Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Dynamics ERP RapidStart Service not starting. Service on Local Computer started and then stopped

UPDATE 4/28/2015: The RapidStart Connector service on Lifecycle Services (LCS) is down. No ETA of when it will be back up. Check out the Lifecycle Services - Configuration Manager (BETA). It's in Beta as of this writing but may achieve what you want. 
When configuring the Microsoft Dynamics ERP RapidStart Connector to use with Dynamics AX, you may encounter not being able to start the service.

It might be an easy fix and just a missing step in the configuration. The base demo machine needs the step below to work in the one I loaded. Figured I'd share my solution since I didn't see anything about it on the first page of searching for the Event Viewer error.

I later found this link which describes the process:  I didn't see this until after the problem was solved and this post was written since I was going based on the errors in an environment where the connector was already installed. But it is definitely a step in the process.

You may see the error in Figure 1 below which says: "The Microsoft Dynamics ERP RapidStart Connector service on Local Computer started and then stopped. Some services stop automatically if they are not in use by other services or programs" This is a common error which can mean a number of things so we need to look at the Event Viewer for more information.

Figure 1 - the Microsoft Dynamics ERP RapidStart Connector not starting

I went to the Event Viewer and found the error below (also picture in Figure 2)
Service cannot be started. System.ArgumentException: Only an absolute Uri can be used as a base address.
Parameter name: item
   at System.ServiceModel.UriSchemeKeyedCollection.ValidateBaseAddress(Uri uri, String argumentName)
   at System.ServiceModel.UriSchemeKeyedCollection.InsertItem(Int32 index, Uri item)
   at System.Collections.Generic.SynchronizedCollection`1.Add(T item)
   at System.ServiceModel.UriSchemeKeyedCollection..ctor(Uri[] addresses)
   at System.ServiceModel.ServiceHost..ctor(Type serviceType, Uri[] baseAddresses)
   at Microsoft.Dynamics.AX.AppConfig.ConnectorLoaderService.AppConfigConnectorServiceWorker.OnStart(String[] args)
   at System.ServiceProcess.ServiceBase.ServiceQueuedMainCallback(Object state)

Figure 2 - The error in the Event Viewer

Navigate to the 'Microsoft Dynamics ERP RapidStart Connector Settings' application. In my instance, I was missing the 'Dynamics AX Service Host' variable (Figure 3 below). There is also no 'Activation ID' which is required.

Figure 3 - The Microsoft Dynamics ERP RapidStart Connector Settings form

Enter the name of the server of the AOS that will be connecting to the RapidStart service, then click 'Activate' (Figure 4).

Figure 4 - Adding the Dynamics AX Service Host as AOS name and Activating

Once the process is completed activating, you'll get the Activation ID (Figure 5). The Connector Settings application will still say 'Service Stopped' until you click 'OK' on the info log that pops up.

Figure 5 - Activation successful and Activation ID attained

Then, when you click 'Ok', The Connector Settings screen will say 'Service Starting'. Then wait for the connector to say 'Service Started' (Figure 6). At that point, you're all set!

Figure 6 - The Dynamics ERP RapidStart Connector started successfully

At this point, click the 'Activation URL' that appears once the connector is completed. This will open Lifecycle services (LCS). From here, I encountered other issues but will blog about those in another post. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

When does my Dynamics AX version support expire? Microsoft Dynamics AX Version Support Explained

Often people will ask 'When will my Dynamics AX version no longer be supported?' This basically means, when will I be forced to upgrade or face the situation where we're 'on our own' in regards to fixing issues, security, and hotfix-able bugs.

As of 3/28/2015, there are four types of  'End Dates' when looking at the support information: 'Regular Support', 'Mainstream Support', 'Extended Support', and 'Self-help online support'.

For Regular Support, Microsoft will offer a minimum of 10 years of support for Business, Developer, and Desktop Operating System (consumer or business) Software Products. Mainstream Support for Business, Developer, and Desktop Operating Systems will be provided for 5 years or for 2 years after the successor product (N+1) is released, whichever is longer. Extended Support will exist for the 5 years following Mainstream support or for 2 years after the second successor product (N+2) is released, whichever is longer.

Extended Support is not offered for Customer software and Multimedia products with the exception of Windows Desktop Operating system which follows the Business, Developer, and Desktop Operating System Software Products policy as outlined above.

There are 6 columns that are used in determining the support information:
  1. Products Released (Figure 1)
    1. The Dynamics AX product version (overall version [3.0, 4.0, 2009, 2012] and sub-release [SPX = Service Pack 'X', RX = Release 'X'])
  2. Lifecycle Start Date (Figure 1)
    1. When the product is officially released. This is also called being "GA'ed" or General Availability-ed.
    2. Also known as when customers who aren't a part of the Microsoft 'TAP' program are able to buy and start implementing the version
  3. Mainstream Support End Date (Figure 1/2)
    1. When in mainstream support, requests to change product designs and features are considered and implemented up until this date.
    2. Security updates are applied
    3. Hardware warranty claims are honored
  4. Extended Support End Date (Figure 1/2)
    1. Product design and feature requests are no longer considered in the current release
    2. Non-security update support requests are only considered through Microsoft Premier Support
    3. Complimentary Support will not be honored except through exception
  5. Service Pack Support End Date (Figure 1)
    1. When the service packs are no longer supported
  6. Notes (Figure 1)
    1. Important information in regards to the product release.
    2. I normally skip the 'notes' sections of stuff but I'd highly recommend reading this part...
    3. If Microsoft determines they need to clarification for the above 5 points, like an extension or something, the explanation will be displayed in here
I  hope this sheds a bit of light on this common question. Just make sure to keep checking Microsoft's site to make sure you have the updated information. The information below is from a point in time and will not be updated when changes are available.
Figure 1 - Current support for Dynamics AX as of 3/28/2015. This may change so check for most recent updates:!!!
Figure 2 - Features of the various types of support