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Everyday findings in my world of .net and related stuff

Microsoft Dynamics Business Connector facts

Posted by Torben M. Philippsen on January 3, 2011

In a recent integration project I was working on, we encountered some performance issues regarding the use of the Microsoft Dynamics .net Business connector for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009. The problem was related to an AIF created WCF service hosted in an IIS environment. The WCF service was supposed to handle many simultanously request but analyzis showed that even when eg. 100 simultanous requests was made at the same time, only a maximum of two business connectors showed up in the “online users” in AX.

To understand what was going on, a support case at Microsoft was created and below, I will summaraixe some of the information Microsft provided:

If you too are wondering why only two connections shows up in the “online users” in AX please refer to Microsofts support blog at http://blogs.msdn.com/b/emeadaxsupport/archive/2009/05/14/the-thing-about-the-net-business-connector-and-the-number-of-online-users.aspx

You should also be aware of the license information provided by Microsoft:

License consumption for Business Connector in AX 2009

Using Business Connector from a non web based external application.

When BC (.NET Business Connector) is used in Dynamics Ax 2009, 2 sessions are created. One of them is called “Worker”, and this is the main BC session (process start). Every time there is Login call from BC a new session is created which is called “Business Connector”.
When the LogOff is called the “Business Connector” session is removed. When the BC process itself terminates then the “Worker” session is removed.
If you start a process and then login multiple times in parallel without logging off you will see 1 “Worker” session and multiple “Business Connector” sessions.
E.g. if same user logs on e.g. two times within the same process then you will have three sessions in Online Users form, 1 “Worker” and 2 “Business Connector”.

For .NET Business Connector, there is no “Business Connector Users” license enforcement done at the product level.
The customer is responsible for licensing the number of BC.net’s that they use (even though we do not enforce the license). The license agreement is a legal contract.
So from a licensing point of view:
You need “Business Connector Users” license, one for each concurrent logon by a distinct user.
Using Business Connector from a web based application (e.g. Enterprise Portal).

For EP or any Web used apps which uses LogonAs, there will be one session called “Business Connector” which will be the main session (one BC worker process connection for every worker process). This will be a persistent connection as long as the process is started & live and at least one EP page is served.
EP pages are stateless, so the web user connection is not persistent. For every page request the web user connection will be established (and a “Web user” session will be shown in “Online users” and in SysClientSessions the field Status = 1), page will be rendered and after a small time (for performance reasons), the connection will be teared off (in SysClientSessions the field Status = 0).

For EP, there is no “Enterprise Portal Users” license enforcement done at the product level.
The customer is responsible for licensing the number of BC.net’s and Web users that they use (even though we do not enforce the license). The license agreement is a legal contract.
So from a licensing point of view:
1. You need “Business Connector Users” license, one for each web server and
2. “Enterprise Portal users” (Web user) license – either concurrent user license or named user license.
Do Microsoft enforce the licenses and if so how?

With enforced license it means that you will not be able to log in if you exceed the number of logged in users.

The answer is that all licenses are enforced except for “Enterprise Portal Users” and “Business Connector Users”.
This means that if you don’t have license for a module/feature then you will not be able to use the module/feature and for normal users (Win clients) you will not be able to log inn more than the number of concurrent users that you have license for.
E.g. If you have license for 2 COM clients and you have 3 web servers and you try to log in the business connector(BC) from the third web server then the BC will not be able to log in.

For Web users there is no enforcement which means that you will be able to have more users logged in to EP than you have web user license for.

Thanks goes to Microsofts support team that helped solving this issue.

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5 Responses to “Microsoft Dynamics Business Connector facts”

  1. Gonzalo Garcia said

    Hi Torben,

    So if I understood correctly, you say that every time someone signs in into Enterprise Portal a License is consumed?

    I ask this because in the place I work, we have a limited number of licenses available for all the users in the factory, so far its been good, but we are worried that as soon as we release a new functionality on EP we will be having a shortage of licenses because people will want to log in into EP while maintaining its session on the regular AX client.

  2. Hello Gonzalo.

    Thanks for posting.
    First of all I will not claim to be an expert in Dynamics Ax licensing.

    When working with EP You will have to know that there is a difference between regular client users (more expensive license) and Business Connector Users (a lot cheaper license)
    Connecting to AX through EP will not consume one of the regular licenses, it will only consume a business connector user license.
    so I guess the answer to your question will be a “no” because Enterprise Portal users will not affect any of the regular client users.

    In the answer I got from Microsoft it even says:
    “For .NET Business Connector, there is no “Business Connector Users” license enforcement done at the product level.
    The customer is responsible for licensing the number of BC.net’s that they use (even though we do not enforce the license).”

    In my interpretation this means, that You can have all the Business connector users that You want, but you will have to make sure by yourself that you don’t violate the license agreement.

    I hope You find this helpfull.
    Regards Torben

  3. Santosh said

    Hi Torban,

    Nice blog….

    I just need an info here over the business connector login (EP users). When an user ONLY logged in to EP page NOT in DAX client, no online time session has been recorded in user log (admin> inquiries>user log), remains as 00.00.00 but if user logs in DAX it shows the time stamp and also records the time.

    Even if you navigate to “Statistics” tab of this form, you can find business connector login group which also remain blank…..So, my point is when all these values gets recorded…..

    Is this an issue in DAX 2009 or this is something needs to escalated to MS ?

    Much appreciated…

    Thanks,
    Santosh

    • Hi Santosh!

      Happy new year.
      In general the time stamps that indicate how long a user has been online are being recorded once the user logs of.
      However I don’t think that connections made by the Business connector are being recorded in the same way as client users. And therefore these conections cannot be found in the “user log” form.
      It seems strange to me too that we have a user log in DAX that apparently does’t log users, if they log on using the BC – what’s the purpose of the user log then?

      Regards, Torben

      • Santosh said

        Hello Torben,

        Thanks!! a lot…many many happy new year to you and your family…

        Yes, that even makes me also terrible…..if this is a “user log”, it has to lock all the users irrespective of whether login is from DAX ir BC.

        Also, this form has field which denotes BC’s session and so it must lock the BC session as well…..not sure if there is anything in DAX which actually jas to setup in order to get this session log same as DAX login.

        Please let me know if there is anything we can trace about prior to move ahead MS support.

        Thanks
        Santosh

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