I don’t usually talk about add-on products for Dynamics AX because I am a firm believer that almost everything you could ever need in in the product already, but every now and then I have to make an exception. And recently I have added AXTension ECM to my very small list of must have products for any Dynamics AX installation.
I feel so dirty right now, as if I’m cheating on Dynamics AX, but I can’t help myself. I just love, love, love this product!
Don’t get me wrong – the standard document management within Dynamics AX is great, especially since it is enabled everywhere in the system – something that is not available in other ERP systems. With the standard document management, you can also store the documents in the database, within a file folder, or within SharePoint.
But, AXTension ECM takes the document management to the next level.
Firstly, it provides an intelligent indexing feature that allows you to view all documents that are related to the current record – even if they are attached to other elements. For example, when you look at a project, then you may also want to see documents related to the customer, and the items in the project in addition to just the project record as the standard document attachments does.
Also it utilizes SharePoint as the document repository so you get native check-in/check-out functionality.
Unlike the standard Dynamics AX SharePoint document Attachments, the ECM extension also indexes the documents so that if you wanted to search for particular documents within SharePoint rather than from just Dynamics AX, then you can quickly filter the data natively within the SharePoint Site.
Also, the attaching of documents has been made a lot simpler because you can drag and drop files over into ECM. No more attaching documents one at a time.
Another feature that I like about this product is that there is no coding required in order to link forms to the ECM document attachments screen. All of the configuration is done through Dynamics AX since it just overrides the default document attachment processing. I had a form connected and linking with SharePoint in probably less than 30 minutes – and that was with no prior experience with the product.
Finally the icing on the cake is the fact that you can manage all of your workflow processes for your document directly from the Dynamics AX workflows. This includes documents that are added directly within SharePoint. This makes it a one-stop show for all of your document management needs.
This product is great!