Convergence 2015 Takeaway: Lifecycle Services Overview
Posted on: March 23, 2015 | By: Jarrod Kraemer | Microsoft Dynamics AX/365
We just got back from Microsoft Convergence 2015 in Atlanta, GA and it surely did not disappoint! There were a countless number of sessions, interactive discussions, and demonstrations that gave us a better insight to the future of Microsoft Dynamics AX. One of the technologies that really caught our attention was Lifecycle Services.
Lifecycle Services (LCS) is an application in which the partner, the ISV and the customer can collaboratively manage an implementation of Microsoft Dynamics AX from its beginning stages to the go-live date. It provides transparency across all parties so the current and future steps of the process are more predictable, which enables the implementation team to proactively avoid budget and/or timeline issues.
Below are some of the key features that were highlighted.
Methodology – Each project you create with Lifecycle Services has a methodology associated with it. This is where you create the different phases of the project and the tasks under each phase. A nice feature of these tasks is that you can attach documents and upload user guides on how to complete the given task. You can even attach links to an environment and access them directly from there.
License Sizing Estimator – This tool allows you to get a clear idea of how many licenses you will require when you are live with AX. It generates this number based on the number of roles that are necessary in each area of your business (i.e. four AP clerks in your accounts payable department). This will give you an overall recommended number of CAL distributed across your company based on the information you input.
Usage profiler – This provides data to see what reports you are using, how many operating sites do you have, what customizations are you developing, etc. Essentially, it manifests an accurate view of how AX is actually being used so you can determine how much hardware you will require for optimal performance.
Business Process Modeler – Every company has a myriad of business processes that are essential to its daily operations. LCS has a library where your processes are organized and grouped according to their functionality. Each process is part of a branch, which is part of an overall tree. You can even upload a video of how to do each business process directly from AX to LCS. If videos aren’t your cup of tea, you can also upload a Visio as a visual representation of how to complete the given business process. However, the recordings pull data from your AX environment giving you coding information as well as performance data. Another feature of the business process modeler is gap analysis. If there is a gap between what AX can perform out of the box to what your company would like the process to be, that gap will be identified and analysis will be provided to initiate the customization required to fill that gap.
Visual Studio Integration – This online platform gives your developers an environment in which they can track the bugs reported and what percentage have been fixed.
Customization Analysis – You can upload your code directly to LCS so that the code written can be graded against a constantly updated, Microsoft developed rulebook. This generates a multi-faceted report that gives you an idea of what kind of impact your code is having on your business processes in AX.
Upgrade Analysis – Thinking about upgrading your version of AX to a new and improved release? Utilize this tool and upload your model, which will produce a report giving you a heat-mapped outline of the amount work and cost it will require to upgrade.
System Diagnostics – The diagnostic tool acts in a similar manner to the customization analysis tool. It checks for functional and performance issues against a rule-based engine (which is constantly updated by Microsoft). After the issues are identified, the application gives you instructions on fixing the issues.
Issue Search – You can search the Microsoft code base to see all open and/or fixed issues. The hot fix is available to be downloaded directly from the link of the issue.
All of these tools are currently live in LCS as of right now. We know that Microsoft will continue to improve LCS assuring everyone that plays a part in an implementation will ultimately have an experience that is more transparent, organized, efficient, and predictable.
For additional information please feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (312) 345-8817.
All the best!
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