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Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Trace Parser

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Trace Parser is a wonderful tool which can help you in identifying fairly good amount of performance problems within your installations. I would say if you have customizations you should know how to use this tool J.

So what is Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Trace Parser??

Trace Parser provides user interfaces to import, process and render ETW tracing events that produced by Microsoft Dynamics AX. User can then analyze tracing events to identify performance bottlenecks such as long-running X++ methods, slow SQL queries and frequently called RPCs. Features in Trace Parser help users determine the root causes of performance problems.

Isn’t that bit interesting.. J.

So how do we install and setup trace parser

Bit of things which we need to note when we do this install

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 setup program provides Trace parser as an install. Note that Trace Parser requires .Net Business Connector. In order to run Trace Parser, you also

need access to a SQL Server 2008 instance (Enterprise or Developer edition) with admin permission. Using a local SQL server instance is recommended. You don’t need to use the same SQL instance where the AX DB is installed.

It is quite boring to explain the installation process of any utility so try it yourself and let us know if you have any issues.

So how does it work???

It can be used for collecting and analyzing traces as below.



Start Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 client and switch to Development Workspace. Open the Tracing cockpit (in the Tools menu) form:

By default, the “Bind Parameters” and “Xpp Parameters Info” events are unchecked. This is to avoid capturing confidential information which could be exposed through the parameters of X++ methods and SQL queries. Appreciate if you have a prior approval from client when you do this.

To collect trace:

  • Click “Start trace”, specify a trace file name. Event tracing is now enabled in AX.
  • “Replay” the scenario that you are investigating in AX client. Once done, click the “Stop trace” button in Tracing Cockpit a trace file is now created.
  • You may now click the “Open trace” button to launch a new Trace Parser instance and imports the trace automatically

Please keep in mind when you do a Trace collection:

Keep the trace scenarios as short as possible to ensure that traces are much appropriate.

If possible, collect traces on a machine that runs AOS because traces collected on such machine contain tracing events from both server and client sessions. A helpful feature in Trace Parser

You can import the trace parser results what you had collected from your client as below


 Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Trace Parser

The overview gives users quick ideas about the “hot spots” in the trace by showing the top-most expensive X++ method calls and SQL statements across all sessions.

About the Author

Anish Abslom

Anish Abslom

Anish is best described as a dedicated Dynamics student and an Microsoft Dynamics evangelist with more than 10 years of Architectural experience in various Microsoft product development platforms. He is always fascinated and hooked to anything that involves technical/process developments which can enhance operational/business opportunity for organisations. His current areas of interest are ERP, product consulting, object oriented development and design patterns.

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