Platform Update 3 to 12 - Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, Enterprise Edition

Microsoft D365 for Finance and Operations Enterprise Edition Upgrade to Platform Update 12

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Recently, I worked on an upgrade project, where we upgraded our Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, Enterprise Edition (D365FOEE) from Platform 3 to Platform 12. Platform Update 3 concerning availability is no longer available and is only supported today.  Platform Update 3 was a significant release of D365FOEE and was called as release 1611. 

Refer to the link below for available dates of the various platform updates for Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, Enterprise Edition.

Official URL:https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/unified-operations/dev-itpro/migration-upgrade/versions-update-policy

Microsoft D365 for Finance and Operations: Upgrade to Platform Update 12 Operations

Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, Enterprise Edition consists of the following components that determine the architecture of the application (On Cloud and On-Premise).

  • Application Object Server (AOS)
  • Business Intelligence Components
  • Development Tools
  • Analytical components
  • Data Management framework
  • Environment orchestrator

The following are the three components that define the platform upgrade process in Operations:

  1. Deployable packages (Unit of deployment that can be applied to any environment. It consists of binary updates, hotfixes, application updates also stored in a package)
  2. AxUpdateInstaller.exe (Executable files that are bundled into a deployable package. Comes with the deployable package. Used to generate, export the runbook)
  3. Runbook (Consists of a series of steps that are used to facilitate the deployment)

There are two approaches that we can follow concerning platform updates

  • Apply LCS Updates (Upgrade environments using Lifecycle Services)
  • Manual On-Premise update (Upgrade manually after downloading the deployment packages)

Note: In this case, we are upgrading from Platform Update 3, and it’s recommended to use the LCS Updates approach for upgrading environments from Platform Update 4.

Also ReadExtensions versus Overlayering approach for Microsoft Dynamics 365

Important Steps:

Step No 1:
Login to Lifecycle Services (LCS) through https://lcs.dynamics.com/Logon/Index. Log in to the system that hosts the Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations applications to run the upgrade. To find these details, select the LCS project and then choose the environment section in the LCS project.
Upgrade to Platform Update 12 Operations
The environment section is where the details of the system, hosting the Operations application is stored. Select the environment and the login details of the virtual machine, hosting the Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, can be found there under the section Local Administrator accounts (as per January 2018 update).
Upgrade to Platform Update 12 Operations

In the environment section, there are various sub-sections like Deployment Status and Local Administrator Accounts. In the Local Administrator Accounts, the VM name and the local administrator account details are stored.
Upgrade to Platform Update 12 Operations

Step No 2:
After logging into the virtual machine, open a browser window and re-login to Lifecycle Services through https://lcs.dynamics.com/Logon/Index. Download the deployment packages from the Shared Asset library through Microsoft Dynamics Lifecycle Services (LCS). From the Shared Asset Library, download the Platform Update 12  package for Finance and Operations.
Upgrade to Platform Update 12 Operations

Unblock the AxPlatformUpdate.zip file after downloading the package (Right click and select Properties-> Unblock the file). 
Upgrade to Platform Update 12 Operations

Step No 3:

After unblocking the .zip file, extract the files and it will show up the list of extract files. Open a command line or a PowerShell ISE instance and then navigate to the directory where the .zip file is extracted.
<%systemdirectory%>/<extracteddirectoryName>/AxUpdateInstaller.exe list is the command that highlights the list of services installed on the system.
Upgrade to Platform Update 12 Operations

The axupdateinstaller.exe list will also give the Runbook Id along with the list of services installed on the Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, Enterprise Edition host machine.

Note:
Unblock the .zip file, highlighted about in Step No 3, before extracting the .zip file. If we fail to unblock the .zip file as highlighted in Step no 3, then the above-mentioned command AxUpdateInstaller.exe list will throw an error, which means it fails to identify the list of Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations services installed on the host machine.
Upgrade to Platform Update 12 Operations

 

Step No 4:
The directory where the platform components are installed will have a DefaultTopologyData file.  This file hosts the list of AOS machine names and the services and components hosted on those machines and the metadata of those services and components. In addition to this, the runbook id is also hosted on this file. From the AxUpdateInstaller.exe list ensure that the list of components and the topology id are added to the default topology Data file. Also, the runbook id needs to be added to the file. Its highlighted within the <Name> tags. By default, the runbook id is Ax topology. Replace it with the runbook id, which in this case is fb73f8c8-bdc7-4aa7-8363-3ef19b6ea11d.

Upgrade to Platform Update 12 Operations

This is one of the most critical steps to ensure that the deployment is smooth. This is a pre-requisite used to generate the runbook that contains the sequence of deployment steps.

Step No 5:
The next step is to generate the runbook file with the topology id and the components to be upgraded. This will also instruct the AxUpdateInstaller.exe to run the sequence of steps to be followed for the deployment to be done. In the command line or a PowerShell ISE instance, use the AxUpdateInstaller.exe command to generate the runbook with the topology details and the components to be upgraded.

PS <%systemdirectory%>/AxPlatformUpdate> AXUpdateInstaller.exe generate -runbookid=fb73f8c8-bdc7-4aa7-8363-3ef19b6ea11d -topologyfile=”<%system directory%>/AxPlatformUpdateDefaultTopologyData.xml” -servicemodelfile=”<%systemdirectory%> AxPlatformUpdateDefaultServiceModelData.xml” -runbookfile=”<runbookname>-runbook.xml”

This will extract a runbook with the name <runbookname>-runbook.xml. Recommendation is to keep the runbook name simple and suffix it with -runbook, for ease of identification. At this stage, the runbook will have the sequence of steps to upgrade the Finance and Operations environment.

In my case, I have extracted the .zip files to a directory called a platform update.

Step No 6:
The next step is to import the runbook and this can be done through the command line.
<%systemdirectory%>/AxPlatformUpdate> AxUpdateInstaller.exe import -runbookfile=”<runbookfilename>-runbook.xml”
Upgrade to Platform Update 12 Operations

This will start executing the sequence of steps highlighted in the runbook. Some of the steps highlighted in the runbook include starting and stopping the AOS Service and restarting them post-deployment. This is the step that will perform the upgrade steps on Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations.

Step No 7:
Once the upgrade is complete, check the environment for Platform Update 12. Click the gear icon and select About on the extreme right in the Default Dashboard screen in the Operations applications and this should show the platform version.

Upgrade to Platform Update 12 Operations

Step No 8:
Once the upgrade is complete, ensure that you export the runbook. To export the runbook, use the command
<%systemdirectory%>/AxPlatformUpdate> AxUpdateInstaller.exe export -runbookid=”<runbookid>” -runbookFile=”<runbookfilename>.xml”

Upgrade to Platform Update 12 Operations

This is a backup copy of the runbook, post-deployment/post upgrade from Platform Update 3 to Platform Update 12.

Note: Remember, that starting Platform Update 3 it is recommended to use the extensions approach instead of the “Overlayering” approach. In my previous post, I have mentioned about the differences between extensions and the “Overlayering” approach.

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Navneeth Nagrajan is a Technical Consultant at Avanade Australia focusing on implementation, pre-sales and support of Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Operations/ Microsoft Dynamics Ax ERP. Before Avanade, Navneeth worked as a Solutions Consultant at LM WindPower focusing on implementation and support of Microsoft Dynamics Ax Enterprise Resource Planning solution. Prior to LM WindPower, he worked as a Lead Consultant for ITC Infotech India Limited focusing on Enterprise Solutions like Microsoft Dynamics AX & Microsoft Dynamics CRM. He has worked for Microsoft as a Partner Technical Consultant. His primary focus area is Microsoft Dynamics AX and he specializes on Trade & Logistics, CRM, Service Management and Project Management functionalities. His secondary focus area is Microsoft Dynamics CRM and he specializes on Sales Management, Marketing Management and Service Management sections. He has successfully assisted more than 100 Microsoft partners and customers. At Microsoft, He has successfully written and published papers on '​'​ Needs for Microsoft Dynamics CRM in the Education Sector''. Prior to Microsoft, he has worked as a Functional Consultant and has implemented Microsoft Dynamics AX in the Manufacturing and Services Segment. He has also worked as a Business Development Executive implementing Document Management Systems for Security Broking and Manufacturing Organizations.