Friday, December 9, 2011

Intelligent Data Management Framework (IDMF)

Hi there,
There has been a lot of talk about the Intelligent Data Management Framework (IDMF) in AX 2012, and for a good reason!  This is because the Intelligent Data Management Framework allows the system administrators optimize the performance of Microsoft Dynamics AX installations, which is something that we all should be concerned about when implementing AX 2012.

Why? Well, first of all, the system requirements for AX 2012 are going to be much more than the ones for AX 2009.

This has been proved by a recent installation in Bank of America where they thought the hardware required was much more of what is needed for AX 2009. For this reason, the IDMF assesses the health of the Microsoft Dynamics AX application, analyzes current usage patterns, and helps reduce database size.  In addition, the IDMF lets you analyze the database and maintain an optimal database size by providing the purge and archive functions.

A Microsoft articles says “the purge function removes or deletes data from a set of related entities, or tables, from the production database. The archive function moves data from all related tables from the production database to a standby database called the archive database. Users can use the archive database for reporting purposes but cannot update it”

Further, both the purge and archive operations depend on a hierarchical relationship tree of related tables based on the Microsoft Dynamics AX metadata, and to create a hierarchical relationship, you select a parent table and discover all related tables based on the AX metadata.  
Moreover, the parent table in the relationship is put at the root level of the tree and the discovery process creates a nested relationship tree from a parent entity to a child entity. This is done until there are no relationships left at the lowest level.

Also, a purge object is used to remove selected records from all tables in the relationship tree from the AX database. Similarly, an archive object is used to move selected records from all tables in the relationship tree from the AX database to the archive database.

After creating a purge object or an archive object, you can apply business rules and selection criteria to entities and transactions to determine which records are deleted or moved from the production database.

System architecture

The IDMF was created using the Microsoft .NET development environment and provides a single document interface (SDI). In addition, the IDMF uses a database, called the management database, for the storage and retrieval of data, and communicates with Application Object Server (AOS) through COM Business Connector or .NET Business Connector.

Now, just be aware that during installation, the IDMF installs a Windows service called the Intelligent Data Management Framework for Microsoft Dynamics AX service. This service is used to run scheduled jobs and is referred to as the scheduler service for the Data Management Framework.

The following diagram provides a high-level overview of the Data Management Framework system architecture.

Deployment scenarios

Single-server deployment

Multi-server deployment

Distributed deployment

Take care!


  1. IDMF is indeed a powerful tool. If you are interested in this sort of performance optimization you should also look at AxImprove's Advanced Storage Manager for AX. It can compliment IDMF and let's you take advantage of your SQL infrastructure better.

    Disclaimer: I work for AxImprove

  2. Hi all,
    I am trying to install IDMF but it gives me a error saying "Failed to create sql database:database_name error -2147467259".

    Can you please help me to resolve this issue??

    Thanks in advance.

    1. Hey,

      Thanks for reading my blog. The error you are getting is most likely because the account you are using only has reading permissions in the DB. However, it can also mean that you are having problems connecting to your database because of a wrong DB connection string or server name.

      I would say to check your credentials and/or try with a sysadmin profile and see what happens.

      I hope this helps.

  3. Not sure why IDMF uses Management Database? Is it really a temporary place to store AX data and later retrieve it?

  4. I have installed IDMF and want to use it with AX 2009. while going through the post installation checklist, i am not able to find the XPO to be imported in AX which allows operation with data management framework.

  5. Hi While doing the post installation steps in IDMF , after the completion of metadata Synchronization i have encountered an error while importing summation XPO. \Classes\DMTVirtualSummaryTrans\updateVirtuelTransferClosing – The wrong number of arguments has been specified for the method. Anyone seen this before or any ideas what needs to be done.. This is on AX2012 BTW.

  6. Is their any tool available for AX 2009

    1. Hi Kiran,

      Yes, there is one version. Here is the link with the documentation for it.

      I hope this helps!


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