Many tasks in Dynamics AX for Finance and Operations can be run as part of batch jobs. For example, batch jobs can include tasks for printing reports or sending electronic documents. By using batch jobs you can avoid slowing down your computer or the server during working hours.

The tasks in a batch job can run either sequentially or at the same time. You can also create dependencies between tasks. In other words, the sequence of tasks can differ, depending on whether an earlier task succeeds or fails.

Setting up recurrence patterns for batch jobs is made easy. For example, a job to print reports automatically at the end of every month.

You can monitor batch jobs, using standard AX alerts. Alerts can be sent when the batch job succeeds, fails, or has finished running.

After a batch job has been processed, view the batch job history to see every iteration and any error(s) or other messages that were encountered while the job was running.

Use batch groups to categorise batch tasks and run them on specific servers. The servers in your environment might have different software installed, or they might be available at different times of the day. Batch groups are used to direct batch tasks to the most appropriate server. Tasks in the same batch job can belong to different batch groups.

For example, server A is set up to print reports, and server B is set up to analyse performance. You can use batch groups to make sure that reporting tasks are run on server A and performance analysis are processed by server B.

The Batch Service (new in Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations)

In AX 2012 you were able to define one or more Application Object Server (AOS) as Batch AOS. In the new Microsoft Dynamics AX this is different. In case of development there is a Windows Service installed that executes batch jobs. It’s name is - Microsoft Dynamics AX Batch Management Service.

You can find it in the Services. So if you need to shut down the AOS / Internet Information Services (IIS) you want to stop this service, too. If you are told to restart the AOS, it is best practice to restart the batch service as well.

Debugging

Sometimes you need to debug a particular batch job execution situation:

  • In AX 2012 you would have attached Visual Studio to the AOS process and debug the Intermediate Lanugage (IL) code. It’s pretty much the same still and got even easier because X++ now is a .NET language.
  • In Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations - navigate to Debug / Attach to Process (in Visual Studio) and make sure to select Show processes from all users. The batch service is typically called Batch.exe Attach to that process and you should be able to debug the X++ code that is executed there.


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