What's New: Installation [AX 2012]
Updated: February 1, 2013
Applies To: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2, Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Feature Pack, Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012
Several enhancements have been made to the installation process in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012.
In the Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Setup wizard, the following general improvements make the installation process easier and more intuitive:
Wizard pages are redesigned. The Setup wizard has a new appearance that is designed to be easy to use and consistent with other Windows installers.
Progress indicators are improved. The Setup wizard provides more detailed feedback than in previous releases. While components are being installed, you can see what has been successfully completed, what is in progress, and what remains to be completed.
Only one run of Setup is required. In previous releases of Microsoft Dynamics AX, you had to run the Initialization Checklist after you installed the basic Microsoft Dynamics AX components, which include Application Object Server (AOS), the database, application files, and the client. Most components, such as Enterprise Portal for Microsoft Dynamics AX and reporting extensions, could not be installed until the checklist was completed. As a result, you had to run Setup multiple times to complete an installation. In Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, the Initialization Checklist is no longer part of the installation process, so you can install all components without completing the checklist.
Post-installation configuration steps are provided. In Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, instructions for post-installation configuration are integrated into the Setup wizard. After a component is installed, the Setup summary report displays the next steps that are required to complete the deployment. In previous releases, this information was provided only in the Installation Guide.
Kerberos authentication is no longer required. In previous releases of Microsoft Dynamics AX, you had to configure Kerberos authentication when Enterprise Portal was installed on a server other than the server that was running Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services or Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services. In Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, Kerberos authentication is not required.
Microsoft Dynamics AX depends on multiple underlying technologies. In previous releases, Setup verified that these technologies were installed and configured correctly at various stages of the installation process. In Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, validation of prerequisites has been improved in the following ways:
A stand-alone utility validates prerequisites. Before you install Microsoft Dynamics AX, you can run a stand-alone utility to identify the prerequisites that are required for the Microsoft Dynamics AX components that you select. The utility can also install and configure some prerequisites for you.
Prerequisite verification is consolidated. All validation of prerequisites and configurations occurs at the same time. Therefore, you can resolve all issues that involve prerequisites at the same time, and then move on to installation.
In previous releases, the .msi, or installer file, for the client also contained other components. Therefore, it was difficult to deploy many clients by using mass deployment technologies, such as Systems Management Server or Group Policy. In Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, the client components are contained in a separate .msi file. A separate client installer provides more options for mass deployment of clients.
In addition, you can now use Setup to configure all clients so that they use a shared configuration file. In previous releases, the administrator had to configure clients individually.
In previous releases, you could install service packs and updates only after the Microsoft Dynamics AX installation was completed. Therefore, depending on the number of updates that were available, you had to run several installation wizards to complete the deployment. In Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, service packs and quarterly roll-up updates can be integrated into the Microsoft Dynamics AX installation. This kind of installation is known as a "slipstreamed" installation. If updates are available when you deploy Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, you can download them to the location of the installation source. When you run Setup from the updated installation source, all updates are applied automatically.
In Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, troubleshooting an installation is easier because log files and reports are easier to find. Because log files and reports are saved to a single location, you do not have to search in multiple locations. In addition, the new Setup summary report lists the components that you installed, their installation status, and the next steps, if additional steps are required. You can access the Setup log files and reports from links in the Setup wizard, or locate the SetupLogs folder in the folder where you installed Microsoft Dynamics AX.
In previous releases of Microsoft Dynamics AX, the Setup application and its related files existed only on the DVD and could not be patched through standard hotfixes or service packs. To modify Setup files, you had to perform manual workarounds. In Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, the Setup application and its files are installed on the computer as the first step in the installation process. Because the files are installed on the computer, service packs and hotfixes can be applied to the Setup files, just as they can be applied to any other Microsoft Dynamics AX file. When Setup starts, it verifies whether you have downloaded the recent version of the files. If a more recent version is available, Setup installs it.
In Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, you can select the Single-computer installation option to install a complete Microsoft Dynamics AX system on a single computer. You can then use the computer for testing, demonstration, or development. This option installs the database, AOS, client components, business intelligence components, Enterprise Portal, the Help server, and the developer components in a single run of Setup. Setup uses default values for all components and does not prompt you for additional input.
This feature is available only if Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2 is installed.
The model store is the part of the Microsoft Dynamics AX database in which all application elements for Microsoft Dynamics AX are stored. Customizations are also stored in the model store. In previous releases, the model store and the business data were contained in a single database. Beginning with Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2, separate databases are created for the model store and the business data. Having separate databases enables you to back up and restore the databases independently of one another. In this configuration, restoring a backup of the model store will not affect your business data.
For more information about the model store, see Models, Layers, and the Model Store.