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Process for installing updates [AX 2012]

Updated: June 13, 2012

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

This topic describes an overall process that you can use to install updates and hotfixes.

It is important that day-to-day operation of your business be disrupted as little as possible when you install hotfixes. We recommend that you become familiar with the Microsoft Service Management Functions Operations Framework Guide. This guide contains information about how to define processes, establish best practices, and manage IT solutions.

Each hotfix is created to address a specific issue, problem, or customer scenario. Hotfixes are distributed only to those customers, partners, and organizations that Microsoft technical support personnel determine can benefit from the changes that are made to the code. Each hotfix includes documentation that indicates what files, tables, code, or functions are changed by the hotfix.

Before you install a hotfix, review the knowledge base (KB) article that is released together with the hotfix. The KB article helps you determine whether the hotfix applies to your environment, and how the hotfix affects your environment.

NoteNote

If you customized your environment before you received a hotfix, thoroughly review the KB article that describes the hotfix. Investigate any objects that are affected by the hotfix to determine whether the changes that are implemented by the hotfix should be merged with customizations in a higher layer, such as BUS, VAR, USR, or CUS.

If the hotfix affects the database, create a full database backup before you apply the hotfix. For more information, see Back up and recover databases.

After you have decided to install a hotfix, we recommend that you install the hotfix in a test or backup environment. Then validate the hotfix against the implementation, customizations, data, and processes that are currently used in your organization.

Because of the unique architecture of Microsoft Dynamics AX implementations, many issues can be encountered when you install a small code fix or change. We recommend that you test all business scenarios and customizations to verify that the hotfix is behaving as expected, that the hotfix is not affecting other areas, and that the resulting data is correct.

After the hotfix has been tested, you can roll the code changes forward to the production environment. Use the methodology that is described in Deploying Customizations Across Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Environments (White paper) and How to: Export and Import a Model Store. By exporting and importing the model store, you can avoid having to compile code in the production environment.

To install a hotfix, follow the instructions in the associated KB article, and in the articles in the Installing updates and hotfixes section of TechNet. Additionally, make sure that business processes or operations can be restored to their original state if problems occur during or after installation.

  • Back up the database that is being updated. By backing up the database, you can roll back to a known, reliable version if you have to. In this manner, you can reduce downtime if an unexpected error occurs.

  • Schedule a time when the fewest system users, or no users, are affected. As a best practice, announce the time of the update in advance, to make sure that users are aware of the pending update and the expected downtime. By notifying all users of the time of the update, you can minimize data loss, data corruption, and loss of productivity.

  • Make sure that the system runs in single-user mode while the hotfix is installed, and that only the administrator is designated to perform the update. Because changes to the code can affect Application Object Server (AOS), the changes can affect users who are currently on the system.

    Caution noteCaution

    Changes to the application may require a compilation or synchronization of the application. These operations increase downtime.

After the hotfix has been successfully installed, check the install log to make sure that there are no error messages and warnings that can affect the operation of the system. Test the system for the following conditions:

  • The change that was implemented by the hotfix is working as expected.

  • The change has not affected other areas of the system.

  • The Microsoft Dynamics AX application as a whole is working as expected.

If errors or issues occur during or after installation of a hotfix, the hotfix must be uninstalled, and the system must be rolled back. Follow these steps to restore your system to the last known, reliable version:

  1. If the hotfix installed any binary files, uninstall the hotfix by using the Add or Remove Programs item in Control Panel.

  2. Restore the application directory and database backups.

  3. Synchronize the application with the database, if synchronization is required, to return the implementation to pre-update conditions.

  4. Optional: If you require help troubleshooting the installation errors or issues, open a support request by contacting your partner or value added reseller (VAR). Alternatively, if you are enrolled in a support plan directly with Microsoft, you can log on to CustomerSource and submit a new support request.

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