Saturday, November 16, 2019

Here's the Plan...for now anyway!

It's my company's 2 year anniversary for being on AX 2012 R3!!! 

We started seriously discussing D365 earlier this year.  Having our company's system administrator/DBA attend Summit helped to bring focus to the technical aspects of the transition.  After a number of discussions internally and with our partner, we decided to wait another year before making a decision on how we'll move forward with Dynamics AX.

Here's a few reasons that brought us to that decision:

  • R3 version will continue to remain on mainline support until Nov 2021
  • We first need to decide if we will go Cloud or On-Premise - this is a big debate
    • Licensing - On-Premise stays perpetual vs. Cloud is subscription
    • Migration path - Cloud has a supported upgrade path vs. On-Premise currently does not have a supported upgrade path BUT it is coming
    • Cost of Cloud vs. On-Premise
  • We have other projects that will take precedence this coming calendar year
However, we will still spend some time this coming year related to our D365 journey.  This is what we are planning to do:
  • Cloud Readiness Assessment 
    •  understand the cloud components and options
    • review what parts of our infrastructure will need to change
    • potentially start some early migrations, e.g. Azure AD
  • D365 Upgrade Assessment
    • perform full review of our current implementation including customization
    • licensing review
    • review new functionality to potentially replace customizations or change business process
    • understand depricated functions
    • size the effort and cost

We still have time contrary to other AX customers who are all off mainline support already!!!

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Planning the Plan - my D365 Upgrade Journey!

Just back from 2019 User Group Summit North America!  What a great event - so much information and networking packed into 4 days!!!  For me it started with Leadership training and the Welcome Expo Reception and ended with buying the recorded sessions.  There were so many learning sessions, partner showcases, and medic discussions in between.  Oh yes, and a bit of presenting as well.

Back home now, reflecting on everything I heard and learned.  My head is swimming with all the D365 products, applications, and services ... Azure Logic Apps, Flow, PowerApps, Regression Suite Automation Tool (RSAT), Lifecycle Services (LCS), Common Data Store (CDS) just to name a few.  It's a whole new world out there and so many decisions to make.

Many terms the pre-D365 users (including me!) that we know and use are now going away.  They are being replaced by new tools.
  • Coding layers are becoming extensions
  • AIF will be gone
  • Any custom reports will need to be rewritten
  • On-premise is now taking a side show to Azure
  • Licensing changes...too many to put it in a single bullet point!
  • Deprecated features will be GONE(!!!) in D365
So much to think about.  My co-chapter leader, Shelby Wright, put it all in a scary perspective.  She said, "You've got to rethink everything!"  At first I didn't understand, but after a bit more conversation I realized going to D365 introduces Azure components to the product regardless if you stay on-premise or go totally cloud.  Will your ISVs still work, your current tools and other applications will they be able to live side by side with D365?  I hadn't really realized the totality of what this upgrade meant.  I'm not ready for this - are you???

Mainline support has already ended for most versions of Dynamics AX, and the last version 2012 R3 ends in just over 2 years.  Below are some of the support dates from the Microsoft site:

I'm on the last remaining supported version - Dynamics 2012 R3.  I made upgrading to 2012 R3 my company's goal shortly after the 2016 AXUG Summit.  I went live in November of 2017 shortly after the 2017 AXUG Summit.

My current goal is to build a D365 Upgrade proposal and present it to my company's executive management.  I hope to compete the proposal by the end of the 2019 calendar year.  A lot of decisions to be made and develop an overarching applications road map for the company.  A lot to think about!  But in a little over 2 years - 733 days to be exact, mainline support for the version I am on will fall off mainline support.

From the Microsoft Docs site:
Mainstream support for Dynamics AX 2012 R3 continues through October 12, 2021. Microsoft will continue making security hotfixes, non-security hotfixes, and regulatory updates for Dynamics AX 2012 R3 throughout that mainstream support period. The source code for these non-binary, non-security hotfixes and regulatory updates will continue to be available for customers, and their partners, active on the Enhancement Plan or Software Assurance.

There is however extended support available for an additional 15 months.  With extended support, support incidents can still be reported but only security related updates will be released.  Extended hotfix support program will be available with a premier support agreement.  More details of this support program will be available several months before the extended support date.

Join me in my journey!  I hope you are on your way as well!!!

Sunday, April 28, 2019

The time has come to think about D365!!!

It's been nearly a year and a half now since we've been on R3 - 526 days to be exact.

Microsoft has announced that mainstream support will end for R3 on October 12, 2021.  All prior versions of Dynamics AX mainstream support ended October 2018.

It's time to start planning the move to D365!!!  A new journey begins..................

Where are you at on your journey?

Sunday, November 19, 2017

LIVE on R3!!!

We are live on R3!!!  The countdown continues ... it's been 2 days and 5 hours since our RTM environment went down!

The team came in this morning (Sunday morning) and ran through a battery of live transactions.  We ran various integration and each function ran a series of tests.  We decided at about 1pm to call it a GO!  We had a few final validations to complete, but felt confident.

I took the validation team out to a well deserved lunch.

I sent out the official WE ARE LIVE on R3 at around 4 pm PT with setup instructions to get to the new production environment.  The communication also included reminders on other setups and how to get assistance in the event they run into any issues.

Our first group of users came online about 4 hours ago in Asia, the next set of users will come online in 3 hours in France.  Our largest set of users will start coming in at 5 am.  We'll have several folks on site to support them.

We're not out of the woods yet.  We need to get past everyone getting reset up in the new environment.

But it already feels like a WIN!!!

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Our environment is upgraded - validating now!!!

DBA is done!

Our Production environment is upgraded!!!

- Database is split: business data and metadata.
- RTM USR layer model is deleted -- security is now in the CUS layer!
- R3 models and hot fixes installed.
- Several jobs were run related to hot fixes, differences in R3 that required some data clean up.

The environment has been passed to the IT Applications team for validations and a few remaining configurations and migrations.

- AIF services and Inbound ports need to be activated.
- Integrations need to be turned on.
- Batch jobs need to be set up.
- Some Transform projects need to be migrated.

We will have a functional team along with some of our IT team in tomorrow morning to perform live transactions to insure we are ready for Monday morning when all our users come online.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Nearly 8 hours in!

Started stopwatch @pvcj013

Initial steps completed:

- RTM Prod environment shutdown to all AX users.
- Batch processing completed.
- Integration activity drained.
- Backup of RTM Prod completed.
- 2 hours in (by stopwatch), DBA emails and says he going "DARK", no more status updates until upgrade is complete.


- 5 hours in (by stopwatch) - Email from DBA:

From: DBA
Sent: Friday, November 17, 2017 6:55 PM
To: IT Beaverton
Subject: I wish I knew this before I started the upgrade

Issue logged in our Issue Tracking System:

Issue Type:
17/Nov/17 7:15 PM
Due Date:

With the breaking doomsday news, we should delay the project to be with our loved ones.
Add Comment
But then closed by our BA:
Change By:
Planar Status:
New Backlog
Cannot Reproduce
Open Resolved
Add Comment
I awake in a stupor....What is going on!  But no worries, we forge ahead!