Using Custom Services


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Applies To: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2, Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Feature Pack, Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012

In Microsoft Dynamics AX, you can create custom services to expose X++ functionality to external clients. Any existing X++ code can be exposed as a custom service simply by adding an attribute. Microsoft Dynamics AX provides standard attributes that can be set on the data contract class and its members to automatically serialize and de-serialize data that is sent and received across a network connection. Many predefined types, such as collections and tables, are also supported.

Use custom services when the schema for the entity can be written as a simple data contract class with relevant data member attributes set. If tables and relationships are used in a data contract, you must write code for any more complex feature, such as dimensions. X++ data contract serialization and deserialization is specified through the DataContractAttribute and the DataMemberAttribute attributes. For more information, see Using Data Contracts in X++. Use the AifCollectionTypeAttribute attribute to define the serialization/deserialization of any X++ collection type that is used as a data member, or as a return value from or parameter to a service operation.

You can use all the functionality of transforms and pipelines for data processing with custom services. For more information, see Messages and transforms in AIF.

You must set the SysEntryPointAttribute attribute to define authorization for all custom service operations. For more information, see Setting SysEntryPointAttribute for Services.


The service operation names Create, Find, Update, and Delete are reserved for use only by AIF Document Services. Use of these service operation names in a custom service will generate an exception and can cause the system to time out when you call the service from an external client.

Using the AifCollectionTypeAttribute

You must specify the AifCollectionTypeAttribute attribute if you use an X++ collection as a parameter to or as a return value from a service operation.

The following example shows the X++ collection FMIncCarContract that is used as a return value for a service operation.

[AifCollectionTypeAttribute(‘return’, Types::Class, classStr(FMIncCarContract)), SysEntryPointAttribute(true)]
   Public List RetrieveAllCars()
     List result = new List(Types::Class);
     FMIncCarContract car;
     FMIncCars buffer;

     While select – from buffer
       car = new FMIncCarContract();


     return result;

The following example shows the class FMIncCarContract used in the service operation in the previous example. The DataContractAttribute attribute is used to define serialization of the class as a data contract.

Public class FMIncCarContract
   str _VIN;
   str _Make;
   str _Model;
   str _Mileage;
   str _Color;
   str _MPG;
   str _transmission;
   str _AssembledIn;
   str _CarFactsSummry;
   FMVehicleStatus _Status;

The following example shows the data member VIN used in the service operation in the previous example. The DataMemberAttribute attribute is used to define serialization of the accessor method as a data member.

Public str VIN(str vin = _VIN)
   _VIN = vin;
   Return _VIN;

See also

Developing with Services and AIF

Walkthrough: Exposing an X++ Class as a Data Contract

Walkthrough: Transforming a document