We start off with an environment which already has MOSS 2007 installed and Dynamics AX installed - for a step by step guide take a look at the previous posting - Installing MOSS 2007 and Microsoft Dynamics AX Part I - setting up your development environment.
Now we will take a look at how you can use the Dynamics AX Enterprise Portal functionality to provide access to Dynamics AX functionality from within SharePoint. There is a good white paper available on this topic, Installing and configuring Microsoft Dynamics AX Enterprise Portal (Partnersource: login required) . I used this as a reference but added some extra information which might be useful.
Follow these steps to get a Dynamics AX Enterprise Portal up and running:
- Modify the web.config of MOSS 2007 or WSS 3.0 - usually found at c:\inetpub\wwwroot\wss\virtualdirectories\80.
- Change the trust level to WSS_Medium: <trust level="WSS_Medium" originUrl="" /> (For background info about the reason why take a look at Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services and Code Access Security)
- Replace <httpRuntime maxRequestLength="51200" /> with <httpRuntime executionTimeout="6000" maxRequestLenght="51200" />
- Modify the <safecontrols> section in the web.config. SharePoint will only load Web Parts and ASP.NET controls that have been explicitly configured as "safe controls".
<SafeControl Assembly="Microsoft.Dynamics.WebParts, Version=184.108.40.206, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31bf3856ad364e35" Namespace="Microsoft.Dynamics.WebParts" TypeName="*" Safe="True" />
<SafeControl Assembly="Microsoft.Dynamics.ClrBridge, Version=220.127.116.11, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31bf3856ad364e35" Namespace="ClrInterop" TypeName="*" Safe="True" />
- Install Enterprise Portal by running the setup - select Custom installation type > click next. Select the computer role page and select EP Server.
- Start the Enterprise Portal Configuration. Open the Microsoft Dynamics AX client and select Administration > Setup > Internet > Enterprise Portal > Configuration Wizard . Most steps are self explaining... After you complete the EP Configuration, you can start the EP Deployment Wizard. Here you need to check the "enabled" check box for the SharePoint web application where you want to deploy the EP or use the EP web parts.
- The Enterprise Portal is actually a custom site definition - if you want to take a look at how it is build check out the Templates\Sitetemplates\AXSiteDef folder underneath the "12 hive" ([installdrive]:\program files\common files\microsoft shared\web server extensions\12). Important to note is that the EP site templates can only be top level sites so you will need to create them in a separate site collection. If you want to learn more about site definitions take a look at SharePoint Site definitions: why you need them and how to use them.
- Create an Enterprise Portal site - this can be initiated from the Microsoft Dynamics AX Client. Open the Microsoft Dynamics AX Client and select Administration > Setup > Internet > Enterprise Portal > Websites. Click the Create site button - this will open the Create site collection page. On this page you can select one of 2 types of templates (on the custom tab) for Axapta sites - Microsoft Dynamics Enterprise Portal and Microsoft Dynamics Public.
- After the site is created, the Register Site page will open ( the /_layouts/ep/axepsetup.aspx page which is defined in the ExecuteURL section within the ONET.XML of the AXSiteDef sitedefinition ). On this page you will select the company with which you want to associate the site. If a SharePoint site is not registered in Dynamics AX, you will not be able to use the Axapta webparts on the site.
Now you have you Enterprise Portal site up and running. It is possible to install Dynamics AX EP both on WSS 3.0 and MOSS 2007. If you want to learn more about Enterprise Portal Development in Microsoft Dynamics AX 4.0 - there are two courses available - course 8647 (Partnersource: login required) and course 8636A (Partnersource: login required). Although both seem to be written for SPS2003/WSS 2.0 some things might still be relevant.
In a next posting we will explore how to integrate the Axapta web parts in other SharePoint site templates such as team sites or even the My Site of users.