Business Integration Solutions: 3 Version Management Scenarios

Dec 11, 2013 5:00:00 AM

There are many good reasons to practice diligent version management in Microsoft Dynamics AX environments. For example, you may want to share the same project content among several Microsoft Dynamics AX environments. Version management can ensure that all of them are using the same project definition, thereby avoiding confusion about the latest version. Or, you may want to implement a secure backup mechanism for project content without losing the setup. By using the capabilities of To-Increase Connectivity Studio and other Business Integration Solutions, you can easily and reliably practice version management in three common scenarios that call for it.

3 common usage scenarios where version management can help with Business Integration Solutions

  • Project changes: A modification of a project component takes place in one of your environments. You need to save the change and implement it in all other environments. Currently, that means the project needs to be exported and manually imported into the other environments. There should be something like a logging function to identify the last backup. Changes could be lost in a mix-up when several backups exist.
  • Issue resolution: During testing, you find and resolve an issue in one of the messages. This fix should also go to the other environments. Now you have to export the project and import it into the development environment. It is easy to confuse several backups during this process.
  • Updates in test environments: You are working in a preproduction test environment. Those environments are updated frequently. Each update will change the project content. Each person working in the test environment has to remember to perform project backups. Resetting means that users have to know which backup is the latest version. If nobody backs up a project when project content changes, many hours of work may be lost.

How version management in Business Integration Solutions works

In Business Integration Solutions, version management takes place at the level of a project. It includes all project details and components, including migrations, messages, documents, connectors, type conversion, and transformations. Now you can easily apply version management to a complete project.

This version management feature makes it safe to save and restore project data. In all three scenarios we mentioned, you can easily save the project data in a shared folder. The versions are the same for all linked environments. You can efficiently save and restore them into these environments. In addition, the solutions protect projects against unintentional changes, because checked-in projects prevent such changes.

In the first two scenarios, version management keeps the environments current. Whenever a modification is needed, just check the project out. Modify the project components and then check it in again. To keep the other environments up-to-date, use the option Get latest.

In the third scenario, make sure to have the project checked in just before you update the environment with a new database. Following the update, you can restore the project with the Get latest function. Now you can trust your setup, because you always have the latest version.

Activating version management

To activate version management, go to ‘Setup/Business integration parameters’ in the setup tab.

Enable version management and fill in the share version path. This must be a shared folder which can be accessed by all other Microsoft Dynamics AX users.

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How to use version management

If version management is activated, the version management options in the project forms will be enabled.

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The four options are:

1. Add to – This will apply version management to a project.

2. Check in – Use this option to check in project changes. This action saves the current project version in the share folder. Once the project is checked in, it is not possible to change any of the project components.

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3. Check out – Use this to check a project out of version management. After this step, you can change project components. Users in any other environment cannot check this project out.

4. Get latest – This function brings up the latest version of a project. It overwrites the complete project and also overrides any check-outs.

Adding a version-controlled project

Whenever you develop a new project and have to transfer it to another environment (for example, a test environment), current practice is to export the project and import it into the other environment. When you use version management, you can instead simply load the latest version of the new project.

The menu tab includes an item for version management. This form allows you to import new projects into the Microsoft Dynamics AX environment or to load a previous version of a project. The form shows the current available projects present in the shared folder.

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Get latest imports and overwrites the current version.

Restore version lets you select a previous version.

I hope you find the version management capability in the Business Integration Solutions helpful. Please share your feedback and questions. You can send me email at pdjong@to-increase.com, or connect with me on LinkedIn.

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