How to Upgrade Dynamics AX Code to Dynamics 365 for Operations

Posted by Mangesh Divekar on May 18th, 2019

Microsoft has introduced its newest update to its flagship ERP solution Microsoft Dynamics AX in November 2016, and have rebranded it as ‘Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Operations'.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Operations is an ERP business application that's part of the Microsoft Dynamics 365 platform, a next-generation, cloud-based business management system which combines ERP and CRM capabilities within one seamlessly integrated platform.

For current Microsoft Dynamics AX technical customers and developers though, the question of how to update Dynamics AX code into Dynamics 365 for Operations has lots of folks pondering. But the process isn't as complex as some people think -- it is actually an issue of understanding how your business uses the system now.

Currently Microsoft supplies a direct upgrade path from Dynamics AX 2012 to Dynamics 365 for Operations. The code upgrade service in Microsoft Dynamics Lifecycle Services (the collaborative portal for managing upgrades and upgrades) currently accepts a version store file as an input, which essentially means that you can upgrade anything from Dynamics AX 2012 into Dynamics 365 to Operations. However, this process works best for the Dynamics AX 2012 R3 CU8 version onwards.

The reason for this is the Dynamics AX CTP5 code base was based on Dynamics AX 2012R3 CU8, hence the chances for an automatic merging of code is a lot higher in variants post-CU8. In our experience, we have started an update from Dynamics AX 2012 R2 CU7 and successfully upgraded the code and data.

However, Microsoft does not currently provide an upgrade path for older versions of Dynamics AX -- Dynamics AX 2009 and AX 4.0 -- to Dynamics 365 for Operations.

What exactly does this mean if you're running a Dynamics AX 2009 or even AX 4.0 instance? It's likely that you would be tempted to do a re-implementation. With the huge investment that Microsoft has put into Dynamics 365 -- all the powerful features and cool new user interface -- it would be wholly worthwhile for your business.

But just in case that you want to wait, or you don't want to undertake a whole system re-implementation, a recommendation would be to upgrade to Dynamics AX 2012. It's a time-tested update route, and with a Dynamics AX 2012 program, you'd be prepared to take things to another level with Dynamics 365 for Operations as it is reasonable for you.

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Mangesh Divekar

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Mangesh Divekar
Joined: April 26th, 2019
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