Getting Ready for Development with Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 – Part Two: Training

April 5 2011

In the first part of this series I covered the vision as I see it for development with Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012. In this article I want to look at the training aspect of the Dynamics AX 2012 preparation that all Dynamics AX partners, ISVs, and other developers should now be initiating.  The ambitious 2012 version will bring with it one of the most aggressive and demanding learning curves ever for a new Dynamics AX release.  With Convergence just around the corner, now is the time for Dynamics AX professionals and customers to kick their training plans into high gear. 

When planning new training, you should always build upon what you have already learned. This is true for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 because it is building off of Microsoft technology that you have most likely worked with in some form or fashion.  But what's different about Dynamics AX 2012, being a generational shift by design, is the amount of learning that will need to take place, and the pace at which Microsoft is already officially releasing training materials.

To help dive into the training, let's start by looking at Microsoft's approach for getting the channel trained and navigate from there all the way to the newbie in the ecosystem.

For TAP partners, training for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 started back in 2009 and was reference in a recent interview with To-Increase's Bjorn Kujit. The early-stage training continued with Private Beta partners and customers.

For the broader partner community, training really kicked off in January of this year with the Microsoft Dynamics AX 2011 Technical Conference which I attended and covered via my blog and twitter account.

The technical conference was the first semi-public event in which Microsoft educated the broader community and offered a deep dive on the technology. This event was sold out and saw a lot more people attending than Microsoft had anticipated - you could tell by how quickly the beer ran out on the first day. ;-)

Microsoft released an impressive amount of information at the event considering the legal disclosure rules that accompany such pre-release details.  There were so many different topics covered at the technical conference for various roles and target organizations - from architect to developer, functional and technical, partner and customer. This was the singular "kick off" event, if you will, for starting the training journey of Microsoft's generational shift in ERP technology.

The technical conference was truly the beginning of the buildup.  If you were at the technical conference, then you were advised to start creating your learning plans that took you right into Convergence. Convergence 2011 now being a week away, brings a slew of more targeted, refined and detailed information to help prepare and train partners and customers alike for the next release of Microsoft's flagship ERP / SCM software.

Convergence, then, becomes a gut check for AX professionals, in which learning plans should be well underway and gathering steam.  Everyone with an interest in Dynamics AX 2012, from sales to functional to technical to support, should have some kind of training agenda tied to their performance goals for this year.

Moving on from Convergence, the next check point, if you will, for partners is Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC), in which a refresh and update will take place for the information that has been shared so far. By WPC, partners should be very comfortable with AX 2012, and those customers in TAP and Private Beta should be looking to go live very soon.

After WPC, it's go time as the end of the third quarter quickly approaches and the general availability (GA) date nears. Before the full release hits, there will be a public beta and then RTM. I expect public beta to take place around, or just before WPC, though it could happen as soon as right after Convergence or even as part of the release party at Convergence.

From a customer's perspective, Convergence and expert blogs are the best source for getting detailed information on the upcoming release of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012. There will be a ton of coverage next week at Convergence, and a lot of sessions, and blog coverage of that information.  So for customers that are not a part of any beta or TAP program, Convergence is the real kick off, and from it a steady stream of information, demos, videos, white papers, blog posts and more will be the continued source for training and preparation for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012.

What we will also see from both customer and partner perspective is more and more use of the Microsoft stack and Microsoft technologies with Dynamics AX 2012. This means that expanding your understanding of new tools like Microsoft .Net 4.0, SharePoint 2010, Office 2010, SQL Server 2008 R2, System Center, PowerShell and others will be critical for making sure you can maximize your investments.

So make sure if you're a partner that you are already on your Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 training journey.  If you're a customer, get with your partner and use them to help create a learning plan for your own resources. If you don't have a partner, or an active partner anymore, let me know as I can recommend a really great one!

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About Brandon George

Brandon George is a Microsoft Dynamics AX MVP, and President, America's Region, for Hillstar Business Intelligence. You may recognize him from his retired blog or his new BI focused blog Brandon brings hands-on implementation and customization experience in Software Development, Database Design, and SQL Server and leads a team that is charged with helping clients put their data to work.

He has extensive experience in information systems including X++ programming, systems analysis, systems design, configuration, and project deployment. His diverse background in information and business systems gives him a great capacity to interact with people from various business areas and levels. He has outstanding analytical, problem solving, and communication skills as well as proven ability to help people understand complex issues. 

Brandon has worked on numerous large scale implementation projects for Microsoft Dynamics AX and MicroStrategy BI.

His commonly used skills include, but are not limited to:

  • Microsoft Business Solutions and .NET Framework knowledge
  • Microsoft Dynamics AX and MicroStrategy BI hands-on implementation experience
  • Systems architecture and design
  • Applications development
  • Database design
  • Project Management
  • User Training

You can always feel free to email directly at:

More about Brandon George


vikas's picture

the above post was really useful I am not having a partner source id ,still where can i get those development videos or atleast the link to those videos.

Dixiecrat's picture

Hello, and thanks for reading the article. Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, is not entered into Public beta, therefore check out the following post.: Within it are two links that will lead you to the current content from Microsoft, as part of the Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 public beta release. A lot more from Microsoft, as well as fellow bloggers like myself are on the way! -Brandon

hjvdvate's picture

Hi Brandon, We as a customer are in the process of moving from AX40 to AX2012. One database, 50 companies. A good internal team of 20 consultants. And we were trained on AX2012. But now it comes to best-practises. Who can you recommend? As you say: "...If you don't have a partner, or an active partner anymore, let me know as I can recommend a really great one! ..." For developments we have a Partner, but for implementation-best-practises we are looking for one as our previous one moved out. Regards, Henk-Jan