Microsoft Dynamics AX Azure: Enjoy the benefits of both platforms while reducing costs and complexity

Microsoft Dynamics ax is a cloud platform which has now been renewed as microsoft dynamics 365. This article will give you a comprehensive description of the features, services, language, and cost of both versions. 

What is Microsoft Dynamics AX and how does it work?

There had been many old versions of Microsoft dynamics ax such as 4.0 etc, however, the main version was released in 2012 and was supported in more than 30 countries, and was available in 25 languages.

Microsoft Dynamics ax is an enterprise resource planning (ERP) software created by Microsoft, for large and midsize businesses to help them plan, manage resources, and work effectively.

Dynamics ax revolves around different types of management such as; inventory management, service management, project management, financial management, and warehouse management.

How does Microsoft Dynamics AX compare to other cloud-based ERP solutions?

ERP systems have proved to be one factor that boosts business success by easing the process of operation management and providing flexibility. In the emerging era, all businesses seek AI tools or technology to make their business management more flawless and efficient. 

Hence, there are many ERP systems introduced other than dynamics ax and some are mentioned below:

  1. 1


    Being a project management ERP, this tool helps businesses to organize team activities, financial files, billing and sales, and professional services automation. It helps to track daily activities and productivity. 

  2. 2

    NETsuite ERP

    This platform has helped many businesses to cater to supply chain management, and project management including all sales forecasting, billing methods, order management, etc. 

  3. 3

    Oracle ERP Cloud

    This platform is similar to all other ERP systems, however, it has a unique selling point which is its adaptable pricing strategy. It offers this feature where you can pay for only the service you want to use.

  4. 4


    This German platform is known for its longevity and reliability, as it offers the best solutions regarding accounting and financial matters, along with other CRM features.

Users of every platform have different opinions, however, Microsoft dynamics ax has proven to be more user-friendly. Its simple and easy-to-use interface has been liked by customers more than any other platform.

Additionally, surveys have shown that users of SAP ERP need help finding the user interface. So conclusively, the User Interface of dynamics ax makes it more special than other ERP platforms. 

How to get started with Microsoft Dynamics AX, and what kind of support and training is available?

There are many steps to get started with Microsoft Dynamics AX, however, we will make your journey easier by giving you a simple and brief guide.

  1. 1

    Firstly, you need to acquaint yourself with the guidelines of this platform. You will need to understand the purpose and usage of the dynamics ax along with its new features.

  2. 2

    Plan with your teammates regarding what type of deployment will suit your business (cloud-based, hybrid, and on-premises).

  3. 3

    You must prepare the proper software and hardware arrangements to install and work with Microsoft Dynamics ax 2012.

  4. 4

    The installation process will be a crucial step, however, you can easily install the software by reading the guidelines given by Microsoft, which come in handy when you purchase the software.

  5. 5

    Subsequently, you will have to configure the system according to the needs of your business. Customization can help you achieve your desired aims more easily, and users will be able to work more fastly and efficiently.

  6. 6

    After the setup process, you will need to import all the necessary data into the software so that the dynamics ax 12 can run smoothly.

  7. 7

    Lastly, you must train all the users who will be operating the software and familiarize them with all the features and services.

Support and training have been accessible to all users of Microsoft dynamics ax 2012. There are different platforms but the best guidelines can be found on the official Microsoft website which offers all kinds of support and training. 

  • The official website is known as Learn Microsoft which helps you with all kinds of areas such as billing support, technical and community support, etc. Besides this, it provides guidance documents regarding how to get started, deployment, training, installation, and more.

  • Microsoft partner network; there is a panel of all the partners of Microsoft, who provide training and support regarding Microsoft dynamics ax 12. They have expertise in delivering training about customization, and other services.

  • On-site training; some of the partners to Microsoft dynamics ax 2012 offer on-site training which can be very useful for businesses with a large number of users.

  • Online courses and resources can also help you learn about dynamics ax 2012.

Steps on how to deploy and run Microsoft Dynamics AX on Azure?

This is one of the crucial parts of the integration, however, we have jotted down the main steps of how you can efficiently perform the deployment without any major inconvenience.

With the release of a cumulative update for dynamics ax 2012, AIF (application integration framework) can be set up to utilize the windows azure service bus for integrating with external applications. 

Simply put, you need to set up an azure service bus to integrate.

The service bus functions as an intermediary by forwarding messages to the virtual machine that is azure; however, in order to make this service available you will have to set up a service bus namespace and register it with AIF.

To configure an environment to deploy Microsoft Dynamics AX services to the Service Bus, you will need to follow these steps:

  1. 1

    Set up AD FS or request your ACS namespace added as a relying party application by the AD FS administrator.

  2. 2

    Get the thumbprint of the X.509 token signing certificate used as the digital signature by the Security Token Service (STS) on AD FS.

  3. 3

    Configure ACS with the necessary parameters, such as the relying party and identity provider information, along with rule groups containing a claim rule for the identity provider. 

  4. 4

    Establish trust relationships between Service Bus and AD FS, Microsoft Dynamics AX, and Service Bus by enabling authentication.

  5. 5

    Register the Service Bus namespace with AIF in Microsoft Dynamics AX and enter authentication parameters using the Microsoft Dynamics AX client.

  6. 6

    Create an enhanced integration port utilizing the Service Bus adapter.

  7. 7

    Once your Azure service bus is in operation, the integration will take place smoothly.

Most common use cases of the Microsoft Dynamics AX and Azure integration:

There are many ways in which your organization can use and benefit from this integration;

  • Prevents and handles disasters

    Azure Backup can help prevent and handle disasters occurring in the software, and help in recovering the damage.

  • Business process automation

    You can automate data entry, data validation, and much more with the help of azure functions or logic apps.

  • Planning and creation

    It can be used to visualize planning and create interactive reports and dashboards, which is a form of business intelligence.

  • Mobile integration

    Azure mobile apps and Microsoft PowerApps can be created to help employees track and handle matters from their mobile phones.

  • Link to other applications

    Other than mobile integration, it can be linked to other software and apps to exchange data and messages.

  • Supply chain management

     Dynamics ax can be integrated with Azure IoT to monitor supply-chain operations, and enable organizations to make informed decisions based on business data.

  • Financial management

    Azure accounting and finance feature provides businesses with financial data, insights, and analysis so that business decisions can be made. The same can be done with sales and marketing features.

  • Customer management

    Customer management can be enhanced as the data related to customers and feedback will be stored, and the software will provide better solutions and strategies to improve customer relationships and customer experience.

  • Integration tricks

    By integrating Microsoft Dynamics ax with azure machine learning, you will be able to gain insight through reports on how the equipment has been performing and will be able to predict when the equipment needs maintenance.

Microsoft Dynamics AX vs Microsoft Dynamics 365: A feature & Pricing Comparison

Microsoft Dynamics AX

Microsoft Dynamics 365

Cloud-based or desktop based?




One-time purchase license that costs around $400 for premium and essential subscription. 

  • Costly
  • Less flexibility
  • One-time effort

Subscription-based pricing which can cost up to $12.5- $35 per month.

  • Easier to purchase
  • Pay per service
  • You can decide how many services you will need to use

Existing features

  • Budgeting roadmaps
  • Cash and bank management
  • Productivity tools for users
  • Number sequences
  • Foreign trade and time
  • Global address books and address reference data
  • Electronic signatures
  • Payrolls
  • Web-based login
  • Improved user interface
  • Frequent updates
  • Mass financial period closure
  • Inventory balance overviews
  • Vendor purchase order confirmation
  • Improved business intelligence
  • AI-powered intelligence features
  • More comprehensive data management

New features

  • Intelligent data management framework
  • Management reporter
  • Development toolkit
  • Combine XPO tool
  • Pallet management
  • Benefits enrollment
  • Project management integration
  • Shipment confirmation
  • Integrated retail workforce management

What are the key benefits of deploying Microsoft Dynamics AX on Azure?

The deployment of Microsoft Dynamics AX on Azure offers several key advantages, including:

  • Flexible scalability

    Azure allows for easy adjustment of resources to accommodate changes in demand, making it an economical solution.

  • Reliable uptime

    With built-in disaster recovery and business continuity features, Dynamics AX is always available and running on Azure.

  • Strong security

    Azure provides robust security measures, such as encryption, multi-factor authentication, and network security, to protect business data.

  • Seamless integration

    Dynamics AX can be integrated with other Azure services, such as Power BI, Azure Active Directory, and Azure DevOps, to expand its capabilities.

  • Lower infrastructure costs

    Moving Dynamics AX to Azure eliminates the need for costly on-premise infrastructure, reducing costs and simplifying IT management.

  • Convenient accessibility

    Azure enables remote access to Dynamics AX from any device, anywhere, improving collaboration and productivity for users.

  • Global availability

    Azure provides a platform that is globally available, by which you can access new markets, and reach new customers all over the world.

  • Reduced costs

    Azure's new pricing model allows you to pay per service, by which your organization can reduce upfront capital expenditures, and reduce the cost of ownership over time.

How to overcome the challenges when using Microsoft Dynamics AX on Azure?

  • Integration with other systems using various tools can be challenging

    Its solution is quite simple, organizations can use various third-party integration platforms such as azure logic apps, Microsoft power apps, or Microsoft power automate which can ease the process of integration. Additionally, APIs can also be used.

  • Cost of integration

    To cater to this challenge, businesses can implement cost optimization strategies such as using reserved instances, right-sizing resources, and leveraging azure cost management and billing features. Additionally, azure dev/ test pricing options to reduce the cost of development.

  • Ensuring compliance with regulations

    This challenge can be easily overcome by using azure compliance services (azure policy, azure compliance manager, azure security) and implementing security and privacy policies on Microsoft dynamics ax 2012.

  • Performance issues

    There are many ways to improve performance, such as using Azure tools and technologies like azure blob storage and azure SQL database. Other than these, performance-tuning techniques can also be used such as database indexing, and optimization of data access.

  • Need for the expertise and specialized skills

    To take care of this issue, your business can arrange training and development programs for users to learn and build the necessary skills and expertise. All the support and training resources mentioned above can also be utilized.

  • Scalability

    To solve scalability issues, you can take advantage of azure’s scalability features, such as load balancing, auto-scaling, and disaster recovery. Implementation of a  hybrid cloud solution would also be helpful, which combines both on-premises and cloud-based resources.

  • Data security and privacy concerns

    Data privacy and security can be ensured by implementing multi-factor authentication, data Encryption, and access controls in Microsoft Dynamics ax on azure. Azure active directory and azure's key vault can also be leveraged to secure data and applications.


Conclusively, it is deduced that the Microsoft Dynamics ax has been quite useful for businesses.

However, the newer version of Dynamics 365 would be a better option for your organization to manage and handle all business matters through this software. 

The new features and ease of access enable all users to work more efficiently, in turn increasing productivity. 

Additionally, your business organization can save up to large amounts of money by utilizing the new pay-per-service model and web login feature.


Is Microsoft Dynamics AX cloud-based?

Microsoft Dynamics AX can be operated in the cloud, on-premises, or through hybrid deployment.

What language is Dynamics AX?

X++ is the main programming language of Microsoft Dynamics AX.

Is Microsoft Dynamics AX still available?

It has officially retired, and the support's last date was April 12, 2022.

What is the latest version of ax?

The latest version is known as Microsoft Dynamics 365. It has a better user interface and newer and refined features.

About the author


Youssef is a Senior Cloud Consultant & Founder of

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