Revise your AX strategy now


The new AX version (AX 7) is getting close to release and most of the cards are on the table. There are some changes, so if you are on AX 2012 or earlier versions there are some things you should take in to account right now to not go down or continue down a path of now return. So here are some coarse changes I suggest you take in to account.

Role centers and Business intelligence

Enterprise Portal
The role center is deprecated.
The Role center is deprecated and Work spaces are introduced as a replacement. Work spaces are high level forms tailored to a specific task like Production floor management, Budget planning, Customer invoicing and so forth.
If you’ve done work on your role centers, you should pivot your focus to Power BI. You should still be able to use your SSRS reports in the new Work centers, but they are vastly inferiour to the powerfull Power BI.
I’m not saying you should stop working on BI, but just take a look at the solution that will give you greater ROI later on.

Enterprise Portal or other web portal solutions

CSS

Most of Enterprise portal is deprecated in AX7. The good thing is that Microsoft is throwing it in the trash, but I do not know of any alternative to Customer Portal or Vendor Portal yet. I will be surprised if something isn’t brewing in the R&D team to replace this as well. We’re on a web platform already, so it shouldn’t be too far fetched to imagine a solution. When it comes it will be awesome and in tune with the default development of the rest of AX.
Employee self services has an alternative that is much better in the Employee self service Work space.
If you’re thinking of implementing the AX Enterprise Portal or further enhancing it, I would suggest you wait until the replacement solution known before you do more work. Of cause if it gives you great benefit in a short term then go ahead, but just don’t expect to get future value for your investments in that area.
If you have plans or have already created a separate web portal solution for customer or vendor interaction. I would also suggest waiting before taking on a greater project before the solution in AX is revealed.

Infrastructure

This is a pretty much an echo by everyone associated with Microsoft is saying, but here goes. Planning on scaling up your servers any time soon? Even if you’re doing minor hardware upgrade, you should strongly consider Azure. Through Life cycle services you can prevision servers that can reduce your infrastructure installation by weeks.

Need an on-premise solution? Take a look at Azure Stack. If that is over-kill, then you can use a hybrid cloud solution with your old equipment.

Bottom line is that if you start moving to the cloud today, you will be better prepared when upgrading to AX7.

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