My new job, Dynamics AX, and X++

I started a new job (at SHI) back in January. I’ve been wanting to post something about it for awhile now, but I’ve been pretty busy. Also, I kind of wanted to keep quiet about it for a bit, just in case it didn’t work out. Well, I’ve been there for about two months now, and it seems to be going well.

Right now, I’m doing development for our Dynamics AX system, using AX’s proprietary programming language, X++. It’s a reasonably decent and relatively modern language, very similar to C# and/or Java. I do miss the more chaotic environment I’d previously been working in, where I was using a mix of ASP.NET / C#, JavaScript, and PHP / Drupal, depending on the project. SHI does have a fairly mixed environment, but there are enough programmers working here that they’re not likely to need me on anything other than X++ any time soon, so I guess I’ll have to get used to a bit less variety than I’ve had in the past.

The development environment built into AX is called MorphX. (This is also the name of a mediocre XBox 360 game, which kind of skews Google results for MorphX, but that’s OK.) Microsoft has obviously made some effort to add some nice features to MorphX since they acquired AX, but it’s not quite up to the standard set by Visual Studio. They’ve also tried to standardize some of the keyboard shortcuts between VS and MorphX, but there are still a few annoying inconsistencies there.

I recently found a project on CodePlex called “Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 X++ Editor Extensions“, which adds a few missing features to the X++ code editor. I tend to worry about add-ins like this slowing things down or introducing instability, but these three extensions all seem to work well. (It’s funny how you don’t really think of, for instance, brace matching as being a big deal, until you don’t have it…)

I haven’t really blogged much about programming recently, so I’d really like to get back into the habit. I have a few possible topics in mind for AX-related posts, so hopefully I can find the time to write those up soon.

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