Monday, September 17, 2012

AX TFS Build Library Sample XAML Update

Apparently the XAML file included in the latest release ( of the AX TFS Build Workflow on CodePlex had an error in it. I apologize for not double-checking this before releasing. Thanks to those of you who alerted me of this issue.

I have fixed and uploaded the new XAML file and updated the existing release. If you downloaded the release prior to September 17th at 16:40 Mountain Time you will want to download again to get the fixed XAML file.

The issue was a stale property in the XAML file that was used for debugging and did not get removed properly in the released code ("SkipNoCompileOnImport").

You can download the updated release from CodePlex.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Windows 8 RTM running SQL2012 and AX2012

So, being a Microsoft partner has its advantages, including getting early hands on the RTM version of Windows 8. So, I finally upgraded from Windows 8 Release Preview and installed Windows 8 RTM.

I figured I'd share my experience on getting AX 2012 installed locally (AOS and client). No major issues, just a few tweaks. I'll try and install AX 2012 on a Windows Server 2012 soon as well, I'm expecting it to be similar to my Windows 8 install experience. I had a few issues that are SQL 2012 specific and not necessarily Windows 8, but I'll point those out as well.


Pretty much all of the prerequisites can be configured or downloaded using links from the prerequisite screen of AX. There are two issues:

1) For SQL 2012 - you still need the Data Management Objects for SQL 2008 R2, even if you have the 2012 versions installed. Just click on the download link the prerequisite installer gives you and install those. I also installed the CU2 update for SQL 2012, I'm not sure if that is a prerequisite of any kind but updating never hurts, I figured.

2) For Windows 8 - the Windows Identity Foundation components are needed for AX. In Windows 8, those are not available for download but are actually a "Windows Feature" you need to turn on.
Open your start screen, and type: windows features. In the search pane, click on the "Settings" button to show apps in the settings category. This will bring up the "Turn Windows features on or off" link.

So, getting on to the actual install. For both Windows 8 and SQL 2012, you want to make sure you slipstream CU3 into your installer. Whether you're using FPK or RTM as a base, either will work with CU3.

Take the UNMODIFIED (ie the ISO from Microsoft or an extracted version that has NEVER been run... the setup will update itself when run, and I've seen issues with it having been updated prior to the CU3 being put in).
If you have the ISO, extract it to a folder. Download CU3 from Microsoft and extract the "DynamicsAX2012-KB2709934.exe" extractor into the "Updates" folder of your AX installer. The following screenshot shows you what the folder tree should look like, and what contents should be where. Note that I renamed the KB extracted folder to include (CU3) at the end. The name of the folder doesn't matter at all, so I added this for my sake.

Now you're ready to run the installed. You may want to take a copy of the install files with the slipstreamed CU3 first, to avoid future issues. Personally I downloaded a free tool called "ISO Recorder" to convert the folder back into an ISO, to have a clean, read-only copy.

The prerequisites configurations should all work just fine, besides the two mentioned above. The installer should work as expected from here on.

Note I had one unrelated issue initially. I have the Windows Azure SDK installed which also includes a tool called "Web Deploy 3.0". When installing the AOS, it errors out trying to create the Microsoft Dynamics AX Workflow event log, as it clashes names with the Micosoft Web Deploy (apparently the system name for an event log only has 8 significant characters, which means anything that starts with "Microsoft" will clash). I uninstalled the web deploy tool from add/remove programs. I'm guessing this is also an issue on other versions of the Windows OS. The actual error I got was: "Only the first eight characters of a custom log name are significant, and there is already another log on the system using the first eight characters of the name given. Name given: 'Microsoft Dynamics AX Workflow', name of existing log: 'Microsoft Web Deploy'".
I re-installed the Web Deploy 3.0 tools after AX was done installing and that was no issue.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

New release of AX TFS Build Library Beta (v0.2.0.0)

I'm glad to (finally) announce a major update to the TFS Build Library on CodePlex. Besides some fixes and additions, the major feature/issue resolution everyone was waiting for is included: Visual Studio Projects import. There are multiple ways to accomplish this, but we found this is the only way (autorun.xml) that seems to work with a variety of different VS projects. I've talked about that before in this article.

Note that there is one refactor that will break any workflows you may have in use! Please see the release notes below. If you are using the template that was provided in the previous release, just replace with the new sample template and you'll be good to go.

Get the latest release here.

Release notes:

There is one refactor of code that will break your existing workflows.
The AOS workflow step to stop/start AOS now expects the actual windows service name, not the port number of the AOS. There now is a new step to retrieve server settings, which can get the service identifier based on the port number. The registry has to be read to retrieve these settings, and we didn't want to keep that code in multiple places.
The sample workflow file provided in this release fixes this issue, so if you use the sample you will be ok.

This release addresses several major issues that arose from using the library on daily basis.
Among the fixes (not limited to):
- Missing label folder resulted in error
- Labels did not always show up correctly (AOS issue where label files on AOS bin need to be deleted)
- Visual Studio Projects could not be imported
- Split system classes in separate import at the very end to avoid system stability issues

Also some new features:
- Allow overwrite of manifest description (not used in sample 2012 workflow file)
- Allow install of dependent models (not used in sample 2012 workflow file)