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Creating Custom Help Providers In Dynamics AX 2012

Posted by Author, Curator, Visually Impared Squirrel Literacy Advocate & Dynamics AX Technical Solution Professional (TSP) at Microsoft on

Help is a great tool, but the standard Dynamics help does not include any of the company specific knowledge, because you are the only one that knows that.

In this worked example we will show how you can extend out the help system quickly and easily to include your companies own instructions and content so that the users have one place to search when they get stuck.

Step 1: Create A New Help Publisher For Yourself
The first step is to register a new help. To do this we need to go to the help server directory in IIS, and find the web.config file.
Inside the config file, we will need to add a new publisher for our content.
Now that we have done that, when we open up the help system we are able to filter the results now on our content only.
Step 2: Create A New Help Publisher Content Folder
Now we have a publisher ID, we just need to add it to the Content folder in the AX Help Server. To start off we will create a folder that matches the publishers description.
Then we will create a localized folder for the language type that we need for help.
Then we will create a localized folder for the language type that we need for help.
Step 3: Create Your Table Of Contents
Inside the content folder we will now create a TableOfContents.xml file for all of our help file entries. If you feel lazy, then you can just copy the TOC file from the Microsoft folder.
Now we need to update the TOC to have entries for each of our help topics. Each topic will reference a topic ID that has to be unique. The easiest way to do this is to use GUIDS.
If you go to then it will generate unique GUIDS for you.
Now we have a better looking Index file for help.
Step 4: Create Your Help File Content
Now we need to create a help page for the entry that we created in the TOC. To do this you can use a template that is embedded in the help itself. Just do a search for “Templates for Help Documentation” and you will find a help topic.
Inside the help topic is a link to a word file.
If you open up the file, then it has a nice starting template, and also an additional Microsoft Dynamics Help tab to enter in the index information for the help topic.
All you need to do is update the body of the file, and also put the unique GUID in the Topic ID field in the ribbon bar.
Then you save it… First as a .docm file…
And then as a .mht file.
This will actually create 3 files in your UserDocumentation folder under your content publisher in IIS.
Now when you click on the topic, it shows your custom help.

Very Cool!

To see the complete walkthough, you can download it from SkyDrive using the following link:

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