Integrating Other Applications with Microsoft Dynamics AX
The ability to integrate Microsoft Dynamics AX with other systems inside and outside of the enterprise is a common requirement. There are a variety of technologies you can use to integrate Microsoft Dynamics AX with other applications and exchange data, which include the following:
Application Integration Framework (AIF) – Exchanges data with other internal or external systems.
Business Connector – Enables external applications to access Microsoft Dynamics AX data and invoke business logic.
Common Language Runtime (CLR) – Provides interoperability with external .NET components and enables you to create and execute managed components from within X++ code.
The integration components in all these methods interact with Application Object Server (AOS) as shown in the following figure. Therefore, integration between Microsoft Dynamics AX and any other system is done only through AOS.
Reproduced by permission from Greef, Pontoppidan, et al, Inside Microsoft Dynamics AX 4.0 (Redmond, WA: Microsoft Press, 2006)
Microsoft Dynamics AX integration technologies
For more information about the integration technologies available, see Greef, Pontoppidan, et al. 2006. Inside Microsoft Dynamics AX 4.0. 190-192. Redmond: Microsoft Press.
AIF provides an extensible framework within Microsoft Dynamics AX that enables the exchange of data. Data is exchanged in the form of XML documents. AIF replaces the Commerce Gateway for Microsoft Dynamics AX 3.0 (formerly Microsoft Business Solutions—Axapta 3.0) This framework provides a more secure business-to-business (B2B) and application-to-application (A2A) integration between your system and trading partners or other software systems.
AIF has the following types of exchanges:
Adapter-based exchange – An asynchronous document exchange that uses an adapter in Microsoft Dynamics AX and does not require the installation of Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS). In this type of exchange, documents are moved through the system by using queues. Adapter transports supported by AIF are Microsoft Message Queuing (MSMQ), file system, Microsoft BizTalk Server 2006, and outbound Web services.
Web service exchange – A synchronous document exchange that uses Web services and requires that IIS be installed and configured to send and receive data. Because this type of exchange is synchronous, queues are not used. The Web services are generated automatically from the Microsoft Dynamics AX business logic. Developers with limited Web experience can easily create their own Web services. The Web service exchange differs from the outbound Web service adapter exchange in that it is synchronous, and it can accept requests. In contrast, the outbound Web service adapter cannot.
For more about AIF, see the Application Integration Framework Overview.
The Microsoft Dynamics AX Business Connector enables external applications to access Microsoft Dynamics AX data and invoke business logic. The Business Connector consists of the following components:
.NET Business Connector – Provides interoperability with the Microsoft .NET Framework. Use these components for integration with external applications that are written in managed code and are built with the Microsoft .NET Framework. The .NET Business Connector requires the installation of the Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0.
COM Business Connector - Provides interoperability with Microsoft COM. Use these components for integration with external applications that are compiled to the COM specification.
For more information about the differences between the .NET Business Connector and the COM Business Connector, see Differences Between .NET and COM Business Connectors.
CLR provides interoperability with external .NET components and enables you to instantiate and execute managed components from within X++ code. This interoperability is achieved with X++ language statements. These statements enable you to instantiate objects within Microsoft Dynamics AX and set them to objects in managed assemblies. In X++, the CLRObject and CLRInterop classes are used to wrap external objects. Calls can be made to external object methods through the object wrappers.
For more information about CLR, see Greef, Pontoppidan, et al. 2006. Inside Microsoft Dynamics AX 4.0. 110-113. Redmond: Microsoft Press.