Top Microsoft Dynamics AX Problems & Fixes

Performance issues in a complex system like Dynamics AX are not always easy to identify.

Most performance problems relate in some way to data – the data that you need to keep your business humming.

Knowing how it connects to problems with your Dynamics AX performance ensures you can protect the data you need the most.

Most Common Microsoft AX Issues

Here are the most common causes that might be slowing your system down:

1.  Old data is causing new problems

For companies who have funneled many years’ worth of transactions and data through AX, neglecting SQL maintenance is similar to running a marathon.

You start out at peak performance, but over time you get slower and slower. The same thing happens if you don’t routinely maintain your SQL Server.

A SQL Server manages and stores information such as your sales transactions. Over time data builds up, configuring your SQL Server and optimizing how this data is stored means you can avoid your Dynamics AX slowing down.

2. The table of contents is muddled

As with any technology, components of your ERP occasionally decide to take the day off without telling anyone and stop working the way they should.

This can cause AX to run slowly but not stop you from using it entirely.

For example, reports that are normally sorted by a particular field have now begun showing the data in a more random order. Optimizing your SQL server means re-building your indexes (think a table of contents in a book) to fix the reporting issue and improve the performance of your system.

3. You’re running out of memory 

If you are regularly seeing memory issues, it could mean that your table caching is not appropriate for the number of records in the tables.

This can occur when your go-live settings become insufficient because your business has gone through a huge amount of growth since you started using the system.

4. Your infrastructure isn’t keeping up

As your company grows, so should your technology infrastructure. If Dynamics AX is running slowly, it could mean that you have increased the number of users and the workload you’ve placed on it without increasing the infrastructure to manage the growth.

Load testing can put your system through its paces and allow you to gauge the amount of headroom you have for growth. 

5. There are some badly behaving code customizations

While your Dynamics AX platform may be scalable, often you will have made some customizations to the code to fit with your unique business processes.

However custom code can often introduce performance issues, especially if you have gone through an upgrade and the customizations weren’t migrated correctly (or at all in some cases).

Code analyzers allow you to quickly identify code inefficiencies and apply changes for compliance with Microsoft and industry standards.

6. Wrong caching leads to unnecessary database calls

Caching reduces data access times and latency.

Not using caching properly is the first root cause of performance. It would be like leaving your lunch at home and going all the way back to get it when you want to eat. You waste time going to get it when you could have brought it to work and reduced the time it takes to retrieve your lunch.

Wrong caching leads to unnecessary database calls causing longer access times and increased latency. 

7. Server-related issues

·   Shared hardware: Your Microsoft Dynamics AX implementation may be installed on a VM (virtual machine) cluster where every CPU (central processing unit) core is shared between several VMs. This type of configuration can have the advantage of reducing hardware and electricity costs, but this configuration can also have the disadvantage of slowing the performance of your system. So, have your IT expert investigate whether changing the ‘CPU allocation ratio’ might speed things up.   

·   Database mirroring setup: Database mirroring can also slow things down. Database mirroring happens when someone selects a mode, such as ‘High safety without automatic failover’, which means processes can only occur after transactions are committed on both the servers involved. You or your IT staffer can use a Wait statistics script to see which mode is currently on and, where required, change it from a ‘High safety’ to a ‘High performance’ one.   

·   Low SQL Server memory: If it’s functioning appropriately, Dynamics AX should not have to read any data from the disk during routine operations. That’s because the server should have enough memory to hold all the active data. If, after viewing SQL queries, you find that a lot of physical disk reads are occurring, it’s time to increase SQL server memory.

·   Waiting times: If batch jobs should be executed, for example, every minute and this is not occurring, that will slow things down. To determine if this is happening, you or your IT staffer will need to create a SQL query that compares the ‘Planned execution start time’ with the ‘Actual start time’. If the numbers don’t match up, increase the ‘Maximum batch threads’ parameter for AOS.   

·   Slow standard operations: Issues with locks and deadlocks – specifically batch tables deadlocks and locks and deadlocks on InventSumDelta Dim – are often responsible for slow performance. Conducting an issue search in LCS (Lifecycle Services) is the quickest way to find fixes to lock-related problems.   

Hotfix by Microsoft

If your system is running slow, it’s sometimes possible to rectify the problem via a ‘hotfix’. That is, a software update that’s been released by Microsoft. Click here to learn more about installing the Dynamics AX hotfix for slow performance.

How Flintech can help to speed things up

At this juncture, it should be clear that identifying why your Dynamics AX is performing suboptimally and then fixing the problem (or problems) is no simple matter. Rather than attempting to resolve the issue in-house, you may wish to leverage the expertise of one of Flintech’s Dynamics AX experts. 

Final takeaway

It may not be immediately apparent, especially to those in management rather than frontline positions, that Dynamics AX isn’t working as it should. That’s why it’s important to encourage junior staff to raise the alarm if the system begins to slow down. (Even if it’s only slow at certain times, such as the end of the month.)  

Need help to ensure Microsoft Dynamics AX is performing optimally or want to transition to Microsoft Dynamics 365? Flintech can help. Book a free consultation with us today to find out more.