Upgrading Dynamics AX – Tips from AXUG Summit

I’m currently attending AXUG Summit in Tampa, Florida and so far it’s been a really great experience.

Yesterday and today I took time away from the expo to attend different sessions focused on Microsoft AX upgrades including the Dynamics AX 2012 Upgrades Partner Member Panel discussion.  There was lots of good discourse and I wanted to share a few of the upgrade tips that I believe companies that are either in the process of upgrading or thinking about upgrading will find useful.

  • When you do your initial install, avoid modifying primary tables.  This will end up saving you a lot of headaches when you go to do an upgrade.
  • Take advantage of the upgrade tools that are available to you.  They are very powerful and will help your upgrade go much smoother.  The data import and export tool is a particularly useful one.
  • Ideally you would like to engage the people that made the original decisions for your Dynamics AX system.  They will offer insight on why decisions were made that will help you along the way.
  • Before you upgrade ensure that workflows, processes, reports, and data are still relevant so that you don’t upgrade ‘bad’ information.
  • When setting up security, give users the least access as possible and work from there.  They likely don’t need to access everything and it is easier to give access then it is to take it away.
  • You may want to consider importing only your beginning balances and treat the old data the same way you would treat it out of a legacy system.

If you do decide to upgrade, you will fall into one of three upgrade types.

Standard – If you have low or no customization, only a few custom reports, clean data and are running on Dynamics AX V4 or Dynamics AX 2009, you will be able to do a standard upgrade.

Hybrid – If you have moderate customization with limited data consistency issues and you are on Dynamics AX V4 or Dynamics AX 2009, you may need to do a hybrid upgrade.  The good news is that you will have an opportunity to clean your master data.

Re-implementation – If you have heavy customization and many integration touch points, have data consistency issues, and are on Dynamics AX V3 or Dynamics AX V4, then you will likely need to do a re-implementation.  This will give you the opportunity to clean the master data and the transaction data.

Getting Help

Microsoft is trying to make it easy for you to get assistance during the upgrade process.  The help button on Dynamics AX 2012 has much more information than in the past, which is a great place to start if you have any issues.  Here are a few other places to bookmark that offer good upgrade advice.

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