Why AIF services required in Axapta

Hi Pioneers,

we can also use the AIF services to import the data in AXAPTA .

When we have the standard functionality like Definition groups , Data Import / Export framework 2012 and Excel Addin to import and export the data in AX 2012 and AX 2012 R2 .

In which case we can use the AIF services and what are the advantages to use the AIF services when compared with above mentioned tools ?

Thanks in advance.

AIF means Application Integration Framework. Its main purpose is to allow communication between AX and other applications, e.g. you can send purchase orders to your vendors’ systems, your webshop can query AX for actual stock and so on.

Thanks Martin for your answer .

Then what about the DIEF ( Data Import Export Framework ) and SSIS ( SQL server Integrated services ) tools , these tools also will allow the communitcation between AX and other application .

How best is the AIF tool when compared with SSIS and DIEF?

Thanks in advance.

SSIS surely can be used for integration with other applications, but it’s for integration with SQL Server, not with Dynamics AX. AIF is processed by AX application server, therefore if has access to complete AX business logic and understands what the data means.

Data Import Export Framework is - as its name suggests - intended for data exports and imports. As far as I know, it can’t be used for true application integration.

Thanks Martin Drab,

I am not very clear about the above statement ,

I know SSIS is a ETL tool .

Do you mean that SSIS can work with SQL server only and it does not integrate with other applications . Am i right ?

Second thing that SSIS will not integrate with AX application . Did i understand correctly ?

But i have read some where ( not remember exactly) through SSIS also we can import the Master data in AX application . Please correct me if i am wrong .

Thanks in advance.

SQL Server Integration Services is part of SQL Server - it has nothing to do with Dynamics AX. You could use it to do something with AX data directly in SQL Server database, but that means avoiding Dynamics AX at all. It’s nothing what you should normally do.

Application Integration Framework, on the other hand, is part of Dynamics AX and uses AX business logic (calculated values, validations, number sequences, application triggers…), understands AX security, table inheritance, dimensions, RecIds, surrogate keys etc. etc.

You surely could use SSIS and AIF in conjunction, where SSIS would deal with an external database and AIF would use all the AX business logic to properly read or write data in AX.

Please refer to documentation of SSIS and AIF for details.

We did unfortunately use the AIF for our data migration, as we were not comfortable enough with SSIS and the new ERP structure, and the DMF was not available at the time of AX2012 RTM.

I would look in to the Data Migration Framework ( DMF ). If you don’t have very high volumes of data to import, I would vouch that the AIF did do the work rather well. It validated our inputs. If you use the AIF, I strongly suggest generating a SQL Map series of tables with your old legacy system identity keys and the related key generated in AX via the number sequence etc. This will give you good traceability to validate related records were transitioned appropriately or as expected.