Before I dive into all of the things you can do with DynamicsPerf, I think it’s important that I describe its history as this will tell you a lot about the vision for the toolset.
DynamicsPerf was born during the development of SQL Server 2005 which gave us Dynamic Management Views (DMVs). Mark Prazak was working with customers on SQL Server 2005 trying to explain DMVs to them. He developed and early version of a database to collect query data and index data to simplify analysis of DMV data on SQL Server 2005. When Mark moved into the Dynamics AX Performance team he brought knowledge of the DMVs and the scripts with him. The scripts grew into a database called AXPERF used by the Dynamics AX Performance team. The toolset was implemented as part of the standard testing beginning with the development of Dynamics AX 4.0. The goal was to ensure that Dynamics AX was performing well on SQL Server. One of the tasks in tuning an application is creating baselines and benchmarking the application. That was exactly what AXPERF was designed to do. As each development team worked on new code, it was tested and compared to the previous data that AXPERF had captured. This is one way we ensure performance is tested as part of the Dynamics AX development process.
Later on, Mark moved over to the Premier Field Engineering team and brought the toolset with him. As we were developing performance services for Dynamics AX Premier customers, AXPERF quickly became an integral part of our reviews. At that time, we did Premier services for all of our products so we started using AXPERF to solve performance issues across all of our Dynamics products. At this point, Rod Hansen (me), took over developing and making AXPERF work on all of our products. The first thing that had to happen was a name change. Microsoft Business Solutions had just been rebranded Dynamics, so the natural name for the tool was DynamicsPerf since we were doing these performance services on all our products.
As we resolved performance cases on our Dynamics products, we quickly realized that the toolset needed to collect a lot more data. A good example of this is information related to SQL Server configuration which was information not really needed in our Benchmark labs but was needed from real live production servers in the field. Ever since then we’ve been adding data to the collection each time we find something new that’s useful for troubleshooting performance cases. As you know very well, we can ask a lot of questions when trying to resolve performance case, so having a tool that can quickly help us answer many questions allows us to resolve the problem rapidly.
There have been many contributors but the main drivers have been Mark Prazak, the original developer of AXPERF, Rod Hansen (me) the developer for DynamicsPerf and last but not least my cohort Tom Stumpf who’s been my trusted advisor on feature development. Tom owns the Rap as a Service for Dynamics AX service so he and I make sure we match our feature sets between our toolsets. On the support side of the organization, Eric Moos has been a huge collaborator. There have been many, many others as well.
With all of that history, hopefully I’ve been able to give you the “vision” for DynamicsPerf and how it is meant to help all of us work from the same set of data for performance analysis.
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Rod “Hotrod” Hansen
Sr. Premier Field Engineer