Docentric AX Architecture

Docentric AX is a Microsoft Dynamics AX Add-On solution for reporting and document automation.
It consists of the components as follows.

Docentric AX Framework

Technical requirements: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2/R3.

It is a plug-in for MS Dynamic AX, which is actually composed of three frameworks that share the same code base:

  • Enhancement of built-in SSRS reports called “Docentric SSRS Reports”
  • A completely new reporting stack called “Docentric Basic Reports”
  • Enhancement of built-in Document Template Libraries (i.e. Word Templates) called “Docentric Mail Merge”

Docentric AX Framework runs smoothly side-by-side with AX built-in SSRS and Document Management frameworks.


See gallery for Docentric AX


Setup for Docentric AX
This includes setup for Docentric Server, reporting parameters, reports and their templates, Docentric document types for archiving reports and Document Template Libraries, etc. Report and document templates can be stored on file system (e.g. network drives, shared folders) or SharePoint document libraries.

Generating report and document XML data sources
To create a data source, a developer will use an AX query or write a custom business logic using high level Docentric AX Framework APIs. He doesn’t have to be aware that he actually produces a data source in specific XML format that is already enriched with useful data sections containing report parameters and information related to the current company, worker, etc. This is all completely automated by Docentric AX Framework.
For existing SSRS Reports, Docentric AX Framework reuses report data sources (RDP classes) as a default starting point in customization process.

Output management
Reports and documents are generated from selected templates and runtime data sources with the help of Docentric Server and distributed to enhanced print destinations: Screen, Print Archive, File, Email and Printer.
A developer has at his disposal flexible and well documented APIs for custom scenarios like report execution from the code with predefined run settings, or dynamic changing of these settings (e.g. selected template and print destination).

Docentric Server

Technical requirements: Windows Server 2008 R2 or later, IIS 7.0 or later, .NET 4.0 or later.

This is a web service with basic http authentication hosted by IIS on Windows Server. The service has only one responsibility – to generate reports and documents in requested output formats from their input templates and runtime data. Docentric AX Framework knows how to automatically retrieve a selected template, produce needed data and invoke Docentric Server; thus direct communication with Docentric Server is not a developer’s concern.

Supported output formats: DOCX, PDF, XPS, PDF/A*, MHTML*

* Supported only in conjunction with SharePoint WAS 2010 or later.

During the trial period, for testing purposes, you can use our Test Docentric Server in the cloud.

In case of Docentric SSRS and Basic Reports, Docentric AX Framework’s code running on AOS invokes Docentric Server service operations on behalf of a client or a batch. AOS account needs a READ access to the template storage.

On the other hand, when Docentric Mail Merge takes place, document generation occurs on a client side just as in the case of the built-in Document Template Libraries; hence Docentric AX Framework running on AX client communicates with Docentric Server. Each AX client requires a READ access to the template storage.

Docentric AX Designer

Technical requirements: Microsoft Word 2007 or later.

Microsoft Word with addition of Docentric AX Add-In acts as a template designer for all three kinds of templates: Docentric SSRS reports, Docentric Basic reports and Docentric Mail Merge.

Templates are just ordinary Word documents and static content (e.g. styles, formatting, text) can even be modified without the presence of Docentric AX Add-In. However, to add a new Word construct bound to the template data source, you will need to install a Docentric AX Add-In.

Practically any of Word’s constructs such as paragraphs, images, charts, text-boxes, shapes, n-level nested tables, bulleted lists, etc. can be dynamic and bound to a template data source, formatted with Word’s powerful styles and placed anywhere in a document body, headers, footers or sections. Learn more  

Generation of template data sources for design purposes is simple and automated by Docentric AX Framework.

15 minutes is all you need to install the product. Straightforward how-to manuals and examples will guide you on your evaluation journey. You will quickly get an idea of how Docentric AX best fits in your projects.

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