Microsoft Dynamics AX Support

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DIXF – Importing data using Excel and ODBC

Consider a scenario where you are running AX 2012 R3 and you want to import data from Excel files using ODBC. Having recently worked a case on this topic, I thought I’d share some of the details on how this can be set up.

1. Background

The main reason we were looking into this way of importing Excel data was that trying to import the data in Batch using Excel files would in some scenarios result in this error:

The version of Microsoft Excel is not supported.-Exception from HRESULT: 0xC020801C

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Working with a LCS Repro VM we were able to reproduce the issue, and then establish an alternative approach that I will outline below.

There are lots of ways to import data into Microsoft Dynamics AX and this is only one of them. The best tool for the job and approach will depend on many factors, including the degree of control you have over source data formats (CSV File, Excel File, XML File, AX, ODBC), the frequency of the imports, the complexity of the entities being used, security considerations, etc.

The aim of this blog post is simply to outline one approach which you may be considering.

2. Prepare the environment

In this example, we are working with a very simple 2 column Terms of delivery entity Excel input file.

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A. Download the 64-bit version of Microsoft Access Database Engine 2010 Redistributable:

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=13255

B. Copy the installer to a local folder and run the install from command line using the /passive parameter:

C:\MSFT\AccessDatabaseEngine_x64.exe /passive

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C. Backup the registry and rename the key mso.dll in the following location:

Warning: Incorrectly editing the registry may severely damage your system. At the very least, you should back up any valued data on the computer before making changes to the registry.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\14.0\Common\FilesPaths

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D. In Windows, create a 64-bit ODBC data source pointing to the Excel file to be imported:

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E. In AX, create an ODBC source data format using the 64-bit ODBC data source created before:

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F. In AX, create a Processing group using the source data format just created. The query should look like: select * from [worksheet$], for example:

Select * from [S1$]

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G. In AX, generate the mapping and test:

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3. Run the DIXF Excel file / ODBC source data format import as a Batch

We can now proceed and run the DIXF import using Batch processing:

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The Batch job is executing:

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The Batch job has ended successfully:

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We can verify that the job ran as expected by checking the Execution history, too:

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4. Testing

As always, ensure you’ve set up a proper Dynamics AX TEST environment first, and that you are familiar with the impact of your DIXF actions before you perform them in PROD.