Data Import/Export Framework replaces Data Migration Framework (beta). Some exiting new features are added within this release. It is now possible to have AX as the datasource. Also new is the possibility to export data. I also noticed that it is possible to have a table or composite entity as entity type within the target entities.

This release applies to all AX2012 versions. There are models for AX2012, AX2012 Feature pack and AX2012 R2. The installation procedure is quite simple. You have to install the components on applicable machines.

DataImportExportFramework_Install

After completion of the setup, import the appropriate model for your AX2012 version and complete the checklist. The application must be compiled (x++ and CIL) and synchronized.

The tool is available for download at InformationSource and more documentation is available on Technet.

Deeper look in AX as source data format

After working with the prior 2 beta versions the trilogy is complete. It is now possible to setup AX as the data source format. Your own AX environment is the datasource. You can now copy data from one company to another or export the data for use in another AX environment.

DataImportExportFramework_SourceDataFormats

The first tests looks promising. I created a processing group ‘Customer’. The entity is also setup with entity name ‘Customer’ and Source Data Format ‘AX’. You can specify a filter to query which customers need to be exported. When using AX as source data, there is no need to generate or modify the source mapping.

When you start the function ’Get staging data’ the customers from the current company will be inserted in the staging table. From this point we have multiple options. We can export the data or copy the target to another AX company.

Before you copy to target, make sure you switch to the appropriate company.

Exporting the data can be done with two formats: AX and a file format. When you export as AX the export will be in the import/export format of AX with ‘dat’ and ‘def’ files. For exporting to a file you need to setup another processing group where you can specify the field mappings.

Is this all?

No. I have to explore the possibilities within the target entities. What can we achieve with a table as entity type?

It is also pleasant to see the expanding support of predefined target entities.

With the current knowledge of this version, I think some hot topics can be solved. Many people want to copy items from one company to another. I haven’t done a test on items so far. It will still be a hard job to copy a complete company.

There might be a change to use this framework within a DTAP for setup. When the setup changes are tested, you can export new settings and import it into an acceptance environment. After acceptation copy it to the production in the same way. In this case you have to create new custom entities, but you can use the wizard to help you with the first basics.

That’s all for now. Till next time!

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