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Data Partitioning with AX2012 R2

A brand new feature in AX 2012R2; this functionality is used to achieve data isolation across businesses. In AX2012 there are several data articles that are shared between legal entities like -the party, products, locations, exchange rates, Chart of accounts etc. along with certain processes like Procurement and Centralised Payments. 

Data Partitioning

The diagram above shows how a typical AX2012 layout looks.  – with the first layer you have the Metadata and the application code which is shared across, next there is the shared system data and then finally,  the shared application data across companies.

There are various challenges that come with data sharing. For example, in case the company does not want shared processes and shared services like procurement then the best approach that one needs to take is data. The Conventional approach in AX2012 is to have separate AX instances. However, this leads to additional overheads to manage the system administration.

The example mentioned below is a representation of how data partitioning works -

Microsoft Dynamics AX Data Partitioning

Few important points to be noted for partitions:

1. We still have the metadata, application code and the system data shared across the legal entities, but we have the Application data specific to the partitions. So this means any customisations that have been done is applicable across partitions, you cannot have partition specific customisations, same application code runs across all partitions.

2. License and configuration keys are the same across partitions, so if you enable and disable specific configuration keys it is applicable across partitions.

3. A default partition named ‘Initial’ is always created per AX Instance.

4. DAT Company exists in every partition and gets automatically created when a new partition is created.

5. A company with the same name can exist in multiple partitions.

6. Within the partition an AD User or Principal can be associated.

7. Each user has a default partition associated with them.

8. Only the System Administrator can create a partition, whichever system user creates a partition, that user by default becomes ADMIN user for that particular partition.

9. AX user ID’s (other than Admin and Guest) are unique across partitions.

10. User to role are per partition For example  - if AD user 1 is been assigned as purchase manager he will be designated the  same across partitions.

11. Intercompany transaction between the partitions cannot be done and these need to be integrated if this needs to be done between partitions.

Partition Creation and initialisation:

How  to  create partitions?  

System administration>Setup >Partitions,  as soon as you create a new partition you need to logon to that partition by changing the client configuration and giving the specific partition name in the Partition field.

Once you logon to the new partition the Partition initialisation checklist will come in from which you can create new company accounts and imported needed data and system setups.

Framework and Data Partitions:

Batch Framework- this is shared across partitions, they are associated with a partition, and they can process jobs for all partitions.

AIF- these are managed centrally, the ports can be restricted to single partition, service definitions are shared across partitions.

EP- EP site is shared across all partitions, the users default partition is chosen to log into.

Workflow – Workflow metadata is shared across partitions, workflows are saved within Partitions, and Workflow batch job should be configured per Partition.

Upgrade from AX4, AX2009 and AX2012R1 to AX2012.

During the upgrade the user should be able to decide the companies that need the data sharing and the companies that do not fall under this data sharing. Based on this segregation, data can be upgraded to specific partitions. The partitions support flexibility to map the existing company to same or different partitions.

About the Author

Rohan Wilson Lobo

With 13 years of experience in ERP, specialising in AX functionality across versions , Solution designing ,Project Management and delivery.

Rohan also has special interests in reading about new business processes and features along with understanding their viability. He also enjoys spreading this message across through his blogs.

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