Friday, April 13, 2012

Advice to ISVs: How to license your solution developed on AX 2012

With new licensing Server/CAL model that MS has introduced for MS Dynamics AX 2012, it becomes really easy for resellers and customers to purchase AX leaving behind the old AX2009 licensing complexities. For ISVs now, they need to be very aware of the new licensing model and how it relates with new AX role based security framework in order to do the licensing for their custom developed solutions on AX 2012.

An ISV can follow the top-down or bottom-up approach to model the licensing for their solution. MS recommends top-down approach, where an ISV needs to think of who (users) will be using their solution, identify the potential roles, anticipate the expected duties and then further down to privileges, permissions, entry points (menu items). Finally, at the menu item level, they should think about what level of access is required to view or maintain the functionality exposed by this menu item and what should be the user CAL type assigned to view and maintain user licenses (menu item properties). This makes it easy to correctly assign the user CAL types to menu items.

In the bottom-up approach, an ISV will be directly assigning the user CAL types to menu items that will be exposed by privileges to roles to users. This is rather more error prone and hectic approach.

How an ISV can actually generate a license for custom solution using new licensing feature that comes with AX 2012, I will try to post an step by step guide for that.

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