Did you enjoy the earlier post on how to run a D365 VM using your own Azure subscription?
Do you wish there was an easier and better way? Well, there is.
Let’s try to keep this post as short and sweet as possible. Read part 1 for context if needed.
Notes before we get started
▶ This post is intended for those who have a growth mindset and a passion for learning and who wish to empower themselves because they are not given VMs as part of their jobs
▶ There are other approaches to get either a cloud-hosted VM or local VM deployed, and this is simply one way to get a cloud-hosted VM using personal Microsoft accounts and subscriptions (the only organizational requirement is not a challenge for those currently working for a Microsoft partner/customer)
▶ Your own personal Azure subscription
▶ Your organization must have the appropriate D365 subscription
Parts 1 and 2 are just one-time setups to get to part 3, which is the easy part and why you are reading this post.
Part 1 – Create a personal project in LCS
- Sign into your organizational Microsoft account and go to the LCS portal
- In the home page, select the All projects tab and create a project by selecting the + button
- Select Finance and Operations as the product
- Select Prospective presales as the project purpose
- Enter project details as needed and select Create
- Your project is now created and LCS opens your project home page
Let’s move onto the next part.
Part 2 – Complete the Azure Resource Manager onboarding process
This part covers how to set up the Azure connectors for your LCS project that automate the cloud-hosted environment deployments.
There is a great Microsoft Docs article outlining this, and we’ll follow along closely with a few adjustments to handle using a personal Azure subscription, instead of your organization’s enterprise subscription.
- In your LCS project, open the menu and select Project settings
- Go to the Azure connectors tab in Project settings
- In the ORGANIZATION LIST area, select Authorize where you see your organization
- The Grant admin consent page will open
- Select Authorize, and read the next steps carefully
- Do not continue when the Sign in to your account page opens – this is where we make a few adjustments
Note: the following details and this entire post would not be possible without this great Microsoft Dynamics 365 Blog post
- When the Sign in to your account page opens, copy the URL from your web browser, which should look like this:
- Sign into the Azure portal using your personal Microsoft account, and go to the Azure Active Directory overview
- Get the primary domain – for example, ‘joshdcabreraoutlook.onmicrosoft.com’
- Going back to the URL copied from the Authorize or Sign in to your account page, replace the ‘common’ text with the primary domain text like this:
- Copy the updated URL, go to the URL in a new web browser session, and sign into your personal account
- Click Accept to grant the necessary permissions to the Dynamics Deployment Services application
- If the web browser redirects to a page like the one below, do not worry – your personal account does not have LCS access (only organizational Microsoft accounts may access LCS)
- Go back to the Azure Active Directory in your personal Azure subscription, and select Enterprise applications
- You should see the Dynamics Deployment Services application, and now we can resume the next step outlined in Microsoft Docs
- From your personal Azure subscription, go to Access control (IAM)
- Select +Add and Add role assignment
- Select Contributor and Next
- Select User, group, or service principal for Assign access to, and then select +Select members
- Search for ‘dynamics’, and select Dynamics Deployment Services [wsfed-enabled] as a member
- Continue by selecting Review + assign
- Validate the Contributor role assignment using the Access control (IAM) page and the Role assignments tab for your personal Azure subscription
- We have now completed the first half of this part – Authorize the LCS deployment service to work on the Azure subscription
- Now we will move onto the second half – Enable the Azure subscription to deploy Azure Resource Manager resources
- Go back to your LCS project, and open the Azure connectors tab in the Project settings page
- In the AZURE CONNECTORS area, select +Add
- Enter the Name, Azure subscription ID, and Azure Active Directory Tenant ID, and then select Next to continue
- Note: the IDs are available in the Azure Active Directory overview – same area where you got the primary domain in earlier steps
- Review the details, and select Next to continue
- From here, select Download to get the management certificate file needed for the following steps
- Back in your personal Azure subscription, go to Access control (IAM)
- Select +Add and Add co-administrator
- Select and add your personal Microsoft account
- Remaining in your personal Azure subscription, select Management certificates and then Upload the file downloaded from LCS earlier
- Switching back to LCS, select Next to continue
- Select an Azure region and then Connect to continue
- You should now see the Azure connector created
Finally, we can move onto the part you’ve been waiting for!
Part 3 – Deploy and use cloud-hosted VM through LCS
What if there was an easy button for this?
Wait a second, there is one?
With just a few clicks, you can now deploy a cloud-hosted VM.
- Continuing from our last steps, open the project menu in LCS, and go to Cloud-hosted environments
- Select +Add to start
- Select the Application version and Platform version
- Note: you can get the latest versions using this approach while the other approach outlined in part 1 limits you to whatever versions are available for the downloadable VHDs
- Select an environment topology – e.g., DEVTEST
- Select an environment topology – e.g., Finance and Operations – Develop (10.0.24 with Platform update 48)
- Review and update various details such as the Environment name, Size, and other settings
- Note: the VM size, disks, etc. will drive your Azure costs
- After selecting the terms agreement checkbox and Next, you will receive a final confirmation prompt
- Select Cancel
- Just kidding, select Deploy – your VM will now show as queued for deployment
- Note: deployment may take a few hours – this one took ~4 hours – so it’s time for a well deserved break
- When you have returned and refreshed the Cloud-hosted environments page, you should see that your environment now shows as Deployed
- Review the environment details such as the LOCAL ACCOUNTS that enable Remote Desktop access
- Check out this Microsoft Docs article if you need additional help
- Or use Log on to environment to access the application from any supported web browser – e.g., Google Chrome on Apple iOS
You now have your own VM at your fingertips. So how will you achieve more using the Dynamics 365 and Azure platforms?
How are you making your people, process, and product better with Dynamics?