What's New: Data partitioning [AX 2012]
Updated: August 29, 2012
Applies To: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2
Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2 enables data isolation by using data partitions. For example, an organization that is a holding company has several subsidiaries. If the management of the organization does not want employees of one subsidiary to have access to the data for other subsidiaries, data partitions can provide the boundaries that are required for data isolation. However, the data partitions enable the metadata that supports business processes to be shared.
Data partitions provide a logical separation of data in the Microsoft Dynamics AX database. To achieve this separation, Microsoft Dynamics AX adds a column to each table that contains data that must be isolated. This column contains a partition ID, which is the RecId of an entry in the Partitions table. In a partitioned table, rows that contain the same partition ID value belong to the same partition. The partition ID is also added to relevant indexes.
Partitions are defined in the Partitions form, where the system administrator creates the partition and provides a partition key. A partition key identifies a partition by using a unique string value that the system administrator specifies. When Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2 is installed, the setup always creates a single, default partition. This partition is identified by the partition key Initial. Microsoft Dynamics AX displays the partition key in the title bar of the client application. Additional partitions can also be defined during installation and upgrade.
Each partition contains its own organizational hierarchy, which includes one or more legal entities. Like a new deployment of Microsoft Dynamics AX, each new partition that is created contains the DAT company as a default legal entity. System administrators can add legal entities to each partition. Legal entities are never shared between partitions, even if the legal entities have the same name.
When you upgrade from Microsoft Dynamics AX 4.0 or Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009, you must first evaluate whether you require data isolation between companies. For example, the source system may have used companies to isolate data. However, lots of data is shared between companies in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2. For example, products and parties are global for all companies in a partition. If you do not want this kind of data to be shared, you must create additional partitions. In any case, metadata, such as role definitions, is shared across all partitions.
During the upgrade process, you have the option to create new partitions. If you decide to create new partitions, you must then map companies from the source environment to partitions in the target environment. If you do not have to isolate data between companies, you do not have to create additional partitions. The default partition that is created during installation is sufficient for your requirements.