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Friday, December 6, 2013

Book review: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2 Administration Cookbook

The book covers a lot of ground around the administrative work implementing and maintaining a Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2 installation. Some of the book is written especially for the R2 release, but most of the book also applies to the RTM release, and to some extend AX 2009.

Some things that Microsoft has documented rather cryptically is explained in much more understandable terms. For example, how to create and use claims users. In this way, the book is a good compliment to Microsoft documentation.

It is clear that Simon, the author, has a lot of hands-on experience installing and maintaining AX solutions-. He is good at point out severe pitfalls and to give good hints to things that just makes your admin-life easier when you know about them. The experienced hands-on angle is refreshing in contrast to the Microsoft documentation, which can seem to be a bit theoretically based.

On the downside, I do not think Packt have lived up to their responsibilities as editors of the book. Since the title includes the word “cookbook”, I would expect more crisp recipes. Recipes that not necessarily explain all the background stuff, but just tells me how to get the job done. If this was a real cookbook, it is like that, I am in some of the recipes taken though how an oven works and how potatoes are grown. That is not the fastest path to put dinner at the table. The background information should have been organized differently in my opinion.

The content is good and worth the investment in the book, the editorial work is less good.

Read more about, and buy, the book directly from Packt, Amazon or other major resellers.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Exporting models from AX 2012 with .Net Runtime version 2.0

I work with some servers where models from the model store are exported with .NET Runtime version 4.0 when using the PowerShell Management Shell:


I cannot be sure to be able to import models with this Runtime version at all customers. Depending on their system they might get an error about the model file having an invalid format. See this article at Dynamics Ax Musings.

TechNet offers a couple of workarounds under Troubleshooting working with model files section. Making changes to our customers servers is however not always an option.

You can change the version number after the export, as described here, but that's an extra step that I'd like to skip.

It seems like by just adding a version parameter to the "Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Management Shell" shortcut you can start up PowerShell as another version and you'll now get the expected Runtime version in the exported models. Here's the needed change to the shortcut:



You can the check the version PowerShell runs under, with the Get-Host command: