Last year I was creating an interface for products and their attributes. The funny thing was that the attributes did not appear in the interface, but on opening the form, all the attributes were there. So one begins to think what is going on! Where are my missing attributes?
In my latest blog I showed you the options you have when it comes to updating your AX system. If you haven’t read that one yet check it out here. In this blog we will focus on the Stable Evergreen situation. This is the environment where you have an AX system that is customized to your business requirement. Once this system is delivered you decide not to do any updates whatsoever because you are content with your system right now and why change a winning team, right?
How to decide if you could use a Stable Evergreen
It is best do decide whether or not you want a stable evergreen system as early as possible, preferably before the development of your new system. Base your decision on your future plans. Are new projects coming up? Are there going to be big changes in the coming years? If the next few years seem to be steady and you see no major changes coming up, a Stable Evergreen might be the right choice for you because it can save you a lot of time and money.
Saving a Million on your AX system
A simple calculation shows that someone, who was an AX starter at Rel2009’s introduction, spent on average €1.305.000 on keeping the system up to date. This amount contains 9 CU’s and 1 major update + all the costs of implementing etc (calculation can be provided upon request).
But what if you hadn’t spent that money on updating? What if you would’ve just kept that first system operational? You would’ve saved €1.305.000 and still have a system that operates to your satisfaction. No, you don’t have that brand new and fancy system but it works right? That’s all that matters. Besides, because there were no major changes you could’ve documented every requirement. You know everything about the system so you know exactly what you want for when it is time to finally get a new system. Also, the money you saved in those years can now be used to implement that new AX system completely adjusted to your new needs and wishes.
One of the other advantages of not updating your system is that for your employees nothing changes. No new buttons, no new options. So they get used to it and learn how to use it as efficient as possible, without having to worry if they are doing it right.
Eventually not updating your system has a lot of advantages. It is not for every company. But please, next time you are planning on getting a new system think about this and you might do yourself a huge favor. Do you really need those updates? Feel free to contact us for more information.
Please do share your thoughts on updates, we want to hear your opinion. Also don`t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to receive the latest Dynamics AX news straight to your inbox!
In my last blog “Are those SLA’s a Fool’s Bargain?” I explained the service level agreement, which you signed with your implementing partner after you implemented a new system. However, this partner will tell you that system updates are necessary, but that`s not always the case. So let`s see what options do you have. (meer…)
Alright, a question for you guys. Have you ever heard of a SLA (service level agreement)? It’s the thing you agree on with your implementing partner after they have successfully implemented your new system. If you’ve come so far, congratulations. You’ve probably managed to overcome a lot of hiccups along the way but you made it, you now have a system that meets all your needs.
But your journey is not over yet. There has to be maintenance in order to keep the system fresh. Because of this you come to a maintenance agreement with your partner. Of course not just for AX but also for BizTalk, SQL, BI and all the other stuff. Now you can feel confident that along the way your system will always be up to date and it gives you the ultimate guarantee nothing can go wrong anymore, but does it? What does it guarantee? And what is the cost of this guarantee?
What you agreed on in SLA
Most service level agreements -SLA- probably contain nothing more than the following things:
- The right to have your system updated.
- A promise that they will help you with it and a discount on the hours spent helping you.
- Technical support
- They may even include a number of free minutes, you can use to call someone at a helpdesk. What you don’t know is that while you’re on hold and listen to the beautiful tune, your minutes run out.
What you actually wanted
You just wanted a system that runs smoothly and makes you a satisfied user. But your partner will push you to do all the updates because otherwise everything will inevitably go wrong. This is kind of comparable to the millennium madness. Remember? So many people were convinced that all the electronic devices were going to crash, some even made a lot of money because of others` ignorance, and eventually, when the clock ticked 12, nothing happened. Everything was working as it was supposed to be. With SLA’s it’s kind of the same. They just want you to be scared enough to spent a lot of money on something that is not always necessary, the same goes for updates.
But what are your options? Can you just do nothing? Or is there a way to avoid all these costs and headaches? I will let you know in the next blog 😉 but meanwhile subscribe to our newsletter so you can receive our latest blogs straight to your inbox.
What do you think about SLA`s and updates? Share your thoughts and if you liked this post, please share it.
Streamline installations are supposed to make our lives easy, that is if they are properly configured.
First question is how to make a streamline installation. These can be downloaded from https://lcs.dynamics.com
One has to create a project. It is important that it is for the correct build (RTM, retail, R2 or R3).
Next, scroll to the right on the LCS site. On the More tools plane, one can find 2 important buttons: Issue search and Update.
Issue search makes it possible to download isolated fixes (KB numbers).
The updates button allows you to download whole CU updates. When you press the Updates button, the webpage below appears.
The first option (Complete) has it all, namely an installation wizard, binaries and model store. This can also be used in case one only wants to install the binaries.
If only the binaries and the installation wizard are needed, choose the next option (Binary-only)
And finally we come to the third option (Slipstream). The Slipstream has no installation wizard. When this is extracted, one gets something as per the screenshot below:
These extracted files are to be copied to the correct place on the AX 2012 R2 RTM image. Remember to extract this image first.
When the image is extracted, one can find an Updates folder. Open this folder and create folders CU8 and myModels inside as show below:
Next copy the extracted CU8 files into the CU8 folder and copy your own models in myModels.
One would think that the slipstream installation is now up and running….. NOT!
This is strange, this is CU8, so what went wrong?
Time to check LCS….. check for CU8 or slipstream but we find no answer.
Time to log an incident on connect.microsoft.com. An update will follow….
But there is more to this, even when you have correct CU patches, one can still run in issues. It looks like the order of importing the models is wrong. Last week my model had a dependency on the upgrade model.
The dependency was correct, but seems like the size of some field on upgrade staging tables have been changed. When I slipstream this particular installation, my model is rejected because the upgrade (SYS) model is not there.
Time to log another incident…
Conclusion, don’t slipstream in both AX 2012 R2 CU8 and AX2012 R3 CU8
Last week, I was upgrading AX 2012 R2 CU7 to CU8 and ran into a model store error. The error was similar to http://blogs.msdn.com/b/axsupport/archive/2014/01/08/violation-of-primary-key-constraint-pk-modelelementdata-elementhandle-error-installing-some-hotfixes-on-microsoft-dynamics-ax-2012-r2.aspx
It scared the hell out of me! First thing that came to mind was: is my model store corrupt in production?
But the source of the problem was indeed different; found out that the issue was label files.
In the AX 2012 R2 CU7, the DMF labels were missing, so this was fixed by adding them manually (see picture below)
This means that my AX2012 R2CU7 model store was consistent.
Label files cannot be deleted directly from the AOT. In such cases, the following workaround is necessary:
- Create a new model
- Move the labels to this new model
- Finally, delete this model