Saturday, November 9, 2013

You got to love AXBuild Compiler Tool

Initial testing of AXBuild 

I finally got around to play with the new compiler tool for Dynamics AX 2012 R2 and it really is a game changer. My first attempt of compiling a fresh install of AX2012 R2 with CU7 took a little less than one hour. This was tested on a virtual server with enough RAM and just two logical (virtual) 3.6Ghz processors. Not the result I expected, so I went back to the host system and changed Power Options from Balanced to High and added one more logical processor. The tool will take number of processors, multiply by 3 and divide by 2 to give a count of "workers". Max number of workers are 32, in case you try to run this on a system with more than 21 processors. Lol.

Second attempt now took half an hour, which is good, but not quick enough. Apparently I wasn't completely alone on the system, so after kicking out other variables (aka. colleagues) I was down to around 16 minutes for a full compile. Now this is having the databases hosted on another virtual server, so there are some speed lost in chit-chat, but I am thrilled.

Testing backward compatibility

The next thing I wanted to check was whether or not I could actually (ab)use this new compiler methodology to compile older R2 modelstores, like CU6. Surely a bit far-fetched, and perhaps not really supported, but why not give it a go.

I ran the command line utility and threw in a parameter pointing to a CU6 modelstore. The tool started compiling, but it compiled against the CU7 modelstore and not the one I pointed at. So the tool will take the AOS configuration and compile against the modelstore database defined on the AOS configuration. Not really what I aimed for.

I then tested compiling a CU6 modelstore with a CU7 AOS and I got the same result as described here.
I already had a CU6 AOS prepared for testing if I could start this AOS against a CU7 compiled modelstore, but it fails with the following error:

Object Server 01:  Fatal SQL condition during login. Error message: "The internal time zone version number stored in the database is higher than the version supported by the kernel (5/4). Use a newer Microsoft Dynamics AX kernel."

Upgrade kernels!

I mean, the kernel should be backwards compatible, so having CU7 kernel for client and service running against an older application version of R2 is supported, so the lesson learned is to upgrade kernel binaries to CU7 and enjoy a new and improved compiler tool!

If you run axupdate.exe you have the option to only upgrade the services and client components:

Well served by Microsoft on this one!