Best practices for deploying projects to production?

I have been unable to find best practices for releasing development changes to production environments. Right now we export an XPO from development, which is then imported to production. First, I import only the project objects, then backup the project. After the XPO backup, I re-import the remaining project elements.

This is very slow and inefficient and was wondering what procedures others follow for moving development projects to their production environments and whether you follow backup procedures before deploying any project.

The process is followed the same for our AX4 and AX6 environments.


This is a wide topic, especially because things have changed a lot in AX2012.

Definitely you should avoid .xpo files in production environment - importing .xpo’s is error-prone (people forget about including object IDs, import elements in wrong order, add more or less objects than what was tested etc.).

In AX2012, the recommended way is to deliver layers - either individual layers or all, pre-compiled layers at once. In AX2012, you should move the whole model store (see Deploying Customizations Across Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Environments for details).