Deploy a Retail essentials dev/test environment on Azure (AX 2012)

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

Prerequisites

Before you complete the procedures in this article, 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 provides a cloud-based collaborative workspace that customers and partners can use to manage Microsoft Dynamics AX projects. You’ll use this website to deploy Dynamics AX 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. Log on to Lifecycle Services

2. Create a project

After you log in to Lifecycle Services, open an existing project, or create a new project. Projects are the key organizer of your experience in Lifecycle Services. 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 Lifecycle Services project to your Azure subscription. This will enable Lifecycle Services to deploy a Dynamics AX 2012R3 environment to the subscription. To connect the project to your Azure subscription, complete the following procedure. Keep in mind that a project can be connected to only one Azure subscription. If you have multiple Azure subscriptions, be sure to identify which subscription you want to use before you complete this procedure.

  1. Click Cloud-hosted environments. The Cloud-hosted environments page is displayed.
  2. The Microsoft Azure setup panel is displayed on the side of the screen. If it is not displayed, click Microsoft Azure settings.
  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 management portal.
    3. In the navigation pane on the left, click Settings. (You may have to scroll to the bottom of the navigation pane to see the Settings link.) The Settings page is displayed.
    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 Lifecycle Services 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, complete the following steps:

    1. Open another instance of your browser. (Or, go to the browser instance that you may have opened in step 3.)
    2. Log on to the Azure management portal.
    3. In the navigation pane on the left, click Settings. The Settings page is displayed.
    4. Click Management certificates.
    5. Click Upload at the bottom of the page.
    6. In the Upload a management certificate window, browse to the management certificate that you downloaded in step 5. Then click the check mark.
  7. Go back to the browser that displays the Microsoft Azure setup panel in Lifecycle Services. Click Next.

  8. Select the region that is closest to you. The Dynamics AX 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 you discover that you connected the project to the wrong Azure subscription (that is, assuming you have multiple Azure subscriptions), you’ll need to delete the project, create a new project, and then repeat this procedure to connect the new project to the appropriate Azure subscription.

4. Deploy a Retail essentials dev/test environment on Azure

Complete the following procedure to deploy a Retail essentials 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 essentials dev/test.
  4. In the Environment name field, enter a name for the environment that will be deployed.
  5. Click Advanced settings.
  6. To customize domain settings, click Customize domain settings. Then 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 contoso.com.
    Add the environment to an existing domain in Azure
    1. Click Existing domain.
    2. Enter the name of the domain. For example, contoso.com.

  7. To customize the service accounts that will be created in the domain, click Customize service accounts. Service accounts and/or service account passwords may 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 desire to target.
      1. Log on to the Azure management portal.
      2. In the navigation pane on the left, click 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 environment for use

Now that the Retail essentials environment has been deployed on Azure, you must set it up and configure it for use. See the following sections for more information.

Log on to the Retails essentials virtual machine

Log on to the ESSEN-<GUID> virtual machine using the <DomainName>DynamicsInstallUser account. For instructions, see the “How do I log on to a virtual machine?” section of the Manage your Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 deployment on Azure article.

Compile Dynamics AX 2012 R3

Compile Dynamics AX 2012 R3 by using AxBuild.exe. For instructions, see AxBuild.exe for Parallel Compile on AOS of X++ to p-code.

Initialize Dynamics AX 2012 R3

Open the Dynamics AX 2012 R3 client and complete the initialization checklists. For instructions, see Initialization checklists.

Install sample data

If you want sample data installed in your environment, complete the following steps.

  1. Go to the following location:F:TestTransferTool
  2. Install the Test Data Tool. For instructions, see Install the Test Data Transfer Tool (beta) for Microsoft Dynamics AX.
  3. Open a command prompt and navigate to the following location:C:Program Files (x86)Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 Test Data Transfer Tool (Beta)
  4. Run the following command:dp.exe import F:DemoData MicrosoftDynamicsAx

Note: The sample data includes trial license keys for Dynamics AX. If you choose not to install the sample data, you can download trial license keys—for development or testing purposes—from CustomerSource or MSDN.

Set up Retail essentials

Open the Dynamics AX client and complete the following steps.

  1. Go to the Retail essentials area page.
  2. Click Channels > Setup > Retail parameters.
  3. In the Retail parameters form, complete the following steps:

    1. Click the Initialize button at the top of the form.
    2. Click Yes to confirm that you want to initialize the base configuration data. When the initialization process is complete, the Infolog is displayed.
    3. Close the form.
  4. Click Data synchronization > Setup > Retail scheduler parameters.

  5. In the Retail scheduler parameters form, complete the following steps:

    1. In the Server name field, enter the name of the virtual machine.
    2. Click the Sync metadata button at the top of the form.
    3. Click Yes to confirm that you want to sync the metadata. When the process is complete, the Infolog is displayed.
    4. Close the form.
  6. Click Data synchronization > Setup > Channel integration > Real-time service profiles.

  7. In the Commerce Data Exchange: Real-time Service Profile form, complete the following steps:

    1. In the Server name field, enter the name of the virtual machine.
    2. In the Common name field, enter the common name of the certificate.
    3. Close the form.
  8. Click Data synchronization > Setup > Channel integration > Working folders.

  9. In the Working folders form, complete the following steps.

    1. Note the location in the Download path field. It is typically C:DemoFilesRetailCDXDownload.Create these folders on the C drive.
    2. Note the location in the Upload path field. It is typically C:DemoFilesRetailCDXUpload.Create these folders on the C drive.
    3. Close the form.
  10. Click Data synchronization > Setup > Channel integration > Channel database.

  11. In the Channel database form, complete the following steps:
    1. Select the HoustonStore record.
    2. In the pane on the right side of the form, go to the Retail Server section. (You may have to scroll to the bottom of the pane to see it.)
    3. In the Server name field, enter the name of the virtual machine.
    4. Click the Full data sync button at the top of the form. Then, select the 9999 distribution schedule from the list. Click OK.
    5. Close the form.

6. Enable users to access Dynamics AX 2012 R3 on Azure

The following sections provide information about how to configure the Azure virtual network and domain so that your corporate users can access Dynamics AX 2012 R3.

Create a site-to-site VPN connection

To enable corporate users to access resources on the virtual machines in the Azure virtual network, you’ll need to create a site-to-site VPN connection between the Azure virtual network and your on-premises, corporate network. For information about how to do this, see:

Create a domain trust

To enable corporate users to access resources on the virtual machines in your Azure domain, you must create an Active Directory trust between the domains. For information about how to create a trust, see Create a Forest Trust. This process is the same process you would use to create a trust between two on-premises domains.

Give users access

To enable your users to access Dynamics AX , complete the following tasks:

Note: If you don’t want to create a VPN connection and a domain trust, you can still give users access to Dynamics AX. To do so, you’ll need to log on to the virtual machine that serves as the domain controller, and create domain accounts for each user. Then, you’ll need to complete the two tasks mentioned above.

7. 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
AOSServiceUser The account used to run the following services: Microsoft Dynamics AX Object Server
SQLServiceUser The account used to run the following services: SQL Server Analysis Services (MSSQLSERVER)
DynamicsInstallUser The account used to install Dynamics AX.
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.

**Note: **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.