FAQ – Upgrading Dynamics AX to Dynamics 365 for Operations
Upgrading from Dynamics AX 2009 and AX 2012 to Dynamics 365 for Operations brings significant new features and capabilities. Operations are available in three deployment scenarios and three types of user. This article aims to clarify the upgrade process and options.
Support for Dynamics AX continues as follows:
1. Do I have to upgrade to Dynamics 365 in the cloud?
No. There are just three installation scenarios (see no. 2). The cloud-hosted option provides additional benefits and features.
2. What are the deployment scenarios?
D365O deployment is extremely flexible. There are three deployment options: cloud-hosted, on-premises (“local business data”) and hybrid (“Cloud + border”). It’s possible to start on one scenario and move to another, in either way. There are various infrastructure and subscription costs for each scenario.
3. What happens to my existing customizations?
Generally, the older your version of Microsoft Dynamics AX, the further iterations it has undergone, and the more likely the customizations might need to be re-developed to get Dynamics 365 for Operations. Custom coding is now done via extensions instead of over-layering. Microsoft has made it a priority to offer code upgrade resources to simplify the migration of custom code.
The code upgrade tools in Lifecycle Services (LCS) assist in assessing the effort for update before making the dedication, automatically migrate code to the present edition, and also streamline the process by providing automated merging and documenting in which manual merging has to be performed.
Since Dynamics AX 2012 R3 includes a similar data structure to D365 there will be less refactoring required than older variants; and a few customizations may now be covered by standard functionality and won’t have to be migrated or re-coded.
4. What happens to my existing reports and BI content?
As with custom code, the update procedure of reports and BI content is a three-stage strategy: analyse, implement and validate. Microsoft’s update tools can migrate some SSRS reports and BI cubes from AX 2012 R3, however, content from old versions will probably require more re-development.
5. What happens to my existing third-party interfaces?
The port technology has evolved significantly since AX 2009, so the older your version of AX the more likely the ports will require re-development. Transition needs to be rated on a case-by-case foundation.
6. What happens to my existing Dynamics AX licences?
Dynamics 365 for Operations is licenced on a monthly subscription per user or a device. The on-premise version may be licenced by monthly subscription or annual perpetual licence.
For existing clients who are busy on a Dynamics AX care program Microsoft is offering a 40% discount on the standard cloud-hosted Dynamics 365 pricing. There are two transition-to-cloud choices:
From SA — allows you to drop your current maintenance payments at renewal and move fully to the cloud support.
Cloud Add-on — allows you to continue paying your Dynamics AX care and include the Dynamics 365 SKUs on top of this at any time.
Active maintenance (SA or Enhancement Strategy ) will be a necessity for on-premises D365 (‘local small business info’). On-premises subscriptions will be 55% of cloud pricing.
Our consultants will be happy to provide additional information on how your existing users will map to the new user forms and which choices may be most cost effective for your business enterprise.
7. What is the upgrade process?
The costs and use of update are fully assessed prior to making the dedication.
8. How long will the upgrade process take?
The following are very general estimates:
Largely normal functionality with minimal change to business processes — 2 to 3 weeks
Customisations that require re-development — 3 to 6 weeks
Customisations and significant re-engineering of business processes — 6 to 9 months
9. Will our staff need to be retrained?
No. Most of the company logic in Dynamics AX is carried forward to D365O, however the user interface was greatly improved to provide a much more fluid and more intuitive experience.
Updating from AX 2009 may necessitate more user training — where necessary, this can be provided throughout the upgrade procedure to ensure maximum uptake of new functionality and complete onboarding at cutover. Additionally, the Task Recorder tool within D365O has been greatly enhanced to give task guides with step-by-step directions for finishing business processes.
10. Will the upgrade disrupt our operations
No. Whether on-premises or in cloud, D365O is deployed through LCS. New builds are deployed first to test environments.