Thursday, November 28, 2013

Book review: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Reporting Cookbook

Kamalakannan Elangovan has written a comprehensive book about reporting with SSRS in AX 2012. 

The basics are explained in the appendix “Introduction to SSRS” and chapter 1 “Understanding and Creating Simple SSRS Reports”.

Chapter 2 guides you through how you can make more vivid reports, explaining about how you can use multiple data regions in a report and how you can add charts, images, filters, documents maps and drill up/down to a report. It also explains about reports templates, the use of expressions and aggregation in reports.

The programming model is examined in chapter 3 and 4, covering a lot ground about working with report controllers, modifying the report user dialog, adding business logic and not the least how to debug and write unit tests for the business logic. Chapter 4 is entirely dedicated to explain how to use the Report Data Provider as data source for reports.

Chapter 5 explains how to mix and use other data sources for your report, like XML feeds, external data sources and it shows you how to write OLAP reports and how to use the SQL Report Builder.

In chapter 6 the reports get more vivid with descriptions of matrix reports, chart reports, and how to put use gauges in a report.

In chapter 7 upgrading and analyzing reports from earlier versions, and you get recipies for moving different kinds of constructs from the legacy reporting to SSRS, including how to add inventory- and financial dimensions to a report. This is very useful.

Chapter 8 is the chapter for everything else. It holds sections about troubleshooting, print management, e-mail, and a few other others things that cannot fill an entire chapter.

I am very happy to see that this book is not all a about the happy path where everything just works. It means a lot to me to see troubleshooting, debugging, upgrade issues and unit testing be a part of the book.

This book is extremely useful for AX developers writing SSRS reports, whether they are beginners or more experienced developers. If you are just buying one book about reports with AX the year, this must be it. Otherwise, I suggest you buy the other released book too, “Developing SSRS Reports for Dynamics AX”. They complement each other very good. 

You can buy the book directly from Packt Publishing here:

And you can of course buy the book from Amazon, Barnes & Noble etc. too.