Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Perform in-place upgrade to Microsoft Dynamics AX - A Summary in Pictures 2012 R2

Hi There,

I hope everyone is having a good week so far and that you are ready for another topic on AX 2012 R2. I was reading the AX 2012 R2 upgrade guide and it seems like a lot of information to process. Therefore, I thought on creating a summary of the complete AX 2012 R2 upgrade process through pictures and just a few words. As the saying says, a picture express a thousand words. 

You can download the original document here, which is a very useful guide when it comes to upgrade to AX 2012, AX 2012 Feature Pack, and AX 2012 R2.

Moving right along, An upgrade from Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 or Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Feature Pack to Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2 is classified as an in-place upgrade. The great thing about this type of upgrade is that it does not requires source-to-target workflow, which is when we needed to upgrade an AX 4.0 instance to AX 2009 before bringing it to AX 2012, instead the upgrade is done directly into the source AX 2012 system, so look for upgrade XPO in your AX 2012 R2 setup files. 

Create a Test System

Duplicate your existing production system to create the test system. You can accomplish this by copying a virtual machine image, or, alternatively, you can build a new system by using Setup from your legacy Microsoft Dynamics AX version, and then copying over the production database

Run the Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2 Setup on the Test System

By running Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2 Setup on the test system, you accomplish the three numbered tasks shown in the following picture.

Back up the Test System Model Store

Create a file backup of the model store. This backup is used during code upgrade of the models in the customer layer. i.e. AxUtil.exe exportstore /file:[full path of file and file name]

Back up the Test System Model Store
Create a file backup of the model store. This backup is used during code upgrade of the models in the customer layer. i.e AxUtil.exe exportstore /file:[full path of file and file name]

Create Development System

Duplicate the Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2 test system to create the development system, which is used to upgrade customer models

Upgrade Customer Models

Customer models belong to one of the customer layers. In ascending order, these layers include the ISV, VAR, CUS, and USR layers. Code upgrade is performed by layer, meaning that each customer layer is upgraded separately, starting at the lowest layer and working up through the higher layers.

Upgrade Code on the Development System and Export the Upgraded Models

All tasks on the checklist have to be completed for each layer that contains models that require upgrade.

Import the Model Store Backup to the Development System

On the development system, import the backup of the model store that you made in the procedure “Back up the test system model store.” i.e. AxUtil.exe importstore /file:[full path of file and file name] /idconflict:overwrite

Import Upgraded Models into their Layers on the Development System

Import the upgraded model or models into the appropriate customer layers. Start with models from the lowest layer, then work up through the higher layers.

Repeat Code Upgrade for Each Layer

For each remaining layer that contains customized models, repeat the upgrade procedure, moving from the lowest remaining layer to the highest layer.

Export the Upgraded Model Store

Export the fully upgraded model store that you have created on the development system to a file. This file acts as the source of the upgraded customer models that are used to prepare for data upgrade first on the test system and later on the production system. i.e. AxUtil.exe exportstore /file:[full path of file and file name]

Import the Upgraded Model Store into the Test System

On the test system, import the model store file that you made in the procedure “Export the upgraded model store.” i.e. AxUtil.exe importstore /file:[full path of file and filename] /idconflict:overwrite

Perform Data Upgrade on the Test System

Upgrade Production System

On the production system, enter single-user model. All client users other than the administrator will be disconnected form the Microsoft Dynamics AX system at this point. This action starts the downtime window during which new business transactions cannot be processed.

Upgrade the Core Production System

Upgrade on the production system requires that you run Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2 Setup on each computer in your deployment.

Upgrade AOS and Other Components

Run Setup on the production system to upgrade the core server and client components.

Perform Data Upgrade on the Production System

Complete the tasks on the checklist as described earlier in this how-to in the section “Perform data upgrade on the test system.

Upgrade Additional Server Components

When data upgrade is completed, you can complete the upgrade of server components.

Upgrade Additional Clients

Run Setup on your additional Microsoft Dynamics AX client systems to upgrade the client software.

I hope this summary can serve you well as a snapshot of the complete AX 2012 R2 in-place upgrade. There is a lot to learn with this new release and I would expect lots of customer wanting to upgrade to R2 after Convergence 2013.

Have a great rest of the week and until the next post.


  1. Very Nice post. We need this overview when the AX 2012 R2 Upgrades starts to speed up.

    1. Thank you for your comment and for checking out my blog. Indeed, a summary is going to be helpful as it will be easier to follow.

  2. Have you tried to complete the upgrade, Eduardo?
    I just completed it yesterday, and I have to admit, it's no "walk in the park", even with the guide at hand. :-)

    1. So, Eduardo. How far did you come in the data upgrade of production?

    2. There are some challenges in the areas of product management, attributes to be specific.

      Instead of using the data migration framework I'm coming up with custom code to migrate this data. Financial info seems to be ok along with Purch and Sales and Invent trans.

      What's going on on your end? Where do you see the biggest challenge for you is?

      Thanks for checking in.

  3. Nice post and very explanatory pictures!

    We are heading for a 50 company upgrade AX40SP2 to AX2012R2. Our major concern is: No big-bang possible, but how to merge companies one-by-one into the AX2012R2? We expect this to last over a year, as we can't upgrade 1600 users in one weekend.....
    Any recommendations?


    1. Hi,

      I think that the best recommendation I can give you is to follow the upgrade guide very closely. 50 companies is a lot and you guys must have a ton of data and customization to move over.

      But I have one question for you. Do you understand the concept of shadow tables and the role of the upgrade cockpit?

  4. You have really exemplified the Powerfully Simple with the Power of Simplicity.

  5. Hi Eduardo,
    Hope you are doing well,
    Can u please give a document or step by step process for upgrade process of ax 2009 to ax 2012,ax 2012R2.It will be very helpful to me and my the needful..Thankyou:)

    1. Hi,

      All those documents are in Information Source, Partner Source and/or customer source. If you don't have access to these, send me your personal email and I'll shoot them to you via email.


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