Dynamics Ax 2012 Trace parser with ETW

Hi All,

The following subject already exists for a while but I found it so useful that I want to get it out there once more!

Lets consider the following scenario: There’s a performance issue in production and no other environment around where the customer or the partner is able to reproduce it or the database is just too big. (Yes I know don’t comment on this statement 🙂 ) The last thing you want to do is to put this environment even under more load by installing tools or writing extra code just to log something so maybe this is the solution for you.

When you download Performance Analyzer for Dynamics Ax  it comes with all kinds of SQL goodies but also with 2 Performance Monitor templates (AX_Trace_Detail.xml and AX_Trace_ClientAccessOnly.xml) which you can find in the “DynamicsPerf\Windows Perfmon Scripts” folder. As the filenames suggest these allow you to do tracing for Ax. But wait we already have that in the tracing cockpit of the client? Yes we do but it doesn’t allow you to schedule it which is really handy to investigate a batch process running at night in production and let’s be honest do you trust starting this on an Ax client in a production environment?

So here’s how to set it up:

  • Open the Windows Performance Monitor.
  • Create a new Data Collector Set.
  • Use a template to create the Data Collector Set.
  • Click Browse and pick one of the templates delivered by the Performance Analyzer solution. AX_Trace_Detail.xml or AX_Trace_ClientAccessOnly.xml. This last one is useful for putting on RDP or Citrix servers to reduce the amount of logging.
  • Change the default “%systemdrive%\PerfLogs\Admin\DAX 2012 Trace” path to another drive which has enough space and avoid using the same drive as Dynamics Ax so that when it runs full the application will still run stable.
  • After this you can use the standard functionality to set up schedules, disk usage, copy’s, …
  • Start and stop the tracing and import the .etl file in the Dynamics Ax 2012 Trace Parser.

It’s just that simple and this feature is available on every Windows installation. Just be aware that this generates a high volume of logs so you want to set up the data manager really good. Processing it in the trace parser also might take a long time so I suggest you always to this on another environment than production.

Happy tracing!

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