Configuring VSTS with Dynamics Lifecycle Services for Continuous Integration

Dynamics lifecycle services provides you with the capability to provision custom build agents as part of you LCS project. While developing an AX solution; using the build environment gears you up to follow the best practices for continuous integration of Dynamics AX application.

Continuous Integration allows you to

  • Follow the optimal branching and source/version control strategy
  • Utilize automated build orchestration using VSTS
  • Utilize automated deployment of your custom AX solution on the build environment
  • Create self-testing build with automated tests authored for AX application
  • Reports and notifications on the status of your builds

In order to get started with continuous integration and delivery of AX solutions built on Dynamics AX platform, you need to create a VSTS account and link it with Dynamics lifecycle services portal.

  1. Sign up for Team Services -   It is required to use the same Azure active directory that you used to create the Dynamics lifecycle project. If you are unfamiliar with Azure Active directory, please read through and understand the security and access control model for team services with Azure Active directory as an organization.
  2. Create a personal access token - Clients like Visual Studio natively support Microsoft account and Azure AD authentication with team services, so you can directly use these authentication mechanisms from your AX developer environments hosted either on Azure or on premise.  As part of the cloud build environment provisioning through Dynamics LCS, you need to create a personal access token and use that in LCS project settings. Please refer to this MSDN article on creating personal access token.
  3. Connect your LCS project with VS Team Services – Personal access token is associated with a user profile and is your identity. It should have the right permissions to create a custom build agent on the agent pool of your team services account. Agent pools are used to organize and define permission boundaries around your agents. Pools are scoped to your Team Foundation Server application tier or Visual Studio Team Services (Team Services) account. If you are using the personal access token of the Team Services account owner in Dynamics LCS, you already have all the required access to the agent pool and queue. If you are using a personal access token of a user who is not the account owner, make sure the user has been added as an agent pool administrator. You can administer your pool from this URL - Team Services: https://{your_account}; Members of this group can register new agents in the pool and add additional users as administrators or service accounts.

Once done with the above three steps, you are now ready to deploy a build environment using Dynamics Lifecycle Services.

If you are interested in learning more about what happens during provisioning of your build environment on Azure, please refer this blog article.