Built for Speed: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Boosts Performance by Up to 20 Times

In the world of enterprise resource planning (ERP), faster is better and size definitely matters. In Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, we’ve made dramatic improvements to both speed and scale: functions run up to 20 times faster, and the system supports cutting-edge multiple-processor configurations and database sizes to meet the needs of even the most data-intensive operation. This means you can enjoy faster responses from your applications in your day-to-day work and support the advanced analytics required by retail and e-commerce, without investing in additional hardware or infrastructure.


We put a lot of effort into improving the performance of the application server in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012. We achieved this through some changes to the programming model, which allow the native X++ application code to run in the Microsoft .NET–based environment. This detail may be most interesting to developers, but simply put, it makes the application run much, much faster than previous versions. In fact, we've clocked Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 at as much as 20 times faster than Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 for some tasks!

This means you’re able to run even complex reports and queries in real time, which would require you to wait for batch processes in most other ERP systems. We think everyone who touches the application will appreciate what these gains mean in terms of usability and productivity, and organizations will benefit from faster, more connected business processes.


Scale is also a major contributor to the performance of an ERP system. We’ve built Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 to scale up by taking advantage of the more powerful processors and server hardware available today. We also built the business management software to scale out by supporting larger databases and configurations with more server and processor hardware.

This has huge implications for customers in data-intensive or transaction-intensive industries. If your business conducts a lot of database operations and transactions, for example, in retail or e-commerce scenarios, you’ll appreciate the ability to store your data efficiently and perform analytical and BI operations against your massive datasets.

We’ve also done a lot of work on space optimization. The data compression capabilities of Microsoft SQL Server can significantly reduce the storage requirements of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012. Combined with the virtualization technologies of the Windows platform—for both database and application servers—you can minimize your hardware requirements and reduce your storage costs dramatically, even in scenarios with huge back-end databases.

You CAN Have It both Ways

One of the things we hear from our customers is that they expect a certain tradeoff between rich features and functionality and the performance of the application. People have come to see the two as mutually exclusive, but with Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, we’re happy to provide them with both.

As we’ve completed the Technology Adoption Program (TAP) and the beta programs with our early adopters and customers, it’s been gratifying to see people’s eyes light up when they see how fast the application truly is. People have been most surprised that the business management software is running in the same environment, without the need to buy additional hardware.

We’ve achieved some great things by keeping up with the technological advances through the entire Microsoft technology stack, including Microsoft .NET, SQL Server, and the Windows platform, and designing Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 to take full advantage of this world-class infrastructure.

Below a great interview with Sri Srinivasan, Principal Program Manager and Architect in the MS Dynamics AX R&D organisation, in which he articulates the scale and performance advances of MS Dynamics AX 2012:   


Share Your Thoughts

How many of your business processes are slowed down while waiting for complex reports or batch processes to complete?

How have your data storage requirements increased over the past five years? Have your hardware budgets kept pace?

Comments (22)
  1. Poor performance says:

    it's not true that ax2012 is 20 times faster than ax2009. ax2012 is 20 times SLOWER than ax2009 !

  2. That's not the whole truth says:

    AOS and code running on server may be faster but the AX Client/UI feels slower. I think that is very much that counts in productivity.

  3. Mark says:

    This is really explosive and dangerous information!

    Please visit a few customers of us who are upgrading from AX3 / AX4 to AX2012.

    They really have a complete different opinion.

    I really believe that some specific processes are 20 times faster, but the overall user experience is the complete opposite.

    End users are complaining about slow opening of forms, and often popup message : processing…

    All these customers have beefy hardware, but even running on the AX client directly on the AOS makes no difference.

    If the user experience on the AX2012 client is 20 times faster then AX2009, please post another blog entry. Until that happens, I would advise not to make incorrect expectations…

  4. AX 2012 upgrader says:

    We are going from AX 4.0 to AX 2012. The Client and EP on 2012 is MUCH MUCH SLOWER!

  5. Karabela says:

    on base of what kind of tests does Microsoft says that ax 2012 is faster. because its not, its actually slower.  

  6. ww12345678 says:

    We are going from AX 4.0 to AX 2012 R2. The Client and EP on 2012 is MUCH MUCH SLOWER to!

  7. marturo says:

    the financial statement is very slower with 11 financial dimensión and 32 main account

  8. MCrosby says:

    Microsoft, please, take care of all these comments and identify the major issues about performance; what has been written here is real only in another planet, not earth; in the meanwhile make something to help poor partners consultants that everyday wake up having in mind customers words!

    Dont focalize on "flowers forms", but solve real customers and partners problems that is the real life, planet earth…

  9. Dennis says:

    I have yet to see the first AX2012 application running at an acceptable performance.  Compared to each of the previous AX versions (2.5, 3, 4 and 2009) AX2012 has definitely the slowest client interface.

    All users get to see the 'processing' balloon dozens of times a day and the 'loading data' message stays on screen like what seems forever when running a report.

    Not a single customer who has upgraded from an earlier (faster) version is happy with the AX2012 performance even though all hardware and network sizing requirements are met.

    Who are you trying to fool here?

  10. ChriD says:

    DAX 2012 is the slowest ERP i've ever seen -_-

    DAX 2009 was fun to work and to extend it, But AX 2012 is a flop…

    It crashes while typeing in the X++ Editor, it crashes sometimes without any reason.. It's definitly slow.

    Greetings from an realy anoyed Developer

  11. mziyabo says:

    The x++ editor is pain to use.. It hangs a lot, is unpredictable not to mention its full of clutter-the undocked windows are good but they all end up in the same window you can't use multiple monitors like you would with Visual Studio. We could seriously do with an update to make the UI more responsive too use async or whatever- feels like everything is running on a single thread..improve the morphx IDE please.

  12. anil says:

    ax2012 is very much slow other than any erp

  13. Jim says:

    Echoing what others have said. Client / GUI performance in 2012 is diabolical. Transaction throughput may be 20 times faster, perhaps, but overall interaction is awful. I don't know what we see more of, the "Processing….." popup or the "Not responding" window caption!

    It really is dire…..

  14. Benoit MC says:

    We just begin our implantation, with an empty database, it's already slow.

    With 80 cores and 256Go for RAM… wondering what's happen… (AX2012 R2 Cu7, I look for solution to improve perf.)

  15. Jack Casas says:

    AX 2012, after upgade from AX4. Performance is so poor! It takes like a minute to create a Sales Header! even with a much superior Hardware, loads of memory, loads of CPU, RAID groups, SQL settings all set as recomended by performance blog.

    This is dangerous! Customers are all over us! And OMG! the "processing…" POPUP! Who's idea was that!!

  16. badly Poor performance says:

    after upgrading from Ax-2009 to Ax-2012 the performance is very slow in spite of all the tuning of VM , Database, application, etc… its slower 40 times than AX-2009!

  17. caleb kiran says:

    In my company i am facing performance issue, we are using AX 2012 r2, it is very slow, can I have your email id or skype id, I need your help, we have 50gb ram and we have active users 30+ but very bad performance, I request you help on this or give us some inputs,

    My skype id is ncalebkiran my email id is ncalebkiran@gmail.com, kindly give us your email id or skype id

  18. Jacob Jan Doornbosch says:

    sorry but it's slower! AX2009 was slower than 4.0 and 2012 is even slower as AX 2009. So im very qurius about the performance for AX 2015. Probably I have to take my easy chair to work 🙂

  19. StevenH says:

    Not true! AX is so damn slow even on really good/expensive hardware with SSD.

  20. Francesco Frentrop says:

    I am sure the processing speed of the AOS has improved for processes running in CIL, but since when has the AOS been the bottleneck when it comes to performance?

    Another issue is that there are quite a few processes (still!) that are always running client side and therefore cause errors when they are forced to run in CIL.

    So I routinely turn off (well…) CIL execution for all users who are involved in intercompany transactions, which leaves the receptionist and the gardener to benefit from this amazing AOS performance.

    Everyone else has to suffer through performance loss due to ridiculous database normalization, killer user forms and architectural choices that make me wonder what they add to the water in Redmond these days.

    Some of the issues are apparently solved in R2D2 and R3PO, but for us schmucks on R-nothing it is too little, too late. With no feasible upgrade path we are doomed to face the wrath and loathing of our user community for many years to come.

  21. SW says:

    Installed AX12 R3 CU8 with demo data, AOS, Client, SQL are seperate VMs on Azure, each vm with 8 vitrual CPU, 56G RAM, at last take me 3 minutes to input 1 purchase line, up to this moment, my belief that is a bug version like window vista~

  22. arkadia says:

    The Dynamics TEAM (whatever what this is supposed to be) porbably not reading these blog comments. And its probably tru that the whole operations are 20 times faster… however there's now 40+ times the amount of rows to fetch to get the same info so overall result is twice slower than before…

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