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Deployment topologies for Retail [AX 2012]

Updated: July 9, 2014

Applies To: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3, Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2, Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Feature Pack

Before you install Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 for Retail, you must decide on the system topology. This topic describes common topologies for a Retail system.

The topology at the head office is a standard Microsoft Dynamics AX deployment, with additional computers for retail functions. Depending on the requirements of your organization, you can use a computer for more than one purpose. We recommend that you load balance across multiple computers whenever load balancing is possible.

NoteNote

For development and testing, you can install the complete Retail system on a single computer. However, a deployment of this kind is not a supported production scenario.

This topic contains the following sections:

The following table lists the types of computers that are used in a typical Retail deployment with AX 2012 R3.

Deployment location

Types of computers

Head office

  • AOS computer with Retail headquarters component installed

  • Database server

    You must modify the Microsoft Dynamics AX database server only if the settings for Microsoft SQL Server do not comply with the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard. For more information about PCI-compliant settings, see the Implementation Guide for PCI Compliance.

  • Communications server that hosts Commerce Data Exchange: Real-time Service and Async Server.

    If you prefer, you can have two communications servers, one for each of these applications.

  • Microsoft Dynamics AX client computers with Retail headquarters component installed

  • Retail Server, if you are using Modern POS

  • Web servers that host the online store

Brick-and-mortar stores

  • Computer that hosts the channel database and Async Client

  • Point of sale (POS) devices

The following figures illustrate typical deployment topologies for a POS system in AX 2012 R3.

In Figure 1, each component is hosted on a dedicated physical computer or virtual machine. Components that support multiple instances, such as AOS and Async Server, could be installed on additional computers for load balancing. This deployment topology is appropriate for a large retailer.

Store topology with dedicated servers

Figure 1 Hosting of POS components on dedicated computers

In Figure 2, on the head office side, the Async Server instance, Real-time Service, and Enterprise Portal for Microsoft Dynamics AX have been combined on a single computer. A midsize retailer might want to consolidate these services on one computer or run them on virtual machines on a single physical server. On the store side, Async Client is installed on the same computer as the channel database server.

Retail topology with shared servers

Figure 2 Shared hosting of POS components

Retail supports the following store-side database topologies:

  • POS devices have offline databases that are synchronized with the channel database when the POS devices are connected.

  • POS devices do not have databases and must always be connected to the channel database.

Figure 3 illustrates the two supported topologies. In the POS portable topology, the POS device uses the channel database by default, and synchronizes its local database and the channel database. If the channel database becomes inaccessible, the POS device uses its offline database until the connection to the channel database is re-established. In the POS always online topology, the POS device must always be online to connect with the channel database.

Store database topology

Figure 3 Supported database topologies for POS devices

NoteNote

Async Server, Async Client, and Real-time Service have been omitted from Figure 3, because they are not affected.

The following figures illustrate typical deployment topologies for an online store system in AX 2012 R3.

In Figure 4, each component is hosted on a dedicated physical computer or virtual machine. Components that support multiple instances, such as AOS and online store sites, could be installed on additional computers for load balancing.

Online store configuration with dedicated servers

Figure 4 Hosting of online store components on dedicated computers

In Figure 5, Async Client, Real-time Service, and Enterprise Portal have been combined on a single computer. A midsize retailer might want to consolidate these services on one computer or run them on virtual machines on a single physical server.

Online store topology with shared servers

Figure 5 Shared hosting of online store components

The following table lists the types of computers that are used in a typical Retail deployment with AX 2012 R2 or AX 2012 Feature Pack.

Deployment location

Types of computers

Head office

  • AOS computer

  • Database server

    You must modify the Microsoft Dynamics AX database server only if the settings for Microsoft SQL Server do not comply with the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard. For more information about PCI-compliant settings, see the Implementation Guide for PCI Compliance.

  • Communications server that hosts Commerce Data Exchange: Real-time Service and Commerce Data Exchange: Synch Service.

    If you prefer, you can have two communications servers, one for each of these applications.

  • Microsoft Dynamics AX client computers

  • Web servers that host the online store

Brick-and-mortar stores

  • Database server

  • Communications server that hosts Synch Service

  • Point of sale (POS) registers

Typically, head office and store computers where Synch Service is installed also have SQL Server Express Edition installed. However, this instance of SQL Server is used only for the Synch Service message database.

The following figures illustrate typical deployment topologies for a POS system in AX 2012 R2 and AX 2012 Feature Pack.

In Figure 1, each component is hosted on a dedicated physical computer or virtual machine. Components that support multiple instances, such as AOS and Synch Service, could be installed on additional computers for load balancing. This deployment topology is appropriate for a large retailer.

Retail components on dedicated computers

Figure 1 Hosting of Retail POS components on dedicated computers

In Figure 2, on the head office side, the Synch Service instance, Real-time Service, and Enterprise Portal for Microsoft Dynamics AX have been combined on a single computer. A midsize retailer might want to consolidate these services on one computer or run them on virtual machines on a single physical server. On the store side, Synch Service is installed on the same computer as the store database server.

Retail components on shared computers

Figure 2 Shared hosting of Retail POS components

Retail supports the following store-side database topologies:

  • POS registers have offline databases that are synchronized with the store database when the POS registers are connected.

  • POS registers do not have databases and must always be connected to the store database.

Figure 3 illustrates the two supported topologies. In the POS portable topology, the POS register uses the store database by default, and synchronizes its local database and the store database. If the store database becomes inaccessible, the POS register uses its offline database until the connection to the store database is re-established. In the POS always online topology, the POS register must always be online to connect with the store database.

Retail database topologies

Figure 3 Supported database topologies for Retail POS registers

NoteNote

Synch Service and Real-time Service have been omitted from Figure 3, because they are not affected.

The following figures illustrate typical deployment topologies for an online store system in AX 2012 R2 and AX 2012 Feature Pack.

In Figure 4, each component is hosted on a dedicated physical computer or virtual machine. Components that support multiple instances, such as AOS, Synch Service, and online store sites, could be installed on additional computers for load balancing.

Retail topology that includes the online store

Figure 4 Hosting of Retail online store components on dedicated computers

In Figure 5, Synch Service, Real-time Service, and Enterprise Portal have been combined on a single computer. A midsize retailer might want to consolidate these services on one computer or run them on virtual machines on a single physical server.

Retail online store topology with shared servers

Figure 5 Shared hosting of online store components


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