Walkthrough: Adding an Image to Product Search Results [AX 2012]

Updated: December 15, 2014

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

In this walkthrough, you will customize Microsoft Dynamics AX for Retail POS by adding images to items displayed during a product search. As part of this customization, you will learn:


This topic applies to Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Feature Pack. This functionality is already included in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2.

  • How to add new data to sych between Microsoft Dynamics AX for Retail Headquarters and Retail POS.

  • How to enable change tracking on a Retail Headquarters database table.

  • How to create a new form in Retail POS to display the data.

In this example, you will add product images from Retail Headquarters by customizing the frmItemSearch.cs form in Retail POS, resulting in a new form called frmItemDetails.cs.

To customize a form in Retail POS, you must obtain a license from DevExpress. Retail POS uses DXExperience Winforms created by DevExpress. You can develop your own forms without using DevExpress, but we recommend you use these to maintain a consistent appearance and behavior.This tutorial is based on the Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Contoso dataset and uses ‘CEU’ as its default company. If you use your own data, you will need to make changes based on your organization’s structure.

JJ937971.collapse_all(en-us,AX.60).gifSteps in this walkthrough

JJ937971.collapse_all(en-us,AX.60).gifDefine an archive for document handling

The following step is a requirement of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012’s Document Management system. For more information on Document Management in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, see Using document management.

  1. Launch Microsoft Dynamics AX for Retail Headquarters.

  2. Click Organization Administration > Setup > Document management > Document management parameters.

  3. Set a value in the Archive directory field on the General page, for example, <rootdirectory>:\temp.

JJ937971.collapse_all(en-us,AX.60).gifMake images available in offline mode

In online mode Retail Modern POS retrieves images for products, customers, catalogs and categories from an image server using the specified URL. To support images in offline mode you can configure a default image using the document management functionality in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012. Document management must be configured to use the active document tables. The images are then stored in the AX 2012 business database and are synced to the channel database and subsequently to the offline database.

For more information, see Configure document management.

  1. Click Organization administration > Setup > Document management > Document types.

  2. Enter RetailImage for the Type, set the Class to Attach file, and the location to Archive directory.

Retail Modern POS Offline Image Document Type

To attach an image when in offline mode, use the Attachment button in the ribbon of the appropriate form.

JJ937971.collapse_all(en-us,AX.60).gifEnable Retail change tracking on EcoResProductImage table

Change tracking is a way for Retail Headquarters and Retail POS to maintain data synchronization. For example, any changes made to a table in Retail Headquarters will be pushed out to the appropriate Retail POS channels via scheduler jobs. Scheduler jobs are explained later in this topic. In this section, you will use the EcoResProductImage table, which is part of the core Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 product. Below, you will add update, delete and insert methods. These methods are used to modify the table and trigger change tracking. Alternatively, you could create your own table. Follow these steps:

  1. Open the Microsoft Dynamics AX Application Object Tree (AOT).

  2. Expand the Data Dictionary > Tables node.

  3. Right-click the EcosResProductImage table and then click View Code.

  4. Create a new method named delete. For more information about how to create methods, see Methods in X++.

  5. Insert the following code into the new method:

    /// <summary>
    /// Deletes a record in <c>EcoResProductImage</c> table. Added as part of Retail POS development tutorial.
    /// </summary>
    /// <remarks>
    /// If replication of the record is allowed for the table, action is inserted into the <c>RetailConnPreactionTable</c> table.
    /// </remarks>
    public void delete()
        Boolean replicate = false;
        replicate = RetailConnActionManagement::shouldReplicate(this, this.orig(), true);
        if (replicate)
            RetailConnActionManagement::createActions(this, RetailConnActionUpdate::Delete);
  6. Create a new method named insert and then add the following code.

    /// <summary>
    /// Inserts a record in <c>EcoResProductImage</c> table. Added as part of Retail POS development tutorial. 
    /// </summary>
    /// <remarks>
    /// If replication of the record is allowed for the table, action is inserted into the <c>RetailConnPreactionTable</c> table.
    /// </remarks>
    public void insert()
        Boolean replicate = false;
        replicate = RetailConnActionManagement::shouldReplicate(this, this.orig(), false);
        if (replicate)
            RetailConnActionManagement::createActions(this, RetailConnActionUpdate::Insert);
  7. Create a new method named update and then add the following code.

    /// <summary>
    /// Updates the record in <c>EcoResProductImage</c> table. Added as part of Retail POS development tutorial.
    /// </summary>
    /// <remarks>
    /// If replication of the record is allowed for the table, action is inserted into the <c>RetailConnPreactionTable</c> table.
    /// </remarks>
    public void update()
        Boolean replicate = false;
        replicate = RetailConnActionManagement::shouldReplicate(this, this.orig(), false);
        if (replicate)
            RetailConnActionManagement::createActions(this, RetailConnActionUpdate::Update);

    The three new methods enable change tracking on the EcoResProductImage table. Any update, delete or insert actions on that table with signal that data has changed.

JJ937971.collapse_all(en-us,AX.60).gifCreate the EcoResProductImage table in Retail POS

In this section, you will create a new table in Retail POS and then copy data from Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 to the new table. This data consists of the image that you added to a product in the previous section.

Create the new table

  1. Open Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio.

  2. In Object Explorer, expand the database node for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 and then expand the Tables node.

  3. Scroll down to the EcoResProductImages table. Right-click the table, point to Script table as, then point to CREATE to, and then click New Query Editor Window.

  4. Go to the top line of the generated script and change the USE statement to the name of the Retail POS database. The default name for this database is AxRetailPOS. In this case, the statement would be changed to USE [AxRetailPOS] in the first line of the generated script.

  5. Click Execute or press F5 to run the script.

Read the schema of the new table in Retail POS

  1. In Retail Headquarters, click Retail > Setup > Retail scheduler > Distribution locations.

  2. Select Store 1 and then run Functions > Read schema.

  3. Accept the defaults and then click OK.

By reading the schema, Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 is now aware of the new table in Retail POS.

JJ937971.collapse_all(en-us,AX.60).gifDefine table distribution data for the EcoResProductImage table

You must now create table distributions for use with A-jobs. Data is transferred between Retail Headquarters and Retail POS through Commerce Data Exchange: Synch Service. This service uses Ax Scheduler jobs in Retail Headquartersto handle this data transfer. The table distribution tree in Retail Headquarters defines what data is transferred to specific retail channels. For instance, if a product is available only at specific stores, that product’s image will be sent only to those stores.

There are two types of AX Scheduler jobs created when Retail is initialized. A-Jobs use change-tracking, which means they only transfer data that has been changed. N-Jobs transfer all of the data in a table. This includes data that has not been modified.

Usually, you will use A-Jobs for ongoing data transfers.

  1. Open Retail > Setup > Retail scheduler >Table distribution.

  2. Open RetailConnDistributionLocation > RetailStoreTable > RetailChannelTable > RetailAssortmentExploded > RetailInventTable > InventTable.

  3. Click New.

  4. In the Details area, click the Table ID drop-down list and then select the EcoResProductImage table.


    It can take some time to load data into this list.

  5. In the navigation tree, select the table distribution that you created in the previous step.. For example, the following image shows the table distribution tree for the EcoResProductImage table.

    Table Distribution form
  6. Click Table links.

  7. Enter a link number and then expand the Line Details FastTab.

  8. In the Field name drop-down list, select RecID and in the Parent field select Product, as shown in the following image.

    Table Distribution Link ID
  9. Close the Table distribution form.

  10. Update the Distribution schedules. Click Retail > Setup > Retail scheduler > Scheduler subjobs.

  11. Create a new scheduler subjob. Call it BDDP-ProdImage.

  12. Select AX6.2 POS in the Retail channel schema drop-down list.

  13. Type EcoResProductImage in both the Channel table name and AX table name fields, as shown in the following image.

    Scheduler Subjob
  14. For the Replication method, select By actions.

  15. Click the Transfer field list button.

  16. Click the Functions > Match Fields button in the new window that opens. An infolog message will tell you that all fields are matched. Click OK to close the window.

  17. Close the Scheduler subjobs form.

  18. Click Retail > Setup > Retail scheduler > Scheduler job.

  19. Add the new sub-job, named BDDP-ProdImage, to the A-1040 scheduler job, as shown in the following image.

    Scheduler Job

JJ937971.collapse_all(en-us,AX.60).gifAdd an image to a product and synch data

In this section, you will use Retail Headquarters to select images and attach them to their respective product. You will then synch this newly associated data to Retail POS using the sub-job created in the previous section.

  1. Click Retail > Common > Products > Released products by category

  2. Click the Product image button.

  3. Click New.

  4. In the Type drop-down list, select Image and then browse to an image directory where your images are stored For example, browse to <rootdirectory>:\images.


    You can see the image that you added to the product directly on the Released product details form if you double-click the product name.

  5. Click Retail > Periodic > Data distribution > Create actions.

  6. Accept the default values in the Mastering job for converting pre-actions to actions form and then click OK.

  7. Open the A-1040 distribution schedule (Retail > Periodic > Retail scheduler > Distribution schedule). Select A-1040 from the list and then click Run directly.

    Caution noteCaution

    You can use the following SQL script to verify that your product images were transferred from Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 to Retail POS. If you need to, you can substitute the organization names in this script with those of your Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 client in the DATAAREAID clauses and the ITEMID numbers of the products you chose to add images to.

--select RECID, * from inventtable where ITEMID in ('0001', '0002', '0003') and DATAAREAID = 'ceu'

-- This statement returns the image records for retail products 0001, 0002 and 0003.
where REFRECORD in (
select RECID from inventtable where ITEMID in ('0001', '0002', '0003') and DATAAREAID = 'ceu')


--  (select RECID from inventtable where ITEMID = '0001' and DATAAREAID = 'ceu')

JJ937971.collapse_all(en-us,AX.60).gifCreate a form to display an image with the searched product

  1. Launch Visual Studio 2008 or 2010

    In the File menu, click New Project. Under Visual C# select Class Library. Name the project ItemDetails. Ensure that the Create directory for solution check box is selected and then click OK.

  2. Navigate to the directory that contains Microsoft Dynamics AX for Retail POS Plug-ins. For more information about how to install Retail POS, see Install the Retail SDK. Open the Services folder.

  3. Copy the Blank Operations and Dialog folders to the directory that contains your Visual Studio solution named ItemDetails.

  4. Add the BlankOperations.csproj and Dialog.csproj files to your Visual Studio ItemDetails solution. For more information about how to add existing projects to Visual Studio solutions, see How to add an existing project to a solution (Visual Studio)

  5. In Solution Explorer, expand the Dialog project and then expand the WinFormsTouch node. Right-click the frmItemSearch.cs file and then select Copy. Navigate back to the WinFormsTouch node, right-click and select Paste.

    You will now have a new file under the WinFormsTouch node called Copy of frmItemSearch.cs. Right-click that file, select Rename and change its name to frmItemDetails.cs.

  6. Right-click the frmItemDetails.cs file and then select View Code. Add the following two using statements at the top of the file, if they are not already there:

    using LSRetailPosis.DataAccess;

    using LSRetailPosis.DataAccess.DataUtil;

  7. Because you copied the frmItemSearch.cs file, you have to make some modifications to the frmItemDetails.cs file, or the code will not compile. First, in frmItemDetails.cs, rename the class from public class frmItemSearch : frmTouchBase to public class frmItemDetails : frmTouchBase.

    Change the name of the default class constructor from frmItemSearch to frmItemDetails.

    Change the name of the overloaded class constructor from frmItemSearch(int howManyRows) to rmItemDetails(int howManyRows).

  8. The following method will find, format and display an image next to a searched product if an image is found.

    public void LoadPictureFromDB(string itemId)
                //clear the current picture
                itemPicture.Image = null;
                    DBUtil dbUtil = new DBUtil(Dialog.InternalApplication.Settings.Database.Connection);
                    if (itemId == null)
                        if (grdView.RowCount > 0)
                            System.Data.DataRow Row = grdView.GetDataRow(grdView.GetSelectedRows()[0]);
                            itemId = (string)Row[colItemId.FieldName];
                    DataTable dt = dbUtil.GetTable(sql, new SqlParameter("@ITEMID", itemId),new SqlParameter("@DATAAREAID", ApplicationSettings.Database.DATAAREAID));
                    byte[] pictureData = (byte[])dt.Rows[0]["MEDIUMSIZE"];
                    if (pictureData.Length > 0)
                        Image i = LSRetailPosis.ButtonGrid.GUIHelper.GetBitmap(pictureData);
                        itemPicture.Height = i.Height;
                        itemPicture.Width = i.Width;
                        itemPicture.Top = (itemPicture.Parent.Height - itemPicture.Height)/2;
                        itemPicture.Left = (itemPicture.Parent.Width - itemPicture.Width) / 2;
                        itemPicture.Image = LSRetailPosis.ButtonGrid.GUIHelper.GetBitmap(pictureData);
                catch (Exception ex)
                    LSRetailPosis.ApplicationExceptionHandler.HandleException(ex.Message, ex);
  9. Double-click the frmItemDetails.cs file to open it in the Designer.

  10. Click Run Designer near the bottom of the form.

  11. Click the Columns button and then select colItemName. Set its Width property to 120.

    Select the colItemID. Set its Width property to 300.

    Set column widths
  12. Close the Property editor window.

  13. On the upper-left side of Visual Studio, expand the Toolbox and select PictureBox. Drag and drop the PictureBox to the right-side of the ItemDetails.cs form.

    Add Picture Box

    Use the Designer to expand the PictureBox so that it aligns with the rest of the form. In the Properties window, change the Name of the control from pictureBox1 to itemPicture.

  14. Save your changes.

  15. Compile the Dialog project.

Add your custom logic to the Blank Operation

  1. In Solution Explorer, expand the BlankOperations project and then double-click the BlankOperations.cs file to open it.

  2. Add a reference to the Dialog project. To add the reference, browse to the Dialog.dll, which is typically located in the bin\debug folder of the Dialog folder where you installed Retail POS Plug-ins.

  3. Double-click the BlankOperation.cs file to open it.

  4. Several Blank Operations can be passed to Retail POS simultaneously. Use a C# Switch statement on the operationInfo.OperationId value to capture the specific one you need. The operationInfo.OperationId value will match the Operation number of the Blank Operation button on the Retail POS register, which you will set in the next section. In the following C# code example, set the value to ItemDetails and add the remaining code to the BlankOperation method:

            public void BlankOperation(IBlankOperationInfo operationInfo, IPosTransaction posTransaction)
                switch (operationInfo.OperationId) 
                    case "ItemDetails":
                        using (Dialog.WinFormsTouch.frmItemDetails frmItemDetails = new Dialog.WinFormsTouch.frmItemDetails(500))
                            //Display new Item details form
                            DialogResult dr = frmItemDetails.ShowDialog();
                            string selectedItemID = frmItemDetails.SelectedItemId;
                            if (dr == DialogResult.OK)
                                Application.RunOperation(PosisOperations.ItemSale, selectedItemID);
                    default: ….ETC…
                      NOTE: The following is boilerplate code that can be removed
                        StringBuilder comment = new StringBuilder(128);
                        comment.AppendFormat(ApplicationLocalizer.Language.Translate(50700), operationInfo.OperationId);
                        comment.AppendFormat(ApplicationLocalizer.Language.Translate(50701), operationInfo.Parameter);
                        using (LSRetailPosis.POSProcesses.frmMessage dialog = new LSRetailPosis.POSProcesses.frmMessage(comment.ToString(), MessageBoxButtons.OK, MessageBoxIcon.Error))
  5. Right-click the BlankOperation project and then click Build. The BlankOperation.dll and Dialog.dll will both be compiled. These output files will typically be located under the bin\debug folder of the BlankOperations folder where you installed Retail POS Plug-ins.

  6. Copy the BlankOperations.dll and the Dialog.dll to the Retail POS runtime, which is typically located at the <root>\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Dynamics AX\60\Retail POS.

    Caution noteCaution

    We recommend that you back up the original BlankOperations.dll and Dialog.dll in the Retail POS runtime folder before you add your customized assemblies.

JJ937971.collapse_all(en-us,AX.60).gifConfigure a Blank Operation on the Retail POS register

  1. Launch Retail POS and right-click on a blank button. For more information about how to set up Blank Operations, see Use BlankOperations to implement custom features.

    Caution noteCaution

    The following steps represent a temporary configuration of a Retail POS button. Any register updates that are pushed down from Microsoft Dynamics AX for Retail Headquarters will eliminate this configuration. To configure this button in Retail Headquarters, see Setting up screen layouts

  2. Select Button properties. The Configure button form opens.

  3. In the Action drop-down menu, click Blank Operation.

  4. In the Operation number field, type ItemDetails (the value is case-sensitive). Retail POS uses this value to identify which BlankOperation to run, if more than one is sent.

  5. Optionally, you can change the text display on the button to something other than Blank Operation.

  6. Click OK to close the form.

  7. Click the button you just configured.

  8. Select or type the Item Number of the product to which you added an image, and then click the Search icon. You should see something similar to the following image:


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