Is in-memory BI technology a better reporting solution than traditional query-based?

April 10 2017

Although in-memory database structures have been around for a while, they are getting more traction in the Microsoft Dynamics AX world thanks to the efficiency they achieve over traditional query-based engines. They offer the ability to take snapshots of table data for use in a highly efficient BI execution framework. In-memory reporting is changing the way Microsoft approaches reporting Dynamics AX, and customers need to develop an understanding of this evolving technology and its implications for the future.

About Don Riggs

Don Riggs is a well-seasoned veteran with 25+ years of implementation consulting and 13+ years of Microsoft Dynamics AX experience. In his career, he has been involved in anything from helping design ERP systems, developing and marketing ISV solutions, to delivering a number of successful AX ERP implementations. As a regular participant in AXUG, he has delivered many courses and presentations. Don is considered by many to be an AX expert, particularly in the areas of inventory costing, manufacturing, AX project module, and implementation processes. Having attained APICS certification in the early 1980's, Don considerers himself a manufacturing consultant by trade and his love and enthusiasm for the industry has never waned. Always interested in new challenges, his branching out into other areas of the product has allowed him to become very knowledgeable in many areas. 

After a long and successful career, Don would like to share some of his hard won knowledge and experience, thereby giving back to an industry that has been very good to him. MSDynamicsWorld represents a most excellent vehicle to do that.

To learn more about Don and his company Business Process Improvement(BPI) visit their website at

More about Don Riggs


SolverJim's picture

One of the issues with MDX and queries was the difficulty in making MDX work for complex aspects that are needed in reporting and KPIs. How does in memory relate to this as few things are pure queries. Also great article.

donoriggs's picture

The biggest difference is where the actual query resolution is done. A snapshot of the associated tables is captured. The query resolution then is done in memory. This has huge advantages because it does not need to rely on Disc access overheads. I would also recommend that if you are trying to assemble dissimilar record sets, you create a temporary structure to assemble the data into. This is something we many times have done to facilitate those queries that required different areas of the product. an example of this would be a report that identified sales in relation to sales expenses. These are two different data areas in the best way to deal with them is to assemble them independently within a singular temporary structure. This methodology is the same in either situation. It is just much faster within in memory.