The Microsoft Dynamics AX Solution Architect team has released a new service for customers and partners called Lifecycle Services (http://lcs.dynamics.com). I had a chance to see it last Friday and it has a lot of great content. I’ll put out some blogs over the next few weeks about each of the areas and how I think they can benefit users.
The one that gets the most attention from my team is called “Issue Search” – one of the main things the team of former Microsoft support engineers miss about being in support is access to support history and bugs. On top of that, you can download hotfixes and see the code changes that were made inside the hotfixes. If you love to dig deep into Dynamics AX, this is a great tool.
How to Access
To use any of the Lifecycle Services functionality, you’ll need to be a customer on an enhancement plan or a partner. Go to http://lcs.dynamics.com and log in with the credentials you use to get into CustomerSource or PartnerSource. On the main screen, you won’t see an issue search option, so to get access to that information, you’ll need to start a project. I suggest creating a Test project that you can use for experimentation. The goal of the site is to have you set up your implementation as a project and collect all the relevant information in one place.
Once your project is created, you’ll see the Issue Search option on the bottom on the right side under Tools. On the search page, enter your search term to start using the tool.
In my example, I searched for “credit card” to see what results I would get:
Right under the search bar, you see a set of filters that can be used to narrow the result set. On the left, you can see which results are classified as workarounds and those that are resolved issues. The summary for the resolved issues, visible in the result set by a green line to the left of the summary information, includes the title of the Knowledge Base (KB) article, the area of the product affected, the relevant version of Dynamics AX 2012 (RTM or R2) and the KB number (KB#######) and its release date. The summary for the workarounds, visible in the result set by an orange line to the left of the summary information, includes the title and the relevant version of Dynamics AX 2012.
If you click on a KB article, you will see the original problem and the description of the change in code that was made.
If you click on the “download hotfix” link, you will be taken directly to the page where you can request the hotfix from Microsoft. So rather than submitting a support request to get the hotfix, you can download it yourself. (Hopefully you test it before applying it in production :)). You can click on the View Chages button or the Affected Objects link to see the actual code that’s been changed (the code lines will be highlighted). At the bottom of the screen you can see the objects directly affected and the dependent objects.
For the workaround or Solution, you will see the problem and the mitigation steps that have been identified to alleviate the problem in your environment.
There aren’t very many “Open Items” in the search results, but when you find one, you can see that you can sign up to add that open item (bug) to your watchlist.
You can see updated on the front page of the Issue Search – after you add an item, the LiveTile will show a number higher than 0 only when there’s an update to your Watchlist item or area. When you click on the Watchlist tile, you can also choose to watch certain modules of the product for any bug changes in those modules.
For more information on Issue Search, check out this video the product team released: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZyiFk2MYT3E&feature=youtu.be. You can also read more about the functionality in TechNet on this page: http://technet.microsoft.com/EN-US/library/dn268610.aspx.
I highly recommend that you search out here in the Issue Search site on Lifecycle Services before you submit your next support case – it could save you a lot of time and the cost of the incident.