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Turn to Proven Technology to Keep Pace with the World

Everything is moving to cloud. So is your ERP. And that is big news even for your on-premise deployments.

Introduction

For some time now, we have carried out most of our daily tasks in a web browser. The web browser is the first application that opens on your computer when you wake it up. E-mail, document editors and even simple drawing tools are available through a web browser. 

So why not an ERP system? 

Well, ERP is not a trivial piece of software. It needs large volumes of data and fast servers to provide a seamless user experience. Then again, Facebook, Google, online portals... Don’t they all need such resources? If they can work in a web browser, an ERP system should as well. 

These days, web servers are extremely reliable compared to standard server applications. Scalability, load balancing, and replication are already implemented. So, can we mix proven technologies and use them to deliver an improved ERP experience? Yes, we can.

Architecture

Compared to the previous AX release, Microsoft retained the three-tier architecture but almost everything else has changed. The server moved from a separate Windows service to IIS to take advantage of the manageability and scalability features. The front-end was changed from a complex Windows desktop application to a web application accessible through a browser on any computer. This is actually the most recognizable and praised feature from a user’s point of view. 

There is no need to install anything, no need for administrators to work on user computers and the entire ERP is accessible over the internet.


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Cloud Architecture


Up until Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, the development was carried out in the rich client and installations did not need a connection to LCS – although it was possible. With Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, development has moved to Visual Studio, the code is stored in Visual Studio Team Services and LCS is much more central. 

Compared to the experience of developing in an ERP rich client, this improvement is every developer’s dream.

Cloud vs On-Premise

Microsoft offers two deployment options (and rumors are that there could be one more as a hybrid of the current two). 

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Deployment options

The cloud option is the best one, of course. Although it is a bit pricier, especially in the long run, it offers tremendous flexibility and data security and - best of all – it doesn’t require any administration. You don’t have to worry if disks are OK or where and when will the system replicate in the event of a failure since high availability and disaster recovery are included as a standard option. Of course, you will not be entirely free of maintenance. 

However, there is much less work than required by the standard scenario – our servers on our premises with our system administrators.

Upgrade your installation

All these changes in the new version clearly show that the upgrade process is not as simple as 1-2-3. It involves connecting to an LCS environment, running various analyses, deploying a demonstration environment, preparing a project plan, upgrading models, writing new code, upgrading data, and testing and testing and testing. Luckily, LCS will follow you in that process.

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Installation upgrade

Short history

Back in 1998, an ERP called IBM Axapta was born as the result of a collaboration between IBM and Damgaard Data. Later, IBM left the partnership and Daamgard merged with Navision Software A/S. In 2002 Microsoft acquired the combined company. All changes in ownership and versions pushed Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations further in the direction of an ERP product that is comparable to SAP or Oracle ERP solutions.

Resources

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/unified-operations/fin-and-ops/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Dynamics_AX
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Dynamics_365_for_Finance_and_Operations

Find out more about the Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations ERP solution or contact us for more information on how to move your business to the cloud.

Ivan Kaselj

Head of Dynamics AX Department, Adacta Zagreb

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