Dear readers, starting today, I will be writing a series of posts on reporting framework in AX 2012.
We will start with understanding basic concepts in Reporting Framework to examples. These are all the topics that I will be covering one by one:
- Reporting framework terminologies
- Reporting Projects overview, and creation using Visual Studio
- Report designs and Controls
- Building and deploying a simple report – Using Queries
- Building a simple report – Using Report Data Provider
- Building a simple report – Precision Design
- Data Methods in Reports
- Building and Organizing Report Parameters and Dialogs – Report Data Contract Classes
- Building multi-select lookup controls in reports
- Advanced report dialog modifications (UI Builder Classes)
- Report executions – Controller classes
- Rendering Reports in different mediums – SRS Print settings classes
- Report formatting – Styles and Layouts
- Embedding images in reports
- Creating Drill-through reports
- Long running reports and Pre Process Report Data
Many topics to cover. So lets get started.
Reporting Framework Terminologies
As you all know, the reports in AX 2012 have moved to SSRS reporting, so MS has introduced a robust reporting framework wrapping over the basic SSRS reporting functionality. There are many terms used in reporting framework in AX that I will try and explain here:
- Report Definition Language: RDL is an XML application primarily used with Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services. RDL is usually written using Visual Studio. AX has Report Definition Language Contract classes that can generate and build the RDL for an AX SSRS report. This contract provides a weakly typed representation of parameters. It contains methods that can be used to get or set values. It also contains a map of parameter names and the SrsReportParameter class. The base class is SrsReportRdlDataContract.
- Report Data Provider (RDP): A framework that helps in building, processing and rendering data to reports. Most of the reports require RDP classes that help in implementing business logic required to process data and provide data in readable, presentable and required formats design. The base class is SrsReportDataProvider. This class has two main sub classes, SrsReportDataProvderBase and SrsReportDataProviderPreProcess. We will discuss about these classes in future posts.
- Report Data Contracts: The Report Data Contracts framework is used to provide and manage the parameters to an SSRS report. The report data contract contains all the other relevant instances like Report Data Provider contracts, print contracts, RDL contracts and query contracts that will be used by a report.
- Printing Contracts: The framework that manages report printing (to different mediums). The base class is SrsPrintDestinationSettings. There are other supporting contracts that are used for printing, we will discuss about them in future posts.
- Query Contracts: This framework manages the queries used to process report data. This framework is also responsible for providing dynamic filters (similar to our ‘Select” buttons on report dialogs that open the Query specification form to filter data on report queries).
- Report Controllers: Report controllers control the report execution and dialog forms. Report controllers can be used to modify report dialogs, validate report parameters and other validations necessary before report execution. The base class is SrsReportRunController. Reports utilizing report controllers can only be used for printing data on client side. Reports controlled by controllers cannot be used in Enterprise Portals.
- Report UI Builders: UI Builders are used to modify the report dialogs at run-time or to add additional parameters and write custom business logic to report dialogs. Ex: You want to perform some task based on data modified for one parameter, that affects other parameters or build a custom lookup etc (something that was provided by RunBaseReport framework class in previous versions. The base class is SrsReportDataContractUIBuilder.
These are some of the basic reporting terminologies that you will be using extensively for reporting in AX.
This concludes the post. Next will be reporting project overview.