Thursday, February 23, 2017

AX Word of the Week: AOT

The AX Word of the Week this week is AOT, another acronym! Not to be confused with last week's word of the week, AOS, the AOT is quite different.

AOT - Application Object Tree

The AOT, or the Application Object Tree, is the back end of your AX environment. This is where all of the code, the tables, and all of the objects defined in AX reside. Typically, you will hear a developer or a system administrator talk about the AOT. The typical AX user does not have access to the AOT, so this blog post will be a very high level overview of what the AOT is. This will be helpful for the next time you hear someone talking about it, you might be able to hang with the conversation a little bit longer.

AOT Structure in AX

The AOT has a specific structure that is reminiscent of a tree structure. You can quickly get lost in the branches, or nodes, but since it has a logical setup, it's easy enough to get back to the main tree structure itself. You can easily arrow right ⇒ to go deeper into the tree, and then arrow left ⇐ to go back out.

A view of the AOT, or Application Object Tree, in AX
The AOT in AX

At the very top of the AOT is the Data dictionary. This opens up to show that it holds elements such as Tables, Maps, Views, Extended Data Types, etc. These elements are all used by the code to read and write business data.

The Data Dictionary in the AOT
The Data Dictionary in AX

Further down the tree, you can see that the AOT contains many other different objects that you may or may not have heard of such as Classes, Forms, SSRS Reports, Visual Studio Projects, Jobs, and Security.

The AOT is where AX Developers spend a lot of their time. They work in the code and know AX from the AOT as well as, or even better than through the user interface. They also have a robust toolbar across the ribbon with capabilities to store projects, debug, compile, and use version control for the application.

Security of the AOT

The AOT can be accessed by opening a new Development Workspace by clicking Ctrl + Shift + W or by navigating to Windows > New Development Workspace in the upper right hand corner of the screen. Only people with certain security rights can get to the AOT, so unless you have been given Sys Admin rights to your AX environment, do not worry about accidentally opening the AOT.

Access the AOT by selecting Windows + New Development Workspace or Ctrl + Shift + W
Navigating to Windows > New Development Workspace will open the AOT

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