AX 2012 Meta Model

Like previous releases Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 provides a model driven development platform. It enables us developers to create a business application using predefined types of building blocks (aka. concepts) – each targeted a specific purpose. To be an effective X++ developer you need to know the building blocks and how they relate.

What is new in the meta model for AX 2012? Quite a lot – here is a short summary:

  • SSRS Report is added, it will replace Reporting Library and Report.
    Create an SSRS Report for any reporting needs.
  • Parts are introduced: Info Part, Form Part, Cue and Cue Group.
    These all provides additional information that can be hosted on a form. An Info Part provides a simple grid, a Form Part can host a form inside a form, a Cue provides visual KPIs.
  • Service and Service Group
    Provides capabilities for exposing X++ classes as .NET services – wsdl style.
  • New security concepts: Role, Duty, Privilege, Security Policy, Code Permission and Process Cycle.
    These are all part of the new role based security framework. Notice the meta model contains Role – allowing the developer to specify predefined roles.
  • Security key is deprecated
  • Visual Studio Project is added
    You can now have VS projects (like C# and VB) in the meta model – yes, they support layer based customization and rapid deployment like all other meta model concepts.
  • …. and much more


The diagram below shows the most common relationships between concepts. Each arrow should be read as “using”. For example:

  • Menu uses Menu Item. A menu has a collection menu items.
  • Menu Item uses Form. A menu item references a form. This form is launched when the user clicks the menu item.
  • Form uses Table. A form uses a table as a data source.
  • Table uses Extended Data Type. The fields on a table is defined using extended data types.


I have printed the below diagram, and pinned it to a wall in my office. It serves me as a reference when I navigate the new areas of AX 2012. I hope it can do the same for you.


Click the image for a larger version

You might also want to look at the meta model for AX 4

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