Microsoft dynamics ax 2012 r3 technical features
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Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 technical features

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Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 technical features

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 technical features

There are some major changes in AX 2012 R3 as follows1.Automated deployment of AX 2012R3 in Windows Azure2.Building Microsoft AX services integration with the Microsoft Windows Azure Service Bus3.Data synchronization to multiple instances of Microsoft Dynamics AX4.Optimizing the performance of Microsoft Dynamics AX deployment5.Create Microsoft Dynamics AX builds using the new X++ server-side parallel compiler

Automated Deployment with Windows Azure - AX 2012 R3

  • Microsoft said that it was moving to a cloud environment where it would provide a service to host and run AX instances in the cloud. At this stage, Microsoft offers a wide variety of services to an organization that provide a well-designed infrastructure for development, testing and small-scale production environments. 

  • The following is the Azure Hosting Model (Blue boxes is what Azure is proving us)

IaaS(Infrastructure as a service), as the name suggests, provides you the computing infrastructure, physical or (quite often) virtual machines and other resources like virtual-machine disk image library, block and file-based storage, firewalls, load balancers, IP addresses, virtual local area networks etc. Examples : Amazon EC2, Windows Azure, Rackspace, Google Compute Engine.

PaaS(Platform as a service), as the name suggests, provides you computing platforms which typically includes operating system, programming language execution environment, database, web server etc. Examples : AWS Elastic Beanstalk, Windows Azure, Heroku,, Google App Engine.

While in Saas(Software as a service) model you are provided with access to application software's often referred to as on-demand software's. You don't have to worry about the installation, setup and running of the application. Service provider will do that for you. You just have to pay and use it through some client. Examples : Google Apps, Microsoft Office 365.

Azure Deployment Services

  • Post Deployment Considerations 

Although Azure does many of the configuration tasks automatically, there are a number of post-deployment actions we need to follow up after each setup. The following describes the steps needed after deployment

Create Dynamics AX Builds using the X++ Server - AX 2012 R3

  • How the Microsoft Dynamics AX compiler works 

  • The following depicts the phases of the X++ compiler in previous versions of Microsoft Dynamics AX. 

How the Microsoft Dynamics AX compiler works 

  • It is important to note that in earlier versions of Microsoft Dynamics AX the build performance is affected by the metadata moving from the client to the server metadata. In addition, the long compiling times are due to the deserialization of metadata and in memory cache. 

The following is the architecture for the current compiler

R3 Compiler Improvements 

  • Microsoft enhanced the compiler by allowing us to use the Build.exe command or the client. However, from an architectural point of view, they removed the client portion of the compiler in the R3 release. The following is the new architecture improvements

  • A few key points to underline is that the AOS now contains the logging information, therefore there is no cache in memory. In addition, logs are generated in each AOS. In case of a multi AOS deployment scenario, the AXBuild.exe process automatically consolidate these into one log.Finally, when using the parallel compiler, the CPU usage is extremely high. In a multi CPU scenario, the AXBuild.exe process will automatically balance the load between CPU’s. Also, is important to understand that parallel does not mean multi-threading, the new compiler is very much still a single-thread process.The following picture depicts what a parallel compiler output looks like

  • Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 - New Data Import Export Framework Changes

  • one of the few new key features is that the DIXF[Data Import Export Framework Changes] runs on top of the SSIS service interface allowing incremental runs (UPSERT). Of course, it can import/export data, and Microsoft added the capability to compare and copy data between instances as well. In addition, the new DIXF version ships with the ability to choose different data sources such as text, MS Excel, and XML files. 

  • Further, the new DIXF can be used to extract data directly from various ODBC*** sources such as SQL, MS Access, and MS Excel. This new additions will help us streamline our data migrations and data transfers much better. ***For ODBC types we are going to have to provide a connection string in order to simplify the data selection process. The one cool thing I saw was that we can create new rows under Mapping Details to add mandatory fields i.e. ACCOUNTNUM in case a specific legacy system does not include it. When this scenario is true, the custom value provided can be automatically filled by a number sequence value (if we want to) by choosing the “AUTO” option in that specific row, which would take a new AccountNum from the numbering sequence system. However, we can also choose to have default values as in older versions. In terms of the DIXF entities, the new DIXF ships with a 150 entities in comparison to the 78 (I think) it came with in earlier versions. These include master data, documents, journals, parameters, party, products, and configuration data. Another cool addition is the addition of folder support. We are going to be able to move stuff around automatically (needs to be pre-defined) to different folders in our domain based on the operations we are executing. 

  • The following are a few other additions:Parallel Execution: Ability to dissect data in bundles (i.e. 1,000 rows / bundles = 100 rows per task).This is particularly useful when large data loads need to take place. The tool provides the ability to allocate a group of records to tasks. This combination will create a bundle, and each bundle is independent of each other. See the following diagram for a visual representation of it:

  • Role Base Security: Provides a security framework for the different levels on an organization, this is built on top of the existing security framework (i.e. Production cannot import HR data).Mapper Control: Allows flexible mapping between custom entities and staging objects. In addition, mapping effort is reduced when using AX friendly column names (i.e. ITEMID).Custom Entity Wizard: We can compare data in different companies. This becomes specially interesting and useful to compare parameter data between a gold and test instances for example.  When using this tool to import data that contains discrepancies, the system inserts the data into a staging table where it is compared by another process in a specific number of companies and/or instances, and finally it gets updated. At this point, a user can use the Comparison form to move records between different instances.

Parallel Execution

System Configuration Data: BI-Analysis and Reporting Services, Project Server Integration, EP, Batch Settings, Number Sequences, Email Parameters, AIF, System Service Accounts.DIXF Import ProcessThe import Process us done by using an abstraction layer that uses SSIS behind the DIXF framework. Within this abstraction layer, we can add possible X++ customizations.I asked the question on what would be the recommendation for migrating data from legacy systems – the following is what I could get from their recommendation (I was taking notes).There are two types of data migration architecture that consolidate both importing and cleansing data.The first option is to have a middle tier that can process the data from a legacy system, to an external system and clean it before it goes to Microsoft Dynamics AX. 

The second option is to do it directly import the data from a legacy system to Microsoft Dynamics AX.  

  • Thank you.

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