Export a copy of the standard user acceptance testing (UAT) database

Database movement operations are a suite of self-service actions that can be used as part of data application lifecycle management (DataALM). This tutorial shows how to export all the data and transactions from a sandbox standard user acceptance testing (UAT) environment.

In this tutorial, you will learn how to:

  • Refresh the UAT environment.
  • Run the export to the Asset library in Microsoft Dynamics Lifecycle Services (LCS).
  • Download the database backup.
  • Import the database, and prepare it so that it can be used in a developer environment.

As an example of this scenario, a customer who has already gone live with Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations wants to load a recent copy of production transactions into his or her development environment. In this way, the customer will be able to debug specific transactions, or develop new features and reports by using realistic datasets.

Known limitations

Because of recent restrictions by the Microsoft Azure SQL Database platform, we don't recommend that you export your database if it's larger than 200 gigabytes (GB). If you must export a larger database, we recommend that you use the legacy documentation until SQL Database can support larger exports. Note that this recommendation applies to export operations, not refresh operations. Refresh operations can support databases that are up to 4 terabytes (TB) in size.


To do a refresh operation, you must have your production environment deployed, or you must have a minimum of two standard UAT environments. To complete this tutorial, you must have a developer environment deployed.

Refresh the UAT environment

This refresh operation overwrites the UAT environment with the latest copy of the production database. To complete this step, follow the instructions in Refresh for training purposes.

Back up to the Asset Library

From your sandbox Environment Details page, click the Maintain menu, and then select Move database.
Move database menu

A slider pane will open on the page where you can use the Export database action.
Export database menu

The environment will be unavailable for other servicing operations, such as Sandbox refresh or package deployment during this time. The source environment will be usable from a Dynamics user perspective.

After the export operation completes successfully, sign off on the servicing operation on your Environment details page. You can then see the asset in your Asset Library in the Database backups section. Asset library backup files

The .bacpac files are stored here and can be manually downloaded to your Tier 1 developer environments for import. In the future, Microsoft will provide APIs to trigger the export action, as well as list the available backup files in your asset library. This includes the secured URL for automatically downloading a backup asset file or copying it directly to your secure blob storage using Microsoft Azure Storage SDKs.

Import the database

After you've downloaded a database backup (.bacpac) file, you can begin the manual import operation on your Tier 1 environment. When you import the database, we recommend that you follow these guidelines:

  • Keep a copy of the existing AxDB database, so that you can revert to it later if you must.
  • Import the new database under a new name, such as AxDB_fromProd.

To help guarantee the best performance, copy the *.bacpac file to the local computer that you're importing from. Open a Command Prompt window, and run the following commands.

cd C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SQL Server\140\DAC\bin

SqlPackage.exe /a:import /sf:D:\Exportedbacpac\my.bacpac /tsn:localhost /tdn:<target database name> /p:CommandTimeout=1200

Here is an explanation of the parameters:

  • tsn (target server name) – The name of the Microsoft SQL Server instance to import into.
  • tdn (target database name) – The name of the database to import into. The database should not already exist.
  • sf (source file) – The path and name of the file to import from.


During import, the user name and password aren't required. By default, SQL Server uses Microsoft Windows authentication for the user who is currently signed in.

Update the database

Run the following SQL script against the imported database. This script adds back the users that you deleted from the source database and correctly links them to the SQL logins for this SQL Server instance. The script also turns change tracking back on. Remember to edit the final ALTER DATABASE statement so that it uses the name of your database.

CREATE USER axdeployuser FROM LOGIN axdeployuser
EXEC sp_addrolemember 'db_owner', 'axdeployuser'

CREATE USER axdbadmin FROM LOGIN axdbadmin
EXEC sp_addrolemember 'db_owner', 'axdbadmin'

CREATE USER axmrruntimeuser FROM LOGIN axmrruntimeuser
EXEC sp_addrolemember 'db_datareader', 'axmrruntimeuser'
EXEC sp_addrolemember 'db_datawriter', 'axmrruntimeuser'

CREATE USER axretaildatasyncuser FROM LOGIN axretaildatasyncuser
EXEC sp_addrolemember 'DataSyncUsersRole', 'axretaildatasyncuser'

CREATE USER axretailruntimeuser FROM LOGIN axretailruntimeuser
EXEC sp_addrolemember 'UsersRole', 'axretailruntimeuser'
EXEC sp_addrolemember 'ReportUsersRole', 'axretailruntimeuser'

CREATE USER axdeployextuser FROM LOGIN axdeployextuser
EXEC sp_addrolemember 'DeployExtensibilityRole', 'axdeployextuser'

EXEC sp_addrolemember 'db_owner', 'NT AUTHORITY\NETWORK SERVICE'

SET T1.storageproviderid = 0
    , T1.accessinformation = ''
    , T1.modifiedby = 'Admin'
    , T1.modifieddatetime = getdate()
FROM docuvalue T1
WHERE T1.storageproviderid = 1 --Azure storage

DROP PROCEDURE IF EXISTS SP_ConfigureTablesForChangeTracking
DROP PROCEDURE IF EXISTS SP_ConfigureTablesForChangeTracking_V2
-- Begin Refresh Retail FullText Catalogs
OPEN retail_ftx;

        PRINT 'Refreshing Full Text Index ' + @RFTXNAME;
        FETCH NEXT FROM retail_ftx INTO @RFTXNAME;
    PRINT error_message()

CLOSE retail_ftx; 
DEALLOCATE retail_ftx; 
-- End Refresh Retail FullText Catalogs

Turn on change tracking

If change tracking was turned on in the source database, be sure to turn it on in the newly provisioned database in the target environment. To turn on change tracking, use the ALTER DATABASE command.


To help guarantee that the current version of the store procedure that is related to change tracking is used in the new database, you must turn change tracking on or off for a data entity in Data management. You can choose any entity. This step is required in order to trigger a refresh of the store procedure.

Start to use the new database

To switch environments and use the new database, first stop the following services:

  • World Wide Web Publishing Service
  • Microsoft Dynamics 365 Unified Operations: Batch Management Service
  • Management Reporter 2012 Process Service

After these services have been stopped, rename the AxDB database AxDB_orig, rename your newly imported database AxDB, and then restart the three services.

To switch back to the original database, reverse this process. In other words, stop the services, rename the databases, and then restart the services.

Reprovision the target environment

If you copy a database between environments, the copied database won't be fully functional until you run the Environment reprovisioning tool to make sure that all Retail components are up to date.

Follow these steps to run the Environment reprovisioning tool.

  1. In your project's Asset Library, in the Software deployable packages section, click Import.
  2. From the list of shared assets, select the Environment Reprovisioning Tool.
  3. On the Environment details page for your target environment, select Maintain > Apply updates.
  4. Select the Environment Reprovisioning tool that you uploaded earlier, and then select Apply to apply the package.
  5. Monitor the progress of the package deployment.

For more information about how to apply a deployable package, see Apply a deployable package. For more information about how to manually apply a deployable package, see Install a deployable package.


Some environment specific records cannot be moved along with the database from the source to the target environment. The following records are not moved to the target environment:

  • Retail Self-Service installers
  • Retail Cloud Scale Unit channel database configuration record

Database refresh and Retail Cloud Scale Units

As part of database refresh, scale unit channel database records (in the Channel Database form) cannot be moved across environments since they represent environment specific configuration.

For Retail Cloud Scale Units, you can regenerate the channel database record by issuing a re-deployment of your scale units in LCS. For more information, see Database refresh and Initialize Retail Cloud Scale Unit.

Database refresh and Retail Self-Service installers

Self-service installers are stored in environment specific storages that cannot be moved along with the database.

Installers are uploaded to the environment as part of a deployable package. The application and binary packages provided by Microsoft will contain the Microsoft provided installers. The Retail Deployable package produced by extensions through the Retail SDK will contain the extended installers. To make installer section available after database refresh, please apply the desired deployable package to the environment after database refresh.

Reset the Financial Reporting database

If you're using Financial Reporting, you must reset the Financial Reporting database by following the steps in Resetting the financial reporting data mart after restoring a database. (Financial Reporting was previously named Management Reporter.)

Reenter data from encrypted and environment-specific fields in the target database

In the Finance and Operations client, enter the values that you documented for the encrypted and environment-specific fields. The following fields are affected. The field names are given in Table.Field format.

Field name Where to set the value
CreditCardAccountSetup.SecureMerchantProperties Select Accounts receivable > Payments setup > Payment services.
ExchangeRateProviderConfigurationDetails.Value Select General ledger > Currencies > Configure exchange rate providers.
FiscalEstablishment_BR.ConsumerEFDocCsc Select Organization administration > Fiscal establishments > Fiscal establishments.
FiscalEstablishmentStaging.CSC This field is used by the Data Import/Export Framework (DIXF).
HcmPersonIdentificationNumber.PersonIdentificationNumber Select Human resources > Workers > Workers. On the Worker tab, in the Personal information group, select Identification numbers.
HcmWorkerActionHire.PersonIdentificationNumber This field has been obsolete since Microsoft Dynamics AX 7.0 (February 2016). It was previously in the All worker actions form (Human resources > Workers > Actions > All worker actions).
SysEmailSMTPPassword.Password Select System administration > Email > Email parameters.
SysOAuthUserTokens.EncryptedAccessToken This field is used internally by Application Object Server (AOS). It can be ignored.
SysOAuthUserTokens.EncryptedRefreshToken This field is used internally by AOS. It can be ignored.

Community tools

Are you looking for more tools to help you import backup files into your developer environments? Here are some other sources of information:

Known issues

The export database is in a "Preparation failed" state

If the automation from LCS times out, the state of the export database is changed to Preparation failed. The export operation to export to the Asset library is still running in SQL Database. To resolve this issue, you can use the Resume button to reconnect the process with SQL Database. The process should then be successfully completed.

The export database takes a very long time

The Azure SQL team recently announced that the Import/Export application programming interface (API) that LCS uses has variable execution times for any database that is over 200 GB in size. If you encounter this issue, you can either connect your DevTest environment directly to the UAT database or follow the legacy documentation. We don't recommend that you export databases for backup purposes, because the point-in-time restore functionality is available and included with your environment.

The Lifecycle Services team is working directly with the Azure SQL team to increase the performance of the Import/Export API and will make improvements in upcoming releases of LCS.

I can't download Management Studio installation files

When you try to download the Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio installer, you might receive the following error message:

Your current security settings do not allow this file to be downloaded.

To work around this issue, follow these steps to enable file downloads.

  1. In your web browser, open Internet options.
  2. On the Security tab, select the Internet zone, and then select Custom level.
  3. Scroll to Downloads, and then, under File download, select the Enable option.

Database synchronization fails

When you sync the database against the newly imported database from Microsoft Visual Studio, the synchronization might fail, and you might receive the following error message:

Failed to open SQL connection syncengine.exe exited with code -1.

In this case, the following message is also logged under event ID 140 in the Windows application log:

Object Server Database Synchronizer: The internal system table version number stored in the database is higher than the version supported by the kernel (141/138). Use a newer Microsoft Dynamics kernel, or start Microsoft Dynamics using the -REPAIR command line parameter to enforce synchronization.

This issue can occur when the platform build number of the current environment is lower than the platform build number of the source environment. To resolve the issue, follow one of these steps, depending on your circumstances:

  • Use the Updates tiles on the environment page in LCS to upgrade the platform in the current environment so that it matches the platform in the source environment.

  • Run the following query to adjust the expected version in the database.

    SET VALUE = 138


    The value 138 in this query is taken from the event log message, where version 138 was expected in this particular environment.


The following guidelines can help you achieve optimal performance:

  • Always import the .bacpac file locally on the computer that runs the SQL Server instance. Don't import it from Management Studio on a remote machine.
  • In a Finance and Operations one-box environment that is hosted in Azure, put the .bacpac file on drive D when you import it. (A one-box environment is also known as a Tier 1 environment.) For more information about the temporary drive on Azure virtual machines (VMs), see the Understanding the temporary drive on Windows Azure Virtual Machines blog post.
  • Grant the account that runs the SQL Server Windows service Instance File Initialization rights. In this way, you can help improve the speed of the import process and the speed of a restore from a *.bak file. For a developer environment, you can easily make sure that the account that runs the SQL Server service has these rights by setting SQL Server to run as the axlocaladmin account.