Category Hierarchies in AX 2012

Category hierarchies are primarily used for classifying products, vendors and other data for reporting purposes.  Categories are created to suit the business needs of the company.


There are four types of categories that can be created, the procurement category hierarchy, sales category hierarchy, commodity code hierarchy, and derived financial hierarchy.   A user can create as many of each of these categories as they wish, but only one each of the procurement and sales type hierarchies can be active at a time for an organization.

When a new category is created, a “node” for each category can also be created, these are basically just a sub-category or child category.  These child categories can have their own unique setups and preferences or they can inherit information from the parent category.  It is also important to remember that the first category you create will always be the parent of everything in that category.  The child categories can be rearranged, but this one cannot be moved.

To create a category, go to the following location:

Product Information Management > Setup > Categories > Category Hiearchies

Category Heirarchies

Once at least one category is created, Category Hierarchy Types can be created and the category can be associated to a type.  While there can be only one active Procurement and Sales type, the same category can be used for both types.

To create hierarchy types, go to the following location:

Product Information Management > Setup > Categories > Category Hierarchy Types

Category Hierarchy Types

Once created, all categories and nodes are inactive.  There is an activate button in the ribbon at the top of the form where a category can be activated.  When a child category is activated, parent categories are automatically activated along with it.

Categories can hold information such as Commodity Codes, and Attributes.  These attributes are specific to each category (or inherited from a parent) and are added to a category from a list of user created attributes.  Category pages can be added as well.  Pages can contain information about the type of product in a category, images of the product in the category and announcements for discounts and sales available for that category.

Some of the uses of categories other than reporting and analysis are to setup what vendor products in a particular category must be purchased from as well as setting up specific product attributes for products in a category.  Questionnaires can also be setup for a particular category that would typically be sent to a vendor for evaluating their capabilities.  Policies can also be created for a category hierarchy that will manage access to products in the category and rules for ordering products in that category.

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