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Process for upgrading to the latest Dynamics AX update

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Overview

This article describes the overall process and the supported scenarios that are related to an upgrade from the Microsoft Dynamics AX (February 2016) release to Microsoft Dynamics AX May 2016 update. It isn’t intended to provide detailed instructions for every step of the process.

Dynamics AX May 2016 update consists of a new Microsoft Dynamics AX platform, and also a cumulative release of hotfixes and minor updates to Dynamics AX (February 2016). For a summary of what’s new in Dynamics AX May 2016 update, see What’s new or changed.

Definitions

The Dynamics AX platform consists mainly of the following components: Application Object Server (AOS), analytics and reporting, Microsoft Office integration, data management, integration services, the web client, and other binaries. It also includes the following Application Object Tree (AOT) models:

  • Application Platform
  • Application Foundation
  • Directory and Test Essentials

The remaining Dynamics AX components are referred to as the Microsoft Dynamics AX application.

Scenario 1: Update your Dynamics AX application

Regardless of whether you’re still implementing Dynamics AX or you’re already live on Dynamics AX, you don’t have to perform a complete upgrade of your application to uptake new features of the Dynamics AX application. All features in the current update of the Dynamics AX application are available individually on Microsoft Dynamics Lifecycle Services (LCS). Both the Dynamics AX (February 2016) release and Dynamics AX May 2016 update of the Dynamics AX application are serviced internally from the same release branch. From an application perspective, Dynamics AX May 2016 update is just an update rollup of all application updates that have been made to Dynamics AX (February 2016).

New deployments of Dynamics AX May 2016 update include all the individual application hotfixes and previous updates.

For more information about how to download hotfixes from LCS, see Download hotfixes from Lifecycle Services.

Scenario 2: Upgrade your custom code

This scenario describes the process for upgrading your code from Dynamics AX (February 2016) to Dynamics AX May 2016 update. Future updates will follow the same process. Regardless of whether you’re a live customer or you’re still in the implementation phase of your project, follow these steps to upgrade your code to the latest platform and application updates.

  1. Use the LCS code upgrade service to upgrade your code.
    • Because each update is a cumulative update of RTW hotfixes and minor features that you might already have, the chance of conflict is minimal. However, we still recommend that you run the code upgrade service.
    • This step isn’t required if you’re a customer that is running on standard Dynamics AX and have no custom code.
  2. Submit a request for a new Dev/Test environment that is running the latest update.
    • You might have to delete your existing Dev/Test environment if your subscription doesn’t allow for a new one.
    • Depending on your project type, these are the other options to deploy a developer VM:
      • Option 1: Download a Dev VHD.
      • Option 2: If you’re running in your own Microsoft Azure subscription, deploy a new developer topology.
  3. Complete the code migration steps.
    1. Connect your development virtual machine (VM) to Microsoft Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS), and map to the folder that contains your upgraded code.
    2. Synchronize, resolve conflicts (when applicable), build, and create deployable packages of your code.

    Note: If the code upgrade service results don’t show any conflicts, you can connect directly to the RTW branch of your code. However, make sure that you delete all Microsoft hotfixes from your VSTS project. These hotfixes are the XML files that belong to Microsoft Sys layer models.

  4. Install any hotfixes that apply to the environment.
  5. Upload deployable packages to the LCS Asset library of your project.

For more information, see Code Migration.

Scenario 3: A customer that is live on Dynamics AX (February 2016) fully upgrades to Dynamics AX May 2016 update

These steps apply to customers that are live on Dynamics AX (February 2016) and want to perform a full upgrade of the platform and application to Dynamics AX May 2016 update. Customers that have already deployed and configured a production environment might also fall into this category, even if they haven’t gone live yet.

Upgrade your code

First, upgrade your code as described in scenario 2.

Upgrade on your sandbox environment

  1. Use Connect to submit a request to update the sandbox environment from Dynamics AX (February 2016) to Dynamics AX May 2016 update. This request represents acknowledgment that you’re ready for downtime.
    1. A Dynamics Service Engineer (DSE) detaches the Dynamics AX (February 2016) environment from your LCS project.
    2. You request, via LCS, a new Dynamics AX May 2016 update deployment that has your deployable packages.
    3. You approve the configuration and sign off.
    4. The DSE deploys the environment.
    5. The DSE connects the Dynamics AX May 2016 update environment to the copy of the Dynamics AX (February 2016) production database.
    6. The DSE runs data upgrade scripts.
    7. The DSE attaches the new environment to your LCS project.
    8. The DSE notifies you about completion of the update.
  2. Validate. (The Dynamics AX May 2016 update environment will have the same URL as the detached Dynamics AX (February 2016) environment.)
  3. After you sign off, the DSE retires the Dynamics AX (February 2016) environment.

Upgrade your production environment

  1. Use Connect to submit a request to update the production environment from Dynamics AX (February 2016) to Dynamics AX May 2016 update. This request represents acknowledgement that you’re ready for downtime. (Downtime might be up to 48 hours.)
  2. Repeat step 1 (all eight substeps) of the previous procedure.
  3. Validate.
  4. After you sign off, the DSE retires the Dynamics AX (February 2016) environment.

Scenario 4: Upgrade the Dynamics AX platform to Dynamics AX May 2016 update (Preview)

If you’re running a Dynamics AX (February 2016) environment that doesn’t contain any customization of the platform AOT models (Application Platform, Application Foundation, Directory and Test Essentials), you can do an in-place update of your platform, without upgrading to a new environment. This scenario is supported as a technical preview for Technology Adoption Program (TAP) customers and partners. Contact your Microsoft Solution Architect or Program Manager, and we will provide a deployable package that upgrades your Dynamics AX platform to Dynamics AX May 2016 update.

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