Microsoft’s “end of mainstream support” for Dynamics AX means that there will be no further Microsoft-generated system patches, security updates, or support from Microsoft.
However, there are options that will protect your business, let you take advantage of your existing investment in Microsoft technologies, and preserve the skills and experience your team has built up with your Dynamics ERP.
Below, you’ll find an explanation of the support situation for the different versions of Dynamics AX facing Microsoft’s end of support, as well as your options going forward.
- Dynamics AX 2012 R3 Support Situation
- AX 2009/2012 RTM/R2 Support Situation
- Dynamics AX Support Options
- Next Steps
Dynamics AX 2012 R3 Support
For Dynamics AX 2012 R3, mainstream support ended 10/12/2021, but extended support continues until January 2023. This means that since October 2021, Microsoft has been releasing security hotfixes only.
AX 2012 R3 Risk Matrix
(From Oct. 2021, to Jan. 2023)
AX 2009/2012 RTM/R2 Support
Microsoft’s mainstream and extended support for Dynamics AX 2009, Dynamics AX 2012, and Dynamics AX 2012 R2 on-premises customers has expired.
Security threats like ransomware are serious and increasing, now that critical security updates are no longer available for these versions of AX.
AX 2009 2012 RTM/R2 Risk Matrix
Dynamics AX Support Options for 2009, 2012 RTM, 2012 R2, and 2012 R3
For companies on any of these versions of AX, there are options to consider:
Option 1: Stay on Dynamics AX and Current Hosting, Seek Support from a Dynamics Partner
Even though mainstream support has ended, a Dynamics AX Partner like Encore can still provide some technical and functional AX support, with proper notes and clarification of the responsibilities and expectations.
We can often improve Dynamics AX performance, and handle some breakfixes. However, we sometimes find that a problem is caused by larger code issues in fundamental modules like Master Resource Planning. In a situation like that, any Dynamics Partner’s ability to efficiently solve the problem will now be limited.
Furthermore, the pace of change in business technology has accelerated. Be aware that the longer you remain on AX, the greater the chance that you will eventually get an incompatibility between your other business technology — like your server or desktop — and your AX environment.
If you have a system crash without very solid backup files, it may not be possible to restore the system.
Therefore, staying on AX with Partner support should be seen as a temporary stopgap measure while you prepare to take the second option (moving to a Dynamics 365 ERP), described below.
Limited Support Highlights:
- Your Dynamics Partner can only troubleshoot AX application issues and will not have direct access to your environment.
- Your Dynamics Partner can work with a third-party hosting provider, but we are limited to the access and cooperation that they provide.
- Encore can create support cases with Microsoft support since we are an Advanced Support (ASfP) for Cloud Services certified partner. But we may be limited on issues that involve the actual AX code.
Option 2: Upgrade to Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations
Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations (often called F&O) is effectively the next version of AX. It is has improved reporting, security, automation and more.
For many companies, F&O is the logical next step after AX. Read a more detailed comparison of AX and D365 Finance & Operations.
- You receive full and ongoing support from Microsoft Support.
- The underlying functionality is largely the same as AX, so your team’s knowledge of the functionality in the system transfers over easily.
- Using a Dynamics 365 ERP opens the door to leveraging Dynamics 365 CRM applications, Power BI, Power Automate, and more.
- Encore is a Microsoft Advanced Support (ASfP) for Cloud Services certified partner. This means we have direct access to Microsoft support if there are critical work stoppage issues or technical break-fix support issues.
- Encore provides upgrade, troubleshooting support, training, and guidance.
Some companies — usually smaller, less complex ones — may also find that the ERP capabilities they need are available in Microsoft’s other cloud ERP option, Dynamics 365 Business Central.
Option 3: Move Dynamics AX Environments to Microsoft Azure Hosted Environments (No Longer Recommended)
Note: In previous years, Encore was able to help AX customers by migrating their environments to the cloud. Now that AX has reached end of life, making this hosting change will no longer address the core risks to your security and stability. However, we’ve kept the information below as a useful reference.
Past Support Highlights:
- Environment issues were streamlined because we removed the third-party middleman. This led to faster resolution times.
- Encore could provide troubleshooting support for the server environments as well as the AX application.
As you can see, there are important decisions to be made in order to ensure both the security of your system and the future support that you may need.
You should discuss these options with an experienced Dynamics Partner. If you are not ready to move to Dynamics 365 yet, you should consider your timeline, and how best to protect your business until then.
Contact us to talk through your options and find the path that’s best for you.
We specialize in providing technical assessments, break-fix support, optimization services, and solution expansion projects for Dynamics AX (Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations)