AIF Inbound and Outbound Ports in Dynamics AX
20 Jan 2015
In this post we’ll be looking at the Application Integration Framework – AIF Inbound and Outbound ports in Dynamics AX 2012 and how they are utilized by companies to integrate their various external business processes with Dynamics AX.
As you know, the Dynamics AX Application Integration Framework (AIF) provides extensive support for sending and receiving data from Dynamics AX. In Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 though, the AIF integration ports are responsible for providing this functionality. These integration ports have replaced the AIF endpoints and related concepts that were used in previous versions of Dynamics AX.
The Dynamics AX 2012 AIF Integration ports can expose one or multiple services for sending/receiving data to AX, and each integration port has a unique Uniform Resource Identifier (URI). There are two basic types of AIF Ports in Dynamics AX 2012.
- Inbound Ports
- Outbound Ports
Let’s take a look at each.
Dynamics AX AIF Inbound Ports
An inbound AIF integration port in AX, is basically the arrival destination for messages coming in from outside Microsoft Dynamics AX. For example, whenever you want to perform a task inside Microsoft Dynamics AX from outside the application, you’ll need to use these inbound ports to do so.
The AX AIF Inbound ports are like web services that are listening at a specific port for methods and input parameters, so they can execute those actions. There are two types of AIF Inbound integration ports in Dynamics AX 2012, basic and enhanced. You can access them in Dynamics AX 2012 by going to:
System Administration -> Setup -> Service and Application Integration Framework -> Inbound Ports.
The image above depicts an AIF inbound port form. As you can see, the panel on the left lists all the services that are available for use. The cross sign on some of those indicates that these services have been created but are not yet activated, whereas the ones with the tick mark, indicate that these services have been created and are active, and as such can be consumed/utilized.
Dynamics AX AIF Outbound Ports
The AIF outbound integration port in Dynamics AX on the other hand, is the destination for messages originating from the Microsoft Dynamics AX system, that need to be sent out to external applications. So whenever you want to send any info out of Dynamics AX you will use one of the AIF outbound ports to do so.
The Dynamics AX AIF Outbound ports are enhanced ports and are not related to web services. You can use them to retrieve data from Dynamics AX and send the results to either a file or a MSMQ (Microsoft Messaging Queue). You can access the AIF Outbound ports in Dynamics AX 2012 by going to:
System Administration -> Setup -> Service and Application Integration Framework -> Outbound Ports.
The figure above shows an example of an Dynamics AX AIF outbound port. These are quite similar to AIF inbound ports but just have some additional features like Processing options and security. Let’s take a look at these below.
Processing options are options used to configure how the data will be sent out using the AX AIF Outbound ports. These include the data encoding standards, the style sheet used to transform the data (as needed), etc.
The Security option in the AIF Outbound Port form allows you specify the customer for which you want to restrict this service for.
In our next post we’ll look at these ports in more detail and see how they work, and what you can do with them.
About Folio3 Dynamics Services
FDS (Folio3 Dynamics Services) is a dedicated division of Folio3 that specializes in Microsoft Dynamics AX, Dynamics CRM, Dynamics NAV and Dynamics GP based development, customization and integration services. Our main focus is on Enterprise Mobility. We firmly believe that opening up Microsoft Dynamics AX and other products to iOS Android, Windows 8 and Windows Phone users will have a huge impact on organizational agility and productivity. If you have a Dynamics AX development requirement you would like to discuss or would like to know more about our Dynamics AX development services, please get in touch with us.