Wednesday, December 28, 2011

WALKTHROUGH - Creating Fact Boxes in AX 2012 - PART I

Hi There!

I hope everybody had a great holiday weekend, and that you are preparing for next weekend’s big new year’s party (if you have one).
Before the end of the year I would like to highlight some of the changes that AX 2012 has when creating new Forms through a basic small project (Auto Rental).  As we you already know, Forms in AX 2012 contain FactBoxes, which is a small selection of data related to the current record in a Form List Page template.  
The goal of these set of posts is to (1) create three extended data types (EDT), (2) create four tables, (3) create relationships on the EDTs, (4) create a simple form to display the Auto Rental Data, (4) add a menu item to the Customer Details List Page to access the Auto Rental forms, (5) add controls to a form, and (6) create the relationship between the customer and Auto Rental records in a FactBox.
For now let’s focus on a few new definitions we’ll use a lot when creating FactBoxes in AX 2012 Forms. Basically, we can have three types of FactBoxes, (1) InfoPart, (2) Form Part, and (3) Cues.

1-      Info Part: This has its own data source and a number of controls. It is limited in what can be displayed. However it is simple and quick to create, and can also be displayed in the Enterprise Portal.

2-      Form Part: This is a link to a form. The form can have the same controls as a standard form. However since this is displayed in the FactBox section of the list page, adding too many controls can crowd the part.

3-      Cues: This is a count of a number of records related to the current record in the list page. For example, it might show the number of outstanding invoices for a customer.

In AX 2012, most forms have at least one factbox on the right side of the form. They will contain information pertaining to a highlighted record on a grid. But sometimes, we would like to see other in one of these boxes.

Go to for more information about fact boxes.

Now, to create a FactBox there are a few things we need to have in place before displaying the right data. In fact, we need to have a good concept around indexes, tables and form relationships, Form Parts and their EDT relationships.
Let’s start the project by creating a basic Table Relationship diagram.


The diagram above is really simple. Basically we have the following:
1-    AutoRentalVehicleTypeTable , which is a table to store types of vehicles  (i.e. Compact, Mid-Size, etc.).

2-   AutoRentalVehicleMake , which is a table to store the make of a vehicle (i.e. Ford, Toyota, etc.)

3-   AutoRentalModels, which is a table that a store the vehicle models and at the same time relates to both the AutoRentalVehicleMake Table and the AutoRentalVehicleTypeTable.

4-   Finally, we have the AutoRentalCustCarTable where we store the car rental information based on a rental ID and the customer account. This table has a relationship to the AutoRentalModels Table.
In my next post we will create the four tables mentioned above along with new fields, indexes and relationships.
Take Care!


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Have a great day!