Purpose: The purpose of this document is to explain how to deploy Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 in Windows Azure platform (Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)) as RDS (Remote Desktop Services) published app.
Challenge: You may want to deploy Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 as Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) for the purposes of POC (Proof of concept), in case you want to have additional development or test environment, or if you are considering deploying production instance of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 in the Cloud. There're number of options when deploying Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 in the Cloud. And when it comes to client deployment you may want to deploy it as RDS (Remote Desktop Services) published app to facilitate user's access to the environment.
Solution: Remote Desktop Services is one of the components of Microsoft Windows that allows a user to access applications and data on a remote computer over a network using the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP). In Windows Server 2012 you can either publish the RemoteApps on the Remote Desktop Session Host server (RDSH) or you can publish the full blown desktop.
In this scenario I want to deploy Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 in Windows Azure platform (Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)) as RDS (Remote Desktop Services) published app. Essentially users will be able to launch Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 from their local desktops just like any other local application even though Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 client will be actually installed in Windows Azure VM. Please note that I'll install RDS role on the developer install of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 on Windows Server machine and this machine will also act as a Domain Controller (this is also the case for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Demo VM A).
Before we begin it is important to mention that if you want to install RDS on the machine which also acts as a domain controller you will have to apply KB2871777 first. A servicing stack update is available for Windows RT, Windows 8, and Windows Server 2012: September 2013, and it enables you to install the Remote Desktop Connection Broker role service on a domain controller.
Please find KB2871777 here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2871777
Please install KB2871777 before you install RDS and Domain Controller Services Roles to avoid installation errors
Windows Update Standalone Installer
Once KB2871777 is installed and you rebooted the machine we can first install Domain Controller Services Role and establish a domain. I'll not describe Domain Controller installation process in this document (it is described in my article here: http://ax2012aifintegration.blogspot.com/2013/08/microsoft-dynamics-ax-2012-in-windows.html)
And finally after that we can get to RDS Role installation
First off I'll select Remote Desktop Services installation option
Add Roles and Features Wizard – Installation Type: Remote Desktop Services installation
For the sake of simplicity I'll further go with Quick Start option which installs a required minimum RDS components and deploys number of default published apps
Add Roles and Features Wizard – Deployment Type: Quick Start
Please note that if you haven't joined the machine to the domain (in my case the machine will act as Domain Controller itself) you will see the following error
Remote Desktop Services installation option
After that I'll select Session-based desktop deployment
Add Roles and Features Wizard – Deployment Scenario: Session-based deployment
And select my server
Add Roles and Features Wizard – Server Selection
Next you may see the following compatibility error which can be resolved by enabling PSRemoting in Windows PowerShell
This is exactly what we're going to do. Please run "enable-psremoting" command in Windows PowerShell to pass through this compatibility error
Please run Windows PowerShell as Administrator (with elevated privileges) to execute this command
After that before you start deployment you'll have to confirm that the following role services will be installed
<![if !supportLists]>- <![endif]>RD Connection Broker
<![if !supportLists]>- <![endif]>RD Web Access
<![if !supportLists]>- <![endif]>RD Session Host
Add Roles and Features Wizard - Confirmation
At last we get a confirmation about successful installation
Add Roles and Features Wizard – Completion: Success!
Again please note RDS installation fails on Windows Server in case you didn't install KB2871777 as was described before. Upon successful installation we can now access RDWeb web page: https://localhost/RDWeb
Work Resources: RemoteApp and Desktop Connection (Login)
After you successfully login you will be able to see the list of default published apps
Work Resources: RemoteApp and Desktop Connection (Published Apps)
Also in Server Management console you will see the indication that Remote Desktop Services role has been successfully deployed
Remote Desktop Services
Now the task is to publish Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 as RDS published app too. For this purpose we'll review RDS Published apps collection and click Task > Publish RemoteApp Programs
Server Manager > Remote Desktop Services > Collections > QuickSessionCollection
The dialog will appear then which allows you to select programs to be published. We are certainly interested in publishing Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 client application, so we'll select it in the list
Publish RemoteApp Programs – RemoteApp programs
Publish RemoteApp Programs - Confirmation
Upon confirmation Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 client application will be published
Publish RemoteApp Programs - Completion
Finally you will see it listed in the RemoteApp programs collection
Server Manager > Remote Desktop Services > Collections > QuickSessionCollection: Success!
Now we can login to RDWeb web page again: https://localhost/RDWeb
And we'll see Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 is now available there
Work Resources: RemoteApp and Desktop Connection (Published Apps)
Please note that when you launch Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 as RDS Published App you will see a different icon (on the left) in the programs bars. This icon is different from the icon which corresponds to Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 client application launched locally (on the right)
As the result Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 client will be opened in a Web browser but it will look exactly like any other local application you launch on your computer
Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012
Please note that you can list RDS Published apps along with your local applications
Summary: This document describes how to deploy Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 in Windows Azure platform (Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)) as RDS (Remote Desktop Services) published app. Before you install RDS (Remote Desktop Services) please review RDS (Remote Desktop Services) licensing model. Please learn more about RDS (Remote Desktop Services) here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windowsserver/ee236407.aspx
Author: Alex Anikiev, PhD, MCP
Tags: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, Windows Azure, Microsoft Cloud, IaaS, Infrastructure as a Service, RDP, Remote Desktop Protocol, RDS, Remote Desktop Services, Published App
Note: This document is intended for information purposes only, presented as it is with no warranties from the author. This document may be updated with more content to better outline the concepts and describe the examples.