This blog, I will try to share data modeling of Dynamics AX for reporting and analysis purpose. This data modeling can be used also for datawarehousing and business intelligence project.
To read this blog, it is recommended if you have a concept on following: Dynamics AX, SQL SSIS, SSAS, Microsoft Excel
Who need to read this tutorial. This tutorial is for all Dynamics AX professional, Technical – Functional – Project manager – Sales manager, who wants to have Dynamics AX 2013 R3 Solution Demo application in a laptop.
rogrammer time to time would like to check how is the standard application class to compare customer’s instance with standard AX before any modification. Consultant need to test some of the standard functionality without using customer data or exploring some functions directly from laptop without remote to office. Or sales manager who want to do preparation for a demo to customer. These are most common example why Dynamics AX professional need this VM in his/her laptop.
Most professional usually download the demo virtual machine from microsoft partner source, and use Vmware, Virtual Box or Hyper-V in their main laptop. Mount the vhd to the virtual machine application and spend three hours to configure the setting before the virtual machine can be used.
The moment virtual machine is ready then everyone realize his 8 GB RAM can’t run it fast enough. The virtual machine is too slow to do anything. Upgrading to 16 GB RAM is not helping either, the laptop is forced to run two OS at same time. The main OS windows 7/8 and a hungry-resource-virtual-machine Windows server 2012 complete with AOS server, Sharepoint server, SQL server, SQL Server Reporting Service, SQL Server Analytal Service and you name it. Some of these applications are I/O hungry application which is known not running well in virtual environment.
What is the solution?
If you have budget the easier is to upgrade your RAM to 24GB/32GB but I know very limited laptop model in current market can support such upgrade. This RAM upgrade will cost you around 300-500 USD.
Let say most common laptop people have doesn’t support 24GB/32GB, the next option is to buy a super laptop with 32 GB RAM and be prepared to have around 3,000 USD in your pocket.
What is cheaper solution?
Well this is my usually I do to maximize 8GB/16GB hardware to run virtual machine, fast enough to satisfy me. My solution is to setup Dual Boot OS, one for my main OS (Windows 7/8) and another one for Windows Server 2012 to host Dynamics AX 2012 virtual machine.
30 minutes setup time
Yes you read it correctly. It is about 30 minutes to setup. It is how easy this method and why I call it cool trick.
Is it too technical for me?
Fortunately it is easy enough to follow and you don’t have to be a very technical person to do it as long as you follow it step by step.
This is the content of tutorial. If you have a question please don’t hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Step 1 Download the material to your harddisk
Download and extract the virtual machine file from partner source, link below:
You will have 26 files from the download page. Extract this into a folder.
After extraction you should have 2 VHD like below:
Step 3. Attach your VHD to windows 7 from Disk Management
Click Windows>Computer>Right click Manage.
Right click Disk Management>Attach VHD
Locate Dynamics AX vhd from previous extraction (AX2012R3A_OS.vhd)
System then will assign new drive letter to the VHD. For my case it is H: drive.
Step 4 Create multiple boot
Open command prompt. Click windows>type command on search box>choose command prompt>right click>Open as Administrator.
Following command prompt will appear:
Back up your bootfile with following command (type it and press enter)
bcdedit /export bcdbackup.bak
Then now the important part creating the dual boot, enter following command (the H drive depends on the driver letter assigned on previouse step)
When you restart computer you should see boot for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2012
Choose the Windows Server 2012 to start and login with Microsoft demo account:
Step 5 Adding Contoso\Administrator to perform volume management
Once you login to Dynamics AX 2012 R3 VM environment, you need to add the admin to perform volume management
This is a bit technical to explain and to simplify my tutorial I don’t want to explain too much on this. but you got to do this.
Go to administrative tools>Open Group policy management
Look for below node, right click edit
On this page find for below node and add Contoso\administrator to it.
Step 6 Change the Windows 7 OS Drive letter
By default the vhd file become your C: drive and the main disk (C: drive of your windows 7 become E: drive). We need to change this E: drive to something else because we need E: drive for the data for VM.