What's New: Company and organizational structures [AX 2012]

Updated: February 1, 2013

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

This topic describes the enhancements to company and organizational structures in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012.

In previous releases of Microsoft Dynamics AX, organization modeling could be done only by using companies. The administrator created a company for each organization in the business, regardless of the type of organization. If the organizational structure included a parent company that had subsidiaries or a company that had multiple locations, or if it otherwise included several organizations, the administrator created multiple company accounts.

In Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, you can better represent the types of organizations that make up your business. Legal entities can be created for organizations that are legally obligated to report financial information. For example, you can create legal entities for a parent company and its subsidiaries. Operating units can also be created. Operating units represent how your business operates. For example, you can create operating units for value streams in the supply chain, cost centers in accounting, or departments of people.

In previous releases of Microsoft Dynamics AX, you could not represent hierarchical relationships between companies. In Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, you can model the hierarchical relationships between all types of organizations.

In previous releases of Microsoft Dynamics AX, data security was closely linked to companies. Users could access data and transactions only for the companies that they were currently logged on to, except in specific cross-company scenarios. In addition, user groups had to be created per company.

In Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, a single set of roles applies across all organizations. In addition, more data is stored in shared tables. If users belong to a role that has access to a shared table, the users can access all of the data in that shared table, regardless of the company that they are logged on to.


For this release, every record for a legal entity is associated with a company ID. This association exists because some functional areas in the program use a company ID, or DataAreaId, in their data models. In these functional areas, companies are used as a boundary for data security. Users can access data only for the company that they are currently logged on to.

You can use the data security framework to help secure data based on any condition. You can associate a user in a particular role with any organization, or with an organizational hierarchy. You can also create an organizational hierarchy that is used specifically to set security. If you associate the users in a particular role with a hierarchy, user permissions change as the hierarchy changes. For example, if organizations are added to the hierarchy, users who have been granted access to the hierarchy automatically gain access to the new organizations.

For more information about security in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, see Setting up and maintaining security.

The organization model framework is tightly integrated with following application frameworks:

  • Address book – All internal organizations, such as legal entities, operating units, and teams, are types of the Party entity. Therefore, these organizations use the capabilities of the address book to store address and contact information.

  • Financial dimensions – Legal entities and operating units can be used to define financial dimensions. Those financial dimensions can then be used in account structures.

    By using organizations as financial dimensions, you can analyze an organization's financial performance. The hierarchical relationships between organizations can also be used as constraints if two types of organizations are used as separate financial dimensions in the account structure.

  • Policy framework – In Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, a business policy can be defined for an organization by using the policy framework. The policy framework can be used to define policies for signing limits, expense reports, purchase requisitions, audit control of documents, and payment of vendor invoices.

    You can use the policy framework to create default policies and policy overrides for organizations, based on the organizational hierarchies. The framework also enables internal management of organizations to improve cost control, fraud detection, operating efficiency, and performance.

Several application areas use the organization model framework in transaction scenarios. The following modules have primarily been affected:

  • Procurement and sourcing – The lines of a purchase requisition are created for a buying legal entity, and they are received in an operating unit, such as a cost center or department.

  • Human resources – In Human resources, workers hold employment contracts in a legal entity and have a position in a department. All transaction scenarios in Human resources occur in the context of organizations.

  • Travel and expense – A line item for an expense report can be charged to a legal entity to meet statutory reporting requirements. Expense reports and lines can also be charged to operating units for internal reporting.