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.

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/lifecycle/search/default.aspx?sort=pn&alpha=dynamics%20ax

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: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/lifecycle/search/default.aspx?sort=pn&alpha=dynamics%20ax!!!
 
Figure 2 - Features of the various types of support

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