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Monday, January 02, 2012

Code Upgrade Service for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012

Welcome to the year 2012 everyone! I hope that you all have a blessed and very successful year, and that 2012 is your best year yet! To kick off this year, I thought I would focus the first blog post, around InformationSource and specifically the Services section of InformationSource.

Within InformationSource, once you sign in either with your PartnerSource or CustomerSource enabled windows live id, there is a section called Services. Within this section there are several tools, all beta, that have been released in order to help you with your AX 2012 projects. Recently, I highlighted one of these, the IDMF, or Intelligent Data Management Framework for Dynamics AX 2012. Today, I wanted to switch focus now, and look into another tool, the Code Upgrade Service for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012.

Direct from InformationSource about the Code Upgrade Service:
"This service is designed to help Microsoft Dynamics AX developers upgrade their X++ code to Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012. the service analyzes X++ code patterns and automatically fixes some patterns, provides suggestions on how to fix other patterns, categorizes upgrade task, and enables developers to add their own patterns to be analyzed."

Further, the following is from the short screen cast on InformationSource, about the focus and intent of this new tool.

As you can tell, the idea behind this great new Service, is around helping companies with their upgrade projects, and specifically focused around the code investments / customizations that a specific company has made within their Dynamics AX instance. Now I must state again, all of these tools are currently in Beta, so use with caution, and understand this fact. To help better understand how to use this new tool, Microsoft has a home page on TechNet, specifically for the Code Upgrade Service.: Code Upgrade Tool User Guide [AX 2012]

There are several sections, to the current Beta release of the User guide, that cover:
  • Install the Code Upgrade Tool
  • Run the Code Upgrade Tool
  • Extend the Code Upgrade Tool
  • Uninstall the Code Upgrade Tool

In a nutshell, the code upgrade tool is an AX 2012 model file, called "Code Upgrade Tool Model.axmodel". There are also several Managed code assemblies that are delivered as part of this tool. Specifically these assemblies contain the out-of-the-box rules, listed in the following categories:
  • AddressBook - Rules that are related to adoption of the updated address book framework for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012
  • FormLetter - Rules that are related to adoption of the updated form letter framework for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012
  • IDGoAway - Rules that are related to adoption of the updated type IDs
  • Inventory - Rules that are related to adoption of the updated inventory refactoring in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012
  • Number sequence framework - Rules that are related to adoption of the updated number sequence framework for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012
  • XppCompiler - Rules that are related to adoption of compiler changes.

After installing, its highly recommended that you experiment with the tool, and see what kind of errors it can identify, as well as fix. It comes then, with two example classes:
  • PipelinableMutator, which contains errors that the tool can identify and fix.
  • PipelinableSweeper - which contains errors that the tool can identify, but can not automatically fix for you.

Once you get a feel for how to use the tool, and the value it can add to your upgrade process, keep in mind that from the ISV, VAR and Customer level, the tool is meant to be extended. Make sure that before you attempt to extend the tool, that you read carefully the section on extending the Code Upgrade Tool.

Well, that's all for now. Hopefully this is a great introduction for you, and you can start using this tool, to help with your projects today. Finally, stay tuned, as there is a lot of topics to cover about the Dynamics Ecosystem, Dynamics AX 2012, and a whole lot more. Till Next Time!

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