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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Microsoft .Net 4.0 - Parrellel Computing Platform

Recently Microsoft released .Net 4.0 RC, along with Visual Studio 2010 RC. With .Net 4.0, there is a lot of improvements. One of the things I have found very interesting is the move for more native support in managed code to create and make use of parallel computing.

With .Net 4.0, Microsoft has released it's "Parrellel Computing Platform (PCP)".

With this, some very interesting new developments exists, including PLINQ or Parallel LINQ. The following link, is a MSDN resource for samples that can be downloaded and studied for how to make use of the new PCP.: Samples for Parallel Programming with the .NET Framework 4

From the link.:
"The .NET Framework 4 RC (Release Candidate) has been released and is available for download at Microsoft .Net 4.0 Framework Download. .NET 4 includes significant advancements for developers writing parallel and concurrent applications, including Parallel LINQ (PLINQ), the Task Parallel Library (TPL), new thread-safe collections, and a variety of new coordination and synchronization data structures."

Now lets put this into some meaningful scope for Dynamics AX. With Dynamics AX 2009, LINQ was really first being used and introduced, through the use of .Net 3.5 framework with Dynamics AX. This includes the enablement of Reporting Services reports, accessing Dynamics AX data and usage of the .Net BC.

The next release of Dynamics AX 6.0 or Dynamics AX 2011, set to be released now in the Q1 of 2011, will be more and more .Net native and enabled. And in actual it will be .Net native because the kernel of Dynamics AX 6.0 is being recompiled to IL or MSIL, which is what all .Net laungages are compiled down to and executed via the CLR.

With the upcoming Dynamics AX 2011, .Net 4.0 is going to be the .Net Framework of focus and use, and the ability to do Parrellel development in Dynamics AX, custom at that, is going to become more and more a need.

Just go back to a recent post of mine, focusing on Threads in Dynamics AX 2009.: Dynamics AX 2009 - X++ Thread Development

In that post I talk about how Threads can be used in Dynamics AX 2009 today, and give example of how, and what to look for in developing such threads. As we push further and further in Dynamics AX vNext versions, including Dynamics AX 2011, such technologies as .Net 4.0 and the Microsoft Parrellel Computing Platform (PCP), will become ready for use.

This means that the Entity Data Frameworks, LINQ, now PLINQ, and the alike will be possible for use with your given Dynamics AX solutions.

Now lets think about some examples in Parrellel needs? MRP? Forecasting? Data Imports? MDM? CPU, Disk and RAM heavy processes that could be developed with Parrellel Processing at the heart to take full advantage of the hardware of given Dynamics AX instance is on.

Of course this is just scratching the surface of the ability such a platform is going to offer Dynamics AX customers as we move closer and closer to Dynamics AX 6.0 and beyond.

Business needs and processes across multi-sites, locations, timeszones, all the processes that make a business run, will have a new tool to help make those processes possibly run faster, connect faster, interact faster, and overall be faster. (I think I said faster right? ;-) )

I will note that this Parrellel Computing Platform was first really spotted in the Microsoft Robitcs SDK, and that was one of the reasons that SDK got so much attention. Now we have this, and I recommend checking it out, and start thinking in terms of what this will and can offer for Dynamics AX business needs.

That's all for now, but check back as more to come!

I wanted to give a quick update. After looking at some of the sample applications, I was able to see, that for the babies example, if you have a quad core machine, executing the standard seq. LINQ query, and run a query that takes 5 seconds for example to return.

If you notice only a single core is used for this processing. Now if you run the same query, except it uses PLINQ for example, the same query takes only 1.5 seconds. That's a 70% improvement! And guess what? The code is nearly the same, and same amount of lines.

This is an amazing ability for code performance, and I can't wait to see how this might can be used and affect Dynamics AX 6.0!

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