Friday, November 25, 2016

The beginning of an upgrade journey

Following my own advice!  Here is my article in the Q3 AXUG Magazine - Viewpoint: Are you ready for the New Dynamics AX .

During the AXUG Summit 2016, I spoke with 2 Microsoft professionals, Matthew Maertens on Security and Tariq Bell on Upgrades.  Since my company is on 2012 R1/RTM, our upgrade journey is to upgrade to R3 which will position us for where Dynamics 365 for Operations will take us.  With R3 mainstream support through 2021, we have time to see what paths Microsoft will offer and consider our options before beyond 2012.

  1. R3 licence key - You will need this to install, we contacted our partner who had to request from Microsoft.  Note: The key is only good for 3 months.
  2. ISV code - Secured R3/CU9 compatible versions of their software.  We'll need to recontact when they will have a CU12 version which was just announced November 21, 2016.  We'll want to install CU11 so that we can upgrade to SQL Server 2016.
  3. Partner model - Since we have customizations from our partner, they reviewed and provided an updated R3 compatible model and provided some notes as to what we might want to consider in modifications given R3 functionality.
  4. Microsoft documentation - Gathered up release documentation on changes and new features.  Reviewed and took note of what might be desirable from my company's view.  Here's some links: New, Changed, and Deprecated Features for AX2012, New Feature List for R2, What's New in Microsoft Dynamics 2012 R3, and Deprecated Features AX 2012.  You can also find documents on specific features. 
  5. Customizations - Thankfully, we tracked all changes to AX in Jira, both changes by our partner and those done internally.
  6. Project Team - Established the project team; pointed them to the release documentation; highlighted reasons to upgrade both technically and functionally; and presented a high level project plan.
To Do:
  1. Process Reviews - We'll do this in 2 ways.  First, each functional team member will review the release documentation to see what might affect them or where they might want to alter their current process.  Secondly, we will regression test all our processes.
  2. Security - We will move our custom security from the USR to the CUS layer.  Much to the delight of some of my consultant friends.  Also we have yet to review what changes might affect what we've setup.
  3. R3 environment with company data - This is in process now.  It is a difficult process given the technical changes between R1 and R3.  We will be working with our partner for some guidance and hope to have an environment up by mid-December.  I'll post more details on this in a subsequent post.
This is just the start.  More to come as we dive into this upgrade!!!


  1. This is great GG. Have you had or will you have any data clean up requirements or analysis that will be part of the upgrade process. If so what is your approach.

    1. Since we are coming from 2012 RTM, the database is upgraded with really no loss of data or mapping of fields. We did hit errors on 3 tables which were related to custom fields. We haven't spent time on them yet as we are stepping back to review prior technical steps and document that first.