engineering tool enables you to visualize the application model in Microsoft Dynamics AX by allowing you to create various types of models. You can use the Reverse Engineering tool to create UML data and object models in Microsoft Office Visio. You can also use the Reverse Engineering tool to generate an .erx file that can be imported into a modeling tool such as Microsoft Office Visio or CA ERwin Data Modeler.

NoteNote

If you plan to use Microsoft Office Visio to view and edit models, Microsoft Office Visio 2003 or later is required. If you plan to use Microsoft Office Visio 2012, you must use Professional or Premium versions.

The Reverse Engineering tool can generate a UML data or object model or an .erx file for application elements within a private or shared project or from a perspective. If you plan to use a private or shared project, you must first create the project and move the elements that you want to model into the project.

The Reverse Engineering tool can create the following types of UML models:

  • UML data model - A UML data model provides a visual representation of the metadata for tables and their relationships and views. The model contains a class for each table and view. These classes capture attributes and associations, as well as field data types, indexes, relationships, and inheritance details. For more information, see How to: Create a Visio UML Data Model.

  • UML object model - A UML object model provides a visual representation of the metadata for classes, interfaces, views, tables and their relationships. An object model contains a class for each Microsoft Dynamics AX class, view, and table and an interface for each Microsoft Dynamics AX interface. The model captures attributes, as well referenced and inherited tables and classes, extended data types, base enums, and native data types. The model also contains any classes that extend other classes, classes that implement an interface, and classes that call each other. For more information, see How to: Create a Visio UML Object Model.

The following table lists the elements that are included in the diagram for each UML model type.

Data model

Object model

Tables

Tables

Group property

Table fields

Table fields

Table methods

Field index information

Table method parameters

All extended data types

Classes

All base enums

All extended data types

All X++ data types

All base enums

All referenced and inherited tables

All X++ data types

Views

All referenced and inherited tables and classes

View fields

Views

View fields

When you select the ERX ER Data Model option for the Reverse Engineering tool, it generates an .erx file. An .erx file is a text-based version of the ERwin model file format. An .erx file is primarily used to transfer entity relationship (ER) models between modeling tools. You can import an .erx file created by the Reverse Engineering tool into modeling tools such as Microsoft Office Visio and CA ERwin Data Modeler. After you have imported an .erx file, you can create an ER data model from the imported elements. An ER data model describes the data in a system and provides a means of visualizing tables, views and their relationships and inheritance details. For more information, see How to: Create an ERX ER Data Model.

The following table describes the information that is captured in an .erx file that is generated by the Reverse Engineering tool.

Element

Information captured in the .erx file

Table or view

  • The name of the table or view in the AOT and the physical name of the table in the database

  • Each table or view's classification (from the EntityRelationshipType property)

  • Each table or view description (from the DeveloperDocumentation property)

Table field

  • Name of the field in the AOT and the physical name of the field in the database

  • Each field's description (from the HelpText property)

  • The field's data type

  • Whether the field is required

  • Whether the field is part of the primary key

View field

  • Name of the field in the AOT and the physical name of the field in the database

  • Each field's description (from the HelpText property)

  • The field's data type

Field index

  • Name of the index in the AOT and the physical name of the index in the database

  • List of fields that are part of the index

  • Whether the index is unique

Table relation

  • Name of the relation

  • Role of the relation (from the EntityRelationshipRole property)

  • Cardinality


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