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Wednesday, February 7, 2018

How to Install Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations Platform Update on a Disconnected Local Developer VM

Steps to Install Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations Platform Update on Local Developer or a Demo VM

Greetings Dear Friends!

Hope you all had a great start to 2018! :)  

It's been a while, since I did a blog post. The reason being super busy with implementing Dynamics 365 For Finance and Operations and Retail for few clients of mine. As, I'm now doing consulting for my own business, it really gets hard to find time to do a detailed blog post.

In the last 3 years since Dec 2015, I have been extensively working on the new version since it was called Dynamics AX 7 on TAP Programs, delivering training to partners and customers, Implementing and Upgrading to Dynamics 365 For Finance and Operations, Implementing Dynamics 365 For Retail and integrating between CRM (Sales) and Operations via Common Data Services. I will share that experience in a different blog post.

For now, Let's get started with this post. In this particular post, I'm putting down the steps involved to install Platform Update 11 on a Local Developers VM.   

Microsoft is doing a pretty good job with their docs site where they have listed the instructions on how to do a PU on Cloud and disconnected VMs. Have a look at the link below

My post supplements Microsoft's documentation and additionally it lists down the steps with some more details and screenshots and towards the end of this post, you will notice how I validated and verified if my PU installation was successfully done.

a.       Download the latest platform update package (zip) file from LCS

b.       Go to LCS >  Your Project and then navigate to Asset Library by clicking on the breadcrumb bar

c.       Once you are in the Asset Library page, click on Software deployable package as shown above.           will start downloading the package. Note it’s around 700 MB so it might take 5 to 10 mins 
       depending on your bandwidth, to download.

d.       Once it’s downloaded copy the file into your local vm and Extract the zip                file to your local drive (I created a folder called PlatformUpdate11)

e.       Next, Open the DefaultTopologydata.xml file from E:\PlatformUpdate11\AXPlatformUpdate
          Replace the machine name from the localhost to your VM name

g.     Open command prompt from the VM (as Admin), and then navigate to the Extracted folder to run the command AxUpdateInstaller.exe list (This will help to determine the components and their versions which are installed on your local dev box)


    Prepare the string for <ServiceModelList> as shown below

        <string>MROneBox </string>

i.         Your final DefaultTopologyData.xml should look as below:


j.        Generate the runbook

AXUpdateInstaller.exe generate -runbookid="LocalDev-runbook" -topologyfile="DefaultTopologyData.xml" -servicemodelfile="DefaultServiceModelData.xml" -runbookfile="LocalDev-runbook.xml"

k.       Import the runbook file

AXUpdateInstaller.exe import -runbookfile="LocalDev-runbook.xml"

l.        Verify the runbook file

AXUpdateInstaller.exe list

       Execute the runbook

AXUpdateInstaller.exe execute -runbookid="LocalDev-runbook"
This will take some time as it starts executing each of the steps in the runbook.

The most time consuming step as per my observation is backup of the AOS Service

After 15 to 20 mins, it will come up with a message Everything is OK and will be static for more than 15 mins, but don’t abort it, still the scripts are running in the background, Let it finish.

After 2.5 hours, it progressed to the next Step 27

Once you notice, The step completed message and it comes back to the prompt, that means all the steps in runbook are executed and now you can move on to the next command

n.      Export the runbook

AXUpdateInstaller.exe export -runbookid="LocalDev-runbook" -runbookfile="LocalDev-runbook.xml"

Exporting the runbook will be useful for future references:
o    For e.g. to analyze the downtime requirements for production, and so on.
o    To send the file to Microsoft in the event of failure to install a deployable package.

o.      Verify if the components are updated correctly.

Run AxUpdateInstaller.exe list command and see the updated components. Note the difference in version numbers

Update 11:


    Also note, your Visual Studio Extension for D365 gets automatically updated as part of the Update 11

How to check new VS Extension:

Open Visual Studio -> Go to Help > About Visual Studio and check in installed Products list. We should be able to see the latest version of the VS Extension – Dynamics 365 Unified Operations Platform 7.0.4679.3516

Check the update PU 11 version from the browser:

That's all for now. Hope it gives you an idea on how to do a PU Update on a Local Developer's VM. Note, each PU Update may have slight differences here and there, so I always recommend to visit the Microsoft docs site to get the up-to-date documentation before you perform these steps.

Friday, May 26, 2017

How to configure ARM(Azure Resource Manager) before deploying your Dynamics 365 for Operations environment

Since August 2016 - Platform 2 Update, for deploying any new Dynamics 365 for Operations environment, configuring ARM is a pre-requisite. Through this article, I want to share my experience and few tips/troubleshooting steps which I had come across while configuring ARM
What is ARM?
ARM (Azure Resource Manager) groups the resources required for your Dynamics 365 for Operations instance in the cloud-based Azure OS.
Resources can be your:
a. Dynamics 365 for Operations Virtual Machines (DEMO, SANDBOX, DEVTEST)
b. Storage Accounts
c. Virtual networks
d. Databases
e. 3rd party Services
Azure Resource Manager enables you to work with the resources in your solution as a group. 
We can use a template for deployment and that template can work for different environments such as testing, staging, and production. 
Let's now talk about how to configure ARM before deploying a new Dynamics 365 for operations environment.
So, once you are in your LCS (LifeCycle Services) page, before deploying your environment, you will need to set up Azure subscription, so click on Microsoft Azure Settings
Once you click on Microsoft Azure Settings, you will see the below page where you need to Authorize the tenant administrator of the organization, access to Dynamics 365 for operations application. For this, you will need to click the Authorize Link under the Organizational list group.

A new window gets opened as shown below where you have to enable Dynamics Deployment Services.
On pressing the Accept button, this grants access for Dynamics Deployment Services into your Azure Active Directory. Go back to the previous page and under Organization list settings and click again on Authorize. Refresh the browser and you will see the Authorization status as Authorization complete, as shown below:
Tip - At times, I have seen you have to click on the Authorize button multiple times to get the status as "Authorization complete"
Go back to Azure Connectors and click - Add
Enter any name and your Azure Subscription ID
Enable Configure to use Azure Resource Manager (ARM) and change the Azure subscription AAD Tenant Domain
Tip - You have to select Dynamics Deployment Services - Contributor and then click on Next button, failing to do so will not perform the validation
For the next step, that is to provide authorization, you will need to either:
a. Download and upload the Management Certificate, OR
b. Go to Access Control Panel (IAM) in your Azure portal and ensure that the tenant which you are using is added as part of contributor role in AAD
For Option a, that is uploading the management certificate, you will need to log into your Classic Azure Portal, to upload the certificate
For Option b, you can do this by launching the New Azure portal and then add the tenant user to the subscription as a Contributor.
Go to More Services > Subscriptions, then select your subscription, and click on Access Control (IAM), then press the (Add) button
Once the above steps are completed, when you go back to your Azure settings page in LCS, Make sure, that ARM enabled is checked for your subscription. Now, you are ready to setup your Azure region and proceed with deploying the environment

Friday, May 19, 2017

Patch up your Dynamics 365 for Operations Servers: Immediate Maintenance required in response to WannaCrypt ransomware

I got half a dozen email since yesterday from Microsoft as I have few Dynamics AX 2012 R3 and few Dynamics 365 for Operations VM running under different subscriptions.
As most of you are aware by now about WannaCrypt virus, Microsoft suggests to patch our Dynamics 365 for Operations VM's at the earliest. Below is an extract of the email form Microsoft
Note: If you do not have any Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Operations or Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 environments deployed in your own Azure subscriptions, you can ignore this mail.
In response to the recent global WannaCrypt ransomware attack, we recommend all Azure customers that have Dynamics 365 for Operations or Dynamics AX 2012 environments deployed in your own Azure subscriptions, to take the steps called out in the WannaCrypt Attacks: Guidance for Azure Customers blog post. This applies to environments in your subscription like demo and dev environments. Environments managed by Microsoft are already being proactively handled by us. 
Please take the above steps immediately to run a secure infrastructure and to protect your organization from attacks like these today and in the future.
The Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Operations service team

Monday, May 15, 2017

How to setup and configure Dynamics 365 for Operations Mobile Workspaces


This is an update to my previous post -, where I shared a workaround on how to view the out of box mobile workspaces from System Administration > Parameters form and publish them.

This workaround is no longer needed as in this post, i will explain the steps on how to achieve the same using standard process:


As you are aware, that wiki is being deprecated, and now Microsoft is moving to a new docs site for D365FO help, so keep an eye on Dynamics 365 for Operations Mobile Workspaces as this is the page where Microsoft will publish their upcoming mobile workspaces

At the moment, we have the following workspaces for mobile

Most of the above workspaces are linked to a Hotfix which can be downloaded from LCS

Previously on wiki, We had Inventory on hand and sales order workspaces, but looks like they are not ported to the new Dynamics docs site. 

In this post, I will walk through an example of setting up mobile workspaces for sales order and inventory on hand.

Step 1:

Go to LCS > Project > Issue Search and search for the below KB or just click on this link
KB 4013633

Step 2

Download KB 4013633 (an X++ update or metadata hotfix). This contains four mobile workspaces for supply chain management. 

Step 3

Once you download the hotfix, extract it to your VM where you want to install the hotfix. Since this is a metadata hotfix, this needs to be treated bit differently, as it can't be installed from Asset Library.

Step 4

Log in to your VM and then use the SCDPBundleInstall command

SCDPBundleInstall.exe -install -packagepath=c:\temp\HotfixPackageBundle.axscdppkg -metadatastorepath= J:\AOSService\PackagesLocalDirectory

Tip - Note in some of the later VM's you will find the SCDPBundleInstall in the Bin directory inside PackagesLocalDirectory i.e. J:\AOSService\PackagesLocalDirectory\Bin

Step 5

Once the bundle installation is successful, next step is to go to Visual Studio and create a deployable package as shown below:

Step 7

Once the deployable package is created, go to Asset Library and add the deployable package in software deployable package Asset type

Step 8

Now, you should be able to go to your environment where you want to apply the deployable package and then click on Apply Updates from maintain environment and select the deployable package and start deploying.

The environment will go into Servicing state and no one will be able to use the environment at this point. This may take 1 to 2 hours to get deployed.

Once the package is deployed, you can now go to System Administration > Parameters > Mobile parameters and pubilsh the default mobile workspaces and start using them