Deploy Retail e-Commerce dev/test environments on Azure

This topic explains how to deploy a Retail e-commerce dev/test environment on Microsoft Azure. To deploy the environment, you’ll use the cloud-hosted environments tool in Microsoft Dynamics Lifecycle Services.


Before you can complete the procedures in this topic, make sure that the following prerequisites are in place.

Category Prerequisite
Required tasks Plan your Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 deployment on Azure

1. Log on to Lifecycle Services

Microsoft Dynamics Lifecycle Services (LCS) provides a cloud-based collaborative workspace that customers and partners can use to manage Dynamics AX projects. You’ll use this website to deploy Dynamics AX 2012 R3 on Azure. Lifecycle Services is available to customers and partners as part of their support plans. You can access it with your CustomerSource or PartnerSource credentials, for details see Log on to Lifecycle Services.

2. Create a project

After you log in to LCS, open an existing project, or create a new project. Projects are the key organizer of your experience in LCS. The methodology associated with a project determines which phases and tasks are included in the project by default.

3. Connect the project to your Azure subscription

Connect the LCS project to your Azure subscription. This will enable LCS to deploy a Dynamics AX environment to the subscription. To connect the project to your Azure subscription, complete the following procedure.

  1. In your LCS project, go to the Environments section, click Microsoft Azure settings, and then click Add in the Azure Connectors area.


    The Microsoft Azure settings option is also available when you click the Cloud-hosted environments tile.

  2. Enter a name to identify the connection to Azure.

  3. Enter your Azure subscription ID. If you need to find your subscription ID, complete the following steps:

    1. Open another instance of your browser.

    2. Log on to the Azure portal.

    3. In the navigation pane on the left, click Subscriptions.


      You may need to click More services at the bottom, and then click Subscriptions.

    4. Copy your subscription ID, and then paste it into the Azure subscription ID field in Lifecycle Services (which is currently displayed in another browser instance).

  4. Click Next.

  5. Click Download to download a management certificate. This management certificate enables LCS to communicate with Azure on your behalf. By default, the management certificate is saved to the Downloads folder on your computer and is named LifecycleServicesDeployment.cer.

  6. Upload the management certificate to Azure. To do so, see the instructions in Upload an Azure Management API Management Certificate.

  7. Go back to the browser that displays the Microsoft Azure setup panel in LCS. Click Next.

  8. Select a region. The AX 2012 R3 environment will be deployed to a datacenter in this region.

  9. Click Connect. The project is now connected to the Azure subscription that you specified.


If the certificate expires, you can obtain a new one. To do so:

  1. Select the connection in the Azure connectors area of your project settings, and click Edit.
  2. The Microsoft Azure setup panel is displayed on the side of the screen. Click Download to download a new certificate.
  3. Repeat steps 6-9 of the above procedure.

4. Deploy a Retail e-commerce dev/test environment on Azure

Complete the following procedure to deploy a Retail e-commerce dev/test environment on Azure.

  1. On the Cloud-hosted environments page, click the Add (+) icon.

  2. In the Select environment topology panel, select Dev/test.

  3. Click Retail e-commerce dev/test.

  4. In the Environment name field, enter a name for the environment that will be deployed.

  5. Click Customize deployment settings.

  6. To customize domain settings, click Customize domain settings. Use the following table to enter information.

    If you want to Do this
    Create a new domain in Azure for the environment
    1. Click New domain.
    2. Enter a name for the domain. By default, the domain is named
    Add the environment to an existing domain in Azure
    1. Click Existing domain.
    2. Enter the name of the domain. For example,
  7. To customize the service accounts that will be created in the domain, click Customize service accounts. Service accounts and/or service account passwords can be specified through the Advanced Settings option for a deployment. If neither is provided, default accounts are used and random passwords are selected. Use these features when you want to maintain account naming and password rules for your corporation. Account and password rules:

    • A valid service name must be less than 20 characters with no special characters.
    • A valid password must be more than 8 characters and contain uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and at least one of the following characters: ['@', '!', '=', '*'] You can’t use common passwords, such as: pass@word1
  8. To select the version of AX 2012 R3 that you want use, click Supported version. By default, the AX 2012 R3 CU8 version of this environment will be deployed. If you don’t want to use the CU8 version, select Dynamics ERP 2012 R3 RTM from the list.

  9. To customize virtual machine names, click Customize virtual machine names. In order to support common IT naming guidelines, the ability to name virtual machines is provided through the Advanced settings option on most deployment topologies. In addition to defining the name, a starting index can be selected for each virtual machine type. The index is incremented for each instance of the virtual machine type that is deployed. Virtual machine names must be 13 characters or less. The index is separated from the machine name by a hyphen (-), followed by the index that supports a maximum of 2 digits. Example: ACustomVMName-99. When virtual machine instances are added to an environment after the initial deployment, the deployment service will start incrementing the virtual machine name where it left off. For example, if you deployed four AOS virtual machines with a starting index of 2, then the last AOS instance name will be AOS-6. If you add two more AOS instances, they will be AOS-7 and AOS-8. If one of the virtual machine types in your deployment is customized, then all of the virtual machine names must be customized. This is done to ensure that a long deployment does not occur because a virtual machine name was accidentally missed.

  10. To customize virtual network settings, click Customize virtual network. Then use the following table to enter information.

    If you want to Do this
    Create a new virtual network in Azure for the environment
    1. Click New virtual network.
    2. Enter a name for the virtual network.
    Add the environment to an existing virtual network in Azure
    1. Click Existing virtual network.
    2. Select the name of the existing virtual network that you want to use.
    3. The Address space field will automatically display the appropriate value. Select the provided value.
    4. The Application subnet name field will display available options. If you are deploying to an AD that was previously deployed through Lifecycle Services, select the APPNET value.
    5. The Active Directory subnet must be entered and match the Active Directory subnet IP/Range found in the Azure management portal for the AD you want to target.
      1. Log on to the Azure portal.
      2. In the navigation pane on the left, click Virtual networks.
      3. Click the name of the virtual network that you’re going to use.
      4. Click Configure. Details about the virtual network are listed on the page.
  11. Click Done. The Deploy environment panel is redisplayed.

  12. The number and size of each virtual machine that will be deployed is listed. Change the number and size of the virtual machines, as needed.

  13. Click Software License Terms to review the licensing terms and conditions. Then select the check box to indicate that you agree to the terms.

  14. Click Next.

  15. Click Deploy to confirm that you’re ready to deploy the environment. The deployment may take a few hours to complete. When the deployment is done, the Deployment Status column on the Cloud-hosted environments page will display Deployed. (You may need to refresh your browser to see this.) If the deployment fails, you may see an error message right away. If the error occurs later in the deployment process, error details will be displayed in the details pane on the right-side of the page.

5. Prepare the Retail e-commerce dev/test environment for use

Now that the Retail e-commerce dev/test environment has been deployed on Azure, you can connect it to your Dynamics AX environment that exists on-premises, or on Azure. See the following sections for more information.


Before you complete the following procedures, make sure that the following prerequisites are in place.

Prerequisite More information
Set up and configure the Dynamics AX application object server (AOS), database, and client. As mentioned, AX 2012 R3 can be installed on-premises, or on Azure. System setup for Microsoft Dynamics AX
Import data into Dynamics AX. If you want sample data installed in your Dynamics AX environment, use the Test Data Transfer tool to install the sample data. For instructions, see Test Data Transfer Tool (beta) for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3.
Set up and configure Async Server. Commerce Data Exchange: Async Server
Set up and configure Real-time Service. Commerce Data Exchange: Real-time Service
Sync metadata for Commerce Data Exchange. Enter parameters for Retail Scheduler
Create a new, or update an existing online store channel. Set up an online store

Complete configuration tasks on the AOS server/virtual machine

Log on to the server or virtual machine where the AOS is installed and complete the following steps.

  1. Set up endpoints for the server or virtual machine. For instructions on how to set up endpoints for a virtual machine, see the “Getting Started” section of this blog post.
  2. Configure the Real-time service and update the profile. For instructions, see the “Configure Real-time Service” section of this blog post.
  3. Run the scheduler jobs to populate the channel database. For instructions, see the “Run Scheduler Jobs to Populate Channel Database” section of this blog post.

Complete configuration tasks on the E-COM virtual machine

On the Cloud-hosted environments page, select your Retail e-commerce dev/test environment. Then scroll to the right and click the E-COM-<GUID> link to log on to the virtual machine. After you have logged on to the machine, complete the following steps:

  1. If using a self-signed certificate, install the certificate on the E-COM-<GUID> virtual machine. For instructions, see the “Install the Cert on the External Machine” section of this blog post.
  2. Update Async Client to use the URL of the Async Server. For instructions, see the “Install CDX Async Client” section of this blog post.

Access the e-commerce site

After you have completed the configuration procedures described above, you can access the e-commerce website at: http://:40002/sites/retailpublishingportal

6. Learn more about the service accounts for this environment

The following sections provide information about the service accounts that were created when you deployed the environment.

Domain accounts

The following table lists the default names of the domain accounts that were created when you deployed the environment.

Domain account Description
SQLServiceUser The account used to run the following services: SQL Server Analysis Services (MSSQLSERVER)
DynamicsInstallUser The account used to install Dynamics AX.
ContosoSPServiceUser The account used to run the following services: AppFabric Caching Service, SharePoint Search Host Controller, SharePoint Server Search 15, SharePoint Timer Service, and SharePoint User Code Host.
RetailServiceUser The account used to run the following services: Microsoft Dynamics AX for Retail Commerce Data Exchange Async Client.
BCProxyUser The account used as the Business Connector proxy.


The passwords are displayed on the Cloud-hosted environments page in Lifecycle Services.

Local administrator accounts

Each virtual machine that you deployed has a local administrator account. This account is: builtinaxlocaladmin. The passwords for the local administrator accounts are displayed on the Cloud-hosted environments page in Lifecycle Services.

Additional resources

Online Store (TechNet)