AX2012 – Compare model. When you put in hotfixes, updates and want to do less – Part 1

via Tamás Mészáros

So you got updated Model(s) or hotfix(es) and need to make sure your ISV or VAR or CUS / USR layer code has been merged.

Lets see what your options are:

  1. Create a project for each model and then compare then to the upper layers for changes.
    — You spend a lot of time giving yourself carpal syndrome
  2. Auto code upgrade
    — It only manages hotfixes. The code that needs to be manually reviewed can be overwhelming? (someone please correct me on that)
  3. You write some script to find out how to do this
  4. Magic beans
    — You don’t get them

Ok, so I wrote some SQL scripts to do this, however it was getting too complex for me and I knew I could do it faster with in memory processing with C#. Although I can argue with myself that SQL can do a better job with this. However, I went to the path of C#

Tables used:

  1. SysElementType – This stores what a node in the AOT is classified as. E.g. TableInstance, ClassInstanceMethod, BaseEnum. This is purely to translate an integer to a human readable value.
  2. SysModelElement – This is where the definition of each object is. So every node in the AOT is one record here. This record also links it to the Parent Element. So a record which is the table field, will have its parent element to the Table itself. A parent element can have another parent element too, e.g. a form element inside a group
  3. SysModelElementData – This is where the code for the SysModelElement is stored. And it it stored for each Model (not layer). Moment I override the code in the USR layer for the SalesFormLetter classdeclaration in Ax, it will create a record in this table with the new code. So use it as a caution, if you ever query this table, be careful because you could be transferring a “lot” of data across the wire

Combining SysModelElementData, i can find what all other models use the same element. Then link it up to sysModelElement and find more information about the AOT object that has changed.

Armed with this knowledge I went and created  C# console application

The project currently compares models. So if you want to know what has affected the VAR and USR layer models with the addition of a particular SYP layer model, then you send the list of SYP model id’s and then the list of VAR and USR layer models as a csv string. This does a fast compare and outputs what objects you need to look at.

The shortcomings / bugs of this so far:

  1. Security, menu items dont get compared because of the way this is stored
  2. Currently you need to compare models. I would like to say i need to know what objects are affected by these SYP models and then get a list of objects on all the higher layers
  3. Need to create a library instead of a console project

This project is posted on GitHub:


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