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Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations running Platform update 8 and the July 2017 Application release, and later provides an upgrade path that customers who currently run Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 can use to move their data and code to Finance and Operations. Currently upgrade from AX 2012 R3 and AX 2012 R2 are supported. The upgrade process is built on the following elements:
• Tools to help you bring forward existing custom application code from AX 2012.
• A data upgrade process that you can use to bring your database forward. Therefore, you can upgrade your full transactional history.
The activities in the Analyze phase help you estimate the effort that is required for the upgrade. They also help you prepare a project plan. These activities can be done before you buy Finance and Operations. They will help you make an informed purchase decision by providing a data point about the effort and resources that you will require.
Sign up for a Finance and Operations LCS trial or partner project
To perform Analyze activities before you purchase Finance and Operations, you need to sign up for an LCS trial or partner project. This lets you deploy your own Finance and Operations environments. It also gives you access to the tools in Microsoft Dynamics Lifecycle Services (LCS) that are used to evaluate your AX 2012 environment and your existing custom code.
Select the upgrade methodology
In your new LCS project, set the project methodology to Upgrade AX 2012 to Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations. This methodology is made specially for AX 2012 customers who are upgrading. It describes the three phases in detail and provides links to all the supporting documentation about the process.
Run the upgrade analyzer
The upgrade analyzer tool runs against your AX 2012 environment and identifies tasks that you should do to prepare the AX 2012 environment, to help make the upgrade experience smoother and less expensive:
• Data cleanup
• SQL configuration
• Deprecated features
Additionally, as part of this step, you must install a pre-upgrade checklist in your AX 2012 environment. You can use this checklist to enter data that will be required for the upgrade procedure.
For example, in one pre-upgrade checklist task, you provide the Microsoft Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) sign-in information for each current AX 2012 user, so that each user will be able to sign in to Finance and Operations.
Run the Code upgrade estimation tools
This step takes your code from AX 2012, converts it to the new format, and provides feedback about conflicts that a developer must resolve later. This step forms the basis for the estimate of the cost of your code upgrade.
To complete this step, you must export your code from AX 2012 as a model store export and upload it to the LCS Code upgrade tool. The Code upgrade tool will produce an upgraded version of your code and a report about the remaining conflicts that must be resolved. Your developer can then review both the upgraded code and the report to determine the effort that will be required in order to upgrade your code base.
The output of this step represents the workstream in the upgrade project plan for your Microsoft Dynamics AX developers.
Deploy a demo environment
Demo environments are default environments that contain demonstration data (not your own data) and standard code (no customizations). We recommend that you deploy a demo environment to evaluate new features, and to perform a basic fit gap analysis of standard processes that are used in AX 2012 but that might have changed in Finance and Operations.
Create a project plan
A template for a project plan is provided in the upgrade methodology. In this step, the output from the previous steps of the Analyze phase is used to fill the project plan for the upgrade project.
During the Execute phase, you work through the tasks that you planned during the Analyze phase. To move to the Execute phase, you must purchase Finance and Operations, and you must have available resources that can work on the upgrade.
Switch to the LCS implementation project
The public preview project that you used for the Analyze phase has served its purpose. You can now discard it. For the remaining steps, you require only the project plan that you created in the final step of the Analyze phase.
Perform the AX 2012 preparation tasks
Complete the tasks that the upgrade analyzer tool discovered, and that are documented in your upgrade project plan. Your Microsoft Dynamics AX system administrator and database administrator (DBA) must complete these tasks.
Perform code upgrade
Complete the tasks that were planned during the code upgrade estimation step of the Analyze phase. Your developers must run these tasks.
Develop new code
Complete the tasks from the fit gap analysis that was performed during the “Deploy a demo environment” step of the Analyze phase.
Data upgrade (development environment)
After your code upgrade tasks are completed, you can upgrade your AX 2012 database to Finance and Operations for the first time.
Data upgrade (sandbox environments)
When data upgrade in a development environment is completed, the same process can be run in a sandbox environment.
When you enter the Validate phase, you will have available environments that include your upgraded custom code and your upgraded data. This phase describes the process of validating and testing that the upgraded environment works as desired. It also describes the process of preparing for go-live.
Perform cutover testing and create a cutover plan
The term cutover is used here to describe the final process of putting the new system live. This process consists of the tasks that occur after AX 2012 is turned off and before Finance and Operations is turned on.
There are two main workstreams:
• Technical workstream
• Functional workstream
Functional test pass
Complete a full functional test pass of all business processes. This test pass will be an extensive retest of all business processes that involve Finance and Operations.
The pre-go-live checklist is a recommended procedure that can help reduce the chance of errors during the final cutover to go-live.
After you have successfully completed upgrade testing in a Standard or Premier Acceptance Test environment (Sandbox Tier 2 or higher), and you have also completed a successful test cutover, the moment has arrived to upgrade your production environment and go live.