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I have a small online retail client that use AX 2009 together with an internally developed e-commerce solution. They have asked me if there are any disadvantages with using AX 2009 together with e-commerce. I know that AX 2009 doesn't support retail but I know know how that affects e-commerce. So, what disadvantages could there be with using AX 2009 and e-commerce? What advantages could there be with a later version of AX?
It totally depends on how and what has been implemented on the e-commerce and AX side and is not version-dependant.
For example we are using a custom eCommerce portal as well, and for security considerations the front-end website is talking to a .Net API middle-tier, which then queries AX directly using the Application Integration Framework. Everything is happening on-the-fly and coming directly from AX with about a 100 concurrent web users at any time.
The disadvantage is that you need a very capable AX developer team and possibly an SQL DBA, who can fine-tune all the SQL statements, tables/index and have a good maintenance strategy in place to have the fastest possible response speed.
The advantage of this model is that we do not have to rely on constant, heavy exports to a data warehouse or a separate e-commerce database, we only have to store the product images and the user login security tokens separately outside of AX. The heart of everything is AX, which makes running and troubleshooting the solution much more straightforward. By running the code and business logic mostly inside AX and the .Net API tier we could minimize logic built directly into the web frontend, so you could much better distribute the development and maintenance costs of the solution.
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