Create definition groups for import and export [AX 2012]

Updated: February 1, 2013

Applies To: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3, Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2, Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Feature Pack, Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012

Definition groups identify groups of tables that can be imported or exported when you use Microsoft Dynamics AX data import/export

Definition groups must be set up before you export data, but are not required when you import data. If you select a definition group when you import data, only table names in the definition group are used. All other settings, such as export criteria, are used only to export data.

Before you create a definition group, determine whether you are using the correct tool to import and export your data. In general, Microsoft Dynamics AX data import/export is used to move data from a staging environment to another environment. Microsoft Dynamics AX data import/export consists of a series of resource-intensive operations. Therefore, we recommend that you use it only during off-peak hours. For information about other tools that are used to import and export, see Plan data import, export, and migration.

We recommend that you research which table groups to include in your definition group. The table groups that you select when you first create a definition group cannot be changed later. The default table groups are Main, Parameter, Group, Framework, and Miscellaneous. If you include all of these table groups, more than 2,000 tables are included in your definition group. For lists of the tables that are in included each table group, see Table and table group reference.

A definition group is typically created to export Application Integration Framework (AIF) endpoints.

This topic includes the following sections:

NoteNote

Creating a definition group can be a query-intensive and processing-intensive process. For best performance, we recommend that you perform all tasks that are related to export and import during non-peak hours. These tasks include creating definition groups.

  1. Click System administration > Common > Data export/import > Definition groups. Click New.

    The Create table definition group form opens.

  2. Enter a name and description for the definition group.

    NoteNote

    To reset the fields on all tabs to their original values, click Default. To clear all values on the Options and Include table groups tabs, click Clear.

  3. Click the Options tab, and then select the following options to identify the types of data to export:

    • Note – Include notes about document management that were added in the Application Object Tree (AOT) by using the Add notes command, and that are stored in the DocuRef table.

    • Include system tables

    • Include cross-reference tables

    • Include database log tables

    • Include shared tables

  4. Click the Include table groups tab, and then select the table groups to include in the definition group. The following table lists the types of table groups that you can select. For a detailed list of all tables in a table group, see Table and table group reference.

    Field

    Description

    Framework

    Include the tables that are used by the underlying Microsoft Dynamics AX framework. These tables are created during installation, and they are not associated with configuration keys.

    An example is ReleaseUpdateBulkCopy.

    Group

    Include the tables that are used to categorize the tables that are in the Main table group.

    Examples include tables for bank groups, pricing groups, commission groups, item groups, and addresses.

    Main

    Include the principal or master tables that contain data for central business objects. These tables typically contain static, base information.

    Examples include CustTable and VendTable.

    Miscellaneous

    Include tables that have not been otherwise categorized.

    Miscellaneous is the default type of table group for a new table.

    Examples include tables for methods of payment, web portals, asset setup, states, and transactions.

    Parameter

    Include the tables that contain parameters or setup information for tables that are in the Main table group.

    Examples include CustParameters and VendParameters.

    Reference

    Include tables that contain reference data.

    An example is Currency.

    Transaction

    Include tables that contain transaction data.

    Examples include CustTrans and VendTrans.

    Transaction header

    Include tables that categorize the tables in the Transaction line table group.

    There is a one-to-many relationship between a Transaction header table and Transaction line tables.

    An example is SourceDocumentHeader.

    Transaction line

    Include tables that contain transaction data.

    An example is SourceDocumentLine.

    Worksheet

    Include tables that contain information that has to be validated and made into transactions.

    An example is DocuRef.

    Worksheet header

    Include tables that categorize Worksheet line tables.

    There is a one-to-many relationship between a Worksheet header table and Worksheet line tables.

    An example is SalesTable.

    Worksheet line

    Include tables that contain information that is validated and made into transactions.

    Unlike the data that is contained in tables that are in the Transaction table group, the data in Worksheet line tables is temporary.

    An example is SalesLine.

  1. Click System administration > Common > Data export/import > Definition groups. Click Select tables.

    The Select tables form opens. This form lists all of the tables that are in the definition group. These tables belong to the table groups that you selected when you created the definition group.

  2. Change the data that is included in the definition group, by performing one or more of the procedures listed below.

To remove any tables that you do not want to include in the definition group, select the tables, and then click Remove.

To add tables that you want to include, select the tables, and then click Add.

Specify the types of records to export from a table by setting export criteria.

NoteNote

Exporting data by using a definition group that includes criteria can be a resource-intensive process. Therefore, we recommend that you export data by setting criteria only during off-peak hours.

  1. Select a table in the list.

  2. Click Apply criteria to make the Export criteria button available, and then click Export criteria.

  3. Use the Inquiry form to filter the records that are exported from the table. For more information, see Inquiry (form).

You can add tables that have primary key relationships or foreign key relationships to one of the tables in the definition group. The related tables may not belong to the table groups that you selected when you created the definition group.

A table relationship level indicates how closely a table is related to the selected table. For example, if you select related tables for VendTable, VendTable has one relationship level with TaxVatNumTable through CompanyInfo. Because of the single relationship level, both VendTable and TaxVatNumTable have a relationship with CompanyInfo. VendTable has two relationship levels with LogisticsAddressCountryRegion through TaxVatNumTable. Because of the two relationship levels, VendTable has a relationship with TaxVatNumTable, and TaxVatNumTable has a relationship with LogisticsAddressCountryRegion. There are often multiple relationship paths between related tables. Therefore, the same tables may appear with different relationship levels as you work with those tables.

NoteNote

Working with related tables can be a resource-intensive process. If a table has many related tables, the Analyzing related tables message may be displayed when the system retrieves relationship information.

  1. Select a table in the list.

  2. Select Specify related tables to make the Select related tables button available, and then click Select related tables.

  3. Use the Select related tables form to filter the related tables that are included in the definition group. In this form, you can specify how many table relationship levels to include in the definition group.

    For more information, see Select related tables (form).

A definition group is frequently used to move AIF endpoints from one environment to another. Use the following procedure to create a definition group that includes all incoming ports and endpoints, together with their related artifacts.

  1. Click System administration > Common > Data export/import > Definition groups. Click New.

  2. Enter a name and description for the definition group.

  3. Click Clear to clear all values that are on the Options and Include table groups tabs, and then click OK.

  4. Click Select tables. In the Name of table list, click AIFPort.

  5. Select Apply criteria and Specify related tables to make the Export criteria and Select related tables buttons available.

  6. Optional: Click Select related tables. In the Select related tables form, keep the Select table relationship levels to include: field set to the default value of three . Click the Select all tables in list check box, and then click Close.

  7. Close the Select tables form.

  8. Optional: Click Export criteria. In the Criteria field, select the name of port to export tables for, and then click OK.

You can use the definition group to export the tables that are related to the AIF endpoints from one system, and then import them to another system. For more information about how to export and import, see Export data to another instance of Microsoft Dynamics AX and Import data from another instance of Microsoft Dynamics AX.

ImportantImportant

If you are importing AIF or services-related tables, such as AifInboundPort, do not select Update existing record during the import process.


Announcements: To see known issues and recent fixes, use Issue search in Microsoft Dynamics Lifecycle Services (LCS).

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