I apologize for the delay since my last post. I'm working on several development projects, including Dynamics AX and just about all are unchartered territory, as well as administering our network and day-to-day IT operations.
AIF documentation is starting to be published up on MBS MSDN. I found some docs that really describe what AIF is all about in the Developer Documentation. These docs are only available up on MSDN and no equivalent .chm docs have been released to update the local help within AX.
You can find them under msdn.microsoft.com under:
-Servers and Enterprise Development
-Microsoft Business Solutions
-Microsoft Dynamics AX
-Developing for Microsoft Dynamics AX
-Microsoft Dynamics AX SDK
-Microsoft Dynamics AX and Other Applications
-Using Microsoft Dynamics AX and Other Applications
-Creating New Documents
This area has helped me understand really what the difference between the Axd classes and the Ax[Table] classes. To sum it up, Axd classes define the XML Schema for the document and Ax[Table] classes validates the data being exported or imported via XML.
My company's order receiving process is very non-standard due to restrictions mandated to us by our parent company. As a result some of the AIF/SalesOrder predefined pieces do not work for us out of the box. For example, we have to accept invalid Item Ids and return them via EDI to the customers who sent them. Out of the box AIF does not accept an order than has one or more invalid Item Ids. With this new documentation, I see now that I do not have to reengineer the AIF framework, but rather only add a few lines of code to handle invalid Item IDs within the AxSalesLine class.
As more and more documentation is released on AIF, the majority of which doesn't look likely to come until after the first of the year, more businesses will be able to customize the AIF document handling process to their specific needs.
I'd like to also say how great Microsoft Support has been during our learning AIF. They have had two LiveMeeting sessions with me so far and have answered all of the indepth technical questions regarding AIF that I have been able to think of. The guys attending the sessions have been AX AIF developers and project management so Microsoft is serious about issue resolution and taking the IT/Development AX Users straight to the people who know the product in and out.