Observations on Using Task Recorder in Dynamics 365 for Operations

By Warren Young | March 31, 2016

Background on Task Recorder in Dynamics AX

As an outsider coming from a different ERP product to Dynamics AX, my introduction has been mostly with Dynamics 365 for Operations.  Though there are any number of topics worth of tackling, the Task Recorder is one feature that stood out to me. This blog post is a few observations of the Task Recorder tool from that perspective.

I understand that the Task Recorder existed in prior versions of AX, though this post will focus on the feature as it stands today in AX 7.

Why it’s Worth Learning About Task Recorder

At its core, the Task Recorder is a tool that can log every click and input you make into a Dynamics AX database. What you can do with that data is where the Task Recorder becomes interesting.

Possible ways to use the data from Task Recorder:

  • Task Guides (Viewable in AX, Exportable to Word)
  • Task Guide Playback
  • Test Suites
  • Business Process Mapping Tool / Lifecycle Services Integration

What really makes these features useful is that the Recording process is straightforward and easy to edit/annotate.  (I’ve been told that’s not always been the case in prior versions.)  Additionally, the recording playback is transparent for the end user.

Task Guide Playback

Playback can generally be started in 1 of 3 ways:

  1. Auto-played as the “Getting Started” guide for a database.
  2. Accessible and played from “Help” on a page in AX.
  3. Manually imported and played.

Task Recorder in Dynamics AX Walkthrough

For this walkthrough, I’ll run with a “Getting Started” guide.

When I login to Dynamics AX, here’s a “Welcome” example that I’ve set to automatically appear.  (Note: For this sample I’ve chosen to show the full task recording as a list on the right-hand side, but that is optional.)

Dynamics AX

In the center, I see my custom Welcome message along with a task guide that’s ready to walk me through some functionality.  In this case, that’s to create a new Project record.

As I work through the steps, the Task Recorder prompt moves from control to control walking me through the steps directly.

Over to the New button…

Task Recorder in Dynamics AX

Onto Project Name…

New Project in Dynamics AX

And so on…

New Project in Dynamics AX

Each field that was used in the recording is part of the playback in as the Task Guide.  Annotations and highlights can be added as desired.

And here’s my finished project in Task Recorder…

Task Recorder in Dynamics AX

Sustainability, Modifications, and Upgrades

As the Task Recorder data is tied to the Control Names, Task Guides are actually quite portable.  The primary constraint would be custom fields or controls that don’t exist from one database to another.

Task Recorder in Dynamics AX

However, as far as portability goes, the example ‘welcome’ guide used in this post was created in a database with customizations, then something I imported and ran in a “stock” AX database without issue.

For more information on the Task Recorder, a heavily-detailed article from Microsoft is available here: https://ax.help.dynamics.com/en/wiki/task-recorder-in-ax7/

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