Recently I have been diving into more and more of the Lifecycle Services offering that is offered by Microsoft to help with managing our Dynamics AX projects, and during the process created a simple guide to show you most of the features that are available within it, and also how you can use this to help with your own projects. This weekend I finished up the guide and published it to Amazon for those that may be interested. Here is the link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1500589756/
If you want to get a quick overview of the content then here is a quick summary of the chapters and the content.
Lifecycle Services is a new offering from Microsoft that changes everything related to the lifecycle of the Dynamics AX projects – allowing you to track and manage not only the Implementation phase of the Dynamics AX projects, but also manage the Pre-Sales phase as well, incorporating in the prospects into the project.
Because this is a cloud based service, there is no additional software that needs to be loaded in order to give prospects and customers access to all of the information that is available through this service, and also this is a tool that is available for any Customer and Partner that is registered with Microsoft for free making it impossible not to use.
When you roll in the ability to upload Business Process Flow recordings directly from Task Recordings, the ability to have Issue and Customization tracking on-line, and even link with Azure to create test and sandbox environments on the fly with no additional hardware investments, this is an extremely powerful set of tools to take advantage of.
Although we won’t be able to show all of the bells and whistles available within this product (because it is literally being enhanced daily) hopefully this book will give you all an idea of the features and functions and also show you how easy it is to use within your own project.
ACCESSING LIFECYCLE SERVICES
The very first step in using Lifecycle Services is to get access to it. In this chapter we will show you how simple this is to do.
- Logging Into Lifecycle Services
CONFIGURING LIFECYCLE SERVICES PROJECTS
The whole idea of Lifecycle Services is to manage your Dynamics AX Projects, so in this chapter we will show you how to create and configure your Projects.
- Creating a New Project
- Adding Members to the Project Team
- Creating Additional Project Roles
CREATING BUSINESS PROCESS MODELS
The Task Recorder has always been a useful tool within Dynamics AX, but with the release of Lifecycle Services, it has been upgraded to become even more useful. Now the Task Recorder includes the ability to group your recordings into separate frameworks for different purposes, and also allows you to create a hierarchy structure that you can use to organize your tasks and recordings.
In addition to being able to export your task recordings out to Word etc. for off-line documentation, it also allows you to package up all of the business process structures and import them into Lifecycle Services to use them for managing your project and also collaborating with customers and partners. All of the task recordings are converted to process flow charts within Lifecycle Services to that you can adjust the standard business processes to match your requirements, and also all of the task recordings are viewable as live videos making them a centralized documentation tool for all the key business areas during and after the implementation.
- Accessing The Task Recorder
- Configuring a New Task Recorder Framework
- Defining Industry Codes
- Defining Hierarchy Levels for Your Framework
- Building Your Business Process Framework Structure
- Creating a Business Process Import Template
- Importing a Business Process Framework from a Template
- Configuring The Task Recorder Recording Parameters
- Recording A Task For a Business Process Element
- Printing Out The Task Recording Documentation
- Customizing The Task Recorder Word Template
- Creating A Data Entry Template From A Task Recording
- Accessing Task Recording Video
- Building an Lifecycle Services import Package
- Importing the Business Process Package into a Lifecycle Services Project
- Importing Business Process Flows From Other Libraries
ESTIMATING INFRASTRUCTURE REQUIRMENTS THROUGH LIFECYCLE SERVICES
One of the struggles within a Dynamics AX project has always been how many users do you need (and what types of users) and also how much hardware do we need to run the system. In the past it may have seemed like a little bit of Voodoo was used to calculate this information, but now with Lifecycle Services, you have the tools built in that will help you with all of these processes automatically with no black magic involved.
- Estimating the User Licenses Using The License Estimator
- Adding New Departments To The Licensing Estimator
- Adding Custom Roles To The Licensing Estimator
- Estimating Hardware Requirements Using The Lifecycle Services Usage Profiler
TRACKING PROJECT DETAILS THROUGH LIFECYCLE SERVICES
One of the reasons why Lifecycle Services is so important is that it gives you one place to manage all to the activities associated with the implementation and care of the Dynamics AX projects and implementations. One important piece of this is the project management aspect, and there are a number of tools that are available in the service that help you with this as well.
- Modifying Business Process Flows And Creating Gap Lists
- Adding Work Estimates to Business Process Flow Steps
- Creating Business Process Documentation From Process Flows
- Tracking Issues against the Project
- Tracking Customizations
- Attach OneDrive Documents To Business Process Models Within Lifecycle Services
DEPLOYING DYNAMICS AX TEST SYSTEMS THROUGH AZURE
Azure is a great place to host your Dynamics AX environment, because it means that you don’t have to invest in any hardware, servers, or high powered computers to run the test system. If you play your cards right, it may not even cost you a cent…
To make this even easier, Lifecycle Services offers a Cloud Hosted Environment tool that will create a Dynamics AX environment for you that is hosted through the Azure services within a couple of minutes – give and take 30 for the machine to be deployed. This is a great way to create a test system without requiring any investment in hardware, or software.
- Signing Up For An Azure Account
- Creating A Dynamics AX Instance On Azure Through Lifecycle Services
You can find more information on this book on the Dynamics AX Companions website: