Microsoft Dynamics Technical Conference, 2016 / Day 3 Session 3

My report from the technical conference.


For Day 3 session 3 I went to Better together: How Microsoft Dynamics AX leverages SQL Azure and the latest Microsoft data platform with Sunil Agarwal, Michael Gall, and Milinda Vitharana.


Lots of visuals today.



  • Topology in the cloud or on premise using SQL Server 2016
  • Dynamic scaling of server in the cloud
  • Multiple read-only databases to distribute the load
  • One database for OLTP and Analytics workloads
  • In-memory OLTP for highly performant operations
  • Dynamics AX Entity store and scenarios
  • Cortana Analytics suite integration

You can dial up or down the database to meet the load demand

No more cubes. Analytics are served by the real time database

Topology in cloud or on-premise


Dynamics AX platform


We’ll be talking about the data layer in the photo


SQL Server in Dynamics AX topologies


Back end is not SQL Server; it’s SQL Azure

Features released to the cloud before they are released to the box. Then customers test them then we send a high quality product to the box


Dynamic Scaling


SQL Database service tiers


Premium = Enterprise


Predictable performance


Microsoft scales up and down as needed; it is invisible to the user


Elastic database pools


Multiple read-only databases


Dynamics AX data

Primary to secondary in seconds

Secondary to entity store in minutes


Read only secondary (ROS) DB

  • Available in production environments
    • One or more ROS DBs provisioned based on volume and load
  • Selected workloads routed by AOS to ROS
    • Workload patterns determine whether they can be run on ROS. Developer doesn’t choose
  • Some (limited) configuration options
    • Ex: Tile cache can be optimized by administrator where required
  • Exact copy, seconds late…
    • Data in primary DB is reflected in secondary within seconds



Multiple Read-only Secondary Databases


Real-time operational



Minimizing data latency for analytics


Add challenge: Delivering Performant Analytics


Real-time analytics


NCCI is very efficient


Real-time analytics: Minimizing columnstore overhead


Demo: How AX leverages SQL Operational analytics

Index type can be index or columnstore


Future: Secure data on the move and at rest


Always encrypted

“like” is not available because similar strings encrypt differently

Temporal option available so you can restore from 5 or from 20 minutes ago

Future: in-memory OLTP




Hardware trends


In-memory OLTP – architectural pillars

Transform high level operations to C programs

30x performance improvement


SQL In-memory engine


How AX7 uses in-memory OLTP

In 2016 we allow 2TB for in memory

In the future: Dynamics AX entity store

  • Mark the table as Storage Mode = InMemory
  • Set Durability:
    • SchemaAndData: Data can be recreated after crash (from transaction log)
    • Schema: Data is lost after crash
  • System administrator has to accept the setup

IMG_2200 - Copy



Dynamics AX data


Entity store – key scenarios

  • High volume, near real-time Power BI reporting
    • De-normalized schema, CCI to enable faster query responses, incremental update from AX, direct Query Power BI models
  • Intelligent business processes with Cortana Analytics suite
    • Stage data for Azure Data Factory pipelines, Consume in Azure Machine Learning
  • IoT, external data integration
    • Staging in Azure Data Lake and Azure Data warehouse



Entity store – key tenants

  • Designed for analytical scenarios
  • Azure DB entity store included in AX license
  • AX manages deployment and refresh
  • Optionally, customer can stage data in Azure DB, DL and DW for read-write scenarios
  • Coming soon to AX2012 R3



There will be an entity store for AX 2012

Future: Cortana Analytics Suite Integration


From data to decisions and actions


Cortana Analytics Suite


From data to decisions and actions



Example: Integrating AX Retail with Azure ML Recommender


AX + CAS go-to market approaches


CAS = Cortana Analytics Services





Happy DAXing!


About janeteblake

Dynamics AX developer
This entry was posted in ax 7, AX7, Dynamics AX and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s