Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2 Releasing on Dec 1, 2012

By Eric Newell | October 25, 2012

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012

Microsoft announced at its Dynamics AX Technical Conference this week that the R2 release (Dynamics AX 2012 R2) will be generally available on December 1, 2012.  Those attending the Tech Conference have been able to dive into many of the new feature additions - there's a track at Tech Conference specifically focused on the R2 release.

You can read the Microsoft articles here for all the details:

I want to highlight a few of the items mentioned in the key functionality additions blog.

  1. Process Manufacturing improvements - as Kees mentions, Microsoft introduced new capability for management of potency, traceability and product batch sequencing to help our process manufacturing customers streamline their operations. Potency management enables management of the concentration of an active ingredient through the entire manufacturing process. In addition, the improvement of traceability where important attributes are generated and captured during the manufacturing process can also be transferred to subsequent lots.  Microsoft has an article on TechNet that goes into much greater detail on process manufacturing with the existing and new functionality: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh208907.aspx.
  2. Release of US Payroll - it's not discussed much in the article, but the AX 2012 R2 release brings about the release of the natively developed payroll functionality for the US market.  In AX 2009, Microsoft integrated a third party payroll application, but the R2 release is buit by the development team in Fargo, ND who have been building Dynamics GP Payroll for many years.  There are also additional functionality components in the Human Resources module itself and through the Enterprise Portal integration.
  3. Application Lifecycle Tools - towards the bottom of the article, Kees mentions the new tooling coming out around this release time.  There are two items in particular there I want to highlight - the Code Analyzer tool and the additional functionality added to the Data Migration Framework.  In my time at Microsoft, I worked very closely with the Solution Architects team within the development organization, and they are the people behind these releases.  The Code Analyzer tool is what they use when they get involved with customers - it provides many checks on the common mistakes made in coding with AX, so you can correct them and improve the quality and performance of the code quickly.  The Data Migration Framework is undergoing a 2.0 release where Microsoft's extending it further so you can leverage it for more module or data import scenarios.  These tools will be releasing in "beta" out on the InformationSource site over the next few weeks.  I'll provide more information on them as they become available.

As part of the R2 release, Microsoft is merging the SYS, GLS and FPK layers into the SYS layer which I believe will have long-term benefits for supportability of the product.  Today when there's a bug, it has to be fixed and then merged across all those layers, plus there's Feature Pack 1, RTM and Cumulative Update releases to patch.  This will be the new base package going forward, so patching will be more straight-forward.  I recommend customers who are implementing after December 1 to move to this release as it comes out to improve the long-term supportability of the product.

I'd be happy to talk with you about how Dynamics AX could work for your business or discuss the changes in greater detail - drop me a comment below or shoot me an email.

Eric Newell

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