For our upgrade project we have decided to create 4 packages/models to start with, which is enough to separate larger areas. Once the models have been created on my VM, I had to make it available for everyone. The goal was to synchronize models between workspaces of other developers.
Package / Model
Core application framework changes, essentially what is in Platform and Foundation
Business application customizations, later on we might create additional models for larger functionality
For reporting, data warehousing, CDS and entities
The devil lies in the details and for some reason the model was not showing up after synch. It turns out that the model description sits in an XML file within the Descriptor folder. You need to manually include it in source control, as explained in the documentation as well. Once it is checked in, all you need to do to synchronize models between workspaces is to get latest changes, then click on Dynamics 365 > Model Management > Refresh models.
There was a blog article published yesterday by James Phillips, Corporate Vice President that we should be really excited about: Microsoft Convergence is back! The new show will be called Microsoft Business Applications Summit and will be held late July this year in Seattle.
Many of us – MVPs, partners and customers – have raised our concerns and the need for a dedicated event, where we could talk to each other, share our customer success stories and ISV solutions, and get dedicated access to various Microsoft teams involving our business. That was hard to get on events which are calling for a much broader audience with a mix of other products, where you would not necessarily bump into the right person to reach out for in case: you had a brilliant product idea to share; a huge functionality gap to address; or simply tell where the system could perform better.
Now our prayers have reached open ears and we have Microsoft Business Applications Summit. The format will most likely change a little bit from what we got used to, since a couple of additional products and technologies came onboard since the release of AX 2012. We have PowerBI, LogicApps, PowerApps, Azure and a lot more in the Microsoft stack of technologies surrounding our beloved ERP systems.
I am sure we will have the same depth of functional and technical sessions, partner/customer/recruiter Expo area, discount book store and all the nice additions available this year that none of you should miss. Especially with the new business goals Microsoft have set, about being on the latest version of the product for everyone very soon, Overlaying- and customization-free by only using Extensions.
We all can feel the pain with the new naming of AX 7, being Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, Enterprise edition. When you need to find documentation or blog posts it is really a pain to type that out. To help resolve the issue, we have received a new tag as #MSDyn365FO that we could use in our search terms, yay!
Please find the original announcement on MSDN Blogs.
The complete Microsoft documentation has been stamped with it, you can find it in the header. All future official blog posts will be tagged with it, and we encourage individuals as well to do the same for better relevance on Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or any other social media you are consuming.
This works great with search engines. If you want to find for example how to use services in AX 7, now you could just Google with that search phrase tag and you get back the correct result as first hit for “Service endpoints – Finance and Operations” on the Docs site:
Since JJ Food Service has a very large database, we have started applying compression to Production AX. Our SalesLine and CustInvoiceTrans has been between 250-350 GB size each! Our approach was to apply compression before a maintenance window using the Enterprise Edition license of SQL Server in ONLINE mode and using TempDB sorting, so it was running during business hours only adding a slight overhead to the system (mostly as disk I/O). It took 4 and 6 hours respectively, and space saving was more than 75% which is excellent.
Once the compression has finished and we were about to begin our regular Friday night maintenance, once the AX AOS, reporting and web services were all down, we could run the post-compression SQL script provided by Microsoft to populate the SQLStorage table. This is required for the Data dictionary synchronization step to recognize compressed indexes, so it would not drop and recreate them uncompressed.
Eventually we will consider compressing our whole database for Page level. The reason being is that Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, Enterprise edition in the background uses full page compression for the whole AX database. If you would like to use the upgrade scripts from 2012, even the documentation mentions that compression is a pre-requisite step:
It has been very busy times in the past couple of weeks, by doing the preparation steps for our upgrade to Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations at JJ Food Service. As you can imagine it is not an easy task with an AX system that has been running for 11+ years, upgraded for every major version since 3.0 with a 2TB+ database size. As the Technical architect and with no partner involved I needed to understand all the components, challenges to be expected, processes to be completed in order to carry out a successful move to the cloud. Fortunately I have received an editorial copy of Implementing Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations.
First of all I really like the idea that the book starts with an introduction of the various Dynamics 365 products and reporting/data management tools, since Microsoft’s intention is to bundle together different applications in the cloud via a subscription-model. This gives a great overview of the available tools. One point to mention here is that CRM has been split up and compartmentalized as different, smaller applications. This is the direction where Dynamics AX is heading as well eventually.
The Implementing Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations book is also touching up on Application Lifecycle Management (ALM), through the utilization of LifeCycle Services (LCS) portal. This is what we use for managing and architecting our environments, going through the project implementation, mapping our business processes, deploying data packages and releasing code.
Since the book is aimed at audience like myself, technical architects with a strong development background, I have found this book to be an excellent resource for getting into the nooks and crannies of using Visual Studio for development, VSTS for version control, walking through the various major changes like ditching AIF for RESTful API, JSON and OData.
I also really like that the book touches up on the automated testing part, which is very much neglected in most implementation projects. I would expect that it would change in the future, forcing customers and partners to provide testing in some form before code could be applied in a Production instance with a certain code coverage threshold met.
All-in-all I found the details very well summarized in the book, and is a great starting point to build essential knowledge for a new AX 7 implementation project. The rest could be filled in by reaching out to the extensive Microsoft Docs site as a detailed technical and user manual, if you need more insight into the various areas.