AX 2012 and Power BI
I recently attended the AXUG conference in Fargo, ND and the most interesting session for me was one on Power BI. Power BI is a subject I have not spent a lot of time learning about. After the session I decided it was time to dig in. This article reflects the first part of Power BI I started reading about which is Power Query. Power Query is a free Excel add-on which allows you to pull data from different datasources into Excel. Below is a small lab I walked through along with my color commentary on each of the steps.
Walk-through Using Microsoft Power Query for Excel in AX
1. Install Power Query from Microsoft
a. Power Query is a free plug-in for Excel
b. You can download it from here.
2. In AX navigate to Organization administration > Setup > Document management > Document data sources
a. The form that opens pulls data from the DocuDataSource table in AX
b. The data source types available to pull data from are: Service, Query reference and Custom query
i. Service = AIF services.
-AIF Services are listed under the Services node of the AOT.
-There are a few hundred out-of-the-box services in AX.
ii. Query reference = A query listed under the Queries node of the AOT.
-There are hundreds of queries in the AOT.
iii. Custom query = A query listed under the Queries node of the AOT with a filter applied to it.
-This option uses the same queries as the Query reference data source type but allows you to add range restrictions to the queries.
-For example, if a query pulled from the customers table, with the custom query option you could restrict the query to a specific customer or customers.
-To apply the restriction to the query, in the dropdown you select an existing modelled query and then it prompts you for the range restrictions to apply to that query.
-You can rename the data source name once you pick the query. The data source name field is editable.
3. Mark the Activated checkbox on any of the data sources in this form you want to use to pull data into Excel
4. Close the Document data sources form.
5. In Excel on the ribbon at the top of the page go to the Power Query tab
a. The Power Query tab is added to Excel once you have installed the Power Query plug-in
6. On the Power Query tab click the button From other sources > From Odata feed
7. In the form that opens enter the URL for the AX Odata query service
a. The URL is http://localhost:8101/DynamicsAX/services/OdataQueryService
b. Odata query service is an AX system service
c. Odata query service is not listed in the Inbound ports or in the Services node of the AOT
d. Information on the Odata query service is located here.
8. After clicking on the form prompting for the URL you are asked for how to connect to the service
a. On the left side of the form choose Windows and then select the option for your current credentials.
b. On the bottom of the form on the right side choose the url for the Odata service
9. Once the credentials are accepted a form opens displaying the list of activated data sources from the Document data sources form in AX
10. In the form displaying the data sources, select the desired data source and at the bottom of the form click the Load button
a.The data from your query will be brought into Excel and you are free to clean it up and remove columns as you see fit