Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Changing landscape

Just a short message to tell that this blog is still alive... The last 1,5 years have been crazy compared to my last employments and by crazy I mean busy.

Right now I'm involved in two AX 2012 implementations and my first impression is quite similar to what I wrote about in my AX2009 related blog (http://ax2009tech.blogspot.no/). But AX 2012 is by far the biggest version change ever and I would consider the term "Paradigm Shift" (not sure if that's the correct term in English). I think a lot of "old timers" within the AX Business have hard days trying to figure out all the changes in the application architecture (BTW - who has used the term application architecture in conjunction with AX before?). From a technical point of view, AX 2012 is a giant step in the right direction mostly because the installation and configuration process has been streamlined and optimized compared to earlier versions (no more Kerberos double hop challenges, no more install RTM, SP1, RUx etc. for all components and the much appreciated PreReq Validation Utility). But I think the challenge is opposite as seen from the functional point of view... No more DataAreaId? No more Duplicate Company (a blessing seen from the SQL Server technical point of view :-)) functionality? Organization modeling instead of just Company Info? New accounting structure? Free number of dimensions? Role based security? Pre defined templates for security roles?

The most fundamental change is done at the application architecture and not in the technical architecture. Some will probably argue that the shift from storing the application logic (*.AOD) in the file system to storing the same elements in the OLTP database (yes it's part of the OLTP database) and adding a new term called "Models", is revolutionary but in my opinion this is just a sign of maturity (evolutionary) compared to the changes in the application architecture.

So all in all AX 2012 brings some new and interesting challenges to the table compared to earlier versions and the level of complexity has increased several times. Maybe Microsoft finally can challenge the biggest rivals out there - but that will also require a lot of effort and new thinking from the community.

I'll try to get the time to share some experience and my thoughts about AX 2012 at more frequent intervals in the future.

Until next time - have fun out there!