Office Applications don’t show up embedded in the Dynamics AX Document Handling form

When you are using the Document Handling feature in the Microsoft Dynamics AX Client, you might have noticed the Show file checkbox at the top of the form. When this check box is checked the selected element (document) from the grid will be displayed directly below the grid, embedded into the Dynamics AX DocuView form.

This works well with Microsoft Office 2003 applications for example. When you are however having Microsoft Office 2007 installed, instead of showing the file content embedded into the Dynamics AX DocuView form the Office Application is launched and shows up in a separate window.

The root cause of this issue are some Registry values (BrowserFlags) that are set differently for Microsoft Office 2007 applications.

This is described in much greater detail in the following KB Article:

KB927009 - A new window opens when you try to view a 2007 Microsoft Office program document in Windows Internet Explorer 7 or Internet Explorer 8

If you wonder why Dynamics AX is also affected by this issue described for Windows Internet Explorer the explanation is simple: The Dynamics AX form uses the Web Browser control to show the embedded application.


--author: Alexander Lachner
--editor: Alexander Lachner
--date: 05/08/2010
Comments (1)

  1. For those of us with difficult to please end users, there is another solution for the adventurous. Microsoft once provided an unsupported ActiveX wrapper for Office called DSOFramer that works in most cases with both Office 2007 and 2010. There are some issues with it, however it is suitable for previewing office files. It was originally published by Microsft under KB311765.

    There are "commercial" ActiveX wrappers (i.e. Office Viewer OCX) that do the same, but all of the ones I have seen are actually based on DSOFramer (as Microsoft released the source code) with minimal changes and sold for ridiculously inflated prices.

    Microsoft's support for DSOFramer has been dropped completely since last year but copies are still available on the Internet.

    Without getting too technical, it works in this situation as an ActiveX control on a form within Dynamics AX – you simply need to write the file to disk as a temporary file and use the methods available on the ActiveX control to load the file. Care must be taken to clean up temporary files and several settings can be tweaked (i.e. to hide the ribbon and other menus, restrict editing, and so forth).

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