The term label in Dynamics AX simply refers to a localizable text resource. Text resources are used throughout the product as messages to the user, form control labels, column headers, Help text in the status bar, captions on forms, and text on Web forms, to name just a few places. Labels are localizable, meaning that they can be translated into most languages. Because the space requirement for displaying text resources typically depends on the language, you might fear that the actual user interface must be manually localized as well. However, with IntelliMorph technology, the user interface is dynamically rendered and honors any space requirements imposed by localization.
The technology behind the label system is simple. All text resources are kept in a Unicode-based label file that must have a three-letter identifier. The label file is located in the application folder (Program Files\Microsoft Dynamics AX\50\Application\Appl\Standard) and follows this naming convention:
Ax<Label file identifier><Locale>.ALD
@<Label file identifier><Label ID> <Label text>
Figure 1 shows an example of a label file.
You can create new label files by using the Label File Wizard, which you access from the Microsoft Dynamics AX drop-down menu by clicking Tools\Development Tools\Wizards\Label File Wizard. The wizard guides you through the steps for adding a new label file or a new language to an existing label file. After you run the wizard, the label file is ready to use.
When naming a label file, choose a three-letter ID that has a high chance of being unique, such as your company’s initials. Don’t choose the name of the layer, such as VAR or USR. Eventually, you’ll likely merge two separately developed features into the same installation, a task that will be more difficult if the label files collide.
Creating a New Label
- Clicking Tools\Development Tools\Label\Label Editor from the Microsoft Dynamics AX drop-down menu
- Clicking the Lookup Label/Text button on the X++ code editor toolbar
- Clicking the Lookup button on text properties in the property sheet
The Label Editor (shown in Figure 2) allows you to find existing labels. Reusing a label is often preferable to creating a new one. You can create a new label by pressing Ctrl+N or by clicking the New button.
Figure 2. Label Editor
When reusing a label, make sure that the label meaning is what you intend it to be in all languages. Some words are homonyms, meaning words that have many meanings, and they naturally translate into many different words in other languages. For example, the English word can is both a verb and a noun. The description column describes the intended meaning of the label.
When creating new labels, make sure to use complete sentences or other stand-alone words or phrases in each label. Don’t construct complete sentences by concatenating labels with one or few words, because the order of words in a sentence differs from one language to another.
Referencing Labels from X++
In the MorphX design environment, labels are referenced in the format @<LabelFileIdentifier> <LabelID>. If you don’t want a label reference to automatically convert to the label text, you can use the literalStr function. When a placeholder is needed to display the value of a variable, you can use the strFmt function and a string containing %n, where n> = 1. Placeholders can also be used within labels. The following code shows a few examples.
// prints: Time transactions print "@SYS1"; // prints: @SYS1 print literalStr("@SYS1"); // prints: Microsoft Dynamics is a Microsoft brand print strFmt("%1 is a %2 brand", "Microsoft Dynamics", "Microsoft");
You should never create system text such as file names by using a label. When referencing system text from X++ code, use single quotation marks. You can place system text in macros to make it reusable.