AX Word of the Week: Inquiries

Inquiries - you see them in almost every module of AX along with the headers Common, Journals, Periodic, Setup, and Reports. If you have ever opened something that was listed under Inquiries, you may have gotten something that kind of reminds you of a report, or a query screen, or even a completely new form.


Inquiries within the produciton module in AX
Inquiries within a module in AX


I have often wondered myself what an Inquiry in AX was and how they came to be. Over time, I am understanding this concept a little better, so this blog post is my grasp at what an Inquiry is in AX based on my observations.

So, what is an Inquiry?


Inquiries in AX are kind of like live reports, without being a report. Inquiries are a way for end users to see an accumulation of data in the system in a way that they can't currently see it within other modules. The way I understand Inquiries, they were created using filters and queries to show live data in AX forms. They can often be exported to Excel or have the data manipulated from within the Inquiries screen.

Job list inquiry in the Production control module
Job list Inquiry in the Production control module


The actual word inquiry means "an act of asking for information" with the synonyms of query and question. It only makes sense that an Inquiry in AX would help an end user solve a problem that they are having or present an answer to their burning questions in a readable format.


Reports vs. Inquiries in AX


Some people are of the thought that Reports and Inquiries in AX are basically the same thing. They are not.

A Report in AX is static. When you run a Report, you get a snapshot of data that can be printed and laid on someone's desk. True, you can save the report to Excel and manipulate the data there, but ultimately, a Report is a tool used to give a static snapshot into your data using defined parameters.

An Inquiry in AX is dynamic. Inquiries take your data and present it to the users in a new way. Sometimes they are set to be viewed only, but often they provide users a new way to see and easily manipulate their data. This is something that cannot be done in a report as it is presented in AX.

What are your thoughts? How would you describe an Inquiry in AX?

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