Dynamics AX 2012 Upgrade Questions……Answered!

Dynamics AX 2012 Upgrade Questions……Answered!

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Earlier we partnered up with active, expert community members to provide answers to questions the greater Dynamics AX community have in regards to upgrading to #AX2012.  Below are the questions we received and the follow up answers from participating Dynamics AX experts.

 

Community Question #1

First of all I want to say I love the initiative! Great to see that Microsoft is working pro-active! My question is related to the licenses. There will be different type of roles which will play a part in the license value for a given customer. Image I have a lot of project manager which will be functional roles. Are there any limitations regarding availability of different legal entities? With other words, can a functional user use/see all the legal entities deployed in an AX2012 application?

What about custom security roles made by the partners? How will they fit into the license layout...

Brandon George
First, lets address the fact that AX 2012 License model has changed a lot actually. It's for sure a much simpler approach, and closer to how Microsoft license it's other products for use. The best source, to help understand the new license model, in full can be found from the following PDF, white paper guide: http://download.microsoft.com/download/8/0/E/80E99B9E-9694-41A7-9BD9-BF37FA44DA99/Dynamics_AX_2012_Licensing_Guide-CustomerEdition.pdf

With this in mind, it's very clear that the mappings of named user types, to menu functions, and therefore roles will have to be updated. For example, currently, if you basically touch anything with a journal, for updating say, then your user will be marked as an Enterprise Named User License. This is not the vision Microsoft had for this, so there is a planned revisit to get the menu functions, and therefore ultimate mapping of users to Named User Types updated.

With that knowledge in hand, lets move to the more direct question, is the ability to cross legal entities for performing work. This is clearly stated as a goal, if a user is meant to cross legal entities they will be considered an Enterprise Named User. That make sense, in that, if your crossing legal entities, you are no longer a Functional or Task user, because you are truly doing functions at the enterprise level.

Finally, lets address your question around custom roles and security. In terms of reference to the Named User types, when custom menu functions, and business logic is created, either via an ISV, or the customer itself, the Microsoft Named User license count is not affected. If you look, for example, and create a custom menu item, which is how the Named User counts are tallied and linked, you will notice that None is set, instead of Functional, Task, Enterprise, etc. To the license point for ISV there is a different license model that ISV's can use, that for a customer will have to maintain that either through their VAR, or through a direct relationship with the ISV who is providing you service.

One note, I will make about this, is around AX in the cloud. When this is the approach, and the Partner Hosted model is in place, you pay by month, per user. The named user license still can come into play, however you only upcharge, if you will, when you add another user. So for example, if your implementing AX, via the cloud, and only need 5 users at first to get the implementation going, that's all you will be billed for, in the months those five users access your instance. When the next month rolls around, and say you add a cost accountant, for working in your AX implementation. Then this will add a sixth user license count and from that month forward is when you will pay the difference added to your bill for that use.

 

Community Question #2

Hey, I have a couple questions about upgrading to 2012 environment. Background: I'm quite new to AX, but have installed AX2012 full version on a server for testing purposes.

An existing 2009 basic environment is installed on a different server for production. Meaning 3 servers: one server for database, and one for aos, and one for the client. And also a test environment is installed on same servers.. Both aos' are one same server, the test is just a copy of the production environment. I want to upgrade for starters the 2009-test environment to the test2012-server.

Questions.

- Will the production environment be afflicted by this upgrade, since both versions are one the same servers...

Dilip Nair
Technically, It’s possible to have Dynamics AX 2012 co-exist on the same physical server where AX 2009 is running without affecting it, but it’s not recommended if you are testing AX 2012 Upgrade for the first time.

For training/testing purpose, It’s always advisable that you build a SANDPIT/Training server, install AX 2012 on it, Backup your existing AX 2009 Prod Instance and restore on this server and then follow the Upgrade Guide for AX 2012. When you do the LIVE Upgrade, there are some pre-processing tasks or scripts which you would need to run on Source and Target Systems (i.e. LIVE) based on the upgrade checklist.

- I see a clean up is recommended for the database.. Both of my Ax databases are one the same sql server 2008 r2 instance, but of course different databases... Will there be any risk of cleaning up the test-database? And if so, when I later on want to upgrade the production-environment, what risks are there considering cleaning up the database. And could you give me a briefing in the intelligent data management framework. Where should I install it, ...on all servers or just the client-server? Is it necessary?

Dilip Nair
The IDMF assesses the health of the Microsoft Dynamics AX application, analyzes current usage patterns, and assists in reducing database size. IDMF has archive and purge functions which will assist you to archive or purge your related tables to separate databases thereby reducing the size of your database.

How big is your database – meaning is it a high volume transactional database, based on it you can see the growth of the data etc. I think it’s worth giving a try with IDMF so that it will show you the data analysis, usage patterns etc. so that then you can make a call whether you really want to archive or purge that data.

Reg. the installation, I think you can install it on your TEST AOS Server environment or you can have a separate box altogether if you think it can impact the performance. You can read more about the hardware/software requirements in the Installation and Administration Guide in PartnerSource/CustomerSource.

Please follow the below links:

https://mbs.microsoft.com/downloads/customer/AX/ProductReleases/IDMF_Installation_Guide_V2.pdf

https://mbs.microsoft.com/downloads/customer/AX/ProductReleases/IDMF_Admin_Guide_V2.pdf

- Is it also true I need to upload the upgrade-xpo file before activating the multisite functionality?

Dilip Nair
Yes, it’s a pre-requisite before you start the upgrade process and also it depends on the Trade and Logistics licenses if it’s enabled in your environment which my guess is would be there.

Community Question #3

How about SRSS? Do you know how to config it.

Brandon George
I have spent a lot of time focusing around SSRS, with AX 2012, and plan on continue coverage of this very important topic. To help you out, for SSRS topics, setting up multiple SSRS instance, scale out of SSRS, and more, I have a recently posted blog entry that should be able to help you with all things SSRS for AX 2012.

AX 2012 - Reporting on the brain!

With the above link, you should have plenty for diving into SSRS, and reporting, with AX 2012.

Dilip Nair
I had done a blog post a while ago for Installing and Configuring Dynamics AX 2012 SSRS/SSAS. Also, some handy troubleshooting tips are mentioned. Please follow the below links:

http://daxdilip.blogspot.com/2011/09/step-by-step-installation-dynamics-ax.html

http://daxdilip.blogspot.com/2011/09/troubleshooting-dynamics-ax-2012-ssrs.html

 

Community Question #4

What would be the best way to sanitize your data from AX 4.0 or 5.0 in preparation of an upgrade to AX 2012?

Dilip Nair
I think you should look at IDMF (Intelligent Data Management Framework) as it can help you to understand high volume tables, data usages and patterns and can provide you details with the tables you can purge or archive.

I would recommend you to go through the below links to understand IDMF and try to install it on your TEST instance and then go from there

Please follow the below links:

https://mbs.microsoft.com/downloads/customer/AX/ProductReleases/IDMF_Installation_Guide_V2.pdf

https://mbs.microsoft.com/downloads/customer/AX/ProductReleases/IDMF_Admin_Guide_V2.pdf

 

Community Question #5

We are an industry company using AX2009 and have already been looking at AX 2012. I feel that upgrade from DAX2009 to DAX2012 brings a lot of technical changes and not that much of functional changes. Of course there are some functional improvement (purchase, few finance, so on…) but nothing major with real high added value for the businesses. Therefore a migration seems costly and not that much of business benefits. Do you agree with that ? And if not which arguments may I bring to my CEO and business managers In order to sell him such migration?  NB : I believe it is a great move from earlier version of AX (v3 and v4) and the value is obvious there.

Brandon George
To answer this question, as a broad stroke, single set of points is impossible from a generalized point of view. It's always around understanding the value for the choice to upgrade or not, for your company that you should focus in. I wrote an article, in the first half of this year, I would like to use to help answer this via.: To Upgrade or Not to Upgrade. Is that the Question?

In this post, I cover the fact that we should never uprgade for technologies sake. ERP & CRM are not technical projects, they are business projects, that technology enables. I will, for sure make a generalized statement however, in that with the release of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, Microsoft has more net functional adds than in all major releases of AX combined. There are huge improvements, and new offerings that never before existed in AX. I can also say, that most all of my clients that I work with directly are either on an AX 2012 project, have uprgaded to AX 2009 and are already seing value to upgrade to AX 2012, or have skipped AX 2009 and are making the jump to AX 2012.

The bottom line, with all of this, still remains the same. I would recommend working with a trusted partner, or a trusted advisor that understands AX 2012, and then can talk with you and your executive team about the vertical your company resides in, and help find out for you, via a scoping engagement, if AX 2012 can really deliver business value, beyond the technical improvement that exists in AX now.

 

Community Question #6

I want to ask a question about upgrading from AX 2009 to AX 2012. If there are 2 different servers running AX 2009 with different structure and we need to upgrade to 2012 but both to one structure and Master Data. how can we take the old transactions from old servers and get them in the upgraded one. is it even possible.

Dilip Nair
Does 2 different structure means is it catering to 2 different businesses? If it’s 2 different implementations of AX, then in my opinion, we might need to upgrade both separately OR other way round is to consolidate it into one AX Instance – which will involve technical, functional and business expertise so that they can map the processes between 2 systems into one and then you can do an upgrade to AX 2012.

 

Community Question #7

Ax2012 early adopter or play it safe with ax2009?

Leading an implementation in a large organization we are currently in the middle of our discovery phase. So many things are pointing towards AX2012 but as the Erp system is business critical should you play it safe and go AX2009?? What are your experiences with being an early adopter?

Brandon George
Being at the partner level, we are always on the cutting edge of Dynamics AX. We have to be, because there are always companies that want to be those early adopters, that help shape the product. That being said, I've worked personally on AX 2012 projects since before M1 release as part of the TAP / Beta program and seen it grow to now RTM, CU2.

At this point, going with Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, you would actually not be considered an early adopter if you will. Now some companies want to wait until SP1 for release, and then targeting AX 2012. This is just reality, and companies not wanting to be the first to experience some of the bugs that come between RTM and SP1. It's a valid possible argument, however, again I would point to the many companies that now are live with AX 2012, the feature pack that will be released in Jan, how fast the CU's are rolling out, and all the great support for AX 2012 coming from Microsoft, and the Dynamics Ecosystem as a whole.

Software will always have bugs, no matter how good of a program it is, and that will remain the case I would wager for a long time. We have to look beyond the bugs however, as those are technical things to solve, and believe it or not, those are always the easiest. It may actually be a hard task, with many steps to solve, but the real problem is around the business impact, value and ROI. Solving the business problems with the software should be the focus, with understanding technical issues will exists, but will be addressed.

In short, if all roads lead you to AX 2012, make that choice based on business needs. There is already plenty of people who have cleared the way, if you will, that have now went before you on this path.

 

Community Question #8

I have 2 questions:

1. When doing the code upgrade from 2009, the documentation is not very clear (to me). Do I need to import ALL the 2009 AOD files in both the BaseLine store and the New Model Store, or just in the Baseline Store?

2. The documentation outlines the steps to follow, but it doesn't actually explain *why* you have to execute these steps, or what the steps are actually doing. Is there additional info available about the code upgrade process?

Dilip Nair
The difference is When you are importing, into Baseline model store, copy all AOD Files (Standard and customized ones) whereas in the second step when importing into new model store, just import the non-Microsoft layers like bus.aod, var.aod etc.

 

If you are looking to learn more about Dynamics, click here for ERP or specifically AX.

 

Andy Leapaldt | Microsoft Dynamics Community Team
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  • We have requirement for Upgrading AX 3.0 to AX 2012 for one of our clients. We are aware that the upgrade process will be more complex. The following are the upgrade steps that we have decided to follow.

    Existing System  AX 3.0

    Upgrade System  AX 2012 R2

    Upgrade Path AX 3.0  AX 2009  AX 2012 R2

    Upgrade Steps:

    1. Code Upgrade from AX 3.0 to AX 2009

    2. Data Upgrade from AX 3.0 to AX 2009

    3. Code upgrade from AX 2009 to AX 2012 R2.

    4. Data Upgrade from AX 3.0 to AX 2012 R2.

    5. Repeat the data upgrade steps for AX 3.0 to AX 2009 to bring the delta data after cutover.

    6. Repeat the data upgrade steps for AX 2009 to AX 2012 R2 to bring the delta data after cutover.

    At this stage we are concerned about the data upgrade steps that we are going to perform for the delta data. By this we will be having a longer cutover period and we have to pre-process the data again starting from AX 3.0.We think it is a pain factor for the Customers and Partners. So, Could anyone please let us know if the above steps are valid or how to go about it.

    Thanks in advance.