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Test Data Transfer Tool for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012


Reference:
technet.microsoft.com and other sources

Microsoft has released the beta version of Test Data Transfer Tool for Dynamics AX 2012. Which is applies to Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Feature Pack and Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012.

This tool is a command-line tool that exports data from a Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 transaction database in a production or non-production environment. The tool also imports data into a Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 business database in a non-production environment. The non-production environment can be either a development or test environment. Microsoft strongly recommends not use this tool to import data into a production environment.

The Test Data Transfer Tool (beta) is a powerful tool for importing and exporting data. The test data transfer tool is useful when we required to import large set of data into other environment (Non production), move data in different environments with similar customization’s and when data version is required. You must run the tool directly from the system that is hosting the database during import.


To use this tool you should have prior knowledge on SQL databases. To perform the activity using this tool you should be a database administrator or a developer who has experience and also have permission to read from or write directly to the Microsoft Dynamics AX database that you are working with, and to execute applications directly on the computer that is hosting the database. Before performing this activity you need to take the backup of source and destination databases.

Each and every operation that works with data has risks and also make sure that you understand which conditions are logged as errors during import. For example, you might try to import data for a table or column that does not exist in the target database. This attempt is not treated as an error by the tool, because the tool is designed to work seamlessly when the source and target databases have a different set of tables.

The Test Data Transfer Tool (beta) is available from the InformationSource Services download page.

Benefits:

The Test Data Transfer Tool (beta) uses the Microsoft SQL Server bulk copy tool (bcp). The Test Data Transfer Tool provides the following key benefits that other methods for importing and exporting Microsoft Dynamics AX data do not provide:

  • You can export or import data when an AOS instance is not running.
  • You can export or import Microsoft Dynamics AX data more quickly compared to other methods.
  • Only minimal changes are made to the data that you import. This feature helps guarantee that the data is stable over time. For example, the tool never renumbers RecIDs.
  • The data file format is text-based. Therefore, the data can be compared with earlier versions and stored in a version control system.
  • The data file format is a standard format that is produced by bcp.

The Test Data Transfer Tool (beta) adds the following features that work with bcp. These features make bcp an appropriate tool for managing data for Microsoft Dynamics AX.

  • Exported data can be filtered. Therefore, specified tables, columns, or rows can be easily excluded from the export.
  • Differences between builds of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 are found and corrected. These differences often occur during development. Because of this feature, data can often be imported without user intervention, even when the table definitions have changed. For example, tables or fields that have been renamed do not prevent import.
  • Entity IDs, such as table IDs, class IDs, and extended data type IDs, are updated to match the IDs of the target system.
  • The tool reads and correctly updates the SYSTEMSEQUENCES table.

Limitations:

  • The Test Data Transfer Tool (beta) does not make sure that data that you export is complete or coherent. However, the tool does export any data that you ask it to export.
  • The tool does not make sure that data that you import produces a complete or coherent database. However, the tool does import any data that you ask it to import.

The Test Data Transfer Tool (beta) imports and exports the data as-is. In some cases, you might exclude tables or records from either import or export. Nevertheless, the tool does not make sure that the data is complete or coherent when other tables contain references to excluded tables or records. Therefore, after import and export, you must make sure that the data that you are importing or exporting is coherent.

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