Lifecycle Services (LCS) is a Microsoft Azure-based portal that helps you manage the application and software lifecycle of your implementations. It provides predictable, repeatable, and proactive deployments. LCS is a cloud-based platform with a set of regularly updated services that simplify and standardize the implementation process.
The goal of lifecycle services is to provide reliable information and a transparent workspace for both customers and partners. This workspace enables closer collaboration and reduces time to value. Over 11,000 users across 32 countries/regions use LCS to design and deploy robust systems, to reduce the time it takes to find solutions and to help discover a higher return on investment.
The Four Pillars of LifeCycle Services
Microsoft outlines the function of Lifecycle Services using four pillars:
Define what makes you stand out from your competition to determine the needs of your implementation to improve predictability and standardize operations across the organization.
Develop quality code through quicker validation, increased uptime, and easier upgrades.
Operate efficiently through proactive management while maximizing uptime, solving issues quickly, and applying updates enabling you to fully understand the impact specific changes have on your operations.
Quickly deploy on Microsoft Azure to increase agility so you meet the needs of your business through growth and acquisitions. Only pay for the resources you actually use and use tools your team is already familiar with.
Lifecycle Services Key Features
Lifecycle Services is accessed through a web browser where you log in to a Microsoft Live account. After logging in, you will have access to your projects and methodologies, a collection of tools and an area to link SharePoint and Visual studio. Let’s dive into the features of Lifecycle Services and how it is useful for both your business and customer.
Projects are the main organizer in LCS as it determines the default phases and tasks that are crucial to each project. In each project, there is a methodology framework that you must follow. This is designed to guide you through the implementation process.
You can lock tasks that can only be accessed after the prerequisite is met. Clicking on the lock icon will tell you what needs to happen before you move onto the next step. As you work through the methodology, environments are ready to be configured.
Customers and partners can invite each other to collaborate on projects. If you use cloud-based support, you can also invite Microsoft engineers to help you with your project. You can change the ownership of the project at any time.
Methodologies provide users with a tool used to ensure repeatable and predictable projects. You can use a preset methodology or create your own to track and report your progress. Any user in an organization with admin rights can create and promote methodologies that they or another member of their organization design.
Business Process Modeler
The Business Process Modeler allows you to create, view, and modify business process libraries and flowcharts for Microsoft Dynamics AX. This feature helps you align your processes with industry-standards. You can perform fit-gap analysis and add new business processes.
Cloud Environments and Support
The cloud-hosted environments tool provides the necessary number of virtual machines in Azure required to deploy a Microsoft Dynamics AX environment. Cloud-powered support helps you manage incidents and allows you to create a virtual machine in Azure that has the same hotfixes as your local environment. This cross-functional approach enables you to recreate and record incidents and submit the incident to the Microsoft support team.
Configuration and Customization
The configuration and data manager allows you to duplicate a configuration from one place to another. Customization analysis is a tool that validates the customer’s model and generates reports. A summary report, a detailed issues report, and a developer report can load into the development environment.
Subscription estimator is a tool Microsoft uses to estimate the initial size of the production environment that must be created for a customer. First, customers estimate peak workloads and submit the information to LCS. From there, the estimator reviews licenses and transaction counts to make sure the environment meets the needs of the customer.
Additional Tools and Updates
Microsoft offers additional tools, resources, and updates to enhance your Lifecycle management. Issue search helps you find existing solutions to known problems, asset library is a place to store assets associated with a tenant in LCS and Get Updates allows you always to be sure you have the most up-to-date software running on your system.