Thursday, 23 August 2007

V4 Service pack 2

Just installed this on one of my installations and found much to my consternation that MS has continued to rename tables.

Even in Service Packs !

The Country as it was in V4 and SP1 is now AddressCountryRegion which is consistent with the rest however .....

Anyhow enough said I have not found any others, so far.


Palle commented that as far as he knew the Country had been renamed in V4, and he is right, what happened is that the upgrade process from V3 allowed the object to retain it's old name all the way through to SP2 but no further.

So what I thought was an SP2 issue was in fact an issue related to the upgrade process.

Sunday, 12 August 2007

Support Policy bugbear

Was just going through Customersource recently and found an article deatiling the new MS support policy for Ax V3 etc. I found it rather disconcerting, it seems the time frame given to support is now around 17-19 months, from official release of the previous SP.

Version Release date Support ends
Microsoft Dynamics AX 3.0 SP4 May 17th, 2005 April 10th, 2007
Microsoft Dynamics AX 3.0 SP5 February 28th, 2006 July 8th, 2008
Microsoft Dynamics AX 3.0 SP6 May 1st, 2007 January 13th, 2009

Rule is :

(Subsequent SP Release Date + 1 Year + 2nd Tuesday at start of next new quarter)

The issue is the time it takes for the customers to actually upgrade their versions is much longer than the interval between SP's and the issues caused by implementing the SP's sometimes outweigh the advantages gained. Especially as the SP's do not only contain corrections but also slip stream functionality releases, of course this is not the intention however MS should recognize reality in this regard.

The rule previously was that MS supported the versions 5 years from release date of the last SP. The latest policy change is obviously intended to incite customers to expedite their updates from V2.5, 3.0 to V4.

Unfortunately from my experience this process is far from being a shoo-in or in other words simple task, and will require the expenditure of a significant amount of time to effect for each of the companies that envisage this upgrade.

As the V4 upgrade did not contain a large number of functional changes, many customers will probably choose to wait for V4.1 or 4.5 now renamed V5.0 to do their upgrades as this is supposed to be the one containing a large number of functionality extensions.

In other words

V4 = Technical oriented upgrade ( new enforced AOS, AOT additions )

V5 = Functional oriented upgrade ( no new tech but lots of functionality (promised) )

V5 I have just been told may be delayed to sometime end 2008, probably even 2009.

Now many customers will be in a bind, pay the consultancy costs of doing an upgrade from V3 to V4 with no business justification based on features or wait for V5, but as a consequence live for som time outside of the support conditions recently imposed by Microsoft.

I believe it would be beneficial for MS to provide support for a longer period of time of the previous versions and service packs what do you think :-)