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The MorphX Development Environment and Tools

This chapter from Inside Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 describes the most commonly used tools and offers some tips and tricks for working with them.


AX 2012 includes a set of tools, the MorphX development tools, that you can use to build and modify AX 2012 business applications. Each feature of a business application uses the application model elements described in Chapter 1, “Architectural overview.” With the MorphX tools, you can create, view, modify, and delete the application model elements, which contain metadata, structure (ordering and hierarchies of elements), properties (key and value pairs), and X++ code. For example, a table element includes the name of the table, the properties set for the table, the fields, the indexes, the relations, and the methods, among other things.

This chapter describes the most commonly used tools and offers some tips and tricks for working with them. You can find additional information and an overview of other MorphX tools in the MorphX Development Tools section of the AX 2012 software development kit (SDK) on the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN).

Table 2-1 lists the MorphX tools and components.

TABLE 2-1 MorphX tools and other components used for development.



Application Object Tree (AOT)

Start development activities. The AOT is the main entry point for most development activities. It allows the developer to browse the repository of all elements that together make up the business application. You can use the AOT to invoke the other tools and to inspect and create elements.


Group related elements into projects.

Property sheet

Inspect and modify properties of elements. The property sheet shows key and value pairs.

X++ code editor

Inspect and write X++ source code.

Label editor

Create and inspect localizable strings.


Compile X++ code into an executable format.

Best Practices tool

Automatically detect defects in both your code and your elements.


Find bugs in your X++ code.

Reverse Engineering tool

Generate Microsoft Visio Unified Modeling Language (UML) and entity relationship diagrams (ERDs) from elements.

Table Browser tool

View the contents of a table directly from a table element.

Type Hierarchy Browser and Type Hierarchy Context

Navigate and understand the type hierarchy of the currently active element.

Find tool

Search for code or metadata patterns in the AOT.

Compare tool

See a line-by-line comparison of two versions of the same element.

Cross-Reference tool

Determine where an element is used.

Version control

Track all changes to elements and see a full revision log.

You can access these development tools from the following places:

  • In the Development Workspace, on the Tools menu
  • On the context menus of elements in the AOT

You can personalize the behavior of many MorphX tools by clicking Options on the Tools menu. Figure 2-1 shows the Options form.


FIGURE 2-1 The Options form, in which development options are specified.

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