Thursday, November 1, 2018

Upgrade from 7.x to 8.+ series | Post 1 | Start in LCS


[EDIT]: Changes since November 2018 has forced me to made some changes to these series. I will point out the changes.

In these series of posts. I will try to run you through the process of how you can complete the upgrade from 7.x to 8.+ of Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations.

Quick navigation:
Upgrade from 7.x to 8.+ series | Post 1 | Start in LCS (you are here)
Upgrade from 7.x to 8.+ series | Post 2 | Deploy Dev and Grab source DB
Upgrade from 7.x to 8.+ series | Post 3 | Validate Code and Data in Dev

The details for this upgrade is already very much detailed already on docs, so this article is just "another" way of taking you through the steps. I will focus on the simplest example possible. I know "your miles may vary" if you have a more complex environment you need to upgrade. Things like over-layered code, dependencies to other systems through integrations, or your solution has third party solutions added, which may not be ready for upgrade. But let's assume for the sake of simplicity that you're on 7.x without any over-layering and you want to get on version 8 with as little fuzz as possible.

In fact, if you do not have any over-layered code, and all extensions are compatible with 8+, this part will take less time than it will take you reading the post.

Code upgrade 

Before you begin the code upgrade, you need to make sure a "magic" file is created on your repository in Azure DevOps. The file is not created by any other process (I know of). The file holds the value of the version you are upgrading from, and it needs  to be named "ax7.version" and must sit in the Trunk/Main folder. There are a couple of ways to get the file created, but one very simple and pragmatic way is to simply create the file in the repository through the browser. Open the repository and navigate to Trunk/Main and create a new file directly.

You need to fill the file with the version number of your source. The version number can be found in docs, but allow me to list a few of them here:


In the example below I am upgrading from 7.3.

The file should be placed on the same level as the Metadata-folder.

When the file is created, you can go ahead and run the code upgrade in LCS.

The code upgrade tool does a couple of things. You will get some reports and information of what the process discovers of work to do, based off whatever you have in your Trunk/Main. But the important thing it does, is it will create a new folder in your repository, and this folder will contain the upgraded version of your code.
That is right; it copies whatever is in Trunk/Main, puts it into another folder, and does a couple of additional things, like removing all the hotfixes you may have previously added to Trunk/Main.
Why? Because you're going to a new version, and those old hotfixes either already exists in the target version, or you will need to reapply them using updates created specifically for the version you are going to. In fact, if you run the Code Upgrade process again and again and again, you will end up with as many copies as you run the tool. Don't worry, you're permitted to delete copies you do not want to keep.

Oh, and the copy (or copies) are also marked as a branch from Trunk/Main. You can see this of you check the folder Properties from either the Releases or from Trunk/Main.

Do you really need to run the code upgrade? Well, you could create a 8+ branch yourself and merge in the modules you're keeping to your 8+ branch, and then try build and resolve any issues. But consider that the code upgrade tool does that for you, gives you some details on what it finds. You don't have to do much beyond the steps out lined above. Time saved, and cost saved.

Actually, while LCS analyzes your code, you can start on the next step in the process, and I will talk about those in the next post.

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