Using Code Compare to Merge SSRS reports in Dynamics AX 2012

Recently, I was asked to merge an SSRS report for Dynamics AX 2012 which was modified in the ISP layer with a hotfix which was installed in the SYP layer.  The easiest way to do this was to compare the changes between SYS and SYP and then merge with the ISP layer.

The AX Compare Tool allows you to compare two reports at once, but does not allow you to merge changes into the code.  This meant I had to export the .xpo for each layer.  I then began trying to use several compare tools such as ExamDiff and UltraCompare.  Unfortunately, these only did a two way compare.  I would compare the SYS and SYP and then manually edit the ISP .xpo in notepad.  This was time consuming and potentially error prone.  It was not always clear which lines had been inserted and which lines had been moved in the code.

I decided to look for a new tool and found Code Compare (http://www.devart.com/codecompare/).

Here is how it helped me:

1) It has a three way compare, so I could compare ISP, SYP and SYS with all thre layers on the screen at one time.

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2) Easy to see which changes have been made in the SYP hotfix.

 

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3) Easy to merge the changes into the ISP layer.

 

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4) Can compare Word By Word, rather than Line By Line, if you have a long text string, making it easier to show what needs to be changed.

 

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5)  This tool does not have the ability to know if a line has been moved further down the script.  Like many other compare tools, it tries to insert it in one layer and remove from another.  However, if you know the field is standard, you have a fair idea, that line has been moved elsewhere.  In this case you would delete one change, and then the compare tool reassess the code and asks you to insert the code again into the correct place.

 

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Overall, this is a good tool to compare SSRS Reports in AX, when merging is required.  Although it is not an absolutely fool proof solution, it does make the job a lot quicker and easier.  Using a 2-way compare tool and notepad, took me a full day with my first report.  When I used the Code Compare 3-way compare tool  for my second report and it took only 1.5 hours.  Whilst the second report had a lot less changes to merge than the first it was definitely a quicker and smoother process.  I would recommend this tool for merging SSRS reports in Dynamics AX 2012.