Create models and data model elements overview

In this tutorial, you'll use Visual Studio's Dynamics 365 menu to create a new model named Fleet Management tutorial. You'll also create and edit new model elements.


This tutorial requires that you have access to an environment, and that you be provisioned as an administrator


  • Model - You configure your model to refer to two other models. This enables your model to reference metadata and code elements that are in other packages.
  • Project - You create a project and then associate your project to your new model. You add elements to your project, which are also added to your model. Specifically, you add an extended data type (EDT). You also add a table that you populate with fields and a method.
  • Designer - Each time you add an item to your project, a designer is displayed that is tailored to the item type you selected. The Properties window adjusts each time a different node of the designer is highlighted. You make updates in the designers and in the Properties window.
  • EDT - Extended data type.

Create the Fleet Management tutorial model

  1. Start Visual Studio using Run as administrator.

  2. From the Dynamics 365 menu, select Model Management > Create model to open the Create model wizard.

  3. Enter the following values for model parameters.

    Property Value
    Model name FleetMgmntTutorial
    Model publisher Microsoft Corp
    Layer isv
    Model description This tutorial shows how to build the Fleet Management application by using the Microsoft Dynamics AX development tools.
    Model display name Fleet Management Tutorial


    Your model name must be FleetMgmntTutorial. Don't use any other name. In other tutorials, you'll overwrite model elements in this model by importing a project. If the model you create in this tutorial isn't named FleetMgmntTutorial, you may not be able to correctly import the project in other tutorials.

  4. Click Next to advance to the next page, and then select Create New Package. The model you're creating will have its own package and build its own .NET assembly.

    Select package.

  5. Click Next to advance to the Select referenced models step.

  6. Select Application Platform and Application Foundation as referenced models.

    Select referenced models.


    Verify that you've selected the correct referenced models.

  7. Click Next to advance to the Summary step.

  8. Verify the information on the summary page, and then select the Create new project and Make this my default model for new projects check boxes.

    Summary of data model.

  9. Click Finish. The New Project dialog box opens.

  10. Under Templates, select Dynamics 365.

  11. Select the Unified Operations template.

  12. Enter the following values in the fields in the dialog box.

    Property Value
    Name FMTDataModel
    Location C:\FMLab
    Solution Add to solution

    New project dialog.

  13. Click OK to create the project.

Create the FMTAddress extended data type

  1. In Solution Explorer, right-click FMTDataModel, point to Add, and then click New Item.

  2. Under Dynamics 365 Items, select Data Types.

  3. Click EDT String to select the new item type.

  4. In the Name field, enter FMTAddress, and then click Add.

    Add a new data type.

    This adds a new EDT model element to the project, and opens the EDT designer for the new element, as shown in the following illustration.

    FMTAddress added.

  5. Select the root node of FMTAddress in the designer.

  6. In the Properties window, in the Appearance section, set the following properties.

    Property Value
    Help Text Check online help.
    Label Address
    String Size 75

    Properties window for FMTAddress.

  7. Press Ctrl+S to save the EDT.

Add existing model

Add the other required model element files to the current model and project. You can do this quickly by using the Add existing item feature.

  1. In the Solution Explorer, right-click FMTDataModel, point to Add, and then click Existing Item.

  2. Browse to C:\FMLab\EDT\.

    Add existing items.

  3. Press Ctrl+A to select all of the files, and then click Add.

Create the FMTCustomer table

  1. In Solution Explorer, right-click FMTDataModel, and then click Add > New Item.

  2. In the left pane, expand Installed, expand Dynamics 365 Items and then click Data Model.

  3. In the list of artifacts, select Table.

  4. In the Name field, enter FMTCustomer, and then click Add. The table designer opens.

    Add table to data model.

Add fields to the FMTCustomer table

In the table designer for FMTCustomer, you now add several fields to the table.

Add fields to table.

  1. To add each field, right-click Fields, click New, and then select a type. As you add each field, you must specify the field name and certain other values in the Properties window, as described in the following table.

    Type Field name Property values
    Date CCExpiryDate Extended Data Type = FMTCCExpiryDate
    String Address Extended Data Type = FMTAddressHelp Text = Help text for the address field.
    String CellPhone Extended Data Type = Phone
    String CreditCardNum Extended Data Type = FMTCreditCardNum
    String DriversLicense Extended Data Type = FMTDriversLicense
    String Email String Size = 80Label = Email
    String FirstName Extended Data Type = FirstName
    String LastName Extended Data Type = LastName
    String License String Size = 100Label = License
    String Thumbnail String Size = 100Label = Thumbnail


    For all new fields in the table that reference an EDT, you can create the field by simply dragging the EDT element from Solution Explorer or Application Explorer and dropping it on the Fields node of the FMTCustomer table in the designer.

    Solution Explorer with data model.

  2. Press Ctrl+S to save the new fields on the table.

Add fields to field groups

  1. Prepare to add some of the fields to the AutoSummary field group by selecting the fields in the following list. To select multiple fields, hold down the Ctrl key while you click each field:

    • Address
    • CCExpiryDate
    • CellPhone
    • CreditCardNum
    • DriversLicense
    • Email
    • FirstName
    • LastName
  2. Expand the Field Groups node.

  3. Drag the selected fields to the AutoSummary node

  4. Use the same technique to add the fields FirstName, LastName, and CellPhone to the AutoReport field group.

  5. Save the table.

Add a method

  1. Add the X++ method named fullName to the FMTCustomer table by right-clicking the Methods node, and then clicking New Method.

  2. In the code editor, replace the default method code with the following code.


    When you type “this.”, choose the field from the IntelliSense list.

    public display FMTName fullName()
        return this.FirstName + ' ' + this.LastName;
  3. Save the code.

Update the FMTAddress EDT

  1. In Solution Explorer, expand the FMTDataModel project.

  2. Right-click FMTAddress, and then click Open. The EDT designer opens.

  3. In the EDT designer, select FMTAddress.

  4. In the Properties window, in the Reference Table field, select FMTCustomer. Tip: Click the drop-down list, and then type the prefix "FMT" in the search box. This filters the drop-down list to only show tables that contain "FMT" in their name. Select the FMTCustomer table from the list of filtered entries.

    Update the FMTAddress EDT in the Properties window.

  5. Save the EDT.

Build the FMTDataModel project and the Fleet Management tutorial model

  1. In Solution Explorer, right-click FMTDataModel, and then click Rebuild.
  2. To do a full build of the entire model, on the Dynamics 365 menu, click Build models.
  3. Clear the check box for all models except for Fleet Management Tutorial.
  4. On the Options tab, select the Run Best practice checks check box. Note that other options available.
  5. On the Models tab, click Build.
  6. Click Close in the dialog box.
  7. On the Window menu, click Close All Documents, to close all open documents.