Microsoft Dynamics Lifecycle Services User Guide

Microsoft Dynamics Lifecycle Services delivers a cloud-based collaborative work environment for customers and partners to use in managing Microsoft Dynamics AX projects, ranging from pre-sales to strategic implementations and operations.

Depending on the phase of project overseen and the industry you operate in, the site offers checklists and useful tools that are helpful in managing the project. With its easy-to-use dashboard, you can be able to have a central location where you get up-to-date project information. As part of their support plans, customers and partners can make use of Lifecycle services, which can be accessed with your PartnerSource or CustomerSource credentials.

Microsoft Dynamics Lifecycle Services User Guide

Tools Offered by Lifecycle Services

Lifecycle Services provides several tools and each tool is briefly described, including the phases that it applies to.

Projects

Projects acts as your key organizer of your experience while using Lifecycle Services. Depending on the type of project you configure, there are checklists and tools available and you can use them to manage a particular project.

Ideally, customers and partners have access to different types of projects. However, while partners can create and work with things like Pre-sales, and be able to learn projects, customers can create and work with such things as Implementation, Upgrade, and Maintenance projects. Customers, however, can invite partners to join in and participate in their active projects.

Business Process Modeler

This lets you create, view and even modify various standard process flows within Microsoft Dynamics AX. As a business, Business process modeler will help you align your Dynamics AX processes to match industry-standard processes as per American Productivity & Quality Center’s (APQC’s) description.

It will enable you perform fit-gap analysis between your business needs and default processes in Dynamics AX. In addition, you can add new business processes while creating flowcharts for processes that have not been defined in Dynamics AX 2012. Business process modeler will enable you to:

Standardize Process Flows

Align Dynamics AX processes to match industry-standard processes to fit the description given by APQC

Identify possible fits and gaps between the needs of users and the functionality provided (by default) by Microsoft Dynamics AX.

Cloud Hosted Environments

The is a tool that one can use to deploy Dynamics AX environments on Microsoft Azure. However, when using this tool, you will have to select what type of Dynamics AX environment you want to deploy, for instance, demo, production, or developer/test environment. Based on the selection you have made, the Cloud environments tool will provision the right number of virtual machines in Microsoft Azure. The virtual machines, however, have Dynamics AX components, including their prerequisites, which are already installed on them.

Cloud Powered Support

This is a part of Lifecycle Services to help you manage various support incidences. This part of Microsoft Dynamics Lifecycle Services will enable you create a virtual machine in Microsoft Azure with similar hotfixes installed as local environment. It will also enable you reproduce and record that particular incident on the virtual machine, and later submit it to the support team, who does follow ups and tests a fix on the virtual machine and then send it back to you for verification.

Customization Analysis

The work of Customization analysis is to validate model files against best practices and deliver a report highlighting potential areas for improvement. Customization analysis provides Dynamics Ax 2012 customers with an automated tool useful in validating the model files of customers against Dynamics AX best practice rules for forms, tables, classes, and enums. This tool then generates reports (a summary report viewed on the site included), an in-depth Microsoft Excel report listing all issues, and a developer report the developer can load in the Dynamics AX development environment.

Issue search

It assists you in finding existing solutions and workarounds for issues already known. You can view which issues have been fixed, remain pending, or resolved as “won’t fix.”

License Sizing Estimator

With the help of License sizing estimator, you will be able to estimate the number of licenses needed for Dynamics AX 2012, as this tool provides a shared workspace to enable you model both default and customized roles. It will then automatically calculate client access licenses required.

Dynamics ERP RapidStart

RapidStart Services allows customers and partners configure an installation of Dynamics AX 2012 using cloud-based, interview-like questionnaire, which uses general terminology regarding business processes rather than terms specific to Dynamics AX. Customers, partners and Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) can create, maintain and even reuse configurations that truly reflect their personalized solutions.

RFP (Request for Proposal) Responses

This page allows partners to respond to proposal requests. It contains common questions on RFPs and recommended answers. In Pre-sales projects, only partners can access this section.

System Diagnostic Service

This tool helps administrators to monitor and understand the health of Dynamics AX environments. System diagnostic service is a tool with a locally installed component that you can configure to perform these tasks:

Discover on-premises Dynamics AX environments, which includes database instances and Dynamics AX Application Object Server instances.

  • Collect data from the discovered environments
  • Run rules on collected data
  • Provide reports
  • Report rule violations

Updates

This page hosts the update installer for Dynamics AX 2012 R3used for cumulative updates. In addition, allows you to gain access to groups of updates for slipstream installations.

Upgrade Analysis

With the help of Update analysis, you can plan your upgrade to Dynamics AX 2012 with ease by analyzing code artifacts (AOD files) from Dynamics AX 4.0 or Dynamics AX 2009

Usage Profiler

This data gathering tool helps you describe your current or projected usage of a Dynamics AX 2012 implementation. Then the usage profile that is generated can be used for various purposes, including hardware sizing and support.

Conclusion

Depending on project phase and industry a company operates in, the company can have one dashboard where all up-to-date project information is availed. You can use the tools on Lifecycle Services site to manage your projects and support plans. You can manage various Dynamics AX projects, ranging from pre-sales to strategic implementations and technical operations. Microsoft Dynamics Lifecycle Services avails a cloud-based collaborative work environment for both customers and partners to use for effectively managing Microsoft Dynamics AX projects.

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Michael Taylor
Michael is the Lead Author & Editor of DynaMe. DynaMe is a blog focused on cloud based Microsoft Dynamics.
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