Integration through the data management platform provides more capabilities and higher throughput for inserting/extracting data through entities. Typically, data goes through three phases in this integration scenario:


  • Source – These are inbound data files or messages in the queue. Typical data formats include CSV, XML, and tab-delimited.
  • Staging – These are automatically generated tables that map closely to the data entity. When Data management enabled is true, staging tables are generated to provide intermediary storage. This enables the framework to do high-volume file parsing, transformation, and some validations.
  • Target – This is the data entity where data will be imported.

The following diagram shows an inbound flow.


Known limitations in data import/export

When you import text files, string sizes are limited to 32,768 characters. If there is a string larger than this, the imported string will be truncated. This is a limitation in the underlying implemenation and is due to SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS).

If you need to import strings that are larger than 32,768 characters, we suggest that you use container entity fields.

Generating a Data Import Template

Here are the required steps for how to create a Data Import Template in Dynamics AX 7.


Background

Lots of default templates were prepared by Microsoft to allow a user to import various datasets in Dynamics AX 2012. These templates were prepared using specific fields, and in many cases, not all fields in a table were added to these templates by default.

In a newer release Microsoft Dynamics AX 7 - while no predefined templates have been provided by default, the process for creating these templates has been simplified. A user can choose to populate these templates with relevant data from the AX database as they are being generated, and can also use a data query to populate only a subset of the data.


Process - Export

To generate a data Import File, first we need to create an Export – Data Project.

The following steps are required to create an Import File from the Data Project area in the Data Management workspace:


  • Export/Job Details (field group)/Name/[enter a project name]/Target Data Format/[select a default file format e.g. CSV]/Entity Name/[select an appropriate Data entity from the drop-down e.g. Vendors]/User Sample File/[select No]/Skip Staging/[select Yes]/Select Fields/[select All Fields]/Click the Add Entity button/The Data Project should be created and automatically/successfully mapped.
  • Click the Filter button to open the Data Query Form. Here you can enter a specific/existing customer from the Criteria field drop-down and press the OK button. This process will auto-populate the Customers template with some relevant data, that can then be replaced by the customer data that will need to be imported into AX.
  • Click the Export button from the top tool bar to start the data export process.
  • Click the Download package button and select Yes to generate a data package as a ZIP file.
  • Open the zipped package file and you should be able to see a new CSV file listed in your local PC’s Downloads file directory.
  • You can now populate this file with your desired data for which you wish to import into AX.

Process - Import

The file that we created during the previous process can now be used to import data into Dynamics AX following these steps from the Data Management workspace:

  • Import/Job Details (field group)/Name/[enter a proper project name]/Source Data Format/[select a default file format e.g. CSV]/Entity Name/[select an appropriate Data entity from the drop-down e.g. Vendors]/Truncate Entity Data/[select No]/Upload Import Files (field group)/Upload Data File/Click the Upload button/Select the file that was create during the previous process/The Import Data Project should be created and automatically/successfully mapped
  • Click the Import button to start the import process into Dynamics AX.

Conclusion

Using the Data Management’s built-in process you can easily and effectively create various data Import Templates. You can choose for all the available database fields to be added to the Data Project and the associated Template or only a subset of selective database fields.


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